Race Previews

HOLT 2021 Preview...


35th HEART OF THE LAKES TRIATHLON - The 35th edition of this annual classic is happening next Sunday, and once again, promises to be highly competitive event. Below are some predictions and comments based on the early list  of entrants we perused. We do expect other competitive athletes to sign-up.

Long Course:

TED TREISE - Ted hasn't lost to a fellow Minnesotan since procuring his pro license after the 2019 season. He hopes to keep that going at HOLT, but top amateurs DAVID KOPPEL and KYLE SWENSON will make that a difficult task....

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Timberman XXXVI Preview...Updated!



36th TIMBERMAN TRIATHLON - The 36th edition of Minnesota's "Premier Destination Triathlon" will happen next Saturday at picturesque Sugar Lake Lodge. Once again, both the Sprint and Olympic competitions promise to be exciting and we can not wait until race morning. We're bummed, however, that due to closed borders, the event's loyal Canadian friends will not be in attendance.

Let's make some predictions. 

On paper, 1st place in the men's Olympic race should come down to a battle between past champions JOSH BLANKENHEIM and BROOKS GROSSINGER. These men have taken turns beating each other at Timberman, Brooks prevailing in 2014, Josh in 2016.  Though Brooks' 2021 resume features a win and a 2nd, enough to be named Masters Athlete of the Month in June, while in one appearance, Josh placed 3rd, albeit behind DAVID KOPPEL and former pro DAVID THOMPSON, we are unwilling to pick a winner. We do believe that less than a minute will separate 1st and 2nd place. That has not happened since the current course was established in 2013.

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2021 Graniteman Clearwater Preview...



GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER PREVIEW - The 12th edition of the event's Sprint race, that is, since it moved to its Clearwater venue, and its younger (6th) Olympic-distance companion is happening on Saturday, and once again, it will be exciting and competitive. The list we perused  had 299 names, though it did not designate whether the athlete will be sprinting or Olympic-ing. So, we'll be guessing.

Time for predictions and comments.

On paper, the clear favorites in the Olympic race are JOSH BLANKENHEIM and KORTNEY HAAG. Blank has 12 career multisport wins and will be making his Clearwater debut on Saturday. What impresses us most about Josh is that he seeks out the most competitive fields, thus his win total is a bit deceiving. He's been Duluth's top male triathlete since the retirement of BRIAN BICH in 2017.

Kortney on the other hand owns a win and a 2nd at Clearwater, and had also won at Big Lake, doing so in record time. A victory for Kort would be the 23rd of her triathlon career...

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New Triathlon for Women...


By Doobie Kurus

Hey everybody! I wanted to let you know about a new event I’m putting on this summer. It’s called the 4WOMEN Tri, and it will be held at Lake Ann Park in Chanhassen, MN on Sunday, August 22nd. It’s named 4WOMEN because it’s being dedicated to 4 important women in my life (my wife and 3 daughters). They’ve been participating and helping at triathlons for years, and now it’s their turn to help create an event of their own.

Plus, as you probably guessed, this event is FOR women. My mission is to create additional safe, welcoming, and inspiring opportunities for women, like my wife and daughters, to engage in and enjoy multisport activities and fitness in general. If you’ve ever done the Hopkins Royal Tri, many things will be familiar, like a laid-back atmosphere, personalized race bibs, and bottle “trophies”! We’ll be offering a sprint distance, as well as a mini-sprint option....

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Minnesotans Should Excel in Des Moines...


Minnesota will be well-represented at next Sunday's DES MOINES 70.3. Several of those athletes have a good shot a reaching  podiums and earling coveted Kona slots. And Minneapolis couple TED and DANI TRIESE will measure themselves against a world class pro field.

It's going to be an exciting race. Here are some comments.

TED TREISE - PR - 4:07:33 (2021 St. George 70.3) & DANI TREISE - PR - 4:23:56 (2019 Texas 70.3). It takes new pros several years become competitive. In the early going, their goals need to include throwing down satisfying splits and outperforming the fastest amateurs. We believe Ted and Dani will do that on Sunday....

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17th LAKE MINNETONKA TRIATHLON - Registration for this annual classic closed almost three weeks ago. As usual, the LMT's enrollment ceiling (500 entrants) was reached early. And while it's too late to enter, we encourage folks to either spectate or volunteer. 

Weather.com's prediction for the Excelsior area on race morning (June 19) is for partly cloudy skies, and not nearly as warm and windy as it was at Buffalo, the 2021 tri season kick-off. Temps should be in the mid 70s at race time with low humidity - 41% - and light winds - 5-10 mph.

Great competition is expected. Here are some predictions:

Overall Men: Podium Picks

1. JOSH MORK - Though he claims to be a bit out-of-shape, Josh is still our pick to win. He's thrived on this course the last two times he's raced here, placing 2nd on both occasions behind former pro Patrick Parish, who is not enrolled this year.

2. KYLE SWENSON - The 19-year-old former Junior of the Year (2019) is ready to bark with the Big Dogs, as his win at Sarasota Sprint last January attests. His three podium finishes before that were harbingers of victories to come....

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