Race Previews

Liberty Olympic Turns 15...Updated...



LIBERTY OLYMPIC TRIATHLON XV - Next Saturday, the Liberty Tris will celebrate their 7th anniversary at the Lake Rebecca venue. For those who don't recall, or who have come to the multisport lifestyle in the last decade, the orginal Liberty races were staged at Baker Park.

The LIberty experience features a long course (half IM) and an Olympic event. Let's discuss the Olympic race today.

The men's competition this year will feature three past champions, including race record holder KEVIN O'CONNOR, who has won this event three times. 

Then there's DAVID HOLDEN (photo L), who has also won this race thricely. Who will prevail in the O'Connor / Holden match-up next Saturday? KO had beaten David on this course in their last confrontation, which was back in 2013. He also finished ahead of him in their last head-to-head, which was at Lake Waconia in 2016. Based on this, we give O'Connor the advantage next weekend.

But then there's 2017 Master of the Year, a guy who has won more MMAs than any of his male peers, MATTHEW PAYNE. A two-time LIbery winner, albeit in the half, where he owns the two fastest times in race history, Matt has amassed 50 career wins in his first decade of racing. One doesn't bet against a guy like that....


So, we see them men's podium stacking up this way: 1. Payne, 2. O'connor, 3. Holden. For good measure, we'll predict that rising star JAKE BRAAM will place 4th. If weather allows, we think all four of these guys will post sub-2-hour times. 



The women's race will also feature a pair of past champs--ANDREA MYERS and CHERYL ZITUR--as well as Liberty newcomer LISA LENDWAY. Lendway's resume is too good to ingore, even though her focus had been on family and agriculture in 2017. She's our pick to win. Our pick  to take the silver is Bismarck, North Dakota's MARNIE WALTH, 49.

FYI, three of our state's Fabulous 50-plussers will be contending for Top spots, perhaps even comprising 60% of the Top 5. We see Cheryl Z, 54, placing 3rd or 4th, with LAURA SWARTZ, 52, and CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN, 53, grabbing the 5th and 6th spots.

You can still enroll. Walk-up registration will be available. RACE WEBSITE


UPDATE:  We just learned that LISA LENDWAY will not be racing, but SUZIE FOX will. Fox, the 2015 Minnesota Triathlete of the Year, has won 42 multisport races in her career, and is our pick to win on Saturday.

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