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New Races, Old Races & Other Good Stuff....

andres* HENRY'S TRI - Saturday's inaugural Tri For a Cause in Crosby promises to be a goodie. Despite the crowded weekend schedule, the event, which was founded by a really nice guy named Henry Praska, should pull about 125 participants.

The clear favorite for the women will be Michelle Andres (photo L), who has won three of the five multis she's done thus far in 2011. The win would be the 10th of her impressive career.

Picking the men's winner is a bit tougher. Based on current enrollment, our pick is Greg Rhodes, who has raced sporadically in Minnesota since 2006. He did race twice last year and his results were impressive: 2nd at Lakes Country and 6th at Brewhouse. However, we wouldn't be surprised if guys like Grand Forks' Sean Cooley, Nevis' David Lewis and Duluth's Rod Raymond or Marc Malinowski decide to pop over to Memorial Park on the western shore of beautiful Serpent Lake on Saturday. If this happens, Greg may have to settle for a ....

Mulhawks, Skort Chasing, Turtle Saving....

 Brandon* LOVING THE "DO" - Brandon Onopa is one of our favorite young people. Smart and gentlemanly, he was obviously brought up by world class parents.

We've known him since he was very short. Now he's very tall and attends college in Pennsylvania.

We also knew him when he had a very conservative haircut. But now he sports a combination mullet and mohawk. A Mulhawk. Or maybe a Mo-lett. Accent on the first syllable.

Whatever.

Brandon's do is not only insanely cool-looking, apparently it is also performance enhancing. (The YndeCam photo L does not do his haircut justice. He was suffering from "helmet head.") He debuted his fast coif at Life Time-Minneapolis last Saturday and wound up placing 13th in the Stud Horse division, a.k.a. the men's Elite Amateur competition....

Important Notesy Newsy Stuff...

matt & barbmike* OFFSPRUNG - Last weekend Michael Bradford Payne traded his Fetushood for full-blown babyness. Mike is the initial offspring of super-tri-stud / death metal rocker / engineer nerd / PBR drinker / Real Human Being, Matt Payne, and his beautiful, droll, un-tall spousal unit, Tiffany, though she looks more like a "Barbara." According to Matt, his son weighs 3.70 kgs and is 53 cm long. We don't know what that translates to in English.

Matt and Bar.., Tiff, the entire Minnesota multi-scene sends love and congratulations. Okay, maybe not everyone, but everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting either of you certainly do....

Bumps in the Road...

kevinED. - Mark Lowrey brought this story to us. We are very aware of the two great young athletes who are the subject of this piece and have even seen one of them, Kevin McDowell (Photo L), race on several occasions. News of his disease came as a shock to us. And the depth of his friend's friendship touched us deeply.

By NANCY ARMOUR

AP National Writer

AURORA, Ill. (AP) - Lukas Verzbicas sat in silence, trying to absorb the news that Kevin McDowell, his friend and longtime triathlon teammate, had been diagnosed with cancer.

Finally, Verzbicas' stepfather spoke. Lukas had a choice to make. He could continue to focus on the running career that has shown such promise he was being hailed as the next great American distance runner even before he broke the 4-minute mile, something only four other U.S. high schoolers have ever done....

Back in the Saddle...

CYED. - We were able to cyber-chat with Minnesota Athlete of the Decade, Cathy Yndestad, a few days ago. After an arduous recovery phase (broken collar bone), she's finally able to race again. She couldn't be happier, and neither can we. We can't wait to see her race at Life Time-Minneapolis on Saturday. It will be her 10th straight appearance there. She's won that iconic race an unprecedented FIVE times. Whoa!

Here are our clumsy Q's followed by her eloquent A's. Enjoy.

MTN - It was great to see you get back on the horse at Croixathlon. The swim must have been the scary part. How'd that go?

Despite volunteering at a few events this year, it just wasn

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