Race Previews

Lake Minnetonka Predictions...

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15th Edition LAKE MINNETONKA TRIATHLON - Few races have as loyal a following as this one. An outstanding venue and copious amenities are hallmarks of this annual classic, as is camradery and great competition....

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Gaby, Becky, Rachel, Paige, Jordan, Dan....

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MADISON 70.3 - We were hoping to post a TRINONA preview today, but we haven't seen an entrant list yet. Hopefully, we'll preview that annual classic in the near future. And because, with the unfortunate cancellation of the Walker Tri, Trinona is the only multi staged on Minnesota soil next weekend, we strongly encourage everyone who hasn't enrolled yet, to do so at their earliest opportunity.

We were perusing the AG registration list for Madison 70.3 on June 9. Unsurprisingly, lots of Minnesotans are enrolled, and we are anxious to see how all of them fare. We expect many of them to rock their AGs.

Let's drop some names.

DANI FISCHER - Formerly from Rochester, Dani has resided in Indianapolis for the last few years but we still follow her career closely. We love her to pieces, and she will always be an honorary Minnesotan. Well, her racing creds speak for themselves. She a former 70.3 National champion with a PR of 4:23. Dani was a close 2nd (to Dani Vsetecka) in 2017, and 3rd here last year. She is our pick to win the women's overall title.

BECKY YOUNGBERG - In 2018 and 2017, weather at Mad 70.3 had truly sucked, thus the various records are soft. Former pro Jessica Jacobs owns the women's masters mark, a 4:56:50.Weather permitting, Becky should take that record down hard. In her last 70.3 (Chisago '18), she placed 2nd in an MR - 4:37:04. Matching that on Madison's challenging course is unrealistic, but breaking 4:50 is possible if she's hitting on all cylinders. ...

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New Bri Turns 14 on Sunday...

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NEW BRI XIV - The 14th annual NEW BRI TRI is happening on Sunday at beautiful Long Lake Park. Here is how the event is billed on its webpage: 

This early season triathlon features a stunning course within the metro area, easily accessible from Minneapolis/St Paul and its suburbs. A barbecue follows the race making this the first triathlon party of the season. This race is the first in a three race triathlon series....

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Buffalo Olympic Stuff...

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14th BUFFALO OLYMPIC PREVIEW - Historically, this race has been one of our state's most competitive, and 2019 will be one of the most competitive yet, especially on the women's side. On the list we saw last week, four of Minnesota's national-class talents had enrolled. In alpha order, they are:

HANNA GRINAKER - Winner of nine races in 18 starts, and having only missed the podium on one occasion (4th at Superiorman in 2016), Hanna comes into the race as the clear favorite. She is arguably the most talented female amateur multisportswoman in the US right now. She raced at Buffalo in 2016, her rookie season, and finished 2nd in a jaw-dropping 2:10:58. It was only her second race, the first coming just the day before in a victorious effort at New Bri.

KORTNEY HAAG - Kort has 20 career victories, including her course record win at Buffalo Olympic in 2016. She had also podiumed here on three other occasions.

CHRISTINA ROBERTS (photo L) - Christina has won 22 tris in her career, and she has podiumed at Buffalo Olympic three times.

BECKY YOUNGBERG - At 44, Becky is faster than ever, which is saying a lot. The former Minnesota Triathlete of the Year won five races in 2018. Her only Buffalo apearance was in 2007, where she won the sprint course women's title. Youngberg has 43 career multisport victories....

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Buffalo Sprint Stuff...

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15th BUFFALO SPRINT TRIATHLON - Typically, when an event offers both an Olympic (or longer event) with a sprint, more elite athletes gravitate to the Olympic. Minneapolis, Heart of the Lakes and Buffalo are perfect examples of this, though Buffalo has always managed to draw a very deep sprint field. 

Timberman and Brewhouse also attract a lot of talented sprinters, though mostly on the women's side, of late.

The women's field at this Sunday's Buffalo Sprint Triathlon will feature many of it's "ususal suspects," that is, women who have set the standards here over the years. We predict that three of those recidivists will fill out this year's podium. They are:

CHERYL ZITUR - Now 54, the three-time Minnesota Master of the Year started winning races when she was 49, and now has 13 Ws on her scorecard, two of which were recorded at Buffalo Sprint (2016, 2014). She owns this event's women's course record, a 1:03:32, which is 2:10 faster than the time of the second fastest woman. So, yes, she is our pick to win on Sunday.

 BETTINA KEPPERS - A teacher and human rights advocate, Bettina has won five races in the last three seasons, and has only missed the podium twice in 13 starts during that period. Put differently, her star is on the rise, and yes, she could win next weekend. Her best effort at Buffalo was a 2nd in 2016.

LAURA SWARTZ  (photo L) - Like Zitur, Laura, 52, is a two-time winner here, and has five additional podium finishes to go with that....

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Apple Du XXXVII - AG Predictions...

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As promised, here are our picks to claim the Age Group titles at this Saturday's APPLE DUATHLON, seven of whom are in the top photo....

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