Race Coverage

Pursued by Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies...

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By Christina Roberts

IGNITE SWIMRUN RACE REPORT- This past weekend, I teamed up with Corey Towle to successfully defend our title in the IGNITE MN SwimRun race up at Cuyuna regional park! We raced the long course which totaled just over 17 miles of swimming and running. There were 9 run legs ranging from 0.02 to 3.9 miles and 8 swim legs ranging from 0.15 to 1 mile. The runs weren’t too technical but they required focus to avoid falling and leaving a little blood on the trail, which happened to nearly every team out there. Every single mile was an adventure. And we smiled and laughed (mostly at our botched transitions) every single mile. It was so much fun. IGNITE put on an awesome race!  ...

Hello. Goodbye.

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SUPERIOR MAN TRIATHLON - After watching ALEXANDER MUNDT, a Danish grad student / swim coach currently residing in St. Cloud, race at Buffalo Olympic, we were sure he was going to be our state's next (male) tri star. Blowing everyone out of the water, then beating a Who's Who of our region's elite athletes en route to a podium finish turned some heads, certainly ours. 

 

We were anxious to watch him race again, though two months would pass before we got that opportunity. And once again, he didn't disappoint. This  time he blew the entire field away at the 8th annual Superior Man Half IM.

How blown away? His 4:10:50 was 14:12 better than the next two guys, Minneapolis' PATRICK CROWE and Ontario's KRIS NISULA, who turned in identical runner-up clockings. Nisula, 43, was coming off a win at Brewhouse Sprint, a performance that was preceded by a 3rd place finish at Timberman Olympic. 

 

It's quite possible that Kris will be the second foreign athlete (after JON BALABUCK, also of Thunder Bay) to be considered for a post-season MMH nomination....

Youth Excel at Green Lake...

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GREEN LAKE TRIATHLON - A total of 281 athletes crossed the events' finish lines last Sunday after having endured the most turbulent swim in the race's 16-year history. Wave starts had to be elongated to allow previous waves to get far enough down the course before the next wave could be launched. (It took 53 minutes to get everyone in the water; not the posted 29.) Thirty-five life jackets were delivered to struggling swimmers via jet ski and paddleboards, and when their users either finished, or gotten to the downhill portion of the route, those jackets were delivered to the next group of strugglers.

Triathletes are "endurance animals," of course, thus few complained about the Maytag conditions. 

Despite the chop, and the rather windy conditions, the eventual finish times were surprisingly fast, especially in the Sprint race. Both of the winners--SPENCER SYVERTSON and South Dakota elite master TERESA VAN HYFTE--had raced, and won, here before and were convinced that the run course was a bit short this year. The printed results seemed to support their suspicions . 

As a result, Syvertson's excellent 57:46 could not be an official course record. JOHN SHELP's 58:35, set in 2012, therefore, remains intact.

And Van Hyfte's 1:10:41 would not erase the 50-54W course best (1:13:03) she set in 2018.

Still, both athletes were ecstatic with their performances and and were highly complimentary of the event.

At 22, Syvertson was the "Old Man" of the Sprint podium. His nearest challengers were a pair of talented 16-year-olds, both of whom had been laboring in the shadows of their elite siblings in past years. Placing 2nd was CARSON DEICHMAN (photo L), younger sibling of two-time Junior of the Year...

Youngberg & Schiller Are National Champs!

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2019 USA TRIATHLON AGE GROUP NATIONALS - How did Minnesotans fare in Cleveland last weekend? Pretty darn good! GABY BUNTEN cracked the overall Top 5 in both the Olympic and Sprint races, while BECKY YOUNGBERG and TONY SCHILLER earned two AG titles apiece.

There were lots of other Loon Staters who rocked out, earning berths on Team USA for next summer's World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. Here is a listing of those who earned spots. There may be some names we missed, and if so, please use the COMMENT feature below to help us fill in the gaps.

Also, this list does not contain passdowns, which means that this long roster doesn't tell the whole story.

Here are the qualifiers:

OLYMPIC WOMEN -

NOTE: Overall women's Olympic-distance champion RACHEL MENSCH, now of Madison, Wisconsin, is originally from Edina, Minnesota. And DANI FISCHER, originally from Rochester, and now residing in Greenfield, Indiana, placed 2nd overall just 12-seconds behind Rachel.

MAISY WAECH, (Grand Rapids ) - 10th - 17-19W
EMMA WARD, (Angora) - 17th - 17-19W ...

"A Must-Do From Now On"

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YWCA WOMEN'S TRIATHLON - We visited Facebook to collect some comments about last Sunday's epic YWCA Women's Triathlon:

 

CAROL GAUP - Yup, dat's my 81 year old mum (JUDY RYKKEN) heading out on the running portion of the YWCA's Women's Triathlon this morning. (Photo)

And yes, she's pretty amazing.

And in the awards area, inspiring generations of women and girls. The crowd always roars when it's her turn to go up. She's done the event every year they've held it, and won her age group every time.

 

JENNIFER FITZHARRIS-FUNK - Winner in a personal best time of 1:12:08, JFF had this to say about her experience: If there’s any race I’d want to come together like today did - it’s the YWCA Women’s Triathlon! It brings tears to my eyes thinking of 1550 women (600+ first timers) all coming together to support each other in sport. Congratulations to each and everyone of you who raced today! Managing an overall win today has me in shock and experiencing immense gratitude.
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It’s an annual family tradition to do this race with my sister Jackie and niece Lizzy - I’m so proud of them for being brave, bold and badass out there today! Lizzy who is just 14, took 2nd overall in the super sprint and has a bright future in triathlon if she wants it! Jackie rocked a solid performance with little training under her belt and we were able to nab the sister/sister win in the sprint race.
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Olivia is Ready For the "Elite" Wave....

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NORTHWOODS TRIATHLON - Conditions were perfect on Saturday for the 17th edition of this great event. The swim course was a tad long, thus few PRs were set.

Still, almost 400 athletes finished the race with smiles on their faces and the desire to return in 2010. Northwoods does, along with the YWCA's Women's Triathlon, have the highest brand loyalty of any tri in the state. Truly, the majority of participants are what we affectionatley refer to as "recidivists." ...

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