Race Coverage

Size Matters and Uncooperative Hearts...

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YWCA WOMEN'S TRIATHLON - Isn't it cool that the largest multisport event in Minnesota is a women-only triathlon! We sure think so. With just under 1500 (of 1700+ registrants) finishers, it overtook, though not by much, the Minneapolis Tri for the enrollment title.

Here's some of the competitive takeaways from last Sunday's YWCA Tri:

- CHRISTINA ROBERTS did indeed make good on her favored status, winning for the 4th time. Twas the 21st W of Christina's career, and third win in five tri starts this year.

- In our race preview, we didn't give KELLY TROM (photo L) enough love. Our bad. We predicted that she'd finish 5th behind athletes who historically excel at sprints, suggesting that Olympic and long course racing were Trom'sr strong suits. Kelly placed 2nd last Sunday, her YWCA debut, and we couldn't be happier for her. This woman is versatile.

- CHERYL ZITUR, 53, has for the last five seasons been a record-setting machine. She crushed the 50-54 record by two minutes last weekend, and landed in 4th place overall.

- JENNIFER FITZHARRIS-FUNK needs to race more often! In two tri starts this year, she won the Minneapolis Sprint, then placed 3rd at YWCA. Way to rock JFF! ...

Old Stomping Grounds...

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By Shane Frederick (mankatofreepress.com)

 

NORTH MANKATO — Julie Busch said there was no trash talk when she passed her daughter Grace during the bike portion of the North Mankato Triathlon, just words of encouragement.
"I said, 'You're looking good!'" said Busch, who was the top female finisher in Sunday morning's race.


Busch, 44, of Mankato won and was 18th overall with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes, 58 seconds. Grace, 15, was second in 1:10:54, followed by Jenna Christensen, 27, of Janesville in 1:11:27.

It was a close battle between those three, each of whom dominated a different discipline of the three-stage race, which includes a quarter-mile swim in Hiniker Pond, followed by a 12-mile bike ride out the Judson Bottom Road and back and a 3-mile run around Spring Lake Park....

"A Perfect Day..."

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By Joe Brown (wctrib.com)

 

SPICER — On the shores of Green Lake, 248 total competitors swarmed Zorbaz on the Lake on a perfect morning for a swim, a bike ride or a run.


But these athletes were there to do all three. And Sartell's Andrew Zabel was the first one to cross the finish line in the Green Lake Triathlon.

Great Racing in Muskie Town...

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NORTHWOODS TRIATHLON - Despite a tinge and scent of Canadian smoke in the air, conditions for Saturday's Northwoods Triathlon, the 16th edition, couldn't have been better. Temps and dew point were not issues, and wind was almost non-existent. It was a PR day, for sure, and many did just that.

BROOKS GROSSINGER (photo) came into the race with 13 Northwoods wins on his resume. Would he make it 14?

Standing in his way was JORDAN ROBY, who had beaten Brooks in two of their last three meetings. Grossinger is an established star. Roby is a rising one. The stage was set for a great battle.

And that's exactly what we got.

These guys stayed in visual acontact contact with each other from shoreline to finish line. As expected they went off the front ahead of the rest of a field that would boast 354 eventual finishers, including the last guy. His name is ADAM LOWREY. Adam, a 365-point friend of verteran Northwoodser ERIC YOUNG, was on hand to watch his friend crack the overall Top 5 in 2017. So inspired was he, that he dedicated hmself to doing the event in 2018. Down to 320, Adam perservered, and an enthusiastic crowd lined the final yards, cheering and offering high fives.

This was, for us, the highest highlight in a day that had no shortage of things to get excitied about....

Bunten is National Champion!

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Thousands of the nation’s top amateur triathletes competed for national titles on Saturday as the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships got underway at Cleveland’s Edgewater Park. Justin Lippert, 22, and Gabrielle Bunten, 26, claimed the overall men’s and women’s titles respectively.

Age Group Nationals is USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running National Championships event. This year’s participation is the second-highest in the event’s 35-year history, with more than 5,400 athletes registered to compete over two days. Cleveland is hosting for the first time since 1992, and will welcome the event back to Edgewater Park in 2019.

Saturday’s course featured a 1,500-meter swim in Lake Erie, 40-kilometer bike through the streets of downtown Cleveland and a 10-kilometer run ending at USA Triathlon’s iconic red-carpet finish chute within Edgewater Park....

Weekend Observations

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Here's some observations about last weekend's races:

 

- GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE - For the MTN Guys, the highlight of this year's Big Lake races was that three of the four overall champs were first-time winners, though we were not surprised by this. The Olympic-distance race was won by RYAN COLLISON, a Graniteman veteran and perennial Top 5 finisher, and KATHERINE JOHNSON, who podiumed at G-Man Clearwater in 2017, a breakout season for her.

Joining BRIAN STORHAUG in the Winners Circle in the Sprint race was EMILY GAGE (photo below), last year's runner-up at this event. In '17, she finished 2nd behind Junior of the Year-to-be TAYLOR LUNDQUIST. This time around, that order was flip-flopped.

Gage's 2nd place effort at Minneapolis Sprint in mid-July suggested that her first career multi win would come sooner than later. 

FYI - Storhaug was also victorious at the last two editions of Clearwater Sprint. RESULTS

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