Race Previews

Apple Bites...

judy_murray.pnglogo_apple.pngSARTELL APPLE DUATHLON PREVIEW - Historically, Apple has been America's most competitive non-championship duathlon, except during those years that it had actually hosted Nationals or Worlds Qualifiers. On those occasions, Apple was clearly the most talent-heavy run-bike-run in the country.

Next Saturday, Apple, our state's oldest ongoing multisport event, will celebrate its 35th anniversary, and once again, it will feature a field of athletes that will rival the national championships. And it will do so without a pair of athletes who have imprinted the event. MATTHEW PAYNE, a two-time men's champ and reigning amateur record holder, will not be on the starting line next weekend. In the interest of his competitive longevity, the forty-year-old two-time US DOY has vowed not to race on successive weekends. He raced, and won, last Sunday at Gear West Du.

2013 and 2011 winner SUZIE FOX will also be elsewhere this weekend. Family and friends stuff, we think?

Still, Saturday's event should be ultra competitive. On the women's side, three of last year's Top 5 are returning. 2016 winner DIANE HANKEE, who is coming off ...

Lots to Get Excited About...

annalise.pnggwd2017logo.jpgGEAR WEST DU PREVIEW - We can't wait for Sunday to get here.

The 26th edition of the Gear West Duathlon is happening that day and there's lots of reasons for us to be excited. The event marks the post-partum return to multisports for GWD amateur record holder ELAINE NELSON. The Duluthian missed the 2016 for gestational reasons and we missed her bigly. Do you know her? In addition to being a national class endurance athlete and pharmacist, she is one of the sweetest members of our species ever.

We hope Elaine brings baby pictures (photo) on Sunday. Her new daughter is named Annalise (Great name!) and she's a doll! She sometimes eats sand.

We are also excited about MAGGIE WEISS' sophomore season kick off performance. Runner-up for ROY in 2016, she was ranked in the 11th- 12th range on Team Minnesota by all the MMA selectors. Look at what athletes like KORTNEY HAAG, HEATHER LENDWAY and DANI VSETECKA accomplished in their second seasons. Kort won the Most improved and ranked 2nd on Team Minnesota. Heather won Nationals in the fastest amateur winner's time ever. And...

Gunning For Career Du Win #10...

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OAKDALE DUATHLON PREVE  - We rescheduled (for Saturday) our regularly scheduled post --"El Rocketo. Unofficial Hemsworth Brother"--to bring you news about Saturday's Oakdale Duathlon. Uncle Randy has recently posted his registration list and we got exciting by what we saw. The men's field is especially strong. Here are the guys that we believe will be racing for podium spots:

 

- WADE CRUSER - Defending Oakdale champ who is coming off a course record win at Cinco Du Mayo Long Course, Wade's won three of the four dus he's done so far in his career and should have been a USAT DOY HM in 2016, in our humble opinion. Unless, Matt Payne decides to pop in, Cruser is our pick to win.

- JESSON BAUMGARTNER - Iowa transplant and 2012 US DOY, the year he won Duathlon Worlds in Ottawa, Jesson is coming off a win at the Falls Du. A 5000 PR of 14:10, Baumgartner should be a threat on Saturday. His best years were 2011 and 2012, though.

- KRIS SPOTH - He has little or no background in duathlon, but has the requisite skills. He's a fast runner and cyclist and a tenacious competitor. He will affect the outcome of Saturday's race....

Duathlon Month...

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May is Duathlon Month in Minnesota. Five great races. Okay, we're fudging a little. The first du--FALLS--is actually on April 29.

Two of the five--FALLS and CINCO DU MAYO--have been contested. Next up is Saturday's OAKDALE DUATHLON at Lake Elmo Park Reserve, followed the next Saturday by the GEAR WEST DU. And the Saturday after that is APPLE....

Cinco to Celebrate Diamond Anniversary...

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cinco_du_logo.pngCINCO DU MAYO PREVIEW - Yucky weather in the recent past makes folks reluctant to sign up for races in the near future. When this was written, temps were in the 30s and snowflakes the size of kumquats were falling out of the sky. But according to weather.com, an irrefutable source of unassailable information, the conditions in the Stillwater area, where the 10th edition of Cinco Du Mayo Long Course and 8th annual Cinco Sprint Du will be staged, will be borderline lovely next Saturday, when those races will be contested....

COLT XVI Preve...Amy's Race...

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ED. Got back last night from St. Anthony's in Florida. Dididn't have time to write race coverage for today. Will post coverage and results links on Tuesday.

COLT PREVIEW - The Chain of Lakes Triathlon in Alexandria, a totally cool town with a big statue of a Viking guy, will celebrate its 16th anniversary next Saturday. COLT is a sprint race consisting of a 600 yard pool swim, a 13 mile bike and 2.8 mile run, excellent distances for newbies, and veterans who like red-line racing.

Attendance has dipped a bit since 2013, as has been the case with most multisport races universally, but this year's enrollment is looking good. The race had averaged about 70 finishers for the last three years. Next Saturday's race could double that. We hope this is a trend affecting all Minnesota multis.

The overall course records, which were set by Sam Janicki (55:11 /Marcus Stromberg posted a 55:12 in 2014) in 2010, and Heather Lendway's ridiculous 57:13, turned in in '14, appear untouchable. But that suggests that several athletes will compete for the top spots, instead of a single triathlete blasting off the front.....

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