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Minnesotans Rock at Du Nats...and Other Stuff...Updated...

nats-logo.gif- USAT DUATHLON NATIONALS (Standard Distance) - Columbia Heights' Matthew Payne and McKenzie, Tennessee's Kirsten Sass were crowned amateur National Duathlon champions this morning. Sass' win was aided by Dani Fischer's two minute penalty. Four Minnesota men--Payne, Bennett Isabella (5th), Kevin O'Connor (6th) and Andy Wiberg (10th) --cracked the overall Top 10. Three Minnesota women--Diane Hankee (4th), Jenn Scudiero (7th) and Greta Danielson (10th)--did likewise.

DU NATS SPRINT UPDATE - Minnesotans Nate Hoffman, Bennett Isabella and Kevin O'Connor finished 1-2-3 in Du Nationals Sprint race this morning. ...MORE ON NEXT PAGE

Doing Them Because They are Hard...

mtt-bike-turn.gifFYI - Matthew Payne WON the USAT Duathlon National Chamionship this morning!

 

By Matthew Payne (for usatriathlon.org - blogs)

 

Duathlon and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, I’ve managed to get fairly good at it, and it’s always fun to do things you’re good at. Also, as someone who lives in a cold weather climate and likes to race frequently, duathlon is great in that it extends our local multisport race season about one month each direction, allowing me to squeeze in a few more races each year without the expense and hassle of airline travel. Another great thing about duathlon is that without the swim, you can of course leave the wetsuit, goggles and any other swimming gear at home. It’s always nice to have to have less junk to lug around and keep track of....

Jenn's Journey...

jenn-tape.gifBy Jenn Scudiero (for usatriathlon.com)

Running has always been part of my life. In high school, I joined the track and cross country teams. I played rugby in college and ran on my own throughout. I began running more seriously, including racing, after graduation. The year I graduated college I ran my first marathon, and then another, and another. Seven marathons later I was getting a little burned out. Running was still my passion, but I needed to add in something else to break it up a bit. That’s when my husband got me back on a bike. It made me feel like a kid again!

In 2007 I decided to combine my passion of running with my newfound passion of biking and compete in a duathlon. I chose an all-women’s duathlon, Iron Girl, as it seemed a bit less scary at the time. I instantly loved the challenge and camaraderie! I continued to race Iron Girl as well as local running races for a few more years. In 2010, I decided to focus more on duathlon. I added a few more to my racing schedule and haven’t looked back. It has become a part of my life. At the end of 2010, I became pregnant with my daughter. I ran through pregnancy, even running events until 36 weeks pregnant. I resumed duathlon racing again in 2012. I had ....

TFC Podium Picks...

jaquelyn.gifTRI FOR A CAUSE PREVIEW - Yesterday afternoon we received an email from TFC founder/director Henry Praska. It contained his race's current registration list. Also, he asked us to predict Saturday's podium finishers.

We like Henry. He's got a heart the size of Utah. And we like his race. Happily, we offer these predictions:

TOP 3 WOMEN -

1. Michelle Andres - Duh! Once again, MA proves that she can't stay away from the sport she loves; the sport that has made her famous. Can she match the course-record (1:16:51) she set in 2012? Probably. Betting against Andres isn't very smart.

2. Sara Carlson - Carlson's star is on the rise. This was an easy pick....

G-Man Coverage & Chaska Preve..

g-man-swim.gifGRANITEMAN – CLEARWATER – When we first looked at the winning times at G-Man Clearwater we assumed that Nicole Heininger’s 1:09:49 had crushed Sarah Mercer’s 2011 CR (1:13:25), and that Casey Miller’s 1:05:57 was the second fastest men’s time in the five-year history of this course. (Steve Sander’s 2011 course best was 1:05:18.)

And though we later learned that the bike route was altered and shortened by a mile or so, we remained impressed with the winner’s finishing times, which when adjusted for the additional distance, would have been faster than the winning times in 2010, 2012 and 2013. And in Heininger's case, her adjusted time would even have bettered Mercer's 2011 mark.

For the elite sophomores, it was Miller’s fourth career win, and the fifth for Heininger, who was coming off the biggest victory—Lake Waconia--of...

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