Race Previews

Timberman Sprint - Preview...



TIMBERMAN SPRINT PREVIEW - We're counting the days until we make our annual trek to Sugar Lake for the Timberman, which will celebrate it's 34th anniversary on July 14. 

Timberman is Minnesota's premier destination triathlon, contested at one of the most picturesque resorts in the Midwest. From the standpoint of physical beauty, it rivals any tri venue in the country.

Timberman also has an awesome bar and grill with a wonderful deck that overlooks its transition area, which is perfect for post race celebrations. How cool is that!

As we said, we can't wait to, as Tina Fey would say, "go to there."

We plan to post two previews, starting with today's words about T-Man's Sprint race. For grins, let's make some predictions....


On the women's side, three former winners are returning, and yes, we foresee two, or perhaps all three, of them returning to T-Man's podium. The threesome are, in alpha order: BETTINA KEPPERS, TARA MAKINEN and JENA OGSTON. Let's consider these athletes in reverse order:


JENA OGSTON - From 2010 through 2016, Jena has podiumed here. In 2015, she won, albeit by the narrowest margin in race history: two seconds. Can she win this year? Sure, but we think she'll battle with Tara Makinen for the 2nd and 3rd spots. 

TARA MAKINEN (photo) - Tara, a four-time T-man Sprint winner, had placed 2nd here in 2015 and 2016, but finished 6th last year, in a very strong time (1:06:35) against what was arguably the deepest women's sprint field in event history. 

BETTINA KEPPERS ( photo L)- The only thing preventing Bettina from receiving a Most Improved nomination in 2016 was her racing volume. She came very close to receiving a MI nomination in 2017, too. She has won this race the last two years, her times standing as the two fastest in the history of the current course. Yes, we predict a threepeat for Keppers.

Anoth podium hopeul that deserves mention here is 2017 Junior of the Year TAYLOR LUNDQUIST. The 18-year-old is not the same athlete she was last year when she finished 9th here, with two fellow teens  placing ahead of her. She went 1:08 that day, but we believe she's capable of challenging, if not rewriting, KAYTLIN GARRISON's junior CR 1:06:05. If she dips under 1:06, she should land on the podium next Saturday.


Now for the guys. This one is easy, unless an elite athlete or two registers by the July 11 deadline. Our pick to win is ADAM HIMES, who already has seven T-Man Sprint victoories under his belt.

Duking it out for the other men's podium spots? 2017 runner-up JOSH KEMP, now 19, is a good bet, as are Wisconsin's LEE BROWN, who placed 3rd here in 2016,and Adam Himes' 18-year-old son SAM, whose tri debut here last year produced a 6th place finish.

Timberman is truly a special experience on many levels: athletically, socially, aesthetically. If you're in need of a Zen-y, Tao-y, Yin-y-Yang-y or gestalltish sort of deal that happens to include a triathlon, do Timberman. You can still get in. Individual registration closes on July 11. RACE WEBSITE