Race Coverage

What a Weekend!



Photo - Karl and Kelly like each other.

The Minnesota Multisport Honors Committee has begun the process of reviewing 2021 athlete bios and determining nominations in fourteen categories. Several outstanding performances by Minnesotan at major out-of-state races last weekend have dramatically impacted those discussions. For instance, KARL NYGREN's 4th place overall amateur finish at Ironman Chattanooga in 9:20:41 was his 3rd outstanding performance of the season, thus making him eligible for Rookie of the Year consideration.

Like Nygren, JULIA WEISBECKER needed one more outstanding performance to be eligible for an MMH nomination. And like Karl, her performance at IM Chattanooga sealed the deal. By winning her AG (55-59W), she will receive serious consideration for Female Grand Master of the Year.

KYLE SWENSON, 19, continues to impress the committee. Last weekend in Malibu at Collegiate Nationals, he placed 11th overall in a stellar 1:58:44. In case you don't know, College Nationals are, on the top end, just as competitive as Age Group Nationals, thanks largely to the fact that foreign elites and US Elite Development athletes are allowed to compete. Kyle's time would have placed him 2nd overall in the Malibu Triathlon's open Olympic triathlon. A shoo-in for a Junior of the Year nomination--he won that award handily in 2019--Swenson could become the first teen in the 22-year history of the MMHs to be nominated for Triathlete of the Year.

Speaking of Triathlete of the Year nominations, JENNA HORNER cemented her nomination at Malibu with her 5th place overall finish in the ultra-competitive Collegiate Olympic competition.

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Country Tunes, Bonus Miles, 5 Stages of Grief & Gorgeous Carpet...



By Sara Carlson

Ironman Wisconsin, Sept 12th, 2021 race report 

This was my 5th Ironman. Every build for an Ironman is so different. This one was probably the race that had me the most nervous about my bike and run. I had hoped that the old Endurance Nation mantra, “fast before far" would ring true for me, because I really didn't log the long hours on the bike that I normally do. I came into the race with some pretty solid left lateral foot pain at the base of my 5th metatarsal that had started in the spring. Plain films in July were negative for stress fracture, so I modified my training & did all of my "runs" on the elliptical from 6 weeks out until race week. Let me tell you, that was not exciting...

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"You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up"....



By David Leard

You’re probably not going to read too many IMOO Race Reports that start off: It was lunchtime on a Thursday in July 2017, and I took a walk down to Dinky Town just to get out of the office….

I stopped into a bike shop there and discovered they had the exact Continental tires I was looking to buy for my race wheels. Later that afternoon my boss saw the tires sitting on my desk and said “Hey, I have an idea. Let’s all bring our bikes in tomorrow and go for a ride in the morning.” I agreed. He had just bought himself a new bike and was wanting to show it off to everyone.

The next morning, about a mile from our office in the Armory Building at the U of M Campus, riding along the East River Parkway and about to stop at the Franklin Ave intersection, I downshifted, and my rear derailleur swung in and clipped a spoke (I must have bumped it out of alignment bringing it in that morning). Going from 15 to 0 in nothing flat is not an experience I’d wish on anyone.

I rolled through it and bounced right back up to my feet. Playing football growing up and Airborne School in the Army have at least taught me how to hit the ground successfully. After checking that my shoulder wasn’t broken, and while waiting for my bike to stop bouncing, I told myself “That was too close. You need to sign up for another Ironman ASAP.” ...

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Another W For Hawkins...



ONE LAST TRI - Just 23 seconds separated the women's podium finishers last Sunday at the 15th One Last Tri Sprint Triathlon. Eventual winner BIRTE FRETWELL, a strong runner who moved to the Twin Cities in 2020, outran the competition after losing ground in the first two legs. Our research revealed that the multiligual, well-traveled cat-loving Fretwell (photo) has only done a handful of tris.

Second place 12-seconds behind Fretwell was SHELLEY TSCHIDA, pronounced "Cheetah," whose last multisport races were in 2015. Finishing 11-seconds after Shelley was SARAH BERSETH, who had also placed 3rd the previous weekend at Square Lake 70.3.

Leading the way in this 116 finisher race was UM's QUINTON KNEELAND, who was coming off a fine performance at Maple Grove Olympic (4th place - 1:59:22) He finished 3:59 in front of UM runner-up JOHN BOASE, a UM teammate....

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Egg Baskets & Energy Immersion...


By Jessie Stevens

Oh that Madison Magic!

I registered for this race in 2019 after competing in IMWI and earning my second KQ. It was to be my first tri of the 2020 season and a great set up for a year that would end on the Big Island, but we all know that’s not how things went down....

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Tim, Diane, Nick & Kort....



SQUARE LAKE TRIATHLONS - The 2020 male Performance of the Year was DAVID THOMPSON's 1:15:17 at Square Lake Sprint.That performance lowered the men's course record by 5:01. With 110+ career multisport victories, DKT is clearly Minnesota's all-time most talented and successful male triathlete. 

Last Sunday, TIM BONTRAGER came dang close to matching Thompson's mark. He raced unchallenged from splash to banner, crossing in 1:15:50. Coming within a minute of a DKT performance is a Big Deal.

The win was Tim's 5th in seven starts this season. 

Tim came into the race as the man to beat, and DIANE HANKEE had the same target on her back in the women's race. Like Tim, she won, though not quite as handily. Tim's margin of victory was 10:48, Diane's was 2:06, her 1:30:29 bettered only by her own 1:28:25, set in 2018. The win was the 41st of her multisport career.

Kona-bound JEN MARTONE (1:33:41) and plaid-wearing STEVE STENZEL (1:26:38), a podium finisher in four of his last seven multisport starts, were the event's silver medalists, with DILLON WILLIAMS (1:27:43) and GRACE WILSON (1:36:28) claiming the bronzes.



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