Race Previews

Immune to the Stuff...

christina-Buff.gifLAKE MINNETONKA PREVIEW - There are only 2-3 multisport events in Minnesota that seem to be impervious to those trends that have been adversely effecting race enrollment in recent year. Northwoods in an example. An even better one, better because it is twice as large as NWT, is Lake Minnetonka.

Sure, LMT takes a little longer to fill up than it used to, but it continues to get its target 600-650 participants. This year, the 12th edition of the race, is no different. In fact, it may have accepted a few more registrations than their 650 limit.

Why is this race special. Why is it immune to the pernicious trends?

We're not sure, but we think that the fact that it is an excellent event in every way has something to do with it. Ross and Tina bust their respective humps to make their participants happy and resolute about returning, and they are (happy) and they do (return). In fact, the LMT recidivism rate is as high, if not higher, than "destination" races like Northwoods and Timberman.

And speaking of recidivism, eight past champions--Brooks Grossinger, Brett Lovaas, Patrick Parish, Steve Sander and Tony Schiller for the men; Jan Guenther, Heidi Keller-Miler and Sarah Mercer for the women--are returning....

Liberty XI Stuff...

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LIBERTY HALF - The weather for the 2014 Liberty Half and Olympic tris was yucky, still the event was awesome and the race was exciting. Somehow, Matt Payne managed to set a course record (4:02:46)...

From Trudles, With Love...

cap-city-speed.gifCAPITOL CITY PREVIEW - Trudles can't wait for next Sunday to get here. She loves her race--Capitol City Triathlon--more than life itself and can't wait to share it with the participants. Working with Jeremy Sartain (coach and bike course guy), Jason Goepfert (run course) and Brendon O'Flatulence (coach), and others, has been a joy and the participants can expect an awesome sprint event, which is the first race in the inaugural Metro Sprint Series.

While the two-year-old race is perfect for newbies and recreational athletes, it nevertheless has drawn an incredibly deep field. In fact, it is expecting one of the best fields we'll see all season.

Leading the way, on paper, for the guys is Matt Payne, who was named USAT AOY HM and USAT Duathlete of the Year in 2014. His challengers will include Kevin O'Connor (two wins last...

Great Press For Matt...

matt-nationals.gifBy Rachel Blount (startribune.com - June 3)

During an ideal week of training, Matt Payne logs 250 miles on his bicycle, 40 miles on the running trails and 15,000 yards in the swimming pool. But with most of his time already spoken for — by his wife and two young children, and a career as a mechanical engineer — Payne usually doesn’t have the luxury of devoting that many hours to preparing for triathlons and duathlons.

So the Columbia Heights resident does much of his training in a most practical manner: by riding his bike to work and to the swimming pool, and running during his lunch break. That routine has built Payne, 38, into a...

Piggie Preview...

pig-boy.gifPIGMAN SPRINT PREVIEW - This annual classic employs a cool "Equalizer" format, reminiscent of the one Life Time Fitness instituted in 2002. Last year, USAT Athlete of the Year Heather Lendway destroyed the women's course record and took home the $750 Equalizer bonus in addition to the $600 she received for winning hte women's race.

This year's Equalizer differential will be tightened somewhat, probably something that is in the range of last year's actual differential: 5:23. Even so, we expect rookie pro Heather Lendway to pocket the bonus cheque (Canadian spelling).

The MTN Guys thought it would be fun to predict the Top five, i.e. prize money, male and female finishers at next Sunday's 24th annual Pigman Sprint. We're anxious to see how we fare. 50% correct is our goal.

MEN:

1. Daniel Bretscher (IA) - Defending champion, 2007 USAT AOY. Pro since 2008.

2. Patrick Parish (MN) - Though he plans to race at USAT Du Nationals on Saturday, we still think he'll podium on Sunday.

3. Thomas Gerlach (WI) - A great guy who prefers long course racing but has performed well here in the past....

Dave's Gift...

trinon-swimmer.gifTRINONA PREVIEW - Seven years ago, Dave Schutz gave the regional tri scene a tremendous gift: Trinona. Spectacular scenery, challenging courses (the awesomest bike course in MN?), a festive atmosphere and abundant amenities are hallmarks of this annual classic.

Because it shares the weekend with Du Nationals, Buffalo, Pigman Sprint and New Bri, Trinona field will not be as deep as in years past, which is very cool. This means that the wealth will be shared among athletes who are not regular award winners. The sprint race, for instance, may well feature winners who have never been to the Winners Circle before. Perhaps Matthew Radniecki and Emy Everyhart will be those people?  ...

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