Race Coverage

Bikers Prevail at Clearwater Olympic...

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GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER OLYMPIC - The inclement weather that was anticipated didn't happen, thus instead of a sloppy and slow experience, yesterday's Graniteman Triathlon was contested in surprising accommodating conditions, which resulted in some inspiring performances, fast times and even a few records.

Our race coverage will come in two parts. Today we will talk about the Olympic race, which celebrated it's 7th anniversary. Later in the week, we'll post coverage of the Sprint competition, which turned nineteen last Saturday.

Because a race is predictable doesn't mean it will be unexciting. On paper, three men appeared to be shoo-ins for the overall podium. The same was true for the women's race. PRESTON YOUNGDAHL, who was victorious the week before at Lake Minnetonka, AJ MANNING, the amateur winner at Buffalo Olympic, where he outraced Youngdahl by a scant six seconds, and NICHOLAS LADAS, last year's Clearwater runner-up, seemed destined, barring mechanical catastrophe, to outpace the men's field. VANESSA NAGEL, who held her own against national talent Kortney Haag here in 2021, where she (Vanessa) finished 2nd, EMILY GAGE, who has three career triathlon wins and eight total podium finishes, and KRISTIN HAWKINS, whose breakout season last year featured three wins, were expected to break away from their gender's field....

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Canals, Hippie Hollows & the HTR...

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By Julie Pagano

Ironman Texas (4/24) Race Report - Like many triathlons that athletes have been training for, this race was nearly 2 years in the making. After completing Ironman Wisconsin in 2019, I targeted Texas as my next full Ironman race. Unfortunately, COVID took over the world and it was unclear when or if IMTX would be a viable option again. After registering for another race, TX popped back up and I transferred my registration as soon as I could. In late fall of 2021, training kicked into full swing to prepare for the early season race. With all my training being done inside, thanks to our cold and snowy upper Midwest winters, I attempted to create some heat acclimation and prepare myself for a warm TX race. Lots of rides and runs done with no fan and wearing sweats made for some hot training days. After a series of solid build/recovery phases, I felt ready and packed up my bike and gear to head to the land of heat and humidity…The Woodlands, TX.

Stepping off the plane in TX, the warm, humid air hit like a welcome blanket given the sub 30 degree temps we left from in Minneapolis.
 
The days leading up to the race went by quickly, I reassembled my bike, did the shake out swims,  rides and runs, met up with friends, went to check in, bought some of my favorite IM apparel, checked out the course, packed up gear bags and relaxed. Having the experience of a previous Ironman race was so beneficial. I felt very confident and calm about my preparation and plan for race day. 

In the blink of an eye, it was race morning and I was consumed by the final preparations, checking in with friends and loved ones and getting to the swim start. As the gun sounded for the AG start, I inched toward the starting coral with so much excitement, anticipation and nervous energy. ...

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The Heather Show...

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TIMBERMAN OLYMPIC - It seems that every time ex-pro HEATHER LENDWAY races, the result deserves a Performance of the Year nomination. Her results at Lake Minnetonka (1:07:57) and Timberman (2:08:55--despite some extra cycling) in 2021 are prime examples, as is her result at this year's T'Man, which is arguably the finest of the three mentioned performances. Though her time was 10-seconds slower this year (2:09:05), the swim course was, according to her "device," 1930 yards, i.e. 170-yards longer than last year's course...

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Cami's Ironman Debut - Part III...

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By Cami Eckhoff

Race day~ Part 3 (this is a long one): The Run

The gal helping me in the changing tent was awesome! She made sure I had my run shorts and tank (maybe next one I can tackle in a full trisuit, but for this race, comfort was the name of the game!), dry socks and shoes, sunscreen, extra nutrition, running belt and hat. She liked the verses I had written out on my forearms too (2 Corinthians 12:9 and Philippians 4:13). One more bathroom stop and out I went!

Once on the course I remember thinking, I’m running a marathon right now! That’s a beast of a run and I’m doing it! I saw my crew around mile 4 where Keith handed me a note from Tyson.

I was really emotional. I couldn’t believe I was already on the run, Keith, Josh and Mel were the best support crew ever, I was grateful, I was hot, I was tired, I was uncertain how my hip would hold up, and I was so determined. I kept an eye on my heart rate and pace but due to the crazy heat and humidity, my heart rate was pretty high for the pace I was going. I felt good though so I didn’t want to back off too much! ...

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Cami's Ironman Debut...Part I...

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By Cami Eckhoff

Ironman Des Moines race day~ Part 1:

I was nervous but felt at peace about the day. There were months of careful preparation and I have my incredible coach Shyanne McGregor to thank for helping me be as ready as I could be!! Shyanne is encouraging, knowledgeable, understanding, supportive, level-headed and the best sounding board through all of the ups and downs. She understood me~ my drive, my stubbornness, my desire to learn and grow. She helped me get to the starting line amidst some injuries and I’m grateful beyond words for her.

The Swim

I was ready to get in the water and start the day! After giving my bike one more check and final pump of air, I walked with my friend Meghan to the starting line with loud music playing and energy in the air. Keith handed me the first of four surprise notes to come, from Bennett that definitely added to the emotions! ...

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Tri West - A Boutique Experience...

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Inaugural Tri West Olympic & Sprint - With only 141 registrants, Tri West could be called a "small" event, but that description can be negatively perceived, and there was nothing about Tri West that was negative. It was a great race. And it was fun: Wang Chung-level fun....

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