Race Previews

The "Fun Size" Equalizer...

kris-and-gaby.gifLIFE TIME TRI - MAPLE GROVE - According to Gaby Bunten's Facebook page, Kris Spoth (pronounced "Spoath") is like the best boyfriend ever.

We'll take her word for it because we've met him and he seems to be a great guy. Besides, we really like the shirt he's wearing in the photo (L).

And what are those long things sticking out of their tropical drinkie-poohs? Back scratchers?

We digress.

Kris is a two-time winner of the Maple Grove Triathlon's Collegiate competition. On one of those occasions (2012), he won the race outright. His 2:03:07 is the fastest amateur time at MGO.

Gaby (pronounced "Gabby") is also a past collegiate champ here.

Because the Maple Grove Olympic Triathlon is the third and final event in Life Time's Minnesota Series, we thought it would be totally cool to employ a Life Time-esque "Equalizer" to determine if the boyfriend outraced the girlfriend ...

Another Superior Experience...

duluth-park.gifSUPERIOR MAN III - The MTN Guys are giddy with excitement about next Sunday's Superior Man races. A companion event, the "41.5" has been added and we love its bike-heavy distances: .5 mile swim - 35.4 mile bike - 5.6 mile run. The format is reminiscent of the short-lived, yet awesome, TriStar event that used to be associated with the Maple Grove Triathlon.

Before we make some predictions about the half IM, which was named "Triathletes Choice Race of the Year" in 2013, we will say that our picks to win the "41.5", based on last week's list of entrants, are YWCA Women's Tri director Nicole Cueno and Kiwi transplant David Phillips.

A decorated distance runner, Cueno is a parttime triathlete who tends to win or place highly every time she shows up, which is rarely more than once a year. In 2014, however, she has already raced twice, winning on both occasions with fast times....

Lake Marion Tri Stuff...

katie-buhr.gif(Photo - Elysian winner Katie Buhr, at podium hopeful at Lake Marion Olympic next Sunday.)

7th Annual LAKE MARION TRIATHLON - Approximately 400 participants are anticipated for the 7th edition of this great event. Not a bad turnout considering that the LMT shares the weekend with six other Minnesota tris and Iowa's Pigman Half and Olympic.

This event's Lakeville venue is outstanding and its athlete (and spectator!) perks are plentiful.

Here is some history, including past champions and the AG records on the current Olympic and Sprint courses:

Olympic Course History (2011 - 2013):

2013 - 1.  Dennis Dane - 2:05:22- Course Record & Cathy Yndestad - 2:15:57

2012 - 1. Kye Serreyn - 2:05:58 & Cathy Yndestad - 2:15:41

2011 - 1. Josh Blankenheim - 2:06:40 & Cathy Yndestad - 2:14:12 - CR

AG Records:

00-19: Nick Traxler - 2:33:26 (2011) & Elizabeth Hartell - 3:14:36 (2013)...

DKT Gunning For #10....

dkt-wetsuit.gif17th Annual PIGMAN HALF - A victory for David Thompson (Cool YndeCam Photo L) next Sunday at Big Pig would be a milestone, marking the 10th time he has won our region's first half IM. It will also be his 19th career win at the 70.3 distance and the 93rd (!) first place finish in his multisport career.

Winning is not a foregone conclusion, though. He'll be facing fellow pro Adam Bohach from La Crosse, Wisconsin. Our records show that DKT has faced Bohach on several occasions and has yet to lose to him. Still, Adam will be a force to be reckoned with. He has raced in two halves this season, breaking 4-hours both times. And he placed 2nd (3:57:03) behind Thompson (3:54:17) at Pigman last year.

David is still our pick to win. He has rest--he hasn't raced in the two weeks leading up to Sunday's race--and muscle memory on his side.

Once again, our pick to win the amateur title is Kevin O'Connor, who set a masters CR (4:07:52) here in 2013. Like DKT, KO has creds and muscle memory in his corner.....

Minnesota's Premier Spectator Triathlon...

claire-and-carrots.gif(Photo - Triathlete/nurse/farmer Claire Bootsma is a three-time YWCA Women's Tri champion.)

7th Annual YWCA WOMEN'S TRIATHLON - This year's YWCA race promises to be the most competitive yet, and will undoubtedly have a major impact on MMA nominations. The favorite, of course, will be two-time USAT National Champion Heather Lendway, who is undefeated in 2014 and the clear frontrunner to win the US Athlete of the Year award. Records fall every time she races and her elephantine margins of victory are reminiscent of those of the 2006 ITU Amateur World Champion: A woman named Chrissie Wellington. You may have heard of her.

Wellington, of course, got her pro license in 2007 and went on to an undefeated record in Ironman races.

Claire Bootsma has won the YWCA Tri the last three years and owns the course record, a 1:07:25, set last year. We predict that HL will break 1:05. We also...

Live Online Nationals Coverage...

usat-nats-sunday-one.gifCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Live coverage from the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will be available for free at usatriathlon.org this weekend, marking the fourth consecutive year USA Triathlon has offered a live stream of its largest National Championships event.

A registered field of 5,700 of the nation’s top amateur triathletes will compete on Saturday, Aug. 9, in the Olympic-Distance National Championships, and on Sunday, Aug. 10, in the Sprint National Championships. Action from both events will be streamed live on usatriathlon.org beginning at 7:15 a.m. CT. The live stream on Saturday also includes the Milwaukee Super Sprint Series event, where 35 professional and junior elite triathletes compete in an incredibly fast and spectator-friendly event, completing two back-to-back swim-bike-run circuits. Saturday’s live stream will end at 3 p.m. CT, and the Sprint...

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