Race Previews

Buffalo Olympic Stuff...


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....

Buffalo Sprint Stuff...


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....

Apple Du XXXVII - AG Predictions...


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....

Apple Podium Picks - Women...


37th APPLE DUATHLON - In our previous post we predicted the men's podium at this Saturday's Apple Du: PATRICK PARISHJESSON BAUMGARTNER and ALEX ARMAN are our picks, though we acknowledge that late elite registrants like TODD BUCKINGHAM, SEAN COOLEY and TED TREISE could upset that. (We almost said "upset that apple cart," but we've never understood that metaphor.We also don't know what it means to feel like "a room without a roof," which is a Pharrell deal. Do rooms have roofs? They have ceilings....)

We digress....

Apple Podium Picks - Men...UPDATED AGAIN...


37th APPLE DUATHLON - Today we are evaluating Apple's men's competition. We'll discuss the women's race in a future post.

Though they were not enrolled when we glanced at the registration list last week, we are assuming that past champions WADE CRUSER and JESSON BAUMGARTNER will be on the starting line next Saturday, where they will face another former winner, and current Duathlon National Champion, PATRICK PARISH.

These three guys will not be the only talented men in the field, not by a long shot, but we believe that unless, say, Michigan's World and National champion TODD BUCKINGHAM, who placed second here in 2018, shows up, that Jesson, Wade and Patrick will claim the podium spots and the prize money that goes with them.

Here are their highlights:

Oakdale Spring Classic Du Preview - Part II...


OAKDALE SPRING CLASSIC DUATHLON - Who will lead the way at the 17th annual Oakdale Du this Saturday? That's hard to say. Elite athletes tend to register late. 

So, who are some of the athletes that are not currently enrolled that might show up at Lake Elmo Park Reserve and take home awards? Perhaps last year's top two men and women will return. We're talking about Jacob Olsen, Jessop Keene, Christina Roberts and Diane Hankee.

Past champs Wade Cruser and Jenn Scudiero could be there, as could 2019 Duathlon National Champion Patrick Parish.

We'd love to see any or all of these national class athletes on the starting line, along with other stars who have rocked socks at Lake Elmo Park in the past, guys like Dave Koppel and Jordan Roby, and women like Katherine Lenglet and Shelley Ostrander.

Fingers crossed.

As for those who have committed to racing on Saturday, we are excited about the fast juniors who will be there....

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