Race Coverage

Brooks and Cheryl Repeat at Northwoods...


NORTHWOODS COVERAGE - The 55-59ers really took care of business last weekend. On Saturday, ROD RAYMOND, 57, and AMY WOOLSEY, 56, took home the top prizes at Moose Lake. On Sunday CHUCK HENGEL, 58, and TERESA VAN HYFTE, 56, excelled at Green Lake Sprint. Hengel finished 6th overall and was beaten by only one over-40 triathlete. Unsurprisingly, Van Hyfte, a three-time Green Lake winner, landed on the overall podium....


In relative terms, the 55-genarian performance of the weeken was turned in by CHERYL ZITUR, 57, who collected her second consecutive women's overall title at the Northwood Triathlon. This should surprise no one. The victory was the 20th (!) of her tri career. (She was 49 when she won her first tri.) And her sub-1:10 time--1:09:02--is a clocking that only open-class elites have ever accomplished.  Only one other female athlete over the age of 40--CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN, 47, in 2012--in the nineteen editions of this  sprint race had gone faster than 70-minutes.


And speaking of Christel, now 57 and owner of ten career multisport wins, she was Cheryl's closest rival on Saturday, taking 2nd in 1:12:45, a great time, one that would have lowered the 55-59 women's CR had Zitur not decided to race here in 2021 and 2022.

Taking the final podium spot was 15-year-old MADDY MILLER, daughter of lapsed regional elite CASEY MILLER, a guy who rocked a runner-up performance at Northwoods back in 2016. Maddy's swim and run splits were especally impressive. We believe that Northwoods was her first "adult" tri. Her future in triathlon is very bright if she chooses to pursue this lifestyle.

The weather conditions at Northwoods were ideal for racing. Cloudy and mild (mid-60s) with negligible winds, the stage was set for another sub-1-hour time for pre-race favorite BROOKS GROSSINGER.  As always he led from the get-go, leaving eventual podium-mates BRANDON LEE,40, of West Fargo and local star DAVID LEWIS. 48, to fight over the silver and bronze medals. 

Brooks' eventual win, the 38th of his multi career and 17th at Northwoods, proved that, at 45, he can still pop a sub-60  at Northwoods. Looking fresh throughout, he cruised to a 59:35.

As for Lee vs. Lewis, it came down to a sprint, with Lee prevailing by a three-second margin, 1:02:55 to 1:02:58.

As always, the finish line crowd was large and enthusiastic, many of whom were still on hand when the final triathlete crossed the final timing mat.So cool.

It's hard to believe that Northwoods turns 20 next year.  RESULTS


Top photo by Dave Hanson (Northwoods Press).

Page 2 photo - Cheryl and Christel.