Race Previews

New Bri Turns 9...

beer-bike.gif(Photo - Matt Payne's bike. FYI, this pic has nothing to do with the New Bri preview. We're posting it because we think it's cool.)

RACE PREVE - Can you believe it? The New Bri Tri will celebrate its 9th anniversary this Saturday. Despite the fact that it shares the weekend with a pair of perennially well-attended races--Liberty and Trinona--it will, as always, have a nice turnout (400+) thanks to its high percentage of annual recidivists.

High recidivism rates means that the organizers are doing something right.

Last week, we peeked at New Bri's registration list. No favorites on the men's side leapt out at us. We suspect that several local eite males have since sign-up up, or will do so this week.

The women's field, on the other hand, is deep and has probably gotten even deeper since we looked at last week's list. Based on what we saw, we are willing to make the following predictions:

- The women's tittel will go to either Cathy Lee or Sarah Mercer....

Trinona 2014 Preview Stuff...



RACE PREVIEW - Since its inauguration in '09, TRINONA has been a Top 5 finalist for "Triathletes Choice Race of the Year." In 2010 and 2011 it actually won the award....

Lofty Expectations...

ab-girl-liberty.gif(Minnefotamoments PIc - A woman with awesome abs crosses the shady finish line at the 2012 Liberty Half.) 

LIBERTY HALF PREVE - We're really excited about next Saturday's Liberty Half, which will be celebrating its 9th anniversary and its fourth year at the Lake Rebecca venue. The field is strong and, weather permitting, we could see overall and several AG course records fall.

There are at least five registered guys that can dip under 4:10, a feat that has never been accomplished at Liberty. In fact, only one dude, Matt Payne (4:07:39 - 2013), has cracked the 250-minute mark in the past. This year, however, we wouldn't be surprised to see Matt, former Canadian pro Danny Morwood (PR-4:07), four-time IM winner Dan Arlandson (PR - 4:06), 2013 Libert Runner-up Patrick Peacock (4:12:06) of Winnipeg, and Brian Sames (PR - 4:16 on a long course), who almost caught amateur champ Payne last year at Chisago, do that.

Jason Crisp, Kyle Serreyn, Justin Manning, John Heinlein and Chap Achen will provide a sturdy push. If all goes well, these guys should post times in the 4:11 - 4:20-range.

We don't expect to anyone to break Kortney Haag's CR-4:35:45, but we do expect a great race with a record number of women breaking 5-hours, which is to say, we think that more than six women will dip under the...

A Cool Event For a Great Cause...

2013-Finishers.gifKids for a Cause Kids Triathlon in Fourth Year, Growing to Support Local, National and Global Causes


By Deb Hess

Kids for a Cause is hosting it's fourth annual kids triathlon. The kids triathlon was started by Barb and Avesh Thukral, in honor of the Thukral’s son, Julius, who was born with bilateral clubfeet and has received therapy treatment at Gillette Hospital in St. Paul and Clubfoot Solutions in Iowa City. The kids triathlon will be held on June 14 in St. Paul.  Inspired by the resilience and positive attitude of her son Julius, Barb Thukral founded the kids triathlon as a way to demonstrate to children their strength and ability to make a difference, and as an expression of gratitude to those organizations, like Gillette and Clubfoot Solutions, that have helped her son Julius swim, bike, and run with his peers. ..

Porking Out in Iowa...

pigman-bike-and-run.gifPIGMAN SPRINT PREVIEW - HIstorically, Minnesotans have comprised a relatively small percentage--less than 10%--of Little Pig's annual enrollment, yet elite Loon Staters have dominated in the overall results. Since the turn of the century, Minnesota men have won 10 of the 13 editions of this event, which richly deserves its reputation at Iowa's premier sprint tri. The three events that weren't won by Minnesotans, were won by professionals, i.e. Dan Bretscher (IN, now of IA) in 2009, TJ Tollakson (IA) in 2007, and Will Smith (WI/NZL) in 2003. The top male amateurs in each of those races were from our side of the border: Brian Bich in 2008 and 2003, Kevin O'Connor in '09.

It should be noted that St. Paul athletes own the men's overall records: David Thompson set the pro record (1:00:57) in 2012, and Dan Hedgecock's amateur mark (1:01:56) was set in 2011. (Prior to the millennial change, Medina's Kevin O'Connor was the amateur CR holder. His time was approximately 20-seconds faster than Hedge's.) And FYI, the men's masters record is owned by Duluth's Brian Bich (1:02:33).....

Buffalo XI Predictions...

frog.gifPhoto - We found this cool art on the Buffalo Triathlon's Facebook page.We had to post it.

RACE PREVIEW - The popular Buffalo Triathlon will enter its second decade next Sunday. Brett Oden has ambitiously crafted an awesome event which consistently lures 1500 participants to beautiful Sturges Park. Though this year's registration is down slightly, thanks largely to our relentless and endless winter, we predict that the current trend of summer-like weather and the fact that Buffalo Lake has been warming up like a banshee will cause a nice bump in the enrollment over the final days leading up to the event.

Yes, we think it will ultimately field 1500 folks. (Help us make this happen, okay!)

Let's make some more predictions:

- Jon Balabuck (Thunder Bay, ONT) and Matthew Payne own the two fastest amateur times at TriBuff. Jon's CR is a 1:56:06, set in 2011. Matt's 1:56:40 was alo posted in '11. Jon and Matt are returning and we believe that they will duke it out for the Top Spot in the men's results. A win for Payne would keep his undefeated streak (in 2014) alive. We think he'll prevail....

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