Race Previews

Steamy North Country Experience...



TIMBERMAN SPRINT - When TAYLOR LUNDQUIST sped out of T2 she was in 3rd place, forty seconds behind TARA MAKINEN, a four-time winner of Timberman Sprint, and 1:53 in arrears of two-time champ / course record holder BETTINA KEPPERS.

At first, it seemed that if the teen from Osseo could hold her position against the aforementioned veterans, she just might come away with a new junior course record.

But TAYLOR seemed to have something else in mind. She was almost sprinting when she passed the finish line as she headed out on the three mile run. Would she pay for her aggresivenenss? Or would she settle into a pace that would allow her to catch one or both of the leaders?

Taylor was named 2017 Junior of the Year because, after an impressive, though not award-worthy first half of the season (two other juniors outraced her here last year), she cranked up her game and finished the season with three outright women's victories and a half dozen junior course records.

Would Saturday's Timberman Sprint be her turning point this time around?

It sure was. Lundquist not only overtook Makinen, she even managed to charge past Keppers. The result was not only Taylor's 4th career adult multisport win, but a total thrashing of the junior record.

But wait. There's more. Lundquist's final time was 1:02:57, which lowered Keppers' year-old CR by two full minutes! It needs to be noted here that runner-up Keppers turned in a 1:04:32, twenty-five seconds better than her prior best. Makinen also PRed, her 1:05:04 a 28-second improvement on her previous best time, set in 2014.


Lundquist's performance was clearly her most impressive to date, and establishes her as the current 2018 JOY frontrunner.

And she was not the only Lundquist who excelled at T-Man. Taylor's sister SIMONE, 16, rocked a 6th place finish, her 1:09 was almost four minutes faster than her 2017 effort. Future JOY nominee? Absolutely.

Taylor was not the only athlete to set a Sprint record. She was joined in the winner's circle by JOHN SHELP, 46, whose 55:51 lowered Brian Bich's 2016 CR by 51 seconds. Shelper's margin of victory over runner-up ADAM HIMES, a seven-time T-Man Sprint winner, was 1:44. North Dakotan THOMAS LOEGERING, 2017 Young Life Sprint victor who placed 5th here last year, claimed the bronze position.

Five divisional bests were set.


Course records were also established in T-Man's 3rd annual Super Sprint. Leading the 28-finisher field were DAVID HJORT, 16, in 39:14, and remarkable pre-teen JOCELYNN HOEFS, 10 (!), in 40:03.


TIMBERMAN INTERNATIONAL - While the sprinters and super sprinters were rocking out, those in the International-distance event wouldn't fare as well. As the short coursers finished, the temps and dew point were climbing. Long course racers may have rocked out during the swim and bike phases, when it was only merely warm and thick, but when they started the six-mile run, the world around them was mid-80s HOT with dewy points in the syrupy 75 range.

Only one divisional record would evenytually fall, that one claimed by 65-year-old PAM STEVENS, who is a record breaking machine. Pamster has raced four times in 2018, and crushed her AGs records on each occasion.

We don't want to suggest that Pam was the only long course athlete who had a great performance. Men's runner-up JAKE BRAAM, a Rookie of the Year nominee in 2017, had been off to a medium-dazzle start this year. In his two prior outings, he'd only Top Tenned once, albeit by the skin of his teeth (what a creepy image!). So, his 2nd here was a big deal, a breakout in spite of inhospitable conditions. His  time under the circumstances was very good, a 2:02, which put him just under three minutes off the pace set by ebullient repeat champ JORDAN ROBY.

Thunder Bay's KRIS NISULA, 42, who owns a veritable plethora of commentative awards from Minnesota multis, grabbed 3rd and the Masters title in 2:03:02.

As Jordan became a back-to-back winner, his girlfriend CHRISTINA ROBERTS became a back-to-back-to-back winner, her 2:11:08, while almost two-minutes off her own course record, was outstanding on this day. In fact, it was the 2nd fastest women's clocking on this course, which has been in place since 2013.

Roberts podium mates were ANDREA MYERS, a back-to-back-to-back runner-up here, and Thunder Bay sweetie pie (She is Canadian, after all!) KAYLA KJELLMAN.

Approximately 350 athletes finished the three-race event, which celebrated its 34th anniversary. AMY and ALAN DETTMER, for the fourth year, produced a flawless race, which truly showcased the beauty and charm of Minnesota's north country. Timberman is a truly special experience.  RESULTS

Page 2 Photo - (L-R) - Brooks Grossinger (not a hugger), Scott Myers, Andrea Myers, Christina Roberts, Jordan Roby, Joel LaFrance and Jake Braam.