Race Coverage

A Special Event...

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TIMBERMAN OLYMPIC COVERAGE - Approximately 320 triathletes signed up for this year's Timberman, 83 of which participated in its Olympic distance--1900 yds - 25 miles - 6 miles - race. Before PRESTON YOUNGDAHL enrolled on the eve of the event, what appeared to be a three-man battle for first between defending champ JOSH BLANKENHEIM, the Minnesotan who has Top 10ed in both the Sprint and Olympic races at Nationals for the last two years, HENRY JESSEN, and former college runner on the verge of breaking into the elite ranks MICAH WARNING became a three-man battle for 2nd. Since June of 2022, Youngdahl has been unbeatable on Minnesota soil, and that didn't change last Saturday. A quick swim and a brisk run bracketed the kind of bike split that left no doubt who would come out on top. Two-plus MPHs faster than his closest compeitors landed Preston in T2 with an insurmountable lead....

In 2019 Josh Blankenheim posted a sub-2-hour time at Timberman Olympic. When the swim was lengthened (1900+ yards) in 2021 the question of whether an elite amateur man could crack the 120-minute mark came up. On Saturday the question was answered when Youngdahl posted a 1:58:53, a performance that reminded us of yesteryear when the likes of BRIAN BICH, MATT PAYNE and DAN HEDGECOCK were rocking the local and national scenes.

It was Jessen who won the battle for 2nd, though not by much. His 2:03:57, which was six minutes faster than his 2022 time here, gave him an eight second advantage on Blankenheim, a two-time Timberman Olympic champion. Warning was closing fast, too, claiming 4th just 13-seconds behind Blank.

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Other notables in the men's Olympic Top 10 were SPENCER SYVERTSON (6th), who was making his Timberman debut, and Elite Canadian Master with multiple podium finishes at T-Man KRIS NISULA (7th).

HEATHER LENDWAY is a two-time national champion with a World amateur title to her credit, too. Watching her brilliant race on Saturday begged the question of whether, since her return to Triathlon in 2018, she is ready to win another national crown. Nationals is back in Milwaukee, the site of Lendway's two titles and we can't wait to see. how she fares this time around. Certainly her dominating victory at Timberman last weekend suggests that she will be in the hunt.

As mentioned earlier, breaking 2-hours for the men is a herculean feat, and Preston Youngdahl did a very convincing Hercules impression last Saturday. The same can be said about women breaking 2:10, a feat that Lendway accomplished for the third consecutive year two days ago. Her combined splits, starting with the fastest swim of the day, gender notwithstanding, brought her home in 2:09:17.

Rising star ELENA HENGEL was the clear choice for second place and she didn't disappoint, claiming the silver medal position in 2:18:06. Elena has one win and three seconds, all behind Lendway, in what has been a remarkable season thus far.

The battle for 3rd and 4th was an exciting one. Elite Masters DIANE HANKEE, winner of 42 multisport races in her career, and infrequent tri racer TIFFANY KARI were the combatants. It was Kari who prevailed, setting a Timberman PR in the process. (FYI - Diane recently became a grandmother!)

One AG record was set at the 2023 T-Man Olympic race. JAN GUENTHER lowered her own 60-64W mark from 2:35:27 (2022) to 2:34:58, a time which landed her in 6th overall in the women's competition.

Weather was cooperative and the vibe was both relaxed and celebratory. Directors AMY and ALAN DETTMER, their crew and 140 volunteers never fail to put the "special" in their event.  RESULTS

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