Race Coverage

Inspiration and Family Fun....


By Doobie Kurus

4WOMEN TRI RACE REPORT - It started with someone telling me, "The weather looks great this weekend for the 4WOMEN Tri!" Well if a flashflood, down trees blocking my street, and winds blowing my transition area and buoys around is great, I don't want to see what horrible weather looks like! 

Fortunately, our volunteers were able to pick things up and put them back in order in time for the wave of rain, I mean racers to arrive. We had over 150 women registered and joining us from 5 different states, and as far away as Michigan. Our oldest competitor was Judy "T-Rex" Rykken (age 84) and our youngest was Denali Perusse (age 3!), and they both made it a family thing! Judy, an inspiration for many, got her daughter, Anne Rykken, and granddaughter, Allie Rykken, to join her this year. Anne was bestowed the coveted #1 bib, for working to overcome her somewhat recent Parkinsons Syndrome, and viewing triathlons as a way to manage it, and engage in healthy activities with her family. We decided to give Anne #1, Judy #2, and Allie #3, which was pretty close to how they finished in their age group (Anne 3rd place, Judy 1st place, and Allie first place). Denali on the other hand was a willing participant with her mother, Yari, who does physical activities to help raise awareness for her daughter's list of medical issues, such as cerebral palsy, perinatal stroke, and cortical visual impairment. Being a preschool special education teacher myself, I welcomed the opportunity to find a way to make this happen. To find out more about Denali, go to: https://pledgeit.org/milesforlittlebee ...

The racers entered the water shortly after 8:15 a.m. and every single one of them succesfully made it through the swim. They must have been excited from learning that due to the wet road conditions, the 3rd loop which would normally take them up "Roller Coaster Hill" was being replaced by a 3rd loop on the short mini-sprint course.

There were a lot of familiar faces, like Catherine Lee...but with her daughter Elliot in tow. Although a likely favorite in the sprint race, Catherine opted to do the mini-sprint so that she and Elliot could do the tri together. She even let her daughter finish ahead of her (by 1 second). What a good mom! Then there was Michelle Pasko, whose celebrated a birthday the day before the race. Based on her 2nd place finish in her age group, it sounds like her husband, Paul (a long time HoRT supporter and current swim buoydoobiecrowd.jpg coordinator) made sure Michelle saved the birthday celebrations for AFTER the triathlon. Up and coming 11 year old Sabrina Shrestha came in 37th overall. She had the 5th fastest swim overall to go along with a very respectable 9 minute mile run pace. If she can get that bike time to drop some, she's going to be a force in the near foreseeable future. For now, let's just enjoy her energy to do not 1 but 2 cartwheels just before the finish line. Then there were some unfamiliar (but smiling) faces too, like the 4 ladies from Wisconsin. They were awesome! They drove out from Madison together, chatted with us the night before, and even came across the finish line together. 

As for the awards, Bette Rowley, of Burnsville, came in first again (1:08:36)for the second year in a row. She and Andrea Meyers, of Plymouth, were pretty much neck and neck on the swim, T1, T2, and the run, but Bette's faster time on the bike proved to be a little much for Andrea to overcome. Not far behind Andrea's 2nd place time (1:10:11), was Whitney Moore, of Chanhassen, in 3rd place (1:10:49). Some might say her 2 minute slower swim time put her in too big of a hole, considering she had the #1 bike and run times overall. However, after closer observation, what may have been the factor was the insanely quick transition times of her competitors. Bette's T1 time was just a mere 23 seconds! WOW! It takes me nearly 23 seconds alone just to rack my bike.

In the Athena division, Kristine Krengel, of Brooklyn Park, Barbara Cunha De Melo, of St. Paul, and Amy Burnett, of Mpls, finished first, second, and third, respectively. Great job everyone and thank you to our volunteers, including our emcee, Susan Hilal, swim starters, Steve and Helen Gunther, and my 4 women, my daughters Emma (swim course), Jessie (bike course), Joey (run course), and my wife, Joyce (registration).