Race Previews

Ladies Day at Hopkins...


Photo - Race director Doobie Kurus cheering for Judy Rykken, then 84, at the 2022 Hopkins Royal Triathlon. 


HOPKINS ROYAL COVERAGE - Competitively, women stole the show on Saturday at the ninth Hopkins Royal Triathlon, starting with HEATHER LENDWAY, who took control of the race from the get-go. The former National and World champion had won races outright in the past, but never with a three minute margin of victory over the fastest man. There was a protracted pause after HL, who is undefeated on Minnesota soil since her return to the sport in 2021, crossed the line.  Her time on Saturday was 1:05:48, second only to the course record she set here in 2022, which has only been bettered by three men in the history of the race.

As implied, Heather wasn't the only woman who rocked at Hopkins, she was simply the first of five ladies who cracked the overall Top 15....

Women's runner-up BETTE ROWLEY finished seventh overall (1:13:00), her faster swim and transitions keeping her in front of eventual bronze medalist VANESSA NAGEL, who was coming off a 3rd-place performance at Maple Grove Olympic the previous weekend. Vanessa (1:14:04) finished 11th overall.


Fouth place went to CHANTAL NACK, winner of the Iowa State Sprint Championship (Tri Clear Lake) in May, whose 1:14:47 was 2:35 faster than her fifth place effort here in 2022.

Nack was 13th in the overall standings.

Rounding out the Top 5 for women, and taking 15th overall was 2017 Hopkins winner and three-time runner-up ANDREA MYERS (1:15:04), for whom racing was a game-time decision. She hadn't been feeling too spunkyin the days leading up to the event. 

Not to ignore them men completely, one Age Group record was set on Saturday. LUKE HARNED (photo) nuked the 70-74 mark by 9:08. The old AGR was 1:30:58; Luke's impressive time was 1:21:50. FYI - eight men raced in the 70-74 category this year.

The Hopkins Royal Triathlon organizers, once again, produced a Race of the Year nomination-worthy event, which was kicked off with a tribute to JUDY RYKKEN, who at 85, is retiring from tri racing after having competed in more than two hundred swim-bike-runs. Judy, nicknamed "Rex," short for "T-Rex" received flowers, a T-Rex figurine and a large cake with Jurassic Park imagery. The guy that brought the cake forgot to bring plates and utensils. Sorry 'bout that.

This year's event drew 418 entrants. RESULTS