Race Previews

Minnesota's Last Tri of the Season...

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ONE LAST TRI - For most Minnesota triathletes, the 2019 season has concluded. For others, training continues in preparation for Kona or Ironman races in Tempe or Panama City. Others have their sights set on upcoming 70.3 events, like Augusta, Cozumel or Tempe.

There are others, however, that are not ready to retire the wetsuit and racing wheels until next year, and are hungry for at least one more close-to-home race.

The good news is that there is one more triathlon (and one more du after that) on the Minnesota schedule. It is appropriately named One Last Tri, and it's 14th edition is happening this Sunday at Ramsey County Beach on the northern shoreline of majestic White Bear Lake.

The event features Olympic-esque and Sprint races, with an Aquabike option as well.

Typically, we would mention some of the athletes that will be racing, but we haven't seen an entrant list. We do expect hometown folks like "LEVEL 7" TOM COUILLARD, ever-smiling MICHEL SANDERS and likely Grand Master of the Year nominee LUKE HARNED to be there. 

And DANI VSETECKA, winner of eleven of the 18 multis she's done in her elite career, including the OLT in 2016, told us that she was entered, thus we know one of the favorites.

We wouldn't be surprised in Dani's fiance, rookie pro TED TREISE (pronounced "Try -See") also decides to race....

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Square Lake & IMOO Notes...

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SQUARE LAKE WEEKEND PREVIEW (Sort of) – The Square Lake Short Course Triathlon will celebrate its 20th anniversary next Sunday. The Square Long Course race, now a full 70.3, will turn 19 on Saturday.

We have not seen an entrant list for the shorter race, thus we cannot comment on the competition.

We haven't seen a list of 70.3 participants either, but we know that three of state's true elites will be competing, two of which—JOSH MORK (photo) and KORTNEY HAAG--are coming off huge victories at Chisago, and the other –BECKY YOUNGBERG—has been the runner-up at Chisago the last two years.

Josh's breakout 4:09:52 back on July 28 puts a target on his back. Though he probably won't be able to match that time on Square Lake's seriously challenge course, he can be expected to beat last year's winning time, JESSON KEENE's 4:22:21. But, by how much? We predict a 7-10 minute lowering.

Becky had this to say, via Messenger, about her match-up with Kortney:

“...to beat her she needs to swim bad and I need to have a great day in all 3 disciplines 'cause I can’t match her on the bike, and 56 miles is a long way. If it’s cool weather I race really good though! Should be a good one. We have had some epic battles over the years!

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Hopkins Stuff...

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HOPKINS ROYAL TRIATHLON - DOOBIE KURUS' vision for his Hopkins Royal Triathlon is not simply to produce a first-class sustainable event, but to use his event to promote all of Minnesota's triathlons (and duathlons, and now, Open Water Swim Challenges). In other words, he wants ALL of Minnesota's races to thrive, not just his own, which is truly a model for "thrive-liness."

The HoRT ALWAYs fills early, and has been nominated for Race of the Year in each of it's first five years, winning twice and never placing lower than 3rd in the polling.

Kurus' event is "open-armed," not just to paricipants, with special love for newbies and recreational athletes, but to all of the directors of Minnesota's tris and dus. They are encouraged to set up tents and tables on-site and promote their races. There is no charge for this. And the more races that accept Doobie's invitation, the happier he is...

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2019 Maple Grove Triathlon: Anticipation...

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MAPLE GROVE TRIATHLON PREVIEW - COACH KRIS sent us a copy of his event's entrant list last week. Even knowing that the field would swell significantly between then and race day, plus knowing that, historically, many extremely competitive athletes are later sign-ups, we became very excitied by what we saw....

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Lakes Country Turns 20!...

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LAKES COUNTRY TRIATHLON PREVIEW - Can you believe it? Lakes Country Triathlon is turning 20 on Sunday?

The LCT, based at Whipple Lake in Baxter, is a very cool race and we'd love to see the enrollment top the 200-mark.

We were allowed to see an entrant list and are certain that the competition, both up front and in the age groups, will be exciting.

Let's make some predictions, which are not to be taken too seriously, okay? The goal is to stimulate interest and conversation.

So, our men's pick to win is last year's runner-up JOSH BLANKENHEIM. Josh is having a stellar season. He's won two major events (Timberman and Brewhouse), both in very fast times. His 1:57:15 at BH Olympic was a course record.

His 2nd behind PATRICK PARISH, our state's winningest multisportsman this year, at Heart of the Lakes was also a resume-enhancer.

Blank's 58:27 last year was the 2nd fastest time ever on this route. Can he match or break WADE CRUSER's course best 56:55 on Sunday? Weather permitting, we think he can....

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David & Sara. Kevin & Simone...

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Photo - Teen standouts Jack Hennen and Simone Lundquist.

 

YOUNG LIFE TRIATHLON - Past champions of both genders claimed victories once again yesterday at this popular 16-year old triathlon. 2018 men's Olympic winner DAVID LEWIS successfully defended his title, and was joined on the Top Step by SARA CARLSON, women's Olympic winner here in 2017. Both enjoyed girthy margins of victory, as Lewis's time was 6:11 faster than the men's runner-up, and Carlson bettered her closest rival by 3:46.

SIMONE LUNDQUIST, now 16, posted her first career tri victory at Young Life's Sprint race in 2018. Like Lewis, she was able to successfully defend her title. Her tme was 1:10:18, which was 20-seconds faster than last year, but her margin of victory, only 21-seconds last time, was 6:32 yesterday.

Lundquist now has three career multisport victories....

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