Race Coverage

Birthday Party Triathlon...


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....


With the marked driveway as the finish, there were 30 participants that toed the line in some fashion whether it was the strong contingency of ladies doing the run portion of the course or breaking it down into a relay. The rain held off and the weather was perfect. Family and friends volunteered by manning water stops, shuttling athletes to their cars, spotting in the water for the swim, taking on the role of video documentarian (thank you Jamie Lukens), being a race official, gracias Steve Huseby, or just to tell us we look awesome when it’s clear mid-run, we actually look like a Mack truck just ran us over. No, really, it was a hot one.

lakeann.jpgThe group wore matching Safetti brand Team Smiles triathlon kits, a special order, all the way from Colombia, and designed by fellow competitor Christian Castillo. There were fourteen athletes who chose to take on the whole triathlon, including a 13-year-old who, shhh…beat his dad. Way to go Antonio!

The first leg of the race started promptly at 9 a.m. in Lotus Lake with Ms. Cuesta taking the lead out on the swim. It was wrapped up by the birthday boy completing his longest swim ever, an out and back of 958 yards in honor of the occasion, even it meant last out of the water. He quickly regained ground on the bike, but was unable to reach the podium. In Javier Gomez-like style, those honors went to first place finisher Ben Mourot of Maple Grove who invited and beat his boss Vincent (good luck at bonus time), followed by Luis Moncayo of Plymouth who came in second and was a solid showing throughout the day, along with Mourot, in all 3 disciplines.

The top 3 was rounded out by Andres Villegas, also of Plymouth, in third. Villegas was first in off the bike, flying into transition 2, but was unable to maintain his lead in the run, quickly being overtaken by Mourot, Moncayo and Bradehoft. Lack of training in the run portion and new trainers may have set him back from his lead. Cindy Bradehoft originally showed some promise in the first leg, coming in first out of the water, but quickly DQ’d herself by getting lost in the neighborhood and never made it out onto the main bike course. She redeemed herself on the run, coming in second, but it was a moot point by then. DNF is better than DFL was her only consolation.

Rule #1 Knowbeardguy.jpg the Course.

One athlete, once considered to be a top competitor, pulled a no show. Did the smack talk get to be too much? We’ll never know. But PERSEVERANCE was Juan Hincapie’s motto as he suffered a mechanical, fixed it and continued on to complete his longest run ever. Kudos to Andres Caballero for sacrificing his own race and stopping to assist with the flat.

After all was said and done with beers, blisters, saddle sores in new places and coulda, woulda shoulda lamentations, we agreed that the camaraderie gained in training and practicing the course provided a necessary uplifting of spirits. It inspired all of us to get back on the bike after the shelter in place command had dampened motivation this Spring. The day was completed with Chipotle, beer and fresh-made churros on site with a prize ceremony of teddy bears, M&Ms, finishers medals, and a triathlon themed cake because after all 40 is a Big Deal.

Final thoughts? Dr. Mesa’s Team Smiles Triathlon has been deemed a hit! His first rodeo as race director and he knocked it out of the park. But can we have a flatter run course next year? Just sayin’.

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