Race Coverage

Katie's Day...

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SQUARE LAKE 70.3 - Fast times, much less personal bests, are hard to come by at Square Lake. The bike and run courses are arguably the most challenging in our region. (We are not including "Extreme" off road long distance tris.) The current routes have been in place since 2018 and only five men had broken 4:25, and  five women have bettered 5-hours.

Last Sunday, though, two of the top three women set career PRs, and two of the Top 3 men did likewise.

In our preview, we picked KRIS SPOTH and KATIE DEREGNIER as favorites, Kris because of past credentials; Katie because she was ready to, as they say, bust out.

Well, Spoth used a strong bike split followed by the fastest run of the morning to post a winning 4:17:25, the second fastest time here ever, and one that had to be as, or more, satisfying as his 4:13 personal best set in Racine back in 2015.

Since 2013, Kris has recorded at least twelve multisport victories....

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Paige Prevailed...

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IRONMAN MADISON 7O.3 - A pair of former Minnesota Rookie of the Year recipients finished 1-2 yesterday at Madison 70.3.

2019 ROY PAIGE SCHULZ relied on her signature strong running to overtake 2013 ROY NICOLE HEININGER, who relocated to Wisconsin a few years back. Nicole posted superior swim and bike splits, but it wasn't quite enough. In the end, Schulz's performance proved to be 16-seconds faster than Heininger's. Additionally, her 4:48:43 was a PR for this race. Her prior best was 4:52:03 in 2019, when she placed 5th.

Just missing a podium spot, but garnering the women's Masters title was KORTNEY HAAG, 42. Her 4th place time was 4:52:32, placing her 3:22 iahead of her nearest masters competition.

Almost cracking the women's Top 10 was 45-49 women's winner CATHERINE LEE, 48. Her time was 5:02:54 on Madison's challenging course, which was 11-minute  faster than her nearest divisional rival.

One other Minnesota woman managed to dominate her AG. We're talking about JAN GUENTHER, 63, a two-time overall women's amateur winner at Ironman Wisconsin (2002, 2010). Jan's 5:19:54 was more than 25-minute quicker than her age's group's  runner-up....

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Shattered Records, a Plethora of PRs & a Mongoose Named Milo.....

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HOPKINS ROYAL TRIATHLON COVERAGE - Saturday was a perfect day for a racing as evidenced by shattered records and a plethora of PRs. The pre-race favorites lived up to expectations, both turning in stellar efforts. Remaining undefeated  in regional racing this year, ANDY ZABEL used his superior bike/run skills to turn in a time of 1:02:46, a personal best on this course and the second fastest men's clocking in the eight-year history of the HoRT. 

Zabel, the 2022 Male Master of the Year frontrunner, now has fifteen career multisport wins.

Then there's HEATHER LENDWAY whose Hopkins debut produced a seemingly untouchable--untouchable by anyone other than herself, that is--course record 1:03:17, which landed her in 2nd place overall. As expected, she outswam the entire field and outbiked all of her female peers. Less expected was the fact that she not only outran the women's field, only three me turned in faster run splits....

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Another Win For Sara & Blank...

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LAKES COUNTRY TRIATHLON - SARA CARLSON, 44, and JACQUELINE BACIGALUPI, also 44, love their hometown race. And it is obvious that their hometown race loves them back. Jacqui has three Lakes Country women's titles on her resume, and Sara has two, the most recent of which was at last Sunday's 22nd edition of the LCT (including it's predecessor "Whipple Wave")...

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Inspiration and Family Fun....

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By Doobie Kurus

4WOMEN TRI RACE REPORT - It started with someone telling me, "The weather looks great this weekend for the 4WOMEN Tri!" Well if a flashflood, down trees blocking my street, and winds blowing my transition area and buoys around is great, I don't want to see what horrible weather looks like! 

Fortunately, our volunteers were able to pick things up and put them back in order in time for the wave of rain, I mean racers to arrive. We had over 150 women registered and joining us from 5 different states, and as far away as Michigan. Our oldest competitor was Judy "T-Rex" Rykken (age 84) and our youngest was Denali Perusse (age 3!), and they both made it a family thing! Judy, an inspiration for many, got her daughter, Anne Rykken, and granddaughter, Allie Rykken, to join her this year. Anne was bestowed the coveted #1 bib, for working to overcome her somewhat recent Parkinsons Syndrome, and viewing triathlons as a way to manage it, and engage in healthy activities with her family. We decided to give Anne #1, Judy #2, and Allie #3, which was pretty close to how they finished in their age group (Anne 3rd place, Judy 1st place, and Allie first place). Denali on the other hand was a willing participant with her mother, Yari, who does physical activities to help raise awareness for her daughter's list of medical issues, such as cerebral palsy, perinatal stroke, and cortical visual impairment. Being a preschool special education teacher myself, I welcomed the opportunity to find a way to make this happen. To find out more about Denali, go to: https://pledgeit.org/milesforlittlebee ...

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Juniors Kick Butts at Maple Grove Sprint...

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MAPLE GROVE SPRINT COVERAGE - Six-time MGS winner CHERYL ZITUR posted her fastest time ever on the Weaver Lake course last Saturday, breaking her former course record by eight seconds. That stellar effort, however, landed her in 3rd place.

Finishing in the second spot was shoo-in Most Improved nominee ELENA HENGEL, whose impressive 1:05:37 was 39-seconds quicker than Zitur's time, and only five seconds behind the winner, 19-year-old GRACE BUSCH, whose course record, coupled with her win at Fairmont and 2nd at Turtleman, make her one of two frontrunners for 2022 female Junior of the Year alongside two-time JOY BELLA BUENTING....

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