Race Previews

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



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...

Do in part, perhaps, to the fact that Brewhouse is staged on the same weekend as Milwaukee Age Group Nationals, many of those who would normally race at BH are instead heading for Buzz. In 2017 approximately 130 athletes finished Buzz. That was the event's largest turnout. This year, though, the early list had 171 names on it with at least another week to go. Registration ends Saturday, July 16, so act quickly to get in.


The next question to consider is whether athletes outside northern Minnesota should make the long trek to Island Lake north of Duluth, which is truly one of our state's most picturesque locales, for the July 17 race. A long way to drive for a short race? Yeah, but it's well worth it, especially if you plan to stick around after the event.

Now for some predictions. Lots of usual suspects to talk about. Let's start with the men's race. TODD STRUCKMAN, who won here in 2019 and placed 2nd the year before that appears to be the men's favorite, barring some late registration surprises. 

We are anxious to see how elite distance runner MATT WELCH fares. We were unable to unearth any prior tri results for the former Duluthian, who now resides in the Pacific Northwest,  but we suspect that he and his big VO2 will have an impact.

The women's field is a deep one, featuring six-time winner ELAINE NELSON, who has been the queen of Duluth's tri scene since 2010, though SHYANNE MCGREGOR, a long-distance aficionado who is not racing on Sunday, appears to be the heir apparent. Nelson's margin of victory last year was a bloated 3:06. We do not expect that to be the case this year. LISA FILZEN was 2nd last year, but we are tabbing her to place 3rd this time around because TIFFANY KARI is in the field. Tiff was brilliant at the 2021 Timberman Triathlon, placing 2nd in the women's race where she outraced five-time Minnesota Master of the Year nominee Andrea Myers, a four-time T'Man runner-up. A similar performance on Sunday should create a close race between her and Nelson.

CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN is coming off a AG-record setting performance at Timberman Sprint. The battle for the bronze medal slot between Christel and Lisa should be a goodie. And let's not overlook JENA OGSTON, who podiumed here in 2019 and 2015. She could make it a three-woman race for the third step.

A fun and exciting race is shaping-up, and according to Weather.com, the conditions--partly cloudy, mild wind and temps--should be ideal.    RACE WEBSITE