Superior Challenge...

watercolorSUPERIOR MAN II - A black Standard Poodle the size of a small yak lay in the limited shade of a maple tree not far from the Superior Man finish line. The air was drunk with humidity and the sinister sun was toasting the surface of all planets within a 93 million mile radius. Mars was a much more comfortable place to be on Sunday.

The dog, let's call him Phydeaux, which is French for "Fido," was panting like a banshee. Nordic beauty Brianna Johnson couldn't bear to look at the uncomfortable beast. It reminded her of her similarly furry boyfriend--Ross Weinzierl (Yes! Ross and Brianna are back together! Yay!)--who was on the run course, unprotected by trees and the ability to cool himself via panting, though pant he did for perhaps 40 minutes longer than he had originally intended....

Like Ross, most of the event's entrants managed to slog their ways through and receive well-deserved hugs from their sunburned loved ones and friends. (And the best finisher medals ever!)

Despite his seriously protracted run split, Weinzierl, who is a hoot!, managed to crack the Top 10. Even race winner, Sean Cooley, that randy Cookie Monster from North Dakota, was barely able to break 8-minute miles (Rossy's pace was 9:15). Sean's final time was 4:36:02, almost 12-minutes slower than his 2012 clocking here. FYI, the sturdy Doctor-to-be placed 2nd the previous superior manmorning at Life Time Tri - Maple Grove.

Tough guy.

Carlton's Jason Crisp, who doesn't appear to have any body fat, was impressive at SM, his 2nd place finish was his second straight podium effort. He placed 3rd at Brewhouse back on August 4. Superior's Paul Rockwood, 6th last year, took 3rd this time around. The fact that he was only six minutes slower than in 2012 was something to celebrate, which he did with his fan club (his totally cool family), all of whom were decked out in Team Rockwood regalia. You could feel the love. It was a beautiful thing.

When Kristin Gustafson strode proudly across the finish line well ahead of the rest of the women's field, she was referred to as the "Leader in the Clubhouse," golf parlance for "let's see how fast the girls in the second wave go." The Mankato resident (we think she teaches at Gustavus in St.

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