Race Previews

Brand Loyalty & the Return of "Big Daddy"...

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NORTHWOODS TRIATHLON PREVIEW - Few races can boast the level of "Brand Loyalty" that next Saturday's Northwoods Triathlon enjoys. One of our state's few remaining "early fillers," the fast, scenic north country event feels more like a reunion than a typical triathlon. This is because the vast majority of its entrants are recidivists, many of whom have  done most the race's previous eighteen editions. BROOKS GROSSINGER, for instance, has raced here on sixteen occasions, missing only in 2005 and 2006. Notably, he has won all 16 times. Even more notable is the fact he has broken the magical one-hour mark on fourteen occasions. Only three other men --Jordan Roby, David Lewis and Casey Miller--have cracked 60-minutes here.

Will Brooks win for the 17th time next Saturday? Probably, but the more interesting question is whether he will continue to break one hour on the .25 - 14.09 - 3.1 course.

Similarly, the question of whether super-Grand Master CHERYL ZITUR, 57, the hands-down pre-race women's favorite, will repeat as champion is not nearly as interesting as whether she will, once again, break 1:10. So you know, the next fastest time by a 55-59 woman at Northwoods is ROBIN TEDLUND's 1:13:07, set in 2017. Tedlund, in case you don't know, is a two-time Worlds medalist / Minnesota...

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Beans and Bagpipes and Not Having to Drink Light Beer...

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BREWHOUSE PREVIEW - The definition of a true "Classic," Duluth's flagship triathlon will celebrate it's 35th  edition next Sunday. It will also be the 10th anniversary of its "new" spectacular venue at Island Lake, a 15-minute drive north of the multi-nicknamed town, e.g. the Zenith City, the Air-Conditioned City (because of Lake Superior's cooling effect in the summertime), Portland of the Midwest etc.

As expected, sharing the same weekend with Nationals has leeched some BH regulars, still, the race should field between 350 and 400 participants. This is happy news. (The 2023 Brewhouse will not go head-to-head with the Age Group Championships.)

The list we perused, which is almost two weeks old, suggested that SHYANNE MCGREGOR will continue to dominate the Sprint race, though BETTINA KEPPERS will keep her honest, and ELAINE NELSON should notch her sixth W on this course, despite what we assume will be some post Chisago 70.3 aches. LISA FILZEN should land on the Olympic podium for the second consecutive year. We predict that she will set a new BH personal best.

JOSH BLANKENHEIM was not on the list we saw. If he's not going to Milwaukee, we think he will do, and win for the 4th time, his beloved hometown tri. ...

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Chisago XVI Preview...

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2022 CHISAGO LAKES TRIATHLON PREVIEW - Approximately 900 triathletes are expected for this Sunday's 16th-edition Chisago Lakes 70.3, Sprint and inaugural Olympic triathlons. The CLT is a fantastic event at a fantastic venue: Paradise Park in Chisago City....

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It is Better to Suck at Three Sports Than to Excel at One....

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9th BUZZ RYAN SPRINT PREVIEW - A great feature of the Buzz Ryan (and Brewhouse) application process is that registrants are asked to leave comments about themselves. The cooler ones can be used on race day by the announcer.

Reading this year's comments we learned that in addition to being a talented triathlete (4th woman at Brewhouse Olympic in 2019, 7th last weekend against a strong field at Timberman Sprint), KATIE BENZIGER "is a heart doctor and mom to Theo and Marit." We also learned that WYATT COOK, 19, is a confident young man. He's registered for the Elite Wave though Buzz is his "first ever triathlon." We then learned that BRAD IRWIN, 59, is a philosopher. He asserted that "It's better to be bad at three sports than good at one." Let''s all ponder, which is what philosophers do, that for a moment.

Some participants used the comment feature to voice their political views. One nameless guy thinks a certain prominent politician is a "Poop Head."

There were lots of great comments and it's hard not to smile when reading them. The point of doing this is to remind participants that they matter and that the goals of the event are fun and personal enrichment...

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Bertram Blast VI History...

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BERTRAM BLAST - This awesome six-year-old event, which is happening next Sunday (June 10) is Minnesota's only off-road tri and du event (It also includes a bike race). Very cool. It is staged at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park near Monticello. BB is a laid-way-back, nature-celebrating experience that has a bit of a hippy vibe. It's one of those events that reminds you why you love this lifestyle. ...

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Minnesota's "Resort Triathlon"...

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TIMBERMAN PREVIEW - Minnesota's original "Destination Triathlon," Timberman can also be called our state's "Resort Triathlon." For thirty-seven years athletes have booked lodging at Ruttger's Sugar Lake Lodge expecting and receiving a  true "racecation" experience. Few entrants pop in just for the race. Most stay for the full weekend or longer, availing themselves of the resort's amenities and the area's breathtaking beauty....

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