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2010-10-10 8:04 PM

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Subject: 2011 Tri's
I have started a list for 2011 triathlons.  Does anybody have any good races that I just should not miss?  I was thinking about doing the Tri Minnesota Series but I don't know if I will be able to do a lot of the races that they are suggesting.  I only did one triathlon last year (my first one) and became hooked so I would like to know the "can't miss" races.


2010-10-10 8:18 PM
in reply to: #3144058

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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
It all depends on what you're looking for in a race.  Most of the more popular races will have multiple reports on this site to give you an idea of what to expect.  There are all kinds of good options for sprints and Olys around the Twin Cities, especially early in the season.

If you're thinking of a Half Iron distance, there's already a pretty good thread for area races at that distance.

The only 'can't miss' for me is the Chaska Tri.   It's fun, well organized and challenging.  Plus, since it's a sprint, I don't have to spend a week or two in recovery mode.
2010-10-11 7:23 AM
in reply to: #3144058

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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
Where do you live? It depends on if you want to travel (stay overnight) at some of the races or not, and also, how many you want to do.


For me, I will not be missing the Graniteman or Heart of the Lakes races
2010-10-11 8:13 AM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's

In addition to location and length of race I also would want to know if you like the big hoopla races or small intimate ones.

I think the Liberty Olympic is great because of the course, but it's pretty small.

The Lifetime Fitness tri is HUGE and a big deal, if you like that.  Funner to watch in my opinion.

Heart of the Lakes is a popular one around here.

The Lake Minnetonka sprint sells out pretty fast, so I am trying that one. 

Let us know more about your parameters and I am sure we can make suggestions that are suited to your interests.

2010-10-11 8:23 AM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
If I were picking a series to do, I'd probably to MMS over TriMinnesota, but that's just me.

Not a bad race in the MMS series bunch...my personal favorite is probably Turtleman, but I have a warm spot in the cockles of my cold dead heart for Manitou and Waconia (despite the fact that the swim on BOTH of those is stupidly stupid 90% of the time). HOLT isn't bad, but when it's hot (and it's usually hot), the run can be BEASTLY (I think they've fixed most of the road surfaces now, though, which is okay). PLus, I hate dragging my azz all the way out to kingdom come to race it.

I did Lake Marion a couple years ago, and found it to be a pleasant, low-key race. If I'm ever back to racing (or participating, I guess), I'd consider that one again.
2010-10-11 8:29 AM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's

mmrocker13 - 2010-10-11 8:23 AM
I did Lake Marion a couple years ago, and found it to be a pleasant, low-key race. If I'm ever back to racing (or participating, I guess), I'd consider that one again.

Agreed!  I enjoyed this one.



2010-10-23 2:34 PM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
Maple Grove Tri was fantastic this year.  It will be on my can't miss list.  Tri Minnesota series is great.  I try to cover all four corners of the metro over 12 events or so.  Love the Minnesota competition!
2010-11-16 3:39 PM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
This past summer was my first season. I did Trinona and MinneMan. I already signed up for Trinona 2011. I really enjoyed both of those.

I enjoy making a weekend trip out of anything so I enjoy having to stay overnight.
2010-11-16 4:56 PM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's

Heart of the Lakes has always been my favorite.  Starting to like Chisago also, but not sure why.

2010-11-20 7:16 PM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
This is a great question...one that my wife, Wendy and I, consider each year as we plan our schedule of events out. Like many of the people in this thread, I believe it depends on the experience and distance you are looking for. I like to mix it up a bit with "Big, Glitzy, Bling" events, but love to do a simple, intimate event or two.

My first choice is a matter of pride: Rochesterfest Triathlon Oly or Sprint Why?-Well, I created the race. Mark and the team at Final Stretch, Inc run the show now and do a top-notch job.

Aside from that choice, I think the best event in Minnesota, in my opinion, is the Heart of the Lakes Triathlon. They have fantastic volunteers and just a well-organized triathlon gem in Minnesota.

I like Buffalo, Liberty, and Chisago pretty well, too.

If you want a road trip to Wisconsin, the Waupaca Area Triathlon is their version of the HOLT race here. The Waupaca Tri was my first triathlon. I really enjoyed the community there.

I had the opportunity to be the USAT Head Referee at the Inaugural Maple Grove Triathlon this year. I must say that Lindsey and Jeanette have started a 1st Class event. If I am not officiating that race in 2011, I will be racing in it myself. Loved it! I recommend it!

After I finished officiating the Maple Grove Tri this year, I drove up to Baxter to race in the Lakes Country Triathlon. They had a really great kid's triathlon there on Saturday. I raced the Sunday event and it was really nice. This is a low-key event with a nice course. I will be back in 2011 with my 7-yr old doing the kid's tri and I will do the Sunday event again. Great Race.

I am considering the Ironman 70.3 Racine again in 2011. I really liked the event, made for a nice trip away. The water was clear and clean. The bike is fairly flat and fast. The run was blazing hot though and I suffered on it. It was fun overall though. Very professional looking event.

Later in the season is the Waseca 1/3 Iron-distance Triathlon in Waseca, MN. It is a Final Stretch race in a smaller town that really comes out to support the event. Unique distance: 1 mi Swim/34 mi Bike/8.8 mi Run. Fast bike course and a flat two-loop run. There is a Sprint race there too: 1/4 mi Swim/14 mi Bike/4.4 mi Run. Mark and the gang do a great job. The Mayor and his family man the Finish Line there.

Honestly, you really can't go wrong in Minnesota between late May and Sept. As a matter of fact, if you can work your way through all of the races in the state over a couple of years, it might be a great experience. Life is short, play hard they say.

Swim, Bike, Run! For all the fun!

Happy Holidays!

Bill Nevala
2010-12-01 1:39 AM
in reply to: #3144058

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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
x2 on Buffalo.  Great race, well organized.

I also favor Lakes country as far as sprints go.  I've done a lot of the TriMn races because most of them are cheaper, but I'm kinda over them except these two.  Next year I'm totally doing Trinona, they've got a great course. 


2010-12-01 10:26 AM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
BikerGrrrl - 2010-10-11 8:13 AM

In addition to location and length of race I also would want to know if you like the big hoopla races or small intimate ones.

I think the Liberty Olympic is great because of the course, but it's pretty small.

The Lifetime Fitness tri is HUGE and a big deal, if you like that.  Funner to watch in my opinion.

Heart of the Lakes is a popular one around here.

The Lake Minnetonka sprint sells out pretty fast, so I am trying that one. 

Let us know more about your parameters and I am sure we can make suggestions that are suited to your interests.



Totally agree on those 2 points!

Chisago is a pretty great race. It's later in July, and it has a sprint and a half. Great venue.

Also, early in the season, the Apple Duathlon is a top-notch event. I know you're asking about tris, but that Du is a good kick-off to the season. (And before that race [and smaller and more low-key] is a great du called the Cannon Falls Duathlon. A few weeks after Cannon is the hyped Gear West Duathlon - LOTS of speedy local elites at that one! Fun to race or watch!)
2010-12-01 11:28 AM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
I think my fav local race is Waseca.  I love that bike course!  HOLT is also a great race, but it's the same weekend as Racine, so I'll be skipping that again.  Rochester is always fun since it's our "home" turf.  Can't bring myself to go back to Buffalo this year, so we'll be going to Liberty (the next weekend).  Trinona was good, but I had a bad race (but that's 100% on me, nothing to do with the race itself).  Albert Lea will test your HTFU, for sure!  I've done that one for the last 4 years.  It's a really well run race and I usually have a good time in spite of the cold water.  I'd also suggest the Falls Du (spring in Cannon Falls) and the Cannon Wells Du (fall in Faribault) as nice bookend duathlons for the season.  I'm not a huge duathlon fan (running is hard!), but those are both low-key fun races.  Like Bill said, there are so many good races, you really can't go (too) wrong. 
2010-12-01 11:43 AM
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Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
rowdypaint - 2010-12-01 11:28 AM

I think my fav local race is Waseca.  I love that bike course!  HOLT is also a great race, but it's the same weekend as Racine, so I'll be skipping that again.  Rochester is always fun since it's our "home" turf.  Can't bring myself to go back to Buffalo this year, so we'll be going to Liberty (the next weekend).  Trinona was good, but I had a bad race (but that's 100% on me, nothing to do with the race itself).  Albert Lea will test your HTFU, for sure!  I've done that one for the last 4 years.  It's a really well run race and I usually have a good time in spite of the cold water.  I'd also suggest the Falls Du (spring in Cannon Falls) and the Cannon Wells Du (fall in Faribault) as nice bookend duathlons for the season.  I'm not a huge duathlon fan (running is hard!), but those are both low-key fun races.  Like Bill said, there are so many good races, you really can't go (too) wrong. 


  • ... you mean "running is AWESOME (and that's why duathlons ROCK!)!"

  • Just thought I'd correct that for you.

    But seriously, those are 2 great, fun, low-key dus.
    2010-12-01 12:23 PM
    in reply to: #3232311

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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
    Steve- I can't tell you how many times during the "run around a lake" part of a tri that I've lovingly looked at the water and said, "Seriously!  I could swim back faster than I'm running!"  One of these times I'm just going to ditch my shoes under a bush and swim it home.  Cool
    2010-12-01 1:13 PM
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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
    rowdypaint - 2010-12-01 12:23 PM

    Steve- I can't tell you how many times during the "run around a lake" part of a tri that I've lovingly looked at the water and said, "Seriously!  I could swim back faster than I'm running!"  One of these times I'm just going to ditch my shoes under a bush and swim it home.  Cool


    Ha! You and I have the exact opposite problem...


    2010-12-01 2:36 PM
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    I always think this too.  The first time was at that stupid St. Paul Tri, where the Oly goes twice around Lake Phalen. I  probably should have just tossed in my towel.

    I am going to do the Falls Duathlon this spring (among many other races, just staying on topic here).  I actually don't really enjoy running, but swimming is also a total PITA.  Why am I doing this again?

    rowdypaint - 2010-12-01 12:23 PM Steve- I can't tell you how many times during the "run around a lake" part of a tri that I've lovingly looked at the water and said, "Seriously!  I could swim back faster than I'm running!"  One of these times I'm just going to ditch my shoes under a bush and swim it home.  Cool

    2010-12-17 7:28 PM
    in reply to: #3144058

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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
    i personally like the St Croix Valley tri over in Hudson Wi.   It is super small.  and IMO best of all the sprint and the oly are on different days.  And its over labor day weekend.
    2010-12-17 8:06 PM
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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's

    Not in MN, but I just got into the Escape from Alcatraz race.  On a lark, I put my name in the lottery expecting to not get picked.  Not sure I will want to pay for it now; race fee, plane tickets, bike shipping, hotel, etc.  So if you’re not in now, my spot will probably be free at the next lottery drawing.

    On topic, my wife and I decided that we are going to do the Falls Du this year.  Hope the bike is more even this year, the "back" portion was tough last year.

    2010-12-17 8:59 PM
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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
    peteweb55403 - 2010-12-17 7:28 PM i personally like the St Croix Valley tri over in Hudson Wi.   It is super small.  and IMO best of all the sprint and the oly are on different days.  And its over labor day weekend.


    I really enjoy it too.
    2010-12-18 8:35 AM
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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's

    Oh come on - you should do it!  What if you regret it and then cannot get in again? 

    DTraitor - 2010-12-17 8:06 PM

    Not in MN, but I just got into the Escape from Alcatraz race.  On a lark, I put my name in the lottery expecting to not get picked.  Not sure I will want to pay for it now; race fee, plane tickets, bike shipping, hotel, etc.  So if you’re not in now, my spot will probably be free at the next lottery drawing.

    On topic, my wife and I decided that we are going to do the Falls Du this year.  Hope the bike is more even this year, the "back" portion was tough last year.



    2010-12-31 11:26 AM
    in reply to: #3144058


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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
    I only did 3 last year, but the lakes to pines is a VERY small race in Park Rapids, Northwoods Tri in Nevis, and Square Lake Tri in Stillwater.  All were amazing to me, but I'm a newbie too without much to compare them to.
    2011-01-06 1:11 PM
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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
    I finally got around to training after my weight loss from last summer. I think I want to stay local for my first tri this year, so was thinking of doing the Paul Bunyan Tri here in Bemidji, but folks seemed to complain that it wasn't run very well (not enough volunteers). Park Rapids and Walker aren't that far. Too bad I just missed out on Nevis... Grand Rapids may be doable too. Any suggestions for something in this area? Thanks!
    2011-01-06 1:34 PM
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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
    The Lakes Country Tri (sprint only) in Brainerd/Baxter is a good venue and well run.  I have done it the last 3 years.
    2011-01-06 1:41 PM
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    Subject: RE: 2011 Tri's
    Lakes to Pines in Park Rapids is a small, but fun race for the start of the season.  500yd swim in pool and the rest outside.  About an hours drive.
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