Race Coverage

Brooks & Cheryl Again!




NORTHWOODS TRIATHLON COVERAGE - Retired star triathlete BRIAN BICH was an eleven-time winner of the Brewhouse Triathlon. TONY SCHILLER has won two races--Heart of the Lakes and Lake Waconia--more than ten times each. JAN GUENTHER, CATHY YNDESTAD and ELAINE NELSON have come very close to doing so as well. Still, the Minnesota triathlete who has more victories at a single race is BROOKS GROSSINGER, who just won the Northwoods Triathlon for the eighteen time last Saturday.


Granted, Brian, Tony, Jan, Cathy and Elaine have double-digit wins, or almost so, at events that are among the most competitive races in our state, while Northwoods' excellence is not based on its competitiveness. Still, eighteen wins at a single race, eighteen wins in eighteen starts no less, is herculean. It demands  that the athlete not be injured and that his or her bike is always sound....

And it's not like Brooks has never faced a serious challenge at NW. JORDAN ROBY turned in the fastest first-time Northwoods performance--57:45--in 2018, but Brooks was 10-seconds faster that day. CASEY MILLER  and DAVID LEWIS  provided a good push in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

BRANDON LEE gave Brooks a great race last Saturday, hanging very close during the swim and bike. But Brooks is a former collegiate runner, and Brandon is not. Still, Lee's 2nd place finish was nevertheless impressive - 1:00:30. Breaking 1-hour on this course is a big deal and only four guys have done it. Grossinger, however has done it on fourteen occasions. His time last weekend was a goodie--58:46--that was largely due, we suspect,  to the fact that Lee was breathing down his neck much of the way.

Lee, it should be mentioned, was 2nd here last year too, though that time was two minutes slower.nwtop3.png

Rouning out the men's Top three was David Lewis, making the local star an eleven-time podium finisher ar Northwoods.

Winning the women's race for the third consecutive year was national class Grand Master CHERYL ZITUR, 58, who's time was her best yet on this course, a 1:08:46, the fastest. women's time on the NW route since 2015.


A great race unfolded for the women's 2nd and  3rd place finishes. CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN, winner here in 2012, was Cheryl's closest rival when she entered T2, but three-time NW winner MATA AGRE was destined to post the fastest. women's run split of the day, and thus was able to overtake Kippenhan and finish second in 1:11:52.

Three Age Group records were set last Saturday, as Cheryl Z rewrote the 55-59 W mark (again), SUSAN GIEB of Moorhead lowered the 65-69W standard from 1:37:17 to 1:35:05, and DEBORAH WINN of Backus axed a full 34-minutes off the women's 70-74 mark. Susan's time was 1:52:56.

Race day weather was mild cloudy, perfect for racing. The early-filling event once again registered more than 300 participants.  RESULTS