Race Coverage

Putting the Smile Back on Her Face...

kristin_g_lake.pngBy Kristin Gustafson

Toughman Race Report - Another ½ Ironman is in the books. It wasn’t the day I was hoping for, but I didn’t quit and even more happy that my MS symptoms were nowhere to be found!!
I decided to sign up for the Elite group this time. I was a little nervous about this and thought it was time to see how I would stack up. This morning was perfect. I love racing in hot weather so I was happy that it was going...

Breakouts & Breakdowns...

sara_c_elite.pngTOUGHMAN HALF - Sean Cooley is a balls-to-the-wall racer. He wants to win every race he enters and is willing to bust his hump to make that happen. Sometimes it works, like it did at Lake Waconia, where he took down the men's course record. And sometimes it doesn't, like at Minneapolis where he hammered the bike so hard he paid dearly on the run. Still, he managed a 2nd place finish behind a dude--Matt "Pain Train" Payne-- who hasn't been beaten by a fellow Minnesotan since 2012 and is a perennial USAT AOY HM.

At Toughman in Chisago City last Sunday, Dr. Cooley once again let it all hang out during the bike portion. Despite the headwind on the return portion, he kept his head down and cranked furiously until the end. By that time his leg muscles had turned to oatmeal. The four-minute lead over eventual winner, that pesky Payne, dwindled quickly.

Matt, who wasn't feeling too spunky either, took the lead before the five mile mark of the run.

Oatmeal Legs fought valiantly the rest of the way, but eventually had to settle for 4th. He was overtaken by the event's amateur race record holder, Tim Hola, and Kris Spoth, who raced because last weekend's ca-ca weather cheated him out of a successful 70.3 experience in Racine....

Blank & Heiney....

Heiney_speech.pngTOUGHMAN SPRINT - The wetsuitless swim may have added minutes to the times of those doing the half IM, but it appeared to have had little impact on the sprinters, who only had to swim 400 meters.


Nicole Heininger (photo) successfully defended her 2015 title by leading from the get-go. Her small gap after the swim grew to an insurmountable one after the 22-mile bike portion. Though Diane Hankee, who has 28 career multisport wins and has been racing like a banshee in 2016, outran Heiney by more than a 30-seconds a mile over the closing 5K, it wasn't nearly enough to close the gap. Diane's 1:23:00 would rank as the 5th fastest women's time in the 11-year history of the sprint--only pros Heather Lendway (twice) and Lauren Goss, and now Nicole Heininger--had gone faster.

Soul Food & Newsy Stuff...

Bertram_Blast_Final_Small_thumb.pngBERTRAM BLAST - (ED. Apologies in advance for inflicting our inner hippie on our readers.)

After almost three decades of growth and prosperity, the sport of Triathlon peaked. Race directors didn't see this coming (2010-2011), however, and many new races were were added to the calendar at that time.

Here in Minnesota, almost 30 new events came into being during that period. The result of that (and other factors), of course, was the dramatic reduction in event attendance in the years that followed....

Fast & Memorable...

bridget_sd.pngED. Hey Everyone - Just got back from Chisago an am too pooped to write about the awesome racing that took place in Minnesota this weekend. Will write tomorrow and post on Tuesday. For now, here are some results links:  BERTAM BLAST & TOUGHMAN.

From SDTriNews.com

The Outland Challenge at Lake Cochrane featured some competitive and memorable talent along with the typical average-Joe, hard-working athletes this year on a sunny (but not hot) and breezy day this past Saturday.

(results are listed here)

David Thompson, the nicest male pro triathlete you’ll ever meet, defended his previous champion status well, winning the men’s sprint title while Bridget McCoy, the nicest female pro triathlete you’ll ever meet, won the women’s sprint title and also maintained her place as the queen of the Outland sprint for now. The real races in the sprint division were amongst the second and third place, where the uber-fit...

When Bronze is as Shiny as Gold...

Holt_guys.pngHEART OF THE LAKES - Yesterday we posted Nathan Ansbaugh's Life Time - Tri Minneapolis race report. We did this as a prelude to today's coverage of Heart of the Lakes, which has long been been billed as "Minnesota's favorite triathlon," a claim that is hard to dispute.

At Minneapolis, Nathan was headed for a podium finish with less than a mile to go. That's when the wheels came off. Instead of a 3rd behind Payne and Cooley, he placed 17th in the "Premier Division" and 37th overall.

At HOLT, though, Nathan Ansbaugh demonstrated what it means to "get back on the horse." While Matt and Sean went off the front, Nathan once again moved into sole possession of 3rd place. This time he kept the hammer on the floor, and it stayed there. The result was a redemptive podium finish, with a 1:02 margin over 4th-placing Josh Blankenheim.

As at Lake Nokomis, Payne and Cooley went 1-2. The win was the 46th of Pain Train's multisport career, and his 3rd consecutive at HOLT....

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