Race Previews

TFC Podium Picks...

jaquelyn.gifTRI FOR A CAUSE PREVIEW - Yesterday afternoon we received an email from TFC founder/director Henry Praska. It contained his race's current registration list. Also, he asked us to predict Saturday's podium finishers.

We like Henry. He's got a heart the size of Utah. And we like his race. Happily, we offer these predictions:

TOP 3 WOMEN -

1. Michelle Andres - Duh! Once again, MA proves that she can't stay away from the sport she loves; the sport that has made her famous. Can she match the course-record (1:16:51) she set in 2012? Probably. Betting against Andres isn't very smart.

2. Sara Carlson - Carlson's star is on the rise. This was an easy pick....

An Annual Classic...

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29th HEART OF THE LAKES TRIATHLON PREVIEW - Of of eight Minnesota multis (seven tris, one du) slated for next weekend, HOLT will boast the largest and deepest field. The event has been recognized as the Minnesota State Triathlon Championship since 1995 and this year will host the Best of the US Team Minnesota qualifier. The top 3 male and female amateurs from our state will receive invitations to compete at the 2015 BOUS Championship in St. Paul....

Du Nats Preve...

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USAT DUATHLON NATIONALS PREVIEW - Du Nats in St.Paul are Saturday and we thought it would be groovy to predict the overall and AG winners and guess which Minnesotan would place highest in each of the categories....

Minnesota's Original "Destination Triathlon"...

T1-Timber.gifTIMBERMAN PREVIEW - Many of Minnesota's coolest multisport races are staged in rural or semi-rural areas, places that don't have enough athletes to justify staging a race. These locales, e.g. Green Lake in Spicer, Leech Lake in Walker, Lake Bemidji and Pokegema Lake, lure athletes from elsewhere, especially the state's urban areas because they are "Destination" races. Travelers are happy to book hotel rooms and eat in restaurants because the total experience is so much more than an athletic challenge. Words like "aesthetic" and "recreational" and "getaway" and "vacation" apply.

Saturday's Timberman, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary, is Minnesota's original "Destination Triathlon." Billed as our state's "Premier" DT, it is the model for all such events that have followed. (Moreover, the event is proudly produced by an entirely volunteer staff.)

T-Man has earned its reputation and richly deserves its iconic status. It saddens us, though, that it shares its date with our state's largest triathlon as well as...

Graniteman Turns 10!

hill.gifGRANITEMAN - CLEARWATER PREVIEW - This event, the original Graniteman, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend. It's first five editions were staged in Rockville, after which it relocated to its current home in Clearwater. One of four races that will happen on Saturday--No races are slated for Sunday. What's up with that?--G-Man is the only one that is not experiencing declining enrollment.

Bill and the G-Man Events Gang must be doing something right.

Who do we think will win at Clearwater?

The obvious choice for women, based on the enrollment list we perused, is Nicole Heininger, the 2013 Minnesota Rookie of the Year, who is coming off a big victory at Lake Waconia. A win on Saturday would be the fifth of her young career....

Off The Front...

M-Payne-BOUS.gifPhoto - Great artsy-fartsy YndeCam shot of Matt Payne winning the Best of the US Championship.)

 

13th Annual MINNEAPOLIS TRIATHLON - Elite Amateur Men - Two of the early frontrunners for 2014 USAT Athlete of the Year nominations are 22-year-old Steve Mantell of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Matthew Payne of Columbia Heights, Minnesota. Though Payne is undefeated in six starts thus far, Mantell probably has the AOY edge at the moment because he has excelled in major "national" events.

Check out Steve's sterling 2014 resume:

- 1st amateur @ Boulder 70.3 - 3:58

- 1st amateur @ Escape From Alcatraz (5th overall)

- 1st amateur @ Havasu Triathlon

- 1st amateur / 3rd overall @ USAT Collegiate Nationals (Olympic)

- 3rd overall @ USAT Collegiate Sprint Nationals....

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