Race Coverage

Vets & Whippersnappers...


GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER SPRINT - As in the women's Olympic race, elite masters swept the podium at Graniteman Sprint last weekend.

This wasn't unexpected.

And while all pushed hard, hoping to win, one of the ladies had an additional incentive to go as fast as she possible could, and the result was her 2nd victory in as many tri starts this season.

SARA RONDORF (photo) started the race in Wave 5. Her husband JEREMY started in Wave #4, three minutes ahead of her. She was able to make up about a minute on him in the water, but their bike splits were basically identical.

Sara wanted to beat her husband even more than she wanted to win the race. And not only beat him on paper, she wanted to actually beat him to the finish line.

She blasted out of T2 like a bat-out-of-heck. She was leading the women's race, but knew that JENNIFER FITZHARRIS-FUNK, 43, and Alaska's LORI DESCHAMPS, both accomplished runners, were bearing down.  ...

Masters Mastery....


GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER - In both the Sprint and supersized Olympic races yesterday, masters women ruled. The podiums in each of those hard-fought races were earned by elite ladies over the age of forty, and their performances across the board were stellar, in spite of hot and muggly conditions that convinced raced management to make the humane decision to start the event an hour earlier than advertised.

In the Olympic-plus (the bike course, by design, was 6K longer than 40K) the question was not which of the Top 2 national class masters--CATHY YNDESTAD or KORTNEY HAAG--would, weather-be-damned--lower the course record (owned by Haag), but by how much.

By reputation and resume, CY had the edge. Her career scorecard boasts at least 75 multisport wins, making her our state's all-time winningest multisportwoman. And the fact that she came into the race with at least two stellar 2019 performances--1st at Cactus Sprint (AZ), 4th at Victoria (BC) 70.3--under her belt further clarified her favored status....

Sean, Hanna, Caryn & Other Stuff...


ATTENTION GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER ENTRANTS! Due to the expected high heat index on Saturday, the race will start at 8 AM instead of 9 AM. 


HIGH CLIFF HALF IM - MTN congratulates SEAN COOLEY on his runaway victory last Sunday at the High Cliff Half on the northeastern coast of majestic Lake Winnebago south of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The victory, by a 10:30 margin over Milwaukee's ANDREW ERNST, was his 21st since relocating to Minnesota in 2011 from Grand Forks, ND. It was Sean's sixth win at the 70.3  distance, and his time of 4:07:34 was the 2nd fastest amateur clocking in High Cliff's 16-year history. It also marks the fifth time he has cracked the 4:10-mark.

Cooley's girlfriend, HANNA GRINAKER, on the advice of her coach, did High CLiff's Half Aquabike instead of the tri. The result was a ridiculously fast time--2:50:47--and an overall victory. The event is only a few year's old, but Hanna's time is its fastest time ever, and by a long shot. Second place on Sunday went to men's winner TOBIA MARTEN of Appleton, who finished 10:14 after Grinaker.

It was career win #11for the two-time MInnesota Female Triathlete of the Year, who did her first triathlon in 2016.

And just as groovy as Hanna's and Sean's performances were, one could argue that Minnesota's rockingest rockstar at High Cliff was actually CARYN HERRICK (photo with Peter Wikman), who placed 4th overall in the women's half behind three Elite Division ladies. Her 4:57:52 on High Cliff's super-challenging course is only her third triathlon, and her other two were back in 2013.  PS - Caryn's boyfriend, sophomore triathlete PETER WIKMAN, also excelled, throwing down a time of 4:43:51, placing him 12th overal.  RESULTS   ...

The "Certs" of Special Events...


GEAR WEST DUATHLON - In the 60s and 70s , pre Tic-Tacs, Certs had a popular and successful advertising campaign in which one impossibly good-looking person stridently asserted to another impossibly good-looking person, "It's a breath mint!" The other good-looking person then argued, "It's a candy mint!" Then an unseen announcer halted the argument, claiming: "It's two, two, two mints in one." Visually punctuating the two-two-twos were two rolls of Certs smacking together....

"I Became Stronger"....


By Erin Ladendorf


"It never gets easier, you just get faster...."


IRONMAN MADISON 70.3 (NOT A) RACE REPORT - Thank you Greg LeMond for that amazing quote. And thank you to coach Mike for reminding me of it post race. Because I have never actually felt those words truer than when I raced Ironman 70.3 Madison this last weekend.

I have been racing for going on 6 years. And every single year I am a better athlete than the year before in one way or another. Some year its speed. Other years its mental toughness. Other years it's just learning how to race and maintain my sanity. 2019 is another year of monumental gains for me in several areas of my racing. I am part of an incredible team of people on the Elite Wattie Ink team for starters. And knowing that group for the last year has given me more inspiration than I have had in the last 6 years combined....

Holden Wins Again! Sortland Surprises!


Photo - Talented teens Natasha Sortland and Noah Billings.


FAIRMONT TRIATHLON - Since 2013, DAVID HOLDEN has won at least 10 multisport races. During this period he had been nominated for Master of the Year several times. And 30% of those wins had been at Fairmont, with another three Ws recorded there between 2007 and 2012. Holden's only non-win at the FT was a close 2nd behind talented tri-rookie TOBY HENKELS in 2015. Only seven seconds separated those men.

And yes, Holden, now 50, won the Fairmont Olympic race last Saturday. His margin-of-victory was substantial--3:42--though not as thick as in most years. And his time was a very solid 2:04:45.

Placing 2nd was South Dakota teen LIAM REESE, with 3rd going to North Mankato's KYLE KRAUSE, whose 2:12:27 was eight-and-a-half minutes faster than his runner-up time here in 2018. 

Mankato's JULIE BUSCH, 45, winner of Fairmont's Sprint race in 2018, and Olympic runner-up here in 2017, led the women's field. Lakeville's JESSIE MEYER claimed the silver, with Sioux Falls' KAMMIE PETERSON filling out the women's podium....

Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.