Race Coverage

From Hypothermia to Hawaii...

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By Nick Serratore


Exactly 1 year ago today I was walking the full 26.2 miles of the marathon of my second Ironman to a disappointing 14:52:56 day and having to nurse myself (with the aid of my parents, cousin, and friend) out of hypothermia after the race... After that day, I took some time to reevaluate why I have competed in Ironman triathlons. I realized it was mostly because I loved the people I meet and compete with. The triathlon community is like a family that you can only want to be a part of and racing in an Ironman gives you an almost instantaneous bond with anyone you meet that has also completed such a rigorous race. However, I didn't need to continue racing Ironman distance races to obtain that anymore. I'd completed two and experienced both a great day in 2016 and a lousy one in 2017. It was with that understanding that I realized I had my own personal desire and dream to someday race at Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii and that I'd give that dream one more shot before I aged up into the 30-34 age group next year.


This year I had more fun racing. I didn't take it nearly as seriously and I tried to relax and let the day be what it was meant to be at each race. But most of all, I made new friends and enjoyed the community. I didn't post nearly the quantity of information on my own activities on Facebook as I have in the past, mostly because as far as I was concerned, this year was for me and giving my own dream one last shot....

Let's Make it a Party!

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SQUARE LAKE SPRINT COVERAGE & ONE LAST TRI PREVIEW - In our Square Lake preview we made some 70.3 predictions but said little in that regard about the sprint, except that we would keep our eye on Duluth's SHYANNE MCGREGOR, because a great performance could round out a resume that could earn her a Rookie of the Year nomination. The reason we didn't make more predictions is, like with the St. Paul Triathlon, we believed that late registrants would lead the way.

Man, were we right. (We were also right about Shyanne, too. She finished 4th in the women's competition, and a ROY nomination seems likely.)

Late registering elites ANDY WIBERG, 40, and DIANE HANKEE, 41, led the way for their respective genders, both recording substantial margins of victory last Sunday. For Wiberg, the win was the 8th of his career. For Hankee, the 2017 Minnesota Female Master of the Year, the victory was #32.

RYAN COLLISON's name was on the original roster, and we believed that another podium finish, he now has three of those in 2018, including a win at Big Lake Olympic, would come his way. He finished 2nd at Square Lake, one of the most beautiful, and beastly, triathlon locales anywhere. ...

Hanna Makes History!...Updated...

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iRONMAN WISCONSIN - For months we have been echoing the opinion that HANNAN GRINAKER (pre-race photo with her best guy) is the most complete amateur female triathlete in the US right now. By that we meant that she is a true threat to win every race she enters regardless of distance.

Hanna made her Ironman debut in Madison yesterday, and what a debut it was! We predicted an outstanding performance, perhaps even a podium. Knowing that she'd be facing the woman who is arguably the premier long distance amateur Iron woman in the country right now, we're talking about Illinois' JACQUI GIULIANO,we suspected an epic battle, one that would produce exciting results.

And it certainly did!

Hanna pulled, then pushed Giuliano to what will likely be the Iron performance of the year by an American amateur woman. And Jacqui pushed, then pulled Hanna to the fastest ever Iron debut by a Minnesota amateur female. With her extraordinary 9:49:01, Giuliano crushed DANI FISCHER's amateur record at IMOO by more than eight minutes. And with her silver medal-earning 10:08:33, Grinaker unseated, according to our records, SARAH MERCER (10:24 at Ironman Canada in 2001), as the fastest IM debut by a Minnesota woman.

Hip-Hop Hats, Flappy Inflatables & the "I Made It" Lady....

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SQUARE LAKE 70.3 - JESSIE STEVENS called it "the most fun I've ever had at a race."

She was talking about yesterday's Square Lake 70.3, its 18th edition, and her epic womano-a-womano battle with eventual winner JAN GUENTHER (photo).

Clad in bright yellow socks and a slightly oversized Ricky Fowler (golf reference) hip-hop hat, she was making a strong sartorial statement as well as a strong athletic one, as she dogged Guenther from beach to finish line. Having not raced in these scenic, rolling environs since her victorious effort here in 2003, Guenther relied on long-stored muscle memory to keep herself at the front of the women's race. And it wasn't until the later miles of the relentlessly hilly run course,that she managed to establish a comfortable gap.

 

The 59-year-old Guenther, still a world class amateur endurance athlete, was exhausted and sore when she crossed the finish line in 5:12:48. Stevens was smiling ear-to-ear when she arrived 2:25 later, rightfully proud of her performance.

Claiming the final step of the women's podium was KELLI MORETTER-BUE, whose 2018 tri resume features a 2nd (Waseca), third (Square Lake) and an eighth (Maple Grove Olympic)....

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...

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