Race Previews

Will Minnesotans Rock at IMOO? We Think So...

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IRONMAN WISCONSIN - Can you believe that Ironman Wisconsin will celebrate it's 17th anniversary on Sunday? It's true. Our region's grandest multisport event, one that is arguably the premier "domestic," ie. "mainland," 140.6, has been around for almost two decades already.

Time flies when you're having fun....

 

And as with each prior edition of IMOO, we get truly excited, anxious to see how Minnesotans will fare. And Minnesota's female triathletes have historically rocked out there, though by comparision, our state's men have not.

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We're sure that will change some day, but we are not ready to predict that a Minnesota man will podium this year, though our fingers are crossed for JOSH MORK. A great effort on Sunday could secure for him a spot on Team Minnesota, though he may make the team anyway. (His current resume may be good enough.) A strong performance would almost certainly guarantee a Most Improved nomination.

Once again, Mork's scorecard may already be sufficeint for an MI nod.

Will a Minnesota woman land on the podium this year, they way others--MICHELLE ANDRES, JAN GUENTHER, SUZIE FOX, KORTNEY HAAG, DANI FISCHER (honorary Minnesotan)--have?

Yes! That is, we truly believe that one will. We also think it is possible that Minnesota women may claim TWO podium spots.

Who are we talking about? HANNA GRINAKER, who might be the most talented amateur triathlete in the US right now. And BECKY YOUNGBERG, who just might be the best female master in the country at this point in time.

Are we predicting a win for Hanna? We won't go that far, because she is making her IM debut, and she will be facing the formidable IM-veteran likes of JACQUI GIULIANO (Illinios) and AMI HUTCHINSON (Wisconsin).

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Giuliano comes into the race, we believe, as the women's favorite. Why? In 2017, she placed 2nd at Ironman Lake Placid, and 4th at Ironman Arizona, where she rocked a 9:46:40. This year she won the Grand Rapids Half IM, and placed 3rd at Muncie. She's got creds.

What Hutchinson brings to the table is IMOO experience. She's climbed the amateur women's podium here more than once.

Hanna, however, is faster than both women at 70.3. While they throw down 4:30s, Hanna has one official sub-4:30 (4:28 at Chisago), a "wouldhavebeen" at Superior Man (4:32 with a very long swim) and LIberty (run was abbrevated due to weather concerns).

This, of course, does not mean she will be faster than her peers at 140.6. Not in her maiden attempt, at least. But if Hanna is somehow able to prevail, it would give her an undefeated season.

As for Becky, she's raced here twice, though neither effort showcased her potential. And though she has returned to the sport at age 43, after a seven-year layoff, the former Minnesota Triathlete of the Year is faster than ever. And her 4:37:04 second place effort at Chisago last July puts her in the same 70.3 league with Giuliano and Hutchinson.

So, we can't wait to see how Hanna, Becky, Josh, as well as SHEENA DAUER, SARA CARLSONCHRIS BUDAHN, JASON CRISP and the 200-or-so other Minnesotans, do on Sunday. 

 

 

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