Race Previews

Mini-Previews: Bertram Blast, Turtleman, Moose Lake & Buzz Ryan....

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The two busiest racing weekends of the season are August 10-11, which has eight events, and next weekend (July 20-21), which has five. Twenty-nine percent of the adult outdoor tris / dus staged on Minnesota soil this year are on those two weekends.

Naturally, we worry that race attendances will suffer, and we'd hate to see more events fall off the calendar. (Thirty-eight races have been cancelled between 2014 and now.)...

2019 HOLT Preview...

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34th HEART OF THE LAKES PREVIEW - Here are the athletes that are our current podium favorites for Sunday's Long Course race:

Men:

JOSH BLANKENHEIM - HOLT History - 2nd in 2017 & 2015, 3rd in 2018, PR - 1:33:05 (2015)

JOSH MORK - HOLT History - 14th in 2016. Comment: Josh's rise in the last three seasons has been impressive. A podium finish is very possible....

Jessica's Iron Quest - "I Had Not Earned it Yet."

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ED. We found this cool story about a Brainerd triathlete Jessica DeShaw on Facebook. ..

 

By Conrad Engstrom (brainerddispatch.com)

 

Jessica DeShaw remembers not crying despite not finishing her first ever Ironman triathlon in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.
She got pulled off at mile 17 of the run because she didn't make the marker in time.

"I did not know how to train in the heat and that was something that held me back," DeShaw said. "I remembering not crying because when they pulled me off I realized I had not earned it yet."

Will CY Be There? ...UPDATED AGAIN...

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GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER OLYMPIC - Though the Graniteman Clearwater event will be 10-years old on Saturday, its Olympic-plus distance event has only been a part of the progam since 2015.

We use the terminology "Olympic-plus" because the bike portion is longer than 40K. How much? About 6K, or about 3.8 miles.

Here in the upper Midwest, triathletes love lots of bike miles. One is not going to find many sprint races in Minnesota with only 20K (12.4) bike routes. They're more apt to a find a 20-mile course, as in the case of Heart of the Lakes, or a 22-mile route, as at Chisago.

As a result, of course, athletes who typically post, say, a 3-hour time at Brewhouse or Minneapolis, will probably need another dozen minutes to go the distance at G-Man. So you know, the course records belong to established elites, BENNETT ISABELLA (2:09:31 in 2015) and KORTNEY HAAG (2:24:40 in 2017), but more typical winning times are in the 2:14 range for men, and 2:30 range for women.

Who do we think will lead the way on Saturday?  ...

Beware of Fast Teenagers...UPDATED...

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GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER SPRINT - The original Graniteman Triathlon happened in 2004 in Rockville, a bucolic berg southwest of St. Cloud. JOHN SHELP and SARAH FOLEY were the winners that year.

The race soon outgrew its venue, and organizers wanted a site that was closer to the Twin Cities. So, after just six years in Rockville, the event was moved to Warner Lake near Clearwater. 2019 marks the 16th anniversary of the event, and 10th anniversary of it at its current venue.

According to the race website, the event features the following:

It offers both sprint and olympic distances and features a unique point to point sprint distance swim, a beautiful bike ride through rolling country roads, and finishes with an out & back run that includes both paved and natural surfaces.  There is also a park for the kids, live music, great food, fantastic race swag, great awards, and awesome door prizes!

In other words, Graniteman Clearwater is awesome.

It's fun for us to make some predictions, which we do to stimulate interest and conversation, so, according to the registration list we saw last week, let's do some name-dropping....

It's For Everybody!

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GEAR WEST XXVI - For much of it's first quarter century, especially after the millennial turn, the Gear West Duathlon was recognized as one of America's most competitive run-bike-runs. That reputation served the event well until 2012ish, when multisport attendance stared to tumble. In 2018, the GWD left the calendar as had approximately half of our state's races over the last half-dozen years.

Thanks in part to positive signs concerning event enrollment, e.g. encouraging tournouts in 2019 were enjoyed by Buffalo, Trinona and Lake Minnetonka, and to a change of marketing focus, the Gear West Du has returned, it's 26th edition slated for thei Sunday, June 23.

It's very possible that focusing on "competition" has caused some race attendances to decline. It seems that a growing percentage of multisport newcomers are "recreational," in it for fun, fitness and the social benefits. Competitive races can be intimidating to this constituency; some may even conclude that they are not as welcome as those motivated by speed and placement....

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