Race Coverage

Silly Weather Apps...

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CHISAGO LAKES TRIATHLON COVERAGE - Part II - Weather apps told Chisago entrants to expect heat. Lots of it. Temps flirting with 90-degrees were expected by mid afternoon. That news kept a significant percentage of the 900ish registrants at home....

But stifling heat never happened. The race was seven hours old before the mercury even reached the 80 mark.

Those silly apps did not forecast high winds either; seven-to-ten breezes were likely with sporadic 15 mph gusts. 

The apps were as wrong about the wind as they were about the temperature. There's a big difference between seven-to-ten and seventeen to twenty, which were the sustainers. And there's even a bigger difference between 15-mph gusts and the 30-40 mphs that rocked the courses and venue on Sunday.

So, it would be winds that most affected the times at Paradise Park and environs on race day, not the heat. Once again, it appeared that persoanl bests and age group records needed to be put on hold. But while that was true for most of the eventual 700-or-so finishers, there were some unexpectedly strong performances, starting with LUKUS KLAWITTER's breakout men's victory in the 70.3, a PR by more than six minutes for the Minnesotan turned Coloradan, now North Dakotan but soon to be Michigander. Like everyone, his swim and bike splits showed ample evidence  of  wind-tampering. His run, though, a 1:19:19 was, pardon the expression, "wind-breaking."

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4:14:12. Remarkable in any conditions.

Then there were Thunder Bay nurse, KAYLA KJELLMAN (top photo), who is a model of "Canada Nice," which takes Minnesota Nice up about ten notches, and star Twin Citizen CARYN HERRICK (photo Lwho came in with almost identical PRs (Caryn - 4:51:01, Kayla - 4:50:57). They were expected to battlle for podium spots alongside pre-race fave LIZ LEIBERMAN of Bloomington, Indiana (PR - 4:33), but Liz, last year's runner-up, was one of the no-shows.

It appeared that if either of these women could match the personal bests, they would keep the rest of the women's field in arrears.

But they did more than that. Much more. Especially Kayla. Under the circumstances, her splits were uncanny. First out of T2, it would be another two minutes before Herrick exited the bike corral. The game was far from over, but Kjellmen, like Klawitter, would be uncatachable afoot.

The clock had not reached 4:40 and the finish line crowd was not expecting to see a woman  arrive anytime soon. Heck, only five men had finished by the this time. But the young Canadian was cruising, looking fresh when she entered Paradise Park. She pushed that final hill, turned right and her smile lit up the area. Her PR was about to take a 12-minute hit. The clock read 4:38:43 when she passed beneath the tempest-tossed inflatable. It was a brilliant performance, one that landed her in the all-time Top 15 for her gender. Every woman on that list, including six pros, or soon-to-be-pros, race at a national (or world!) class level.

That's great company to be in, Ms.Kjellman (pronounced "Jell-Men").

Her 2nd place secure as long as she could remain upright and ambulatory, Herrick finished in 4:48:40, a 2:21 improvement on her previous best, set here in 2019.

One other women managed to crack the magic-5-hour mark. Unsurprisingly it was Duluth's ELAINE NELSON (4:58:30), who is the current frontrunner for Minnesota Female Master of the Year.

Three Age Groupers fought through the wind and were able to lower their divisional records. Arguably the women's AG performance of the day was turned in by JULIA WEISBECKER, 56, who cracked the  women's overall Top 5. Her 5:03:56 lowered Jan Guenther's 55-59W race best by 2:06. Beating a Guenther record is something that just doesn't happen. Hope Jan isn't pissed. (She's not.)

JEFFREY WARSHAW rocked yet another AGR in 2022, taking the long-standing 60-64M mark from 4:55:24 (2014) down to 4:54:27.

The men's AG performance of the day certainly belonged to 75-year-old THOMAS ROHMAN, who made his long course debut at Chisago. He posted a time of 6:53:09, which was a 12:27 faster than the 2015 best set by Wisconsin's decorated 70-now-80-genarian Pete Quirin.

Sorry that we have overlooked the men's podium, except for Klawitter, of course. After two year  of tri-absenteeism, JOE ADRIAENS recorded his third Chisago podium finish, taking 2nd in a circumstantially impressive 4:17:53. Placing 3rd for the second straight year was ANTHONY JAGIELO (4:27:53).

ED. There will be a third MTN Chisago post featuring the Sprint and Olympic competitions. Additionally, PETER WIKMAN, who placed  4th in the men's 70.3, will file a race report, that will post next weekend.

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