Race Coverage

Branden & Jessie....

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PERHAM TRIATHLON - The 16th edition of this event happened last Saturday. Ninety-nine athletes crossed the finish line.

The men's race featured the return of Fargo's BRANDEN SCHEEL, who is living and training in Tucson these days. As expected he won the race, his third consecutive W here. Also predictable was his substantial margin of victory: 4:50.

While Scheel's win was forgone, the women's race was won by a true darkhorse, an athlete who had yet to win a race. Her name is JESSIE MAHER (photo). She's a 35-year-old Bemidjian, who trains with three-time MInnesota Master of the Year nominee, and no stranger to winners circles, CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN.  

Jessie's previous best placing was a 5th here in 2018. Her time was 1:23:51.

She kicked off the 2019 season with a surprising 8th place finish against a very deep women's field at Lake Minnetonka. It was obvious that she'd gone to the next level. But was she ready to win? ...

Three-Peat For Storhaug...

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Ed. MTN loves to post newspaper coverage of Minnesota triathlons. Here is the St. Cloud Times (sctimes.com) Graniteman Clearwater story that posted on their site last Monday. It's good tuff!

 

By Tom Elliott (sctimes.com)

 

CLEARWATER — It's safe to say Brian Storhaug really likes the Graniteman Clearwater Triathlon.


He REALLY LIKES it.


"I do," he said.
Storhaug won the men's sprint division for the third straight year Saturday at Lake Warner County Park.


He completed the .44-mile swim, 14.33-mile bike and 3.1-mile road race with a time of one hour, eight minutes and 22 seconds....

Paid in Full...

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GRANITEMAN OLYMPIC - The men's Olympic podium last Saturday was comprised of three guys who have truly paid their dues, and are now taking their places among our region's elite multisportsmen. ...

Vets & Whippersnappers...

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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....

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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...


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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   ...

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