Race Coverage

A Truly Unique Event...



ELYSIAN TRIATHLON – This event started thirty-five years ago, though there have been a few weather-related cancellations along the way. And speaking of weather, we doubt that the Elysian Tri was ever contested under more ideal conditions than it experienced yesterday. Temps were in the high sixties, the sky was cloudless and winds were light. 

And though it was a perfect day to race, bucolic Elysian is not a place where the majority of its participants come for a competitive experience. Most entrants come to play, which we think it truly cool.

The reason for this, we think, is that the event is the epitome of minimalism. Grandeur can be intimidating. Color and noise and "stuff" can be nerve-racking. Keeping it low key, i.e. minimally staged, makes this experience a very comfortable one.

But, of course, there were those who did come to race, especially those rare few who have been blessed with the genetic wherewithall, which when coupled with intelligent training, places them at the front of the pack. And because race coverage is what we do at MTN, we are going to fill you in on what happened at the front. Just know that a good time was had by all....


It was obvious from the get-go that two men would separate themselves from the rest of the 123-member field of eventual finishers. Unsurprisingly, 2017 Elysian champ BRETT LOVAAS, 43, of Minnetonka, was first out of Lake Francis, one of the four picturesque lakes this seven-hundred member community is pinched between.

Next out was MSU's tri team's main man SPENCER SYVERTSON, pronounced “C – vertson,” not “Sigh – vertson,” who was coming off a convincing win at soggy Fairmont Olympic. A rising star, it nevertheless remained to be seen whether he could hang with the true Minnesota tri-pioneer who had won three of the four races he did in 2017.


As Lovaas and Syverston left everyone behind, the question was whether Brett would win his 34th career multi, or if a 22-year-old upstart would take the veteran to school.

Brett and Spencer were only seconds apart when they entered T2. Lovaas picked up a few seconds in transition, but Syvertson seemed unconcerned, content to trail the leader up the hill, into downtown, then onto the running trail. It was on the trail that he shifted to a new gear. He looked too good, too strong, not to win.

Which is what he ultimately did, his final time—52:47—is one of the fastest in recent history.

Lovaas, a three-or-four-time Elysian winner, placed 2nd in 55:05.

Picking up time on Brett during the four-mile run was eventual 3rd place finisher KYLE KRAUSE, 27, of Fairbault, who has podiumed in his two tri outings. 

As with the men, the top two women broke away from the field early in the race, though they were not together. Out front was 2017 Elysian runner-up BETT ROWLEY, 33, of Burnsville, and it was clear when she entered T2, that she would remain there. He final time would be 1:01:27, twenty-two seconds quicker than last year.

Claiming 2nd was JENNA CHRISTENSEN (photo R), 27, of Janesville, who now has two Top 3s in her three mulisport starts this season. Her time was 1:07:25.

Rounding out the women's Top 3 was ANNIKA FERBER, 28, in 1:10:18. Annika is a athletic trainer at Shattuck-St. Mary School and nordic ski coach at Park Center High.

Another thing that sets the Elysian Tri apart are its strange, but cool, distances. Swim (.4) and run-heavy, while light on bike miles (8), it flies in the face of what is typical of upper Midwestern tris and dus, which seemingly always go heavy on the bike miles.

Elysian Tri is truly a unique event. RESULTS


0 #1 Annika Ferber 2018-07-23 15:45
Thanks for the write-up! Definitely a low-key race. Hope the road is paved next year for the transition out ;)

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