Race Coverage

Holy Balls, Batman!

gaby-and-coach.gif"I need more cowbell, baby!"

By Gaby Bunten

BOUS Race Report- When I received the e-mail for an invitation to compete at Best of the US for Iowa, I was overcome by a phrase that my dear old dad has coined, “Holy Balls Batman.” I knew that the competition at the race would be stacked with a field of talented ladies and gents.  My initial anxiety for the race happened with that e-mail. It became a battle of am I worthy of competing with such a field and what would I bring to the table at this race? Well, of course I immediately consulted the best coach ever, Miss CY. She gave me one of the most positive vibes I have ever received from a coach, and for that thank you CY! But I was able to go into the race with a new frame of mind, the only thing I needed to accomplish that day was to push myself harder than I have ever before and when all else fails, just smile.

The night before the race, my dad had texted me, “Rock on tomorrow. Mom and I are bringing Hells Bells (our two springer spaniel puppies) and our cowbell, gotta have more cowbell, baby!” Leave it ...

Big Bike Splits...

nicole-winning.gifNicole Heininger (photo) proved on Sunday that a big bike split can trump the fast swim/run combination.

On paper, Nicole Heininger and Christina Roberts were the likely picks to finish 1-2 in the women's race at Lake Waconia. The wild card was Heidi Keller-Miler, now 49, who won this race in 2012.

HKM, though, hasn't finished a tri since September of 2012. Injuries and the demands of life have kept her on the sidelines since then. The fact that she was unable to finish at Trinona three weeks ago also clouded the issue. Was she ready to return to racing, and to reassert herself as one of our region's premier masters triathletes.

The answer to that question is "Yes."  Her swim an bike splits on Sunday were solid, and though her run wasn't her best, her ultimate 3rd place finish had to be encouraging. It was great to see her back on the scene. We hope that she races often enough to garner a Master of the Year nomination, an award she's won on multiple occasions, and a spot on Team Minnesota.

Heininger was a surprise runner-up at LWT in 2013. Launching from a later AG wave, it was not discovered until the awards presentation that she actually had the 2nd fasterest women's time. That result earned her a BOUS invitation and helped her earn the Rookie of the Year trophy....

Saturday Capsules...& Sunday Highlights...

carol-and-3-guys.gif(Photo from 2012 NMT - Future Anthem singer /veteran triathlete Denny Ellingson, Mike Borneke between smiles, the ever-exuberant Carol Marston and another guy.)

16th NORTH MANKATO DUATHLON - Dave "Hercules" Lyon, who's wife Veronica is a HOOT!, and Kristin Gustafson, who won Superior Man last year and has a great tan, led the way for their respective genders in breezy, steamy North Mankato yesterday morning. Lyon prevailed despite suffering from what he called a "groing thing." Herc also won here in 2013.

Todd Landgraff, who won this race in 2011 and 2009 and missed all of last season in order to change poopy diapers, placed 2nd, 41 ticks after Lyon. 2013 women's champ Jenna Rinehart, who is a pro mountain biker, finished 18 seconds after Gustafson. Thirdsies went to Mike Cahill and Veronica Bond.

The event, which was totally good, drew approximately 200 race day entrants. Perennial division...

Rising to the Challenge...

lisa-leonard.gifBy Lisa Leonard (Team Nevada)

Race Report - Best of the US, Olympic Triathlon, St Paul, MN

As an invitational only race I knew this would be certainly the toughest race of the year so far. In Triathlon you often race against your 'age group' however this was a flat out race against the best amateur triathletes in the USA. Current and former national champions, triathlete of the year, long course national champion...this race had them. It was a small but incredibly stacked field. My biggest fear...making a complete embarrassment of myself, letting down everyone who has supported me in getting here. As a relatively last minute race, my coach Jeremy Wallace wasnt sure it was the best decision to go - I had just come away from racing 4 out of 5 weekends in May including a half ironman (2nd), state TT championship (1st), Devlees Road Race (2nd) and Sand hollow sprint triathlon (1st). Our focus was supposed to be shifting towards prep for Ironman 70.3 Worlds in September. Nevertheless, with support from the awesome people at Bike Shop Henderson I found myself able to travel to Minnesota for this prestigious event. Eyeing up the competition at the 'Meet n Greet' on Saturday was pretty nerve racking but by this point I had shifted my focus to concentrating on my performance - the result had to be secondary....

Mom Said, "You Don't Look Too Good"...

R3-logo.gifBy Kortney Haag

REV 3 RACE REPORT - I have always wanted to try out a Rev 3 race but the last couple of years this race didn’t fit into my schedule because it was too close to Ironman Wisconsin with it being in August. This year, however, they moved the race to June so Derek and I decided to give it a go. Derek is racing Ironman Wisconsin this year and so we knew it would be great training for him with the hills…however, he had his appendix removed 4 weeks ago so this was definitely a training race for him. I wanted to do well at this race and use it as a test to see where the fitness is with Kona being 3.5 months out. I knew it was going to be hilly…but WOW I didn’t realize how hilly! Ironman Wisconsin has nothing on this course…I would have cried if I had to do that course one more time!

I didn’t know what to expect that morning as I am not superstitious but during my pre race warm up my bike helmet fell apart and I had to rubber band it together and then I ran over and killed a squirrel when I was warming up on the bike!  ---

Weekend Observations...

Travis--Matt---BOUS14.gif(Photo - Oklahoma's Travis Newton and BOUS Champ Matt Payne wearing shirts that Kevin O'Connor had made for Matt's fans. We cherish ours and will wear it often.)

The MTN Guys look back on Minnesota's eight-race weekend:

LAKE MINNETONKA OBSERVATIONS - Awesome, as always. Ross and Tina pour their hearts into this event and it totally shows. And the weather was totally cooperative.

We are still having trouble wrapping our brains around Heather Lendway's performance. A freakin' 1:04:53! We recall the all-time great amateur female triathletes, women like Donna Kay Ness (CT), Maryellen Powers (NH), Joanna Zeiger (MD), Margie Shapiro (VA) et al. In our opinion, HL is a cut above them all, and we've been observing the sport since 1978.

 - The Roberts girls, mom Deb, daughter Christina, impressed our pants off on Saturday. Deb flattened her own 60-64W CR. Add this to the divisional CRs she set at Liberty Olympic and Buffalo and you have the makings of a Grand Master of the Year nomination at season's end. Her daughter Christina placed 2nd overall in 1:11:14, only...

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