Race Previews

Brewhouse XXXIII Preview...Exciting Stuff...


33rd BREWHOUSE PREVIEW - Though we may see repeats of races we've seen here before, that does not mean that the events will not be exciting.

On the contrary.

Yes, many of the same great athletes race here year-after-year (recidivism is good!) and place highly year-after-year, and that should be the case again next Sunday, still there is much to anticipate. Sure, two-time champion on this stunning Island Lake course, JOSH BLANKENHEIM, is picked to win the Olympic race again, and he is coming into the race is great shape. His  recent win at Timberman, and his follow up 2nd at Heart of the Lakes suggest that WADE CRUSER's course record 1:57:47 isn't safe.

Exciting stuff.

ELAINE NELSON, like Blankenheim, is the clear women's favorite. Heck, she's taken her gender's title in her last three appearances here, each time without being seriously challenged. Now 40, we're anxious to see how badly she breaks the event's Masters record.

Once again, exciting stuff....


The "usual suspects" in the women's Sprint should take most of the top spots, though the finishing places may undergo some shuffling this year. We expect BETTINA KEPPERS, a two-time BH Sprint winner,to be  in the lead after the first two legs. Then, as usual, she'll be pursued by three-time Master of the Year nominee CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN and the ever-consistent JEN OGSTON. And we think that sophomore triathlete SHYANNE MCGREGOR will pose more of a threat than she did in 2018, when the Rookie of the Year nominee placed 6th.

The biggest threat to Bettina's supremacy could come from a trio of athletes who are relatively new to this race, starting with Andover's SARA RONDORF, who placed 4th in this race in 2016. Sara, now 41, is no longer an athlete that would settle less than a podium spot, and she has gotten very used to winning in the last two seasons (she's won two of the three races she's done thus far in 2019).


Then there's Bemidjian JESSIE MAHER, who posted her first career W earlier this season, and we know it won't be her last. She has impressed us with 8th and 6th place finishes against great fields at Lake Minnetonka and Timberman Olympic. 

Finally, there's Brewhouse newbie JENNIFER FITZHARRIS-FUNK, who may be one of the more underrated multisport athletes in Minnesota. Winner of at least four multis in her career, her 2019 resume features a pair of 2nds (Clearwater Sprint and Minneapolis Sprint) and a 6th (Lake Minnetonka).

Keppers is going to have to perform like she did at Timberman Sprint a few weeks ago--she crushed the women's course record--to notch another win here.

As for the men in the Sprint, the usualest of the usual suspects is MIKE WARD. Simple put, Brewhouse Sprint is HIS race. He's won five of the six editions of this event that have been staged at the Island Lake venue, plus two prior editions that took place at Pike Lake. He is tied for course record ownership with his friend NICK NYGAARD. This could be the year he claims the record for himself.

Exciting stuff.

Sure, we'll see many of the same faces on August 4 that we've seen in the past. Still, we can't wait to get to Island Lake and see how this year's races shake out. RACE WEBSITE

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