Race Coverage

Calm Mind & Pop Strategy...

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By Hanna Grinaker (thefitspace.com)

Hawaii Ironman World Championships Race Report - I didn’t expect to love racing in Kona. In fact, I prepared to hate it (or at least parts of it). I anticipated feelings of dread, doom or even death wash over me like a tidal wave at various points over the 140.6 mile distance, but you know what? They never came. 

Isn’t that interesting how that works? Perception of effort has always been so mysterious to me. There have been races that, on paper, have been equally demanding, but for whatever reason, I had been on top of my suffering in one, and completely overwhelmed by it in another. With time though, I’ve learned it’s usually my thoughts about how hard a race will be that drives how well my brain will cope. Instead of hoping a race won’t be one of those grinding affairs, I brace myself, expecting the hurt to come and welcoming it when it does. “Can it hurt more....?” Oh I’m sure it can.

Ever since watching Sean race Kona in 2016, and then tuning in to the live broadcast on TV the 2 years after that, I developed some ideas about what I would endure. When I stepped off the plane in Kona to a blast of hot air to the face like the feeling you get when you pop the oven door to check on your pizza, I felt relieved. The heat felt like a huge hug—a promise delivered, rather than a bad dream come true....

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2019 POY Finalists...

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS - Determining the four male and four female PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR finalists wasn't easy. In fact, it was contentious at times. For those of us who enjoy arguing, it was a lot of fun. And like the contemporary British philosopher Mick Jagger reminds us, "You can't always get what you want." 

In other words, none of the five Committee Members correctly picked all of the nominated performances.

Starting with the women, here are the POY nominations:

POY FINALISTS - Women:

- HANNA GRINAKER's course-record-shattering (2:06:57!) victory at Buffalo Olympic. Her margin of victory was 5:59.

- HANNA GRINAKER's 13th amateur / 2nd US @ the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships. Her 9:55:58 is the 2nd fastest IM time ever by a Minnesota amateur woman.

- DANI VSETECKA's victorious 4:23:56 at Ironman Texas 70.3 (photo L), the fasest half IM time by a Minnesota woman in 2019 by more than eight minutes....

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"Doing Ironman Triathlons is Like a Disease"....

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By Nick Serratore

Warning – This is a long post…

A little over a week ago I raced the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i and finished in 11:00:50. I was 143rd of 165 in my age group, 1,013th of 1,660 men, and 1,176th of 2,271 overall. My swim took 1:09:21, my bike took 5:13:06, and my run took 4:28:08 with the remaining unaccounted-for time in transitions. These are the facts… If you asked me before the race if I’d be happy with those times, I would probably say I wouldn’t be happy, but I also wouldn’t be surprised. After-all, going into the race I had been struggling with a high hip issue and I would guess that my slow run would be from that acting up and my less than stellar bike would probably be a mechanical issue. The swim would be accounted for by noting my lack of experience in ocean swimming. Turns-out, these weren’t the reasons for (what I feel) was my very average day at Kona. I raced a very conservative race and put my health above speed due to the high heat that day. However, before I get into my recap of that day, I need to thank the people who got me to that start line in the first place. Maggie L. Henjum and Alyssa at Motion MN! Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to run pain free for pretty much the whole marathon that day. Dr. Jim Barr at Helix Chiropractic for not only being a close friend, but also being the best chiropractor I know. Step Therapies for allowing me to use their AlterG Treadmill to rehab my hip. Now Bikes in St. Paul for all the tune-ups and work they’ve put in on my Cervelo P5. Chris Balser for dialing in all 4 of my bikes fits. Vicki Ostendorf for being my coach and getting me to this point. The other athletes that train through Tri Fitness – It’s an awesome community and I love every day I get to train with you amazing athletes. And most of all, my family and friends that have supported me in this journey, particularly my parents, Tony and Crystal Serratore, sister, Nina Deno, and brother-in-law, Nathan Deno, best friend, Jack Schuknecht, and fellow Ironman friend, Rachel, who were with me the whole week in preparing for the race. Here’s a quick recap of that day –...

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Heather Jackson Was Just as Nervous as Me....

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By Tim Brown

Ironman World Championships Race Report - Wow! My one word review of the Ironman Kona World Championship. Unlike being disappointed after seeing a movie that received great reviews, Kona absolutely lived up to the hype. What an incredible experience. My not so short version review of the Kona experience is as follows:

A surprising AG win at Ironman Wisconsin (2018) secured the one available Kona slot and dictated some drastic revisions my 2019 race / training calendar. There would be less racing and more focus on distance endurance training. There would be no off season this year. I was surprised to have never experienced burnout during training leading up to Kona. IM training is a massive time sponge but Kona has always been a life-long dream and a fantastic motivator.

Anxiety started to build while packing for the trip. What have I forgotten? It is definitely a rollercoaster ride of panic and relief leading up to the race. But the bike arrived in good shape and it felt good to get on the course to alleviate some of the anxiety for this intimidating venue.

The hills on the bike course were more than I was expecting. It looks pretty flat on TV! It was very windy, as advertised. The heat and humidity were absolutely draining...

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"Despite the Difficulties"...

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By Josh Mork

 

Kona Race Report - My motto for the summer “There are 2 types of pain: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Choose wisely.”

This is a long post but an Ironman is a long day... and Kona was particularly eventful for me.

This was my first time to Kona (and second IM), so I figured I could be in for a tough day...

Swim: 56min. Ocean swim with some rolling swell. Nothing crazy but the waves were big enough that even I took a couple gulps of saltwater. I positioned myself next to the inside buoy line, about 3 guys from the front and thought I could muscle my way through the first section to avoid getting stuck in a huge pack of slower swimmers. Only problem, I was surrounded by about 100 guys with the same idea since this is the world champs, ha! So the first 10 minutes was thrashing madness. Hands, elbows and feet hitting you from all directions and everyone swimming way too fast, knowing they would get trampled if any one slowed down. It didn’t really spread out until about the halfway point. But this was about what I had expected, so the fun factor was on full blast and I was excited my time was where I had estimated....

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Mayoral Selfies, Super Soakers & Mindfulness...

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By Erin Lahti


Augusta 70.3 Race Report - In order to understand what this race meant to me, you must first understand what I went through to get here.  My “A” Race was supposed to be Ironman 70.3 Madison. However, 5 weeks before race day I was rear-ended and herniated 3 discs in my lower neck.  I pulled out of the race altogether. My coach and I decided to switch gears and focus on short course. My next big race of the season was Nationals in Cleveland in August.  I got a flat tire early on the bike. So, that is 2 big races of the season where I didn’t see a finish line. I got the go ahead from my doctor to pick another 70.3.  Other races were selling out. I pulled the trigger on Augusta and bought a plane ticket....

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