Race Coverage

Washed Bikes, S-Pattern Swims and a Gem of a Run Course...

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By Tim Brown

Ironman Des Moines 70.3 Race Report - Ironman Des Moines has been vacillating between a half and full distance Ironman event. This year was a 70.3 and timing was just about perfect for my planned build up to the full distance Ironman Wisconsin in September. I was pleased to see the event sell out resulting in tight quarters in transition. The weather was a bit unsettled with rain giving the mandatory checked bikes a good washing the night before the race. Race morning was cool and windy with gusts in the 25 MPH range.

The swim takes place in Grays Lake Park. A great location, although remote parking results in a half mile walk while loaded with gear to transition. Once you’re transition is set-up, there’s another walk to the far side of the lake to the swim start. Grays Lake was protected enough from the wind to remain fairly calm. The cool weather just barely allowed for a wetsuit legal race. The point to point swim makes a “S” pattern around the lake with a self-seeded time trial start.

The bike is a bit of a patch work of out and backs and turn arounds. Crews were out days before the race patching roads. There were a few rough patches and sections road construction to navigate but the biggest challenge was...

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David's Twofer...

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By David Koppel

Ironman 70.3 Tulsa and Des Moines Race Recaps (2 for 1!) -Ironman Tulsa 70.3 was somewhat of a late addition to my calendar, but I was feeling like I put in such steady work from January to May, that I wanted to start my season earlier than ever before, and to do that, I needed to leave Minnesota. I chose Tulsa so that I could drive (9.5 hours!), but it worked out pretty well. I drove Friday to just south of Kansas City, and stayed the night there. Then I drove down the rest of the way to check in, and relax in my hotel room all afternoon until race morning. Tulsa was much cooler than expected and I was very happy about that. The race had a half ironman and a full ironman happening the same day, on the same course, but it was still a small race compared to other locations. I didn’t know of anyone who would surely win the race, so I thought there was a chance I could be leading the race at some point.

The swim was at a state park in a nice location, but the cold air caused the lake to fog up, so the swim was delayed a full hour. This complicates things as most people have a routine with what they eat and when, and I had no calories with me and had to wait an extra hour to start the race. I took a mental note that I was definitely going to need additional calories beyond the 1000 calories of Infinit in my bike bottles and filed it away for later....

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Tuffles, Pit Boards & Energy Pellets

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By Ted Treise

Ironman 70.3 Augusta - The 2022 version was year number... FOUR for me at Augusta. Crazy to think I’ve raced each running of the race since 2018. Each year’s been special. 2018 was my first overall amateur win, 2019 was my first pro race, 2021 I had a breakout day with a sub 3:50 time. This year my goal was to have a fast swim and invest everything I had to make that front group on the bike then whatever happens happens on the run.

Swim

Augusta’s swim is a notoriously fast downriver swim. For the pro’s its typically non-wetsuit meaning we’re all in swim skins. Knowing how important it was for me to make a good group, I went all in with my tri suit down under my skin for max shoulder mobility.

After the national anthem, we jumped in, warmed up and jockied for position on the dock. Last year I lined up towards the middle of the river and it seemed like the shore side got a better jump in the current so this year I did the opposite with an inside line. The gun went off and for the first 5 minutes it was mayhem. Typically, in a deep water start you can tread water and be horizontal, but Augusta its more like AG nationals with everyone hanging on a floating dock then scrambling to get horizontal. To my right, Filipe went out of a cannon leaving a nice gap that became prime real-estate for clean water. A few of us got in a tuffle for it and lost a bit of time. After organizing ourselves a group got away and we were the third pack from what I could see....

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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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