Race Coverage

"The Bike Course is World Class..."

flex_girls.pngED. Here is the Winona Daily News' great coverage of last Sunday's Trinona Olympic & Sprint Triathlons. Enjoy. 


By John Casper Jr. (Winonadailynews.com)

Up until about 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Daniel Bretscher wasn’t sure if he would be jumping into Lake Winona with the rest of the Trinona 2017 participants.
It wasn’t until he checked on his wife, due in about two weeks with the couple’s first child — a boy — to make sure the false contractions she had recently hadn’t turned into the real thing. He then hopped in his car, made the two-hour trek from his home in Northfield, Minn., then went out and held off Sean Harrington to win the international premier division in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 21 seconds. Harrington, from Santa Barbara, Calif., was 16 seconds back in 1:59:37.
“I’m really glad it worked out for me,” said Bretscher, 34, a professional triathlete who grew up in Indiana and has lived in Minnesota for only about 1½ years. “It almost didn’t happen. Being first-time parents, we think every false contraction is the real thing. Last night she wasn’t feeling great. I was planning to come down last night and stay in a hotel, so I canceled that.
“I woke up at 2:45, checked on her and she was OK, left the house at 3, got here at 5.”
At about 8:45 a.m. he was the first across the finish line near the Lake Park Bandshell. He was running on about three hours of sleep — good practice for what’s to come in a couple weeks — and not only does he get to take home a check and a trophy, but he’ll a heck of a story to tell his son someday....

Notes From Last Weekend....


LIBERTY TRIATHLON - It is hard to imagine a more difficult day for racing. Last Saturday had it all: Heat, Humidity & Wind. Especially wind, which made for the toughest swimming conditions that we've seen here in Minnesota in years, if not decades. In both the thirteen-year-old half IM, and its older (14) silbling Olympic, "performance" goals were tossed out, and "survival" was the new theme. Get to the finish line somehow, then give yourself a well-earned pat on the back for doing so.

Dani, Dani, Hanna....


Photo - Two Danis & a Hanna.


IRONMAN 70.3 WISCONSIN - On May 30 we predicted that Minnesota athletes, especially women, would rock socks at Wisconsin 70.3 in Madison. We are happy to report that we were right!

Though we know little about course difficulty and weather conditions for yesterday's race, we are thrilled with the results data. Minnesota women (including honorary Minnesotan Dani Fischer) swept the podium and claimed five of the Top 8 spots.

1. DANI VSETECKA (31, Rochester - photo) - 4:45:48 - Dani is undefeated in three starts this season. This was her third half IM victory.

2. DANI FISCHER (29, Indianapolis - Honorary Minnesotan - grew up in Rochester) - 4:45:57

3. HANNA GRINAKER (28, St. Paul) - 4:46:44 - This is Hanna's 2nd podium finish in three half IM starts....

Right Sometimes. Wrong Sometimes...


On Monday, May 29, we made some predictions regarding the Pigman Sprint on June 4. Were we right about anything? Let's find out.


- PREDICTION #1 - Heather Lendway (photo below) would win, lower her women's course record and win the The Equalizer bonus.

- WHAT HAPPENED - Heather did win (career W #29), but did not lower the CR or take home the bonus. It was a very hot day, thus not a lot of records went  down, EXCEPT the men's mark. Jake Rhyner somehow managed to shoot down DKT's race best, actually breaking 1-hour for the first time in race history. Rhyner's herculean effort rightfully effort earned him the bonus.


- PREDICTION #2 - We predicted that Kris Spoth (photo) and Missouri's Kevin Denny would be the Top Two finishers, in either order, in the amateur race. ...

Andy & Kristina...


ATTENTION: In case you haven't heard, the LAKE MINNETONKA TRIATHLON on June 17 is FULL. Athletes from 13 states and China will be competing. Though you cannot get in as a participant, we invite you to participate as a volunteer or spectator.

WAIT! You can get in. We forgot to mention that Ross is offering 10 Charity Slots, so you can get in if you act right now!


BUFFALO SPRINT - Two-time Buffalo Sprint champ CHERYL ZITUR  was determined to collect her 3rd win here, but a flat in T1 required too much time to repair. Gamely, she pushed on to an 8th place finish, which was remarkable under the circumstances.

Zitur's misfortune opened the door for other athletes to vie for the Top Spots. The competition was fierce, resulting in a contest where an unprecedented eight women were able to crack the 1:10 mark. This fact is all the more remarkable when one considers that, in general, the times posted in the simultaneously contested Olympic race were slower than usual, as many wilted in the heat and wind.

Leading the way for the women was 2016 Junior of the Year runner-up KRISTINA SWENSON (photo).The 20-year-old Iowa State Cylone strung together satisfying split en route to a 1:05:42, the 2nd fastest women's time in the three-year history of this race....

Humble and Brave....



BUFFALO COVERAGE - ELAINE NELSON  is a good person, one who is defined by such virtues as humility and fair-mindedness.

After Elaine crossed the finish line at Buffalo Olympic last Sunday, she immediately let us know that her victory may have been aided by the misfortune of the two athletes who were ahead of her. In third place coming out of T2, it appeared that CHRISTINA ROBERTS and MAGGIE WEISS were destined to claim the Top Two spots. Nelson did not know until late in the run that those two women would succumb to their own aggressiveness.

During the event, the air was very hot, and the sun and wind were relentless. It was a wonderful day to watch a race, especially at a venue as gorgeous as Buffalo's, but racing in those conditions was a different matter. A somewhat conservative racing strategy was called for,....

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