Race Coverage

My Very First Win...

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By Simone Lundquist (trosisterswhotriblog.com)

Young Life Sprint Race Report - When I first started doing triathlons my goal was to just not be the last person to finish, but as I got older those goals changed. As I started to improve I wanted to try to make it on the podium for my age group, and then the goal changed to wanting to win my age group. Once I was able to win my age group a few times I wanted to get an overall podium spot, and once I finally accomplished that I wanted to win my first race. All of those goals were things that I really wanted to accomplish at the time, but they all led up to making an overall win seem achievable. In my last tri season I knew that it might be possible to get my first win soon, but I didn’t know when or what race it would be at. All I knew was that it was a goal that was always in the back of my head every time I raced this year.


Throughout the season I was able to make the top ten in most of my races, but I had not gotten an overall podium spot yet, and it kept fueling the fire for me to push even harder at my next race. Going into my weekend racing at young life, I had just came off of racing at nationals and I still felt fired up from that, which seemed to benefit me. I knew that I had placed well the year before, but I wanted to do even better this year and I still had the goal of an overall win in the back of my head. Nothing felt different leading up to the race except for the fact that my racing partner (also my sister) was off at college doing cooler things and I missed her a lot. I knew that the race would feel weird not seeing her in transition, or seeing her fly by me on the bike, and especially not hearing her obnoxious cheering as I finished, but I knew that I would still enjoy my time competing....

Going to the Lake on Saturday....

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HOPKINS ROYAL TRIATHLON - Like most kids, Mikey and Riles (photo) love to go to the lake on Saturday. Their dad, elite triathlete MATT PAYNE, does too.

Last Saturday, the Payne family went to Shady Oak Lake, as did about 350 of the 406 triathletes who had signed up for the Hopkins Royal Triathlon, and a few hundred others who came to volunteer or spectate.  It was a beautiful day, made moreso by the pageantry of the five-year-old event.

Though the event's main purpose is to celebrate healthy, active living, and to entice the previously uninitiated to give the tri lifestyle a chance, as opposed to promoting competition, the event is just too dang good to not draw a strong field. Especially this year.

A glance at the transition area before Doobie's entertaining and nerve-calming pre-race meeting revealed that cracking the men's and women's overall Top 10 would be quite an accomplishment, and that records, lots of them, would be rewritten.

We were especially impressed with the volume of top notch masters women in attendance, six of whom were destined to make the aforementioned Top 10, and at least three of which would be part of the Master of the Year discussion at the end of the season...

The Double...

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ED. Yesterday we posted Simone Lundquist's report of her back-to-back races (Big Lake and Brewhouse). Her sister, Taylor, also did "The Double." Here is her report.

 

By Taylor Lundquist (twosisterswhotriblog.com)

 

Well it was my final weekend racing in Minnesota for the season and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end.


There are two traditions we keep every triathlon season whether it’s intentional or not.


1.       We add another race to the schedule last minute (That’s how I found myself waking up at 3:45 a.m. to go race Buzz Ryan)
2.       We race 2x in the same weekend (which just so happened to be my final weekend of racing)


The weekend started with a 5:30 wakeup call (which seems like sleeping in at this point). The weather at Big Lake definitely wasn’t ideal but hey that’s what makes it an adventure. Thankfully I wasn’t alone in this adventure, as I ran into lots of family and friends also ready to race in the rain.


The swim at Big Lake was great with a lovely tailwind pushing us to the finish....

Back-to-Back Weekend...

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By Simone Lundquist (twosisterswhotriblog.com)

 

When I tell people I am doing a triathlon over the weekend they already think I’m crazy, but when I tell them that I’m doing two in a weekend I get some pretty funny looks. Doing two triathlons back to back is always a painful but rewarding experience. You can’t expect to feel great on the second day, but when you get to cross a finish line twice in one weekend it makes it all worth it. The thing that makes it the most challenging for me personally is trying to figure out if I should pace it on the first day or go all out and not save anything for the second day. I try to figure out if one race is more important to me than the other, but then when I start racing I usually forget about pacing and just try to do the best I can.


On Saturday morning I was going to compete at Big Lake and on Sunday morning I was going to compete in the Brewhouse triathlon. They were close to the same distances, but they each had very different weather conditions each day. Saturday morning was a gray, cold, and rainy day, where as Brewhouse was foggy in the morning, but very sunny and warm towards the middle of the day. On the drive to the race on Saturday I could also see that it was pretty windy which made me worry about what the swim course would be like, but it actually worked out to be an advantage for everyone racing. When we pulled up to the race venue I could see that for the majority of the swim we would have a tailwind that would push us along almost the whole way which was a relieving sight to see....

Another Course Record For Cruser.

 

By MIke Aulie (brainerddispatch.com) 

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BAXTER—Sauk Rapids' Wade Cruser set a course record and returned to the top of the podium while Baxter's Jacquelyn Bacigalupi was a first-time winner for the women in the Lakes Country Triathlon Sunday, Aug. 26, in Baxter.


Cruser finished the course in 56:55, breaking the previous course record of 58:33 that he set in 2016. The current race was shortened slightly in 2014 and begins with a quarter-mile swim at Whipple Beach followed by a 14-mile bike ride and finishes with a 3.2-mile run through Baxter's residential area.


This is Cruser's fourth year competing in the triathlon and might have been his third consecutive win except for an unfortunate mistake while leading in last year's race. He was second in 2015 his first year and won the 2016 race....

Superior Performances....

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SUPERIOR MAN - This year's races promised to be super exciting, and we were anxious to watch them unfold. Like everyone else on site, though, our hand-held device suggested that the weather conditions might yuckify during the event, so metaphoric fingers were crossed. Real participant fingers were needed for stroking, chinstrap snapping, steering, shifting gears etc., and spectator fingers were needed for clapping, waving and holding cardboard coffee containers.

Bad weather never materialized, thus racing conditions were surprisingly accommodating. Times would be fast, very fast, actually, despite the fact that the swim course for both the half IM and the 41.5 were long.

Five of Minnesota fastest 70.3ers were entered, as was a young Canadian woman intent on having a breakout performance. More on this later.

In MTN's 41.5 preview we suggested that late registrants would determine the outcome at the front of the race for the men. We were wrong about that, but late arrivals definitely impacted the women's competition in a hugely exciting way. Two-time champ CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN was our pick to three-peat, and she cerainly would have done that had not DANI VSETECKA, ELAINE NELSON and BETTINA KEPPERS, true national-level talents, decided to pop in at, as they say, the last minute.

Needless to say, we almost wet ourselves when we saw these ladies before the race.

Superior Man's great new run courses were multiple loop deals, the 41.5 passing within sight of the finish line crowd early on, and the 70.3 passing this point twice. This made the event's "crunch time" very spectator friendly. Kudos to CLINT and his crew for the design and execution....

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