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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....

 

 

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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....

Palmer & Lendway Are Tough, Man....

devon-podium.gifTOUGHMAN MINNESOTA SPRINT - Devon Palmer's signature monster bike split propelled him to his 3rd victory in four starts this season last Sunday in Chisago City. The caffeinated spokesmodel (photo L) had a slim lead on Kevin O'Connor coming out Chisago Lake and picked up a couple more ticks in T1.

On the bike, though, his margin over the eventual runner-up grew by an additional 2:09. The mustacheod Palmer needed that time to hold off Kevin during the 5K run. KO's run split was 1:21 faster than DP's thus Devon's eventual margin of victory was trimmed to 53 seconds. His winning time--1:16:04--was the event's 4th fastest ever.

Both Palmer and O'Connor had prior wins here, Devon in 2012 and Kevin in 2011. By our reckoning, the victory was the 17th of Palmer's tri/du career. For the 44-year-old O'Connor, it was his 7th podium effort of the season. Four of those performances were victories....

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