Race Coverage

Fun & Fast Times...

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HOPKINS ROYAL TRIATHLON - Saturday morning at Shady Oak Lake. Cloudy, mild temps (low 60s), negligible wind, flat lake. Add the new transition layout and you have ideal conditions for a triathlon, the kind that result in fast times and a spate of rewritten age group records.

ANDY ZABEL, arguably the frontrunner for the 2019 Most Improved (male) award, was the clear favorite to take the men's overall title.

The women's gold medal race was less predictable, though. 2017 champion ANDREA MYERS, who had excelled on this course in each of the previous three years, had experience on her side. Here stiffest challenge on Saturday would come from rising rookie star CARYN HERRICK.

Zabel and Herrick were later registrants, thus they were among the last starters in the event's time-trial format. Myers was an early starter, which allowed her to appear to gap most of the field, women and men alike, from the get-go. We've seen this before. Andrea finishing well ahead of her rivals, then having to wait to see if others would overtake her in the final results.

Myers husband SCOTT was the first athlete to cross the finish line. ERIC ROESNER and KEVIN GREIMEL were in next. Then Andrea crossed the finish line.  Ultimately, Scott would have the 5th fastest time of the day, Eric would place 7th, and Kevin, a two-time Top Fiver here, would finish 8th.

Andrea's time on Saturday was 1:11:27, a personal best on this course, a performance she could be proud of. But would it be good enough for the win? ...

 

Not quite. On paper, Herrick trailed Myers by 39 seconds when she left T1, time she made up on the bike. Caryn is a strong, confident runner,thus she was able to build 1:10 margin over the final 5K. Her winning time was impressive, a 1:10:17. Only decorated veterans BECKY YOUNGBERG, NICOLE HEININGER and SARAH MERCER had gone faster here.

With her first career W under her belt, Herrick now sets her sights on next weekend's Ironman Wisconsin. Here initial results at 70.3 have been impressive--4th at High Cliff (4:57:52), 5th at Chisago (4:51:01). Is she ready for 140.6? Will she be competitive, not only in her 25-29 AG, but in the women's overall race? Her friends and training partners think she will.

And so do we.

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Claiming the final women's podium step at HoRT was BETTE ROWLEY, whose 1:14:30 was 1:45 faster than her previous best here.

Andy Zabel lived up to his pre-race favorite status, and thanks to great bike and run splits, turned in a satisfying time of 1:03:29, a 45 second improvement on his bronze medal effort on this course in 2018. Zabel now has four wins in eight multi starts in 2019. 

Placing 2nd on Saturday was ROBERT WOLTER, whose 1:04:56 was 2:19 better than his effort here in 2018, when he placed 5th. Third place was earned by two-time HoRT winner BRETT LOVAAS (1:05:35).

Six AG records were rewritten:

00-19M - CARSON DEICHMAN, 16 - 1:07:58. - (Previous - 1:09:56 - 2017) - Carson, who is definitely on the Junior of the Year radar, paced 6th overall.

50-54W - TERESA VAN HYFTE, 52, Hartford, SD - 1:17:59 (Previous - 1:20:13 - 2018) - TVH had two outright wins in August, and placed 5th overall at Hopkins. In 2017 she set the 50-54W record, then beat that in 2018, then beat it again in 2019.

65-69M - LUKE HARNED - 1:18:56 (Previous - 1:20:59 - 2017) - Luke, an accomplished duathlete, did his first triathlon in June. He has set AGRs in each of his four tri starts since then.

65-69W - MICHEL SANDERS - 1:43:18 (Previous - 1:58:52 - 2016) - Michel also as AG wins in 2019 at Buffalo Sprint, Timberman Sprint, Buzz Ryan and St. Paul Sprint.

70-74M - TOM COUILLARD - 1:32:24 (Previous - 1:43:31 - 2017) - Tommy Boye has also turned in divisional wins at Gear West Du, Lake Minnetonka. Timberman Sprint, Buzz Ryan and St. Paul Sprint in 2019.

80-84W - JUDY RYKKEN, 81 - 2:36:44 (Judy is Minnesota triathlon royalty!)

Three hundred and sixty-three athletes finished this year's HoRT, which is a two-time winner of the "Race of the Year" award.  RESULTS

 

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