Race Coverage

Normalcy & Supportiveness...

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By Steven Wert

Big Lake Sprint Race Report - 2020 has been anything, but normal. On Saturday, August 1st though, some normalcy was brought back to triathletes and spectators at the Graniteman Big Lake Triathlon.

You couldn’t ask for a better day to kick off the 2020 Triathlon Season. Perfect temperature, no wind, and sunny skies made the day perfect. The nerves that I had coming into the race quickly went away seeing the excitement in everyone to race again and just the sense of normalcy again.

The Swim: Two and a half months of no pool access, for someone who just really picked up swimming last year, was not good, but Saturday at Big Lake things started to feel good again. Maybe it was just being in the competitive environment, but my swim felt strong once again....

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Youth Rocks at Big Lake...

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GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE SPRINT COVERAGE- We are so glad that JENNA HORNER's career path led her back to her ancestral Minnesota. As fans of her growth in the sport of triathlon, we wondered if we'd ever get to watch, in person, her do what she was destined to do: win triathlons.

Well, the 22-year-old George Washington University graduate kicked off her 2020 racing season with her first win on home soil at Big Lake last Saturday. It's wasn't easy, but she, and we, knew that it wouldn't be. Expected to breathe down her neck were junior phenom ISABELLA BUENTING (photo below) and 2019 Rookie of the Year runner-up CARYN HERRICK, and they did just that. Bella and Caryn enjoyed one-minute-plus advantages out of the water, making Horner need to turn up the heat on the bike.

She did, and effectively closed the swim gap. The run is her strong suit, but that didn't make her feel secure. Buenting launched before she did, and would have the honor of finishing ahead of  all the other women.

She didn't hold her clubhouse lead for long, though. Jenna finished shortly after her to claim a 30-second victory. Both women had the pedal all the way to the floor when they entered the park for the final push to the finish. It was thrilling to behold.

Herrick needed another minute to make her bronze medal effort official....

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Opening Day!

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GRANITEMAN BIG LAKE SPRINT - JOSH MORK is a "mustache guy," though he hasn't truly settled on his style preference yet. He sported the Yosemite Sam look for a while, but had recently traded that in for the Snidely Whiplash look, though only after giving serious consideration to Handlebar and Walrus options.

Snidely Mork is also a humble guy. He demonstrated that humility yesterday at Big Lake Sprint after he won the race, the seventh of his meteoric tri career. He admitted that his victory may have been helped by the misfortune of his good friend DAVID KOPPEL, who was hit, but not injured, unlike his bike, by a motorcyle. Josh said that he believed that David would have picked up his first career tri victory had the accident not occurred.

Fourth placer JOE ADRIAENS was also in position to, perhaps, claim his first tri win, or at least turn the battle for the Top Step into a down-to-the-wire, three man affair with Mork and Koppel, but a wrong turn on the bike course added extra time-sucking distance to his effort. Nevertheless, Joe finished less than a minute behind the official winner. It was a brilliant performance, one that clearly demonstrated that Joe, like David, is ready to win races and rank in the upper echelons of his peers....

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Friendships New & Renewed....

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By Steve Gunther

2020 Camp Gunther National Championships - It was a dark, stormy morning and the wind was howling as the race directors, Helen and Steve Gunther, placed the turn signs on the bike and run courses. It was the day of the 2020 Camp Gunther Sprint Triathlon World Championships and canceling the race was in the back of their minds. They knew how disappointed the athletes would be and prayed to the weather gods for relief.

And by 7:30, the clouds lifted at Camp Gunther and the sun broke out in a warming dance across the water. The buoys were placed and the volunteer kayakers were in place. The triathletes toed the line for the social distanced start under the bright red TYR arch. Laughing and eager for the competition, the athletes were off, gliding around the diamond shaped course, some choosing one lap, some choosing two. T1 was a casual affair, some eating gels and bars and others eating chips while they waited for the last swimmer to arrive. This was no ordinary competition, more of a coopetition!...

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Cheering Campers & Glasses-Eating Porta Potties...

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By Sophie Rabino (U-Minnesota Tri Team Vice President)

Pigman Sprint Race Report - What a weekend!!

First off, we want to thank everyone who made this a fun and safe race atmosphere! We had a few mishaps along the way (bike falling off car, glasses dropping in porta potty, missing chain link, etc) but all 3 gophers crossed the finish line!

We started the morning in transition for our race briefing. After the announcements, we were walked in a single file line down to the beach for the swim start...kinda felt like we were back in kindergarten....

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Birthday Party Triathlon...

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By Cindy Bradehoft

Turning 40 is pretty epic, so your birthday party should be epic as well. Thankfully 40 is no longer considered Over the Hill, so why not do an Olympic distance triathlon with your friends and family? Even though you’ve never completed one? Great idea until the Life Time Tri Minneapolis on said birthday is cancelled along with every other race for 2020.

But that doesn’t stop Tom Ahles, who enlists his friend Dr. Francisco Mesa, everyone’s favorite dentist, to coordinate a Triathlon around his neighborhood in Chanhassen. To be clear this isn’t a race, it is just for fun. Said none of us ever. Minneapolis was just named the 3rd fittest state in the nation by the American College of Sports Medicine and it is our health and love of sports and competition that got us here....

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