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Needing a Break...

bichweb30.gifBy Louie St. George (Duluthnewstribune.com)

 

Just about every year, Brian Bich is the safe bet to win the Brewhouse Triathlon. It’s happened 12 times before, a success rate of about 43 percent for one of Minnesota’s oldest triathlons.
The 49-year-old Duluthian, though, won’t make it a baker’s dozen at Saturday’s 29th annual Brewhouse.

Burnout has Bich all but taking this summer off from racing.

“I raced for so many years that I just kind of needed a break,” Bich said.

Oh, he won’t completely stay away from Island Lake on Saturday. Bich is competing in a relay with fellow Brewhouse stalwarts Rhett Bonner and Rod Raymond. And he’s anxious to watch his son, Nathan, try to improve upon last year’s eighth-place showing in the short course....

The Uphill Sprint Tactic...

dave-external-hyd.gifHoot Lake Triathlon 2015

By Thomas Anderson III

On Saturday morning at the Hoot Lake Triathlon in Fergus Falls I got to enjoy a front row seat in watching an excellent triathlete walk away with a win. When David Jensen (photo) came out of the saddle to accelerate uphill I'm sure I could see his bike frame bend from the effort.  The tactics of an uphill sprint mid-course worked. Jenkins' surge on the bike, along with a great run on a hilly course, was enough to build a gap that neither Matthew Burrell nor I could bridge.  Jensen’s uphill strategy helped seal his third win at the Hoot Lake Triathlon, and he did so with room to spare! His finishing time of 1:04:48 was the 3rd fastest time in 23 years of course history....

Hosch Hammers...

walker-swim.gif6th WALKER TRIATHLON - Being the first of your gender to cross the finish line does not always mean that you've won the race.

Last Saturday, Matt Radniecki and Jacquelyn Bacigalupi (pronounced "bah-chee-gah-loop-pee," we think?) were the first man and woman to cross the finish line on the scenic western shoreline of Leech Lake's Walker Bay. They were, in golf parlance, clubhouse leaders. Talented athletes in later waves could rob the twosome, who shared the Winner's Circle the previous weekend at Heart of the Lakes Sprint, of their titles....

Passing the Torch to Josh...

Josh-holt.gif29th BREWHOUSE PREVIEW - When one ponders the history of multisport racing by Duluth athletes one recalls Sara Hollingsworth, Robin Tedlund, Marlo Crosby. More recently, of course, the names Elaine Nelson and Jess Rossing come immediately to mind.

For the dudes, though, one need not ponder long, nor hard. Brian Bich, Rod Raymond and Rhett Bonner have been carrying Duluth's flag from more than two decades. Brian has won the hometown classic Brewhouse Tri an unprecedented 12 times. No other athlete in Minnesota multisport history has won a single race a dozen times.

Brian, now 49, will NOT be gunning for a 13th BH win next Saturday, but he'll be at the race. This time around, he'll team up with fellow legends Raymond at Bonner and rock the relay competition like it's never been rocked before. Gonna be so cool! And so fast!

But how much faster will they be than the individual men's winner? Hard to say, though they better be fast if they are going to distance themselves from pre-race favorite Josh Blankenheim (photo L)....

In the Bag...

engel.gifTOUGHMAN MINNESOTA HALF IM - The MTN Guys have been following Eric Engel's tri-career for a couple of seasons and were somewhat bummed when he returned to his ancestral Badgerland. We were impressed by his 4:16 - 3rd place finish in the slop at Liberty in 2014. His 4:11- PR (5th place) at Chisago less than two months later suggested that he was destined to win 70.3 races in the relatively near future.

The question we had was whether that first W would happen in 2015 or 2016. When we saw him prior to the start of Sunday's Toughman Minnesota Half in Chisago City, we thought that maybe his time had come. He exuded a joyful readiness and confidence and was anxious for the race to start.

When Eric arrived in T2 ahead of the field he looked remarkabley fresh. His facial expression and the speed with which he racked, shod himself and started running, told us that, at the very least, a PR was in the bag....

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