Race Coverage

Lendway's Words

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By Heather Lendway

Timberman Race Report - After racing through some constant pain my last pro year in 2017 I finally had an MRI to find partial tears in the high hamstring tendons. It took about three years to find the right combo of care to feel mostly recovered. Then COIVID hit so I tread back into the racing waters last summer to see if I could find any joy in racing again after a discouraging end to my pro career. My first race back I was pleasantly surprised that my body just kind of knew what to do minus a few details like dismounting a bike, where I lost a shoe and almost crashed, but it turned out OK. I generally had a good time, enjoyed seeing some old friends and making some new ones. After that I decided to do Timberman, and fell I love with the venue. This included crystal clear water, cool enough for a reasonably comfortable wetsuit swim, safe roads for riding (so safe I accidentally did a little extra mileage in ‘21) and a perfect run course with plenty of water stops and a few rolling hills. After the race I booked a room for ‘22 and Patrick and I registered the day registration opened (hence being #3 and #4 race bibs)....

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Puppies and a Pickle....

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TIMBERMAN SPRINT COVERAGE - Five-time Sprint winner TARA MAKINEN has a new puppy. It's probably cute, as most non-chihuahuas are. It is also in need of training and can be demanding at times. She needs to be taught not to piddle on the carpet and poop on the bedspread. She also needs to learn that when you leave the house, you do plan to return.

So, TARA MAKINEN has been a bit sleep-deprived of late, which can result in limited triathlon training. She came into Saturday's event, her first tri of the year, worried that she was not ready to do her thing in the way she's used to doing it.

Then Race Director AMY DETTMER said "Go" and Tara splashed into Sugar Lake. Defending champ and four-time T-Man Sprint winner BETTINA KEPPERS was the woman to beat and Tara almost pulled that off. In the end, Bettina's swim split proved to be the difference. When the dust cleard, only 14-seconds separted these friendly rivals. 

Now that Tara and Bettina both own five Sprint wins, next year's confrontation should b epic.

Placing 3rd for the women was perennial podium finisher--she won in 2015-- JENA OGSTON, a decorated water skier and all-around endurance athlete....

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Great Race, But Why the Scoring Changes?

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LAKE MINNETONKA COVERAGE - MTN archives historical data on most of Minnesota's multisport events. This allows us to monitor the evolution of performance standards in our state. We record 5-year Age Group data for all but the smallest races, except for what can be perceived as "open class," that is, the AGs between age 20 and 39. The successful athletes in that range typically earn most of the spots in the overall Top 10....

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Close Races...

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20th GRANITEMAN SPRINT COVERAGE - Sometimes the difference between winning and losing comes down to how fast one gets in and out of transition. On Saturday, 2018 Most Improved (Female) winner EMILY GAGE (Photo), seemingly recovered from her 70.3 effort the week before, recorded what might have been the finest performance of her tri career, winning Graniteman Sprint  in 1:14:28, one of the event's Top 5 fastest times ever. Still, it almost didn't happen. Two-time champ CHERYL ZITUR, owner of two of the Clearwater times that are faster than Gage's, had launched in a later wave and was the only one who could rob Emily of the win.

Cheryl's run split would be faster than Gage's, and enough to close other gaps along the way. However, Emily spent less thime in T2 than Cheryl did, 24-seconds less. When Zitur crossed the finish line, the 1-2 outcome needed Uncle Randy's computer to uncover. Emily, as we know did win, but the margin was only 20-seconds.Could Cheryl have shaved 21-seconds off the 1:25 she spent in T2? It's fun to think about. 

In any case, both women raced hard and well and both deserve genuine congratulations.

Emily (5th) and Cheryl (6th)  cracked the gender-nonspecific overall Top 10, as did 2021 winner BETTE ROWLEY, who placed 8th in 1:15:18....

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Gage-ing Success...

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Photo - Emily Gage en route to winning at Graniteman Clearwater. We were unable to find photos from yesterday's Big Lake race.

GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE SPRINT COVERAGE - After three years of rainy conditions, mild weather greeted the nearly 300 paricipants who made their way to Big Lake yesterday. In 2022, teen triathletes swept the men's sprint podium, and four of the Top 5 spots in the women's competition.

Yesterday, junior boys went 1-2, both in times that were significantly faster than their 2022 performances. Collecting his first career tri win, SEAN PICKLE, 18, overtook fellow future star NOLAN SNYDER, 13, and lapsed pro JOSE ROSALEZ YEPEZ on the bike, creating a margin that couldn't be closed. Sean cruised to the finish line in 1:08:43, which was 2:21 faster than his 2022 runner-up effort.

It was the 13-year-old Snyder who held onto second place, one spot better than his 2022 effort. His time was 1:11:19, which was 1:51 better than last's year's...

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Leanness and Meanness...

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Jason Larson Photo - Graniteman women's runner-up Bridget Tetmeyer.

 

GRANITEMAN OLYMPIC COVERAGE - PETER WIKMAN is looking lean and mean these days, and he's racing that way, too. The clear frontrunner for 2023 Most Improved (Male), Peter came into Saturday's Olympic-plus race as a Top Two pick alongside reemerging JOE ADRIAENS. Wikman had two 2nd-place performances under his belt this year, finishing behind established elites ERIC ENGEL (at Buffalo) and SEAN COOLEY (at Trinona). That Peter finished ahead of Adriaens at Buffalo made him the male to beat at Clearwater.

The men's race unfolded as expected, with Joe leading after the swim and Peter making up a chunk of the deficit on the bike. It was the run that determined the Gold/Silver outcome. Advantage: Wikman.

Peter was victorious here in 2021, his 2:11 a sweet result over a course with four miles of extra cycling. Last weekend he shaved  almost two minutes off that effort, his 2:09:58 the fourth fastest men's time ever at the Clearwater Graniteman venue.

Adriaen's lock on 2nd place was not as secure as it may have original seemed. North Dakota transplant BRANDON LEE, 41, made up a ton of lost time after the swim by posting the fastest bike split, followed by a speedy run. In the end, only twelve seconds separated him from Adriaens. Lee's time--2:12:55--was a Clearwater Olympic Masters record...

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