Race Coverage

It Had that "New Race" Smell...


Apple Multisport Festival  Coverage - New venue. New format. More options. There was a lot going on yesterday at Sartell High School, a lot of ways to celebrate movement and fitness. While runners did their thing, and time-trialers as well, duathletes and triathletes comprised the lion's share of the entrants. Apple is a 42-year-old event, with it's 41st duathlon setting the stage, and the new pool swim triathlon celebrating its first of what is hoped to be decades of birthdays.

Mild, cloudy with negligible winds, May 19 was perfect for racing and those expected to set the pace did just that. Since 500 yards of swimming should take less time than the 5K run that kicked off the...

duathlon, the top triathletes were expected to post faster times than the top duathletes, perhaps by as much as fifteen minutes. And since Preston Youngdahl, our state's premiere amateur male triathlete, was entered, it was likely that the margin would even be greated than a quarter hour.


And it was. His 6:25 swim was followed by a 27+mph bike. His lead insurmountable, he cruised comfortably (18:50) during the final 5K run phase to a 1:10:47, a very sturdy record. 2023 Junior of the year nominee Sean Pickle, 19, whose bike and run splits foreshadow a very successful 2024 season, finished next, almost eight minutes after Youngdahl, who has won eleven of the twelve Minnesota tris he's enetered since returning to the Loon State in 2021.

FYI - Youngdahl was recently engaged. Her name is Katey and she is totally cool. Preston is considering regrowing his mustache. A swarthy,  gentleman, it should only take him a day or two to make that happen.

In the women's tri, it was the Grand Masters who set the pace with three of the Top 4 spots earned by 55-plussers. Predictably, Amy Woolsey, 58, finished first, 1:12 ahead of Mary Deeg, 62 (photo), who collected her second AG win of the season, and put 27-seconds between herself and her closest divisional rival, Lisa Hines, 61, who placed 4th. Taking 3rd etween Deeg and Hines was former UM swimmer Maggie Werba, 27.

Before the duathlon Brooks Grossinger worried that, because he didn't know the new course, he might miss a aturn and either ruin his own race, or lead others astray. The first part turned out to be true. At one point in the final mile of run he did not see the appropriate markings, which resulted in his cutting a K off the course. The fact that his lead was substantial meant that the rest of the field covered the correct course. As a result, it was Andy Zabel that was crowned du winner, his 3rd consecutive Apple W. Steven Wert who appears to haing a breakout season, placed 2nd.

Becky Youngberg, now 49, one of our state's most successful multisportswomen, collected what our research shows is at least her 48th career win in the du, substantially outspliting all of her pursuers in each phase. Mata Agre looked strong thoughout and finished 2nd.