Race Coverage

Heat, Ice Cream and Redemption...

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By Mike Hushagen

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Race Recap: This was my 3rd Ironman and Jessica Ann Shaw's 4th.  It's a beautifully scenic but difficult course with long climbs on the 2 loop bike route.  As race day neared the forecast kept getting hotter and hotter, eventually settling on full sun and 101 degrees! 

 The race start got moved up to 5:00 am for the Pros and 5:30 for the rest of us.  We got a short night of sleep and headed down to the lake in the dark with our trusty race sherpa Mark.

 The Swim (2.4 miles):  The water was a perfect 70 degrees and Jessica and I seeded ourselves together in line for the rolling start.  Before we knew it our buzzer went off and the race was on!  We entered the water side by side but soon lost each other in a sea of people and waves.  I found a person to draft off of and spent the whole first lap on his feet.  I did my own thing on the second lap and felt great the whole time at a nice relaxed pace.  As I exited the water and ran up to my bike I found that Jessica was already gone!  Yes, she kicked my butt on that swim by 5 minutes.  Now my goal was to catch her!

The Bike (112 miles):  I was feeling great so I pushed the pace right from the start and started passing people.  I didn't catch Jessica until around mile 6 and we rode together for about a mile to the first turnaround.  I was in front of her and as I finished the turn I heard "Oh s@&t!" And turned my head just in time to see her crash! ...

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"...I Fell Into the Second Category."...

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By Mari Ruddy (mariruddy.com)

Lake Minnetonka Race Report - I love triathlon. No two ways about it, I fell in love way back at my first ever triathlon, the Danskin, that I did in 2005, a week after I finished radiation treatment for my first round of breast cancer. I knew I had found the sport for me. It captured my imagination. 


Triathlon love
I love how it requires a lot of gear, a lot of planning, tons of little details to manage, and it 100% requires that you train. Swimming, biking and running one right after the other asks the body to please, please, please PREPARE. On top of the physical athletic preparation, you also have to train (practice) your nutrition and hydration. 

Managing details
Living 40 years with type 1 diabetes has required a massive amount of attention to details and doing triathlon takes the skills I’ve gained from having type 1, and gives me new (and fun!) focus for that skill.  
June 19th, I did my first official, in-person triathlon since doing the YWCA Women’s Triathlon in August 2019. I LOVE RACING!!!  ...

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Races Within Races & Emerging Stars...

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GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER - We love the races within the races, and we love to watch emerging stars, which is not to suggest that watching favorites live up to their billing isn't very cool, too....

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Old Dogs and New Tricks...

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By Corey Nygaard (coreynygaard.weebly.com)

Average Jo Triathlon Race Report - It has been a minute since I raced (IMCOZ 2019). And quite a bit has changed in my life, So today was going to be a sort of test to see if I remembered how to do this tRiAtHaLoN thing! Like most people coming back to racing after a hiatus of any length, there are things that come naturally and things that don't. Like how swimming three times before this race may have not been great, or not practicing flying mounts recently made T1 look goofy. But this sport is just like riding a bike, eh?

One thing I said that may have jinxed the mornings weather was the fact I said I was tired of the wind and said as long as it was not windy I did not care what the weather was.... mistake, sorry y'all... I woke up and it was windy and about 60 degrees, which normally is not too bad, but when it starts raining that changes things. I made it to the race site with the folks about an hour before the race started which is plenty of time to set up transition and use the bathroom two maybe three times...

This race was titled as 500 yard swim, 12 mile bike and 5k run.....
I was not sure where to start anymore, given my lack of swim training, so obviously I would start in the front right? Right. The chop was just a rollin' and the buoys to sight were non existent (may as well been bobbers out there) so I just sighted the boat that was out chillin' at the turn around. It worked well enough and was able to not veer off too often. I had two fellas in front of me coming out of the water which was definitely better than I thought. Not a great swim. but not too terrible by any means....

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No Clear Favorites & Youthful Exuberance,,,

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By Tim Bontrager

The Fairmont Triathlon successfully returned to racing after a 1-year hiatus due to COVID. This course, known for it’s “Switch-Side” swim, flat bike, and friendly run is a jewel for racing. On this day, mother nature was kind and race conditions were very good on the plains of southern Minnesota. A breeze from the north made the return leg of the bike more challenging but it kept the run at a very comfortable temperature. As a result, we saw fast times for many athletes during the run.

With perennial winner DAVID HOLDEN taking the year off, there was not a clear favorite heading into the men’s Olympic race. A trio of Twin Cities residents ended up taking the podium. TIM BONTRAGER followed his early-season TriByKnight victory by leading the race from start to finish, winning with a time of 1:57:49 and notching his second win of 2021. Behind him, an exciting race developed for second between 2019 “Most Improved Triathlete” ANDREW KERSHAW and cold-weather specialist MICHAEL TATE. Despite literally bursting out of his wetsuit during the swim (Impressive calves or a poorly made wetsuit? We may never know…), Tate was able to catch Kershaw on the bike and led coming out of transition. Undaunted, Kershaw passed Tate part-way through the run and never looked back. Kershaw took second with a time of 2:01:13, while Tate finished third with a time of 2:04:34.

A similarly exciting race developed for first in the women’s Olympic triathlon. JULIE BUSCH, winner of the 2018 and 2019 Fairmont sprint, put in an impressive swim and was the first woman out of the water. 2nd out of the water, 2020 Green Lake winner SARAH WENSINK had a two-and-a-half-minute deficit as she was getting on the bike. She clearly had her work cut out for her! Wensink managed to overtake Julie late in the bike course and then put the race away with a sub 40-minute 10k, winning the women’s race with a time of 2:21:38. Busch held on to second with a time of 2:32:04, and Rochester native MARTHA STELTER took 3rd with a time of 2:40:05 on the strength of a consistent swim and bike.,,,

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Fairmont, Bertam Blast & Des Moines...

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FAIRMONT TRIATHLON - A pair of fast teens won this year's Sprint tri last Saturday, while the Olympic race featured a terrific performance by men's winner TIMOTHY BONTRAGER. We love to see sub-2-hour clockings and Tim rocked a 1:57:49, which reminds us of the fast times that DAVID HOLDEN used to turn in there.  

ANDREW KERSHAW's 2:01:13 second place effort was also pretty dang impressive.

Bontrager's Winners Circle mate was Iowa's SARA WENSINK, who dominated the women's competition.

Back to the Sprint, which was won by 15-year-old phenom NOAH BILLINGS, who had to run down South Dakota's KEVIN MITCHELL, a multiple winner here. The victory was Billings second of the year.

The women's Sprint was won by GRACE BUSCH, 18, who has been impressing us since she was a 13-years-old, yet hadn't raced often enough to be included in the JOY conversations. Busch outpaced tri-vetrean TERESA VAN HYFTE (SD) for her 58-second win.

This year's tris had 50 finishers.  RESULTS

 

BERTRAM BLAST - Pre-race faves JAKE KEEHAN and recently surgerized BETTINA KEPPERS lived up to their billing last Sunday in the 5th edition of BB Off Road Triathlon. Conditions were surprising accommodating. The forecasted rain kept some volunteers from showing but almost all of the 120+ sign-ups made the morning trek to wilderness-y Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. ...

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