Race Previews

Minnesota's Premier Spectator Triathlon...

claire-and-carrots.gif(Photo - Triathlete/nurse/farmer Claire Bootsma is a three-time YWCA Women's Tri champion.)

7th Annual YWCA WOMEN'S TRIATHLON - This year's YWCA race promises to be the most competitive yet, and will undoubtedly have a major impact on MMA nominations. The favorite, of course, will be two-time USAT National Champion Heather Lendway, who is undefeated in 2014 and the clear frontrunner to win the US Athlete of the Year award. Records fall every time she races and her elephantine margins of victory are reminiscent of those of the 2006 ITU Amateur World Champion: A woman named Chrissie Wellington. You may have heard of her.

Wellington, of course, got her pro license in 2007 and went on to an undefeated record in Ironman races.

Claire Bootsma has won the YWCA Tri the last three years and owns the course record, a 1:07:25, set last year. We predict that HL will break 1:05. We also...

predict that she'll pull Claire Bear to a personal best, which she'll need if she plans to stay ahead of possible 2014 Most Improved nominees Nicole Heininger, Lisa Lendway and Gaby Bunten. We're especially excited about the Lisa/Gaby match-up. They are similarly skilled and their career trajectories appear to be comparably meteoric.ann-snuggie.gif

We also hope that Ann Snuggerud (photo R) continues her dominance in the masters competition. In three masters victories here, she has twice landed in the overall Top 5 (6th on the other occasion) and her clockings have been within seconds of each other (1:13:23, 1:13:30, 1:13:29). The field at Lake Nokomis next Sunday should pull Ann to a MR and move her one step closer to her 3rd Minnesota Master of the Year nomination.

Registration for this annual classic is closed and 1223 women athletes are expected to participate. There is no other multisport event in Minnesota that has a more celebratory vibe than the YW, making it arguably the best spectator tri in our region. If you're not racing this weekend--YWCA shares the weekend calendar with SEVEN other triathlons, five in the Twin Cities metro area--join the thousands of jubilant spectators that will be on hand at Lake Nokomis next Sunday. You'll have a great time.


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