Race Previews

America's Oldest Run-Bike-Run...


SARTELL APPLE DUATHLON 2023 PREVIEW - This iconic event, America's oldest run-bike-run, like most multisport races, has been robbed of paricipants by a merciless pandemic. A huge percentage of athletes opted to become former triathletes and former duathletes, opting instead for single-sport focus going forward, during the scrourge...

That sucks. But tri and du are race-dependent. Without races, the training doesn't make much sense and can quickly recede into the realm of "cross-training" or the transition to seasonal single-sport, neither of which demand racing for their identity.

Still, Apple holds on while most of dus, both here and elsewhere, have folded. It is our hope that a revival is on the way. You can help by signing up and telling your friends. Fingers crossed.

This year's Apple will be small (150ish) but small races can still be awesome. Folks forget that sometimes.

Here's some comments and predictions about this year's event, which was started 41 years ago.

micahw.pngThree of last year's Top 4 male finishers are returning. They are:

- ANDY ZABEL - 2022 Minnesota Master of the Year and defending Apple winner is our pick to repeat, especially after having watched him win the Earth Day Half Marathon convincingly.

- BROOKS GROSSINGER - With one Apple win and four other podium finishes, Brooks appears destined for another Top 3.

-  NOAH BILLINGS, 17 - 2022 Junior of the Year, Noah has placed  4th here the last two years. A 3rd is possible, but won't be easy to pull off. There's a dark horse in town with his eye on a top 3 finish.

- MICAH WARNING (photo R) - This 27-year-old former Winona State Track and Cross Country runner has two tris under his belt, the first at age 16, the other last year at Buzz Ryan, which he won handily in a very fast time. He's young and motivated, but can he be competitive on the bike? That's the question mark. 

It's possible, of course, that later registrants will move to the front of the race. We think that will hapen in the women's competition. Past winners like DIANE HANKEE, ELAINE NELSON and ANDREA MYERS may decide to make the trek to Sartell for the May 20 race. If they stay home, however, we think that VANESSA NAGEL will prevail. Though inexperienced at run-bike-run, Nagel, who won two of the four tris she did last season, has strong run and bike credentials.

- ALYSSA KNESE and grand master star AMY WOOLSEY, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively last year, are back and could battle for those spots once again.

We expect to see a few Age Group marks fall on May 20. A pair of new 70-year-olds, PAM STEVENS and LUKE HARNED hope to rewrite records. Should be easy for Pam. A bit tougher for Luke who will be going after Vermonter WILLIAM MARSHALL's stout 2013 mark (1:50:56). Harned will have to go a tad faster than he did here in 2022, but we think he's up to the challenge.

We encourage everyone that hasn't registered to so at their earliest convenience. Let's do our parts to keep this great race on the calendar. WEBSITE