Race Coverage

He's Back! We Think...

rich-and-suzie.gifPhoto - Conditions during the race were kinda yucky. But as so often happens, the weather got good after the last finisher crossed. Why is that? Enjoying the new sunshine here are Waseca 1/3 winners Rich Heilman and Suzie Fox.

In 1996 when Rich Heilman was 32, he was one of the most successful amateur long distance guys in the US. At Long Course Worlds in Muncie, Indiana, he finished 3rd overall in the amateur competition.

A few years later, Rich disappeared from the regional and national tri scene in order to do life stuff. Over the next decade and a half he popped up on the tri grid a time or two, usually at an out-of-state Ironman, but not often enough to suggest that he would return to regional prominence.

Then Heilman, now 50, showed up at this year’s Lake Marion Olympic Triathlon. He didn’t look much older than he did in the 90s and still had his infuriating 30-inch waist and 5% body fat.

He finished 2nd overall in that race.

Is he back? It was too soon to tell....

Smooth and Confident....

MGO-POD.gifPhoto - Women's Olympic podium (L-R) - Kelly Trom (3rd), Gaby Bunten (1st), Christina Roberts (2nd).

LIFE TIME TRI - MAPLE GROVE - Five men, starting with Kris Spoth (1:54:32), broke the magical two-hour mark last Sunday at the 7th annual Life Time Tri - Maple Grove Olympic Triathlon. Conditions would have been ideal, cloudy and mild, had the winds been a bit less blowy and gustful, but the times were improved by the necessity to take a few "K"s out of the bike course (from 40 down to 38).

Spoth owns this race, having won it outright on two prior occasions and claiming the Collegiate crown on another. He raced smoothly and confidently at the front from lake to line, which was also the way his totally serious girlfriend, Gaby Bunten raced en route to the biggest win of her career. Her time was 2:09:32, or the equivalent of 2:11 at full Olympic distance. Her legit PR is a 2:14:00, set at Nationals in 2014....

A Ton of Fun...

image7.gifSwim Start photo by Bridget McCoy. You can see her feet.


By Heather Lendway (heatherlendway.com)

Milwaukee Super Sprint Race Report -

Swim 1:

* In the last minutes before the race start almost everyone decided to take their wetsuits off for the first 325m swim, myself included! In the end it seemed like a wash with it on/off.
* LOVE the dive start format!
* I got smothered in the first 100 meters and decided to drop back and move outside for clear water. I forgot in ITU style racing it’s much more important to be aggressive at the start....

Life Does Not Suck...

biglake20152.gifBy Ryan Wippler

Big Lake Race Report - So this is it.  Last “Oly” of the season for this guy.  Time to see if the past year of 5:00 am wake-ups and hundreds of hours of training would lead to the result-that goal set almost one year ago-to go 2:05 on an olympic tri.  I hadn’t felt this kind of build up since Grandma’s Marathon 2013 when I qualified for Boston.  Casey Miller and Wade Cruser were my main competition, neither of which I had beaten this year.   Usually when the pressure builds, I perform better.  This is how my day went down.

Casey and I BS’d a bit before our swim wave.  He told me he was trying to get his mojo back after a half Ironman debacle a few weeks earlier where he suffered a back injury from a wetsuit removing service (didn’t know such a thing existed)  and was having shooting pain down his leg.  I told him of my lofty goal for the day and hoped to keep him close through-out the race as a motivating force.

I was trying a new one piece trisuit with sleeves which was supposed to be super aero on the bike.  I had used it and won the week before at Lake Minnewaska.  It makes what go for my guns these days look like pipe-cleaners; instant skinny arms!  If only they...

Unmatched Comaraderie...

ywca-podium.gifPhoto (L-R) - Daine Hankee, Christina Roberts, Heather Lendway. Lisa Lendway & preggers Olympian Carrie Tollefson, who urges us to eat stuff that's grown in Minnesota. Good advice.


8th YWCA WOMEN'S TRIATHLON - The MTN Guys have been following Minnesota multisports forever and will state unequivocally that 2015 is the "Year of the Woman." What we mean by this is that never before in a single season have so many of our state's multisportwomen emerged as regional, even national, stars. 

And the comaraderie among the top women is unmatched.

This is good stuff. Exciting stuff.

So, while the YWCA Women's Triathlon has always been special, one of the finest women's-only endurance events in the country, to be sure, the vibe at this year's race was even more, er...tingly than ever. In the spirit of celebrating each other and the healthy lifestyles they embrace, the...

Danis Fischer & Vsetecka Rock Rural Iowa......

sweat-lens.gif18th Annual Pigman Half - David Thompson came into yesterday's event hoping to record the 100th victory of his multisport career. The win would also be his 18th at the 70.3 distance and his 10th at this event.

Rookie pro Dani Fischer, an honorary Minnesotan now residing in Indianapolis, came into the race hoping to take a big bite out of Malaika Homo's 2006 course record 4:35:35.

DKT came close (4:04:23) to achieving his goals. Leading after the swim and bike, he was overtaken in the run by fellow pro Blake Becker (4:03:43) of Madison, Wisconsin. In the end, 40 seconds separated these athletes, who led the way against what was arguably the most talented men's field in Big Pig history.

Kentucky pro Mike Hermanson rounded out the men's podium (4:06:14).

FYI, the top position on the amateur podium was taken Toughman Minnesota champ Eric Engel (4:13:36), who placed 5th overall. The next two spots were earned by White Bear Lake's Kris Spoth (4:16:30) and Missourian Kevin Denny (4:18:18).  Once again, the fastest master was Medina's Kevin O'Connor (4:22:14)....

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