Race Previews

Double Feature Race Previews...


Two great triathlons are happening this weekend. The 13-year-old Big Lake Olympic & Sprint happens on Saturday, and the Brewhouse Triathlon at Island Lake north of Duluth is on Sunday. Brewhouse is celebrating its 36th anniversary....

Both events are fun and scenic and despite the migration to Nationals this weekend, both races will field good numbers and competitive fields.

We've gotten a peek at the events entrants lists. Letes first talk about Big Lake.


- As always, the teen and the over age 50 categories will be well represented providing great competition. Names? Ok. Macy Bell, 18, Bethany Collins, 68, Denny Ellingsen, 71, Carol Gragert, 71, Lisa Hines, 61, Ken Janda, 62, and Isabel Mahoney, 13 (photo), just to name a few.

At the front of the race is reigning Minnesota Triathlete of the Year Preston Youngdahl, a two-time Big Lake winner who is expecting to remain undefeated in 2023. Chances are, he will.

Some talented female names to drop include Emily Gage, Andrea Myers and Bette Rowley. In three starts at BL, Gage has a sprint win in 2018 and two seconds, one in the Olympic (2019), the other in the sprint. Last month she was victorious at Graniteman Clearwater.

Rowley has at least eight career tri wins, including last year's Big Lake Sprint.

Myers is making her Big Lake debut. She is a five-time Minnesota Master of the Year nominee who is always in podium contention.

The Brewhouse list we saw has duts on it now, so we are going to assume that some of the Duluth area's best, those who weren't on the list we saw or on the Nationals roster. Let's start with the women, we expect to see Elaine Nelson on the starting line of the Olympic race.She has 26 career multisport victories, six of which were at Brewhouse.

We are not expecting Shyanne McGregor to race, but our fingers are crossed that she will show up. A national-class talet, she has two BH wins on her scorecard.

Bettina Keppers. We expect her to race. She's a four-time sprint winner who is undefeated in two starts on the Minnesota tri scene this season.

Tiffany Kari. Tiff is a tremedous triathlete, though she rarely races. When she does, she rocks. She podiumed at BH in 216 and 2017.

Another woman who is always in the hunt is Jena Ogston.

Duluth's main man since the retirement of Brian Bich is Josh Blankenheim. With at least 14 career multi wins, including three Brewhouse Ws, he can be relied upon to set the pace.

It is our hope that ultradistance runner Mike Ward shows up on Sunday. He's a seven-time BH sprint winner.

Other names worth bandying include Kris Nisula (and his two talented teenage daughters), Ben Bittner, and Matt Welch.