Race Coverage

Breakout Performances....

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SQUARE LAKE 70.3 - Circumstances dictated that this year's swim be shortened from 1.0 to .5. However, when this race was reconfigured in 2018 the bike and run distances actually exceeded the standard 56 and 13.1, adding perhaps one-and-a-half combined additional miles. So, if one wants to be a tad closer to precise, a term that which does not apply to most triathlon courses, you could say that last Saturday's Square Lake race was at least 70.3. (One Garmin estimated that the 2019 race mileage was in the 71.8 range.)

This race is a true toughie. The hills have hills. Making things even more arduous on Saturday were wet, chilly conditions. Swim temps were in the low-to-mid 60s, which was abuot 10-degrees warmer than the air temps. Early rain gave way to spitty mist which made the bike course greasy. It was understandable that the DNS and DNF rate axed about 25% of the field.

But 96 hearty souls went the distance and were able to, despite the chill, bask in the respctive glows of their respective feats, knowing that Square Lake 70.3 has our state's "hardest-to-earn" finish line....

In 2019, Marshfield, Wisconsin by-way-of Paris, France's PATRICK ALLAIRE, a very cool guy with an even cooler accent and Rod Raymond legs, was in 2nd place at the turn that led to the halfway point of the run. But he was limping. His leg injury should have kept on the sideline, but he tried to tough it out.

At about the 66 (of 71.6ish) miles he stopped.

Patrick had raced here in 2018, placing 5th in a very respectable 4:28:48 under near-perfect conditions. He might have been able to gut-out a sub-4:20 in 2melrunning.png019 but it would likely have come at the cost of a long, raceless and zero-training convalescent stint, if not a career-ending, surgery-requiring tear.

Stopping in order to fight another day was smart, andh he was able to return his year and win the race, and we couldn't be happier for him. 

And he won BIGLY! His time was 4:10:59, which our research suggests is a personal best for the 42-year-old Parisian.

Rounding out the Top 3 for the men were runner-up NICK WEILER, whose 4:22:55 was a satisfying 19:54 faster than his 3rd place clocking here a year ago, and Iowan LUKE ALDRICH, who threw down 4:27:44.

MELEAH MURPHY, placed 3rd in the women's race here in 2019. Her 5:10:06 appeared to be a breakout effort at the time, after which she popped a 10:38 at Ironman Florida.

It appears that those performances motivated the bejeezus out of her, as she returned to Square Lake and not only nuked her PR at the 70.3ish distance, knocking it down to a remember-my-name 4:49:37, it landed her on the Top Step of the Women's podium, which she shared with JEN MARTONE (2nd in 5:09:10), whose awesome race report posted yesterday, and three-time Northwoods winner MATA AGRE (3rd in 5:13:45).

This time next year, the Square Lake 70.3 will celebrate its Platinum Anniversary, which is 20 in people years and just over three in dog years. Here's hoping that COVID is in the rearview mirror and that the Square Lake races draw great numbers and come at the end of a long, happy raceful season.  RESULTS

 

Top Photo - Nick Weiler and Meleah Murphy

 

 

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