Race Coverage

Pig Pens & Low Expectations...


By Mike Buenting (mikebuenting.wordpress.com)


Ironman 70.3 Madison Race Report - It’s the morning after myself and some friends raced in Ironman Madison 70.3 Triathlon! And sadly, I can’t sleep past 6:15am! So here I am writing and processing the events of the previous day! (My girls are sleeping still! Lucky!)

The weekend has been fun, our hotel the AC Hotels by Marriot is fabulous! And I do enjoy the town of Madison and of course being with friends and my family! But the weather well that’s another story! Had the race been Saturday morning the weather was beautiful, calm winds, dry! Sunny and warm. But of course, we could not be so lucky! Sunday morning about 1am I woke up to go to the bathroom and heard the thunder and thought ugh! Then when it was finally time to go to transition that morning it was light rain, but you could tell it had poured rain hard as the transition was mud and wet! Then as we all stood in transition trying to stay dry, trying to keep our gear dry and just laughing and saying ugh! The thoughts that ran through all our minds was will this very hilly/technical and difficult bike course be safe? With wet roads, potential puddles and flooded spots, fast downhills into quick hard left or right technical turns and then wet...

Previews and Stuff...


SWIM/RUN and TURTLEMAN - Coming soon is a Swim/Run race report from CHRISTINA ROBERTS. We are also encouraging Turtleman participants to send us race reports, hopefully with photos. We'd be happy to post those stories. If interested, email your stories (or questions) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


WASECA TRIATHLON - We love this race, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday. Waseca is an awesome small town with a true "heartland" vibe. And the race venue and courses are outstanding. Two-time champ BROOKS GROSSINGER is returning, and is our pick to win the men's title. We haven't seen an updated registration list, so we are reluctant to predict a women's  champ or AG winners. We'd love to see a late surge of entrants--race day registration is available--pushing the field size over the 200 mark. RACE WEBSITE


GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE - Also slated for Saturday is the 8th edition of the Big Lake Sprint and 4th annual Big Lake Olympic. Like Waseca, this event is staged in a wonderful small city with an awesome tri venue. Total enrollment should exceed 300 participants. We expect victorious 2017 recidivists KORTNEY HAAG (Olympic) and TAYLOR LUNDQUIST (Sprint) to repeat.We suspect that a later registrant, one who was not on the list we perused, to claim the men's Olympic crown, and wouldn't be surprised if G-Man Clearwater Sprint winner BRIAN STORHAUG wins the BL Sprint as well....

Another Win For Heininger...


Photo - Erin Ladendorf, who placed 12th, celebrates with winner / good friend Nicole Heininger.


CHISAGO LAKES SPRINT - Based on the registration list we saw the week before the race, we expected the men's race to come down to a battle between three former winners. Past champs were not enrolled on the women's side, so we predicted that phenomenal 53-year-old CHERYL ZITUR would collect her 13th career win. 

When all was said and done at Paradise Park on Sunday, though, Cheryl had to settle for 3rd place. This did not mean that she didn't live up to our high expectations. She raced brilliantly. Not only did she rewrite her own AG's race record,  she turned in the fastest clocking ever here for a female master.

Her time was 1:27:41.....


Grinaker Throws Down at Chisago...


I get why Toughman wanted Chisago to be part of their brand.  What an incredible race! I don’t think I’ve ever participated in a race with so many greet volunteers, and so many city residents cheering all of the athletes on.Wade Cruser


CHISAGO LAKES HALF IRONMAN - The email we received from Wade yesterday summed up not only his experience last Sunday, but the experience of many, if not most, of those who participated. The weather was favorable,  wetsuits were legal and more than eight hundred athletes crossed the finish line. Times were impressive, with a pair of AG records rewritten. Wade set a personal best - 4:16:55--which took a 3:34 bite out of his prior best, but it was not quite  enough to land him on the podium.

Defending champ SEAN COOLEY led the way for then men through 68 of the 70.3 miles. As the seconds, then minutes, ticked by after he left T2, it sure looked like Dr. C would collect his sixth career half IM victory. Heck, he might even better the 4:06 he posted here in 2017. His lead over his closest challengers, CRUSER and an unfamiliar guy named MATT HUTCHINSON, 24, from an unfamiliar place called "Ingham," was just under six minutes. Wade is a strong runner, but we soon learned that the unfamiliar guy, is a VERY strong runner.

Hutchinson threw down a 1:18 run split, allowing him to catch and overtake the arguably overraced Cooley with a couple miles to go. Cruser was wilting in the late going, which eventual bronze medalist JOE ADRIAENS took afull advantage of.

Hutch crossed in a brisk 4:06:45. Cooley held on for his fourth sub-4:10 (4:09:25), placing 2nd. ...

Hot Performances at Hoot!



HOOT LAKE TRIATHLON - Rookie pro KEEGHAN HURLEY, from Dent, Minnesota, and aspiring ITU pro ANDREA NUNEZ-SMITH (adorable photo), who appear to like each other a lot, led the way at Saturday's Hoot Lake Triathlon, which was celebrating its silver anniversary, which, for those who prefer numbers, is slang for 25th. (Oops! It was actually the 26th annual. According to Google, the event celebated its jade anniversary.)

And they did so in record-breaking fashion. Hurley's 1:01:21 wasn't far off his winning time in 2017 (1:00:38), when the bike course was two miles longer. The performance lowered the men's CR by more than three minutes,

Nunez-Smith, a Texan and graduate of the University of Arizona, kicked off her 2018 season with a win at the Havasu Olympic Triathlon. Her win at Hoot in 1:14:00 lopped more than four minutes off Angie Hop's long-standing women's record.

Andrea works for Clif Bar. Our guess is that Berry Pomagranite Chia is her favorite flavor. She has eclectic musical and cinematic taste, and unashamedly watches "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" and "Sponge Bob."(Who doesn't enjoy Sponge Bob?)...

Turning My Season Around...


Photo - Newly crowned Timberman Sprint record-holders, John Shelp and Taylor Lundquist.


By Taylor Lundquist (sisterswhotriblog.com)


Timberman Race Report - Well amidst all the rain, Saturday was a beautiful day for a race. The sun was shining, the people were smiling, and the music was rocking. It was an ideal race morning.

   I have to say coming into Timberman I knew it was time for a change. June is always an awkward time for me. Track is coming to a close and the triathlon season is just ramping up. I have to admit I always have mixed emotions coming into tri season. Part of me is in a state of what I like to call “track-withdrawal” and the other part of me just can’t wait to race again.

   This June was no exception. I went through my “track-withdrawal” and started working 40 hours a week. It was crazy adjusting from a typical school week to now a typical work week, not to mention training....

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