Race Coverage

"Things Are Moving in the Right Direction"...

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By Kelli Moretter-Bue

Chisago Sprint Race Report - I am 100% a triathlon nerd. I love this sport and follow it very closely.

Even more than watching it, I love participating in it: training hard, figuring out the nutrition, balancing rest and work are all part of a puzzle that I truly enjoy.

I lost that enjoyment last year. I had trained hard for Ironman CDA and was very fit for the day. Unfortunately, the heat (102!) and my hamstrings had other plans. I ended up with a DNF. Gutting. All the hard work and family sacrifice and balancing work and training for a Did Not Finish.

I then took a few weeks and decided to sign up for Ironman Madison. I didn’t want to waste my fitness and I hoped my hamstring tendons would improve. I raced a 70.3 in August last year and was absolutely miserable the entire time. My body hurt. My mind could not free itself from the misery. When I crossed the finish line I said “I’m done.”

I didn’t do Ironman Madison. In fact, I stopped working out. I needed a break, a big one....

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"I Will Definitely Be Back"...

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CHISAGO LAKES TRIATHLON COVERAGE - Part I - Breakout wins by "under the radar" male athletes have almost become the rule, not the exception, at Chisago Lakes Half Ironman  in the last half-dozen years. Tri rookie KARL NYGREN outraced a plethora of pre-race favorites en route to the men's title in 2021. Kiwi MATT  HUTCHINSON's credentials were very solid, though totally unbeknownst by his American peers, until he beat our region's best --Cooley, Adriaens, Cruser et al--here in 2018.

We shouldn't have been too surprised, then, when a heretofore unknown, outside of Xterra circles, that is, overtook pre-race favorite JOE ADRIAENS during the run and sped to an impressive win, a personal best for the distance by more than six minutes despite the unrelentingly windy conditions.

His name is LUKUS KLAWITTER. He's originally from Hutchinson, Minnesota, and is currently completing his doctorate at NDSU in Fargo. We reached out to him after the race and communicated via Facebook Messenger. His personal race report, which includes his competitive bio, will serve as the first  of two, perhaps three, MTN posts covering this year's exciting Chisago Lakes Triathlon. It is unedited. We love the fact that Dr. Klawitter isn't into using mid-sentence capital letters....

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There Will Be Blood...

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By Michael Weissenborn

Turtleman Race Report - Friday Night, Before the Race. Text conversation: 

Friend: Do you have a cute outfit picked out for racing?!?
Me: It's a tri suit. I bought it a few years ago.
Friend: So is it a cute outfit?!?
Me: It will be at the end of the race – when it's covered in sweat, snot, blood, and gels.
Friend: *shocked emoji face*

Little did I know how prophetic that conversation would be...

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Encouraging Signage...

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TURTLEMAN NOTES - Regional triathlon attendance has been in decline for at least a decade. And the pandemic has exascerbated that in a big way. Unlike, runners, swimmers and cylists, Triathletes depend on racing for their identity, thus "uncertainly" can, and has, shifted many to a single sport emphasis. The migration from triathlon to cycling in all its forms, for instance, can best be described as "torrential," not a trickle. Still, high-ticket races like Nationals and Ironman-branded events are keeping the sport alive in a global sense, but they are contributing to the shrinkage of local and regional races. 

It's easy to get a bit depressed about this stuff, but there are some signs that our regional scene may be rebounding, albeit slowly. And we need to remember that we are responsible for either resuscitating our sport locally, or pulling the plug. We can resuscitate by racing locally and enthusiastically. Instead of doing one local race a year, we can do two or three. And we can encourage potential newbies to give tri a try, or encourage vets to add another local race to their schedules.

Studying last Saturday's Turtleman results, we were heartened to see that 300 athletes finished the event, especially since last year's finisher total was 213. Eighty-seven additional line-crossers is a significant upward bump (31%). Very encouraging, especially if what we are seeing is an actual trend....

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Revenge of the Newbs....

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BUZZ RYAN SPRINT COVERAGE - While the usual suspects battled for top spots in the women's race, a pair of ex-collegiate runners with little or no prior tri experience, broke away from the the established swim-bike-runners in the late stages to claim the gold and silver positions for the men. Exciting stuff.

Former Duluthian and Gopher distance runner MATT WELCH had PRs superior to those of Mankato's MICAH WARNING (Great Name!), who ran for Winona State, and he demonstrate that fact by throwing down a 11:54 split in the closing 2.4ish mile run. That's sub-5 miles, folks!

But it was only enough to earn him 2nd place. Warning's swim split, together with superior transitions, gave him an edge that proved to be insurmountable. (FYI, his run was wicked fast - 12:2, Sub - 5:10 pace--too. ) Micah's winning time - 49:45--gave him 2:45 to recover before Welch's arrival, and another 31 ticks before the vastly improved MICHAEL KARAU made his bronze medal effort official. Karau commented later that "the second guy--Welch--blew by me like I was jogging." (6:20-pace is not jogging!) ...

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It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This...

 

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TIMBERMAN SPRINT - On paper it appeared that BROOKS GROSSINGER's string of second place finishes in 2022 would come to an end last Saturday. The five-time Timberman champ (4x Olympic, 1x Sprint) had the talent and the muscle memory to chalk up another win, which would be career number-37. Fellow elite master KRIS NISULA from Thunder Bay looked to be his strongest challenger, unless a breakout performance by an underdog stole the thunder....

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