Race Previews

Doobie's Race....

doobies_thing.pngED. Last weekend's races will be covered on Tuesday and Wednesday.

HOPKINS ROYAL TRIATHLON - This tri has so many unique and groovy things about it that we encourage you to visit the event's WEBSITE to learn all about them. Unfortunately, one thing you'll learn is that this year's race, like its first three editions, is sold old.

Enroll early for 2018, okay?

Also, the HRT was been nominated for "Triathletes Choice Race of the Year" in each season since its inception in 2014. It won that award in 2015.

This year's race will be staged, as always, as beautiful Shady Oak Park on Saturday, September 2. Even if you can't race, this is a great event for spectators, and every race could use extra volunteers, right? (FYI - The HRT does not have a volunteer shortage.)

As we do with many other races, we are going to share some event history and make some predictions.

HISTORY - Top 3 Sprint Times:

Men: 1. BRETT LOVAAS - 1:04:57 (2016), 2. ERIC HENDRICKSON - 1:05:57 (2016), 3. PATRICK PARISH - 1:06:16 (2015)

Women: 1. SUZIE FOX - 1:11:02 (2015), 2. SUZIE FOX - 1:11:16 (2016), 3. ANDREA MYERS - 1:13:49 (2016)

Age Group Records  ...

41.5 is a Very Cool Distance...


Photo - 2016 Women's Podium (L-R) - Lisa Wacek, Christel Kippenhan, Angela Engel.


SUPERIOR MAN 41.5 PREVIEW - The way the 41.5, which is now four-years-old, breaks down is this: .5 mile swim - 35.4 mile bike - 5.6 mile run. Cool distances, huh?

As with yesterday's SM Half IM preview, we are going to share some 41.5 history and make some predictions:


- Top 3 Men:

1. PETERS SOMERS - 2:23:23 (2016)

2. KRIS NISULA, ONT - 2:24:54 (2016)

3. MITCHELL CLAYTON - 2:26:33 (2016)


- Top 3 Women:

1. DIANE HANKEE - 2:31:52 (2015)

2. LISA LENDWAY - 2:33:40 (2015)

3. JESSICA ROSSING - 2:40:35 (2015)...

More on Page 2....

Maple Grove Sprint & Lakes Country Previews...


MAPLE GROVE SPRINT - We are very impressed with the way JENNIFER FITZHARRIS-FUNK (photo) is racing this year. Sure, she has been racing well for the last several seasons, but she seems to have  gone to another level in 2017. The tattoed 42-year-old Minneapolis resident's current resume features 2nd place efforts at Minneapolis and Chisago Sprints, and a 6th (4th amateur) at YWCA Women's Tri.

Here at MGS, JFF has three top 5 finishes, her best being a 2nd in 2014.

Is this the year she wins? It could be. We see her in the Top 2 with three-time champ CHERYL ZITUR.

It needs to be noted that Cheryl isn't totally healthy right now, plus her luck this season has been awful, affecting two ofher three starts this season. She flatted at Buffalo Sprint and crashed at Walker.

So, the door is wide open for a new champ. The one most ready to step through that door, in our opinion, is JFF. Still, we are not ready to predict the upset. Zitur is sort of the Dave Scott of Minnesota's women's multi scene. Never count her out.

This said, we're anxious to see how this year's sprint race turns out. FYI - We're picking LAURA SWARTZ to claim the bronze on Saturday.

As for the men, we predict that 2013 MGS winner DAVID PHILLIPS, who posted his seventh career win two weeks ago at Lake Marion, and brawny GREG DUMMER will take the Top 2 places. Based on his 2017 resume to date, Dummer is our pick to win.


LAKES COUNTRY TRIATHLON - WADE CRUSER is enrolled, thus he is our pick to repeat, threepeat actually....

Maple Grove Olympic Preview...


MAPLE GROVE OLYMPIC PREVIEW - On Saturday, the Maple Grove Sprint and Olympic Triathlons will celebrate their 8th anniversary. Approximately 800 athletes are expected to participate, and the field strength in both races is impressive.

In alpha order, here are some of the Elites, i.e. "Premier Division," in the OLympic race who will battle for top spots:


- JOE ADRIAENS, 29, Elk River - Joe is enjoying a breakout season and is a likely 2017 Most Improved nominee.

- JAKE BRAAM, 26, Elysian - Likely Rookie of the Year nominee. A solid effort against a great field on Saturday should put him over the top.

- WADE CRUSER, 30, Sauk Rapids - Most Improved winner in 2016, Wade comes into this race as a prohibitive favorite.

- ERIN FARRENS (36, Maple Grove) - Erin, winner of the 2016 women's Most Improved award, was not on the registration list that we perused. She is the 2016 women's champ and has cracked the Top 5 here four times. We'd be surprised if she didn't race....

Doubled Attendance & No Cooley...



YOUNG LIFE TRIATHLON PREVIEW – There are signs, subtle though they may be, that triathlon attendance, which has shrunk significantly since 2011, has begun an upswing.

A great example of this is the Young Life Triathlon in Detroit Lakes, the 14th edition of which will happen this weekend. For the last few years, the event, which features both Sprint and Olympic-distance races, has averaged approximately 200 finishers.


This season's YL races should have more than twice that many finishers. The registration list that the race director, a cool guy named JASON LONEY, shared with us had almost 400 names on it, and the races could grow by as many as fifty more participants by race time.


This makes us very happy....

Northwoods Turns 15....


NORTHWOODS TRIATHLON - BROOKS GROSSINGER made history here last year. He won the race for the 12th time in the event's fourteen-year history. By doing so, he broke a tie for most wins at a single Minnesota race with TONY SCHILLER, who had won the Lake Waconia Triathlon on eleven occasions.

Grossinger will be going for victory #13 on Saturday, and there is no reason to think he won't get it. Not only does he own nine of the ten fastest times here, all of them under the one-hour mark, he's racing like a banshee this year. His resume features a win (Waseca) and four 2nd  place finishes. Now 40, Brooks is the current frontrunner for the Master of the Year award.

Will he keep his string of sub-1 hour clocking alive? Barring injury or mechanical issues, sure he will.

His closest challenger on Saturday should be local star DAVID LEWIS, who is also racing well this season. He has finished 2nd here on four occasions. 

As in 2016, we think that a time in the 1:14  range should win the women's race. That was what MATA AGRE posted in 2016, and she hopes to defend....

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