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Why Sean?

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2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - With respect to the LONG DISTANCE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR, 2017 was an odd year. Athletes nominated in prior seasons were generally more prolific, i.e. they had more than the minimum two nomination-worthy efforts. 

Let's compare the top two finalists from 2016, to this year's nominees:

2016 - 

 - DIANE HANKEE's LD highlights

1st @ Liberty (4:42:30)

2nd at Muncie 70.3 (4:38:51)

3rd @ Steelhead 70.3 (4:41)

 

- ERIN FARREN's LD highlights:

1st @ Toughman (4:49:07)

3rd @ Timberman 70.3 (NH) - 4:43:13

3rd @ Ironman Louisville - 10:02:29

 

Now look at the LD highlights of the athletes nominated in 2017:  ...

Goodbye Blaine, RochesterFest and Gear West...

blaine swimThe MTN Guys get totally bummed out whenever a race leaves the calendar. Losing Capitol City, Minneman, Manitou, Chaska and St. Croix Valley hit us particularly hard, as did Turtleman when it left the scene in 2011. We are grateful to Tri Fitness Events for resurrecting T-Man in 2015.

The reasons for cancellation are varied. Dwindling lake volume cursed Turtleman and Manitou. Ubitquitous construction took down Chaska. City government decided against St. Croix Valley, which would have celebrated it's 18th anniversary in 2017. The urgency to replace body parts spelled the demise of Capitol City.

At the peak of Triathlon's popularity in Minnesote (2007 - 2011), our calendar grew to 70 events. During the initial slide, however, that roster grew to 83. Race directors did not know that race attendance had peaked.

These days, shrinking attendance and financial unfeasability are the primary causes of event cancellation. And races are dropping like flies. Less than 55 races are scheduled for 2018.

Here are three of the races that will not return next season: ...

 

Why Wade?

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - For most of the last decade, Minnesota has been America's unofficial Duathlon Capitol. Our state  has many great run-bike-runs, and even more great run-bike-runners. The list of our state's national class duathletes is a lengthy one, and four of those athletes--WADE CRUSER, BRIAN SAMES, KRIS SPOTH and DANI VSETECKA-- received nominations for Minnesota DOY in 2017. 

Wade Cruser, who deserves to be in the discussion for US DOY, and should earn, at the very least, and HM for that award, was the clear choice for our state's DUATHLETE OF THE YEAR.

Here's why:

- BRIAN SAMES 

1st @ Oakdale

2nd @ Cinco Du Mayo Long Course

Why didn't Brian win? First of all, his racing volume was low. Another great effort, however, would not have changed things. Wade's resume was just too good. And Cruser beat Sames beat him by 2:52 at Cinco....

 

Why Gaby?

  

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2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - All four women's MOST IMPROVED nominations were well-deserved, but in the view of all of the Selectors, GABY BUNTEN was the clear choice for the MI award.

Let us explain.

MAGGIE WEISS and KELLY TROM are first-time MI nominees. Both narrowly missed berths on Team MInnesota in 2016, (Kelly came close in 2015, as well) but made this year's Team. Maggie, runner-up for Rookie of the Year in 2016, moved from 11th up to 9th; Kelly moved from 12th to 10th. Though the movement wasn't extreme, what was clear was that both athletes raced at a higher level in 2017. Trom held her own against established Team Minnesota athletes, and lowered her 70.3 personal best from 4:44:30 to 4:40:58. Despite some bad luck and a sub-par performance or two, Weiss raced often and aggressively. Podiums at Lake Minnetonka, Heart of the Lakes and Maple Grove were highlights. Racing volume plus the fact that she beat Trom at HOLT explains their respective Team Minnesota placements.

Then there was NICOLE HEININGER.

Here is Nicole's Team MN history: 8th in 2013, the season she was named Rookie of the Year; 8th in 2014; 10th in 2015; ineligible in 2016 (temporary relocation). Very solid, right? In 2017, she upped her game substantially, winning four times, setting one course record and lowering her 70.3 PR. One Selector believed that she deserved a Triathlete of the Year nomination and to rank 4th on Team Minnesota.

In the end, she placed 5th on the Team. Moving into the Top 5 is a big deal, one that made her the MI runner-up....

Swimming Mistakes...

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By Gary Hall Sr. (usatriathlon.org)

Big mistakes in the swim are not only common, but they also tend to drain an athlete emotionally and physically. Making costly mistakes in the swim will not set you up well for the remainder of the triathlon. Here is my list of the top five mistakes made during the swim, from the most to least serious, and how to avoid them.

1. Swimming off course. Perhaps the single-most important strategy in your swim should be staying on course. It is easy to get disoriented on the swim. It is easy to follow the wrong person on the swim. It is easy to get swept off course by currents. Therefore, you must sight efficiently and often — usually every 10 to 12 strokes, focusing on maintaining a straight ...

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