Race Previews

Mini-Previews....Saturday, August 10...

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SuperiorMan1.gifThe busiest racing weekend of the season is almost here. Slated are six in-state triathlons, a very cool SwimRun event, and the USAT Age Group National Championships. Two of these events have filled--Northwoods, and YWCA Women's Triathlon--so we implore those of you who are not currently signed up for an event this weekend, to select one (or two) of the remaining five races.

It is important that all of these fine races remain on the calendar. 

So, here are the Saturday events, in alpha order:

 

GREAT UP NORTH TRIATHLON - ASHLEY HALL is the director. She's a very cool person with a very cool mission: to resurrect, and  improve, what used to be known as the Rainy Lake Triathlon. Located in International Falls, this tri's slogan is: "Come For the Race. Stay For the Adventure."

When was the last time you visited International Falls?  RACE WEBSITE...

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Brewhouse XXXIII Preview...Exciting Stuff...

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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....

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GRANITE MAN BIG LAKE REVIEW...

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 GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE - The 9th edition of this great event is happening on Saturday and you can still get in. Race day registration is available.

Approximately 300 are expected for this year's Sprint and Olympic contests, and on paper, it appears that three of last year's champions, and many of the AG winners, should repeat....

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Late Registrants & Usual Suspects...

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14th CHISAGO LAKES HALF IRON - Historically, late registrants have podiumed at this awesome event. In 2018, for instance, Aussie star MATT HUTCHINSON, a totally cool guy with a great accent, disrupted our predictions. We picked SEAN COOLEY, WADE CRUSER and JOE ADRIAENS to take the overall medals. But Matt popped in and took the gold, throwing down a sweet 4:06:45.

Thus Sean, Joe and Wade, respectively, grabbed the next three places.

In 2017, KORTNEY HAAG, who had won more halves than any other Minnesota woman, was our pick to up her total. Then, with race day near, Colorado's MOLLY SMITH, who had been tearing up the national long distance scene, enrolled. A great runner, she overtook Haag in the later stages of the final leg and pushed on to win in 4:35:40.

We could drop names of talented podium-worthy late sign-ups, like JON BALABUCK (Canada), TIM HOLA (Colorado), ERIC ENGEL (Wisconsin), pro THOMAS GERLACH (Wisconsin), JEN FOLEY (Iowa), JACKIE ARENDT (HERING), MARNIE WALTH (North Dakota) etc., and you'd understand our reluctance to predict a Top 3.

And we believe that in the absence of the "usual supects," i.e. SEAN COOLEY and JOE ADRIAENS, who are racing elsewhere this weekend, this year's men's Top 3 will include one or two guys that were not on the list we saw...

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Mini-Previews: Bertram Blast, Turtleman, Moose Lake & Buzz Ryan....

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The two busiest racing weekends of the season are August 10-11, which has eight events, and next weekend (July 20-21), which has five. Twenty-nine percent of the adult outdoor tris / dus staged on Minnesota soil this year are on those two weekends.

Naturally, we worry that race attendances will suffer, and we'd hate to see more events fall off the calendar. (Thirty-eight races have been cancelled between 2014 and now.)...

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2019 HOLT Preview...

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34th HEART OF THE LAKES PREVIEW - Here are the athletes that are our current podium favorites for Sunday's Long Course race:

Men:

JOSH BLANKENHEIM - HOLT History - 2nd in 2017 & 2015, 3rd in 2018, PR - 1:33:05 (2015)

JOSH MORK - HOLT History - 14th in 2016. Comment: Josh's rise in the last three seasons has been impressive. A podium finish is very possible....

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