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Best Triathlons in Minnesota
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For the few of you who have raced in Minnesota before. What races did you do? Did you enjoy It? And for Minnesotans, Nort Dakotans, Wisconsinites, what are your favorite Minnesota Triathlons?
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Whichever one Al Franken isn't working the photo booth at...
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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thanks for asking this. I'm looking for the same answer(s).

I grew up there and do a summer visit every year and combine it w/a race. Usually I do Lifetime Fitness, but, I won't do a race w/o USAT sanctioning (for the AA points), so, I'd like to know about another one. Hopefully not so far north. I may end up in Wisconsin, however.


I could break the course record - theoretically, Bishop Pickering - from the movie "Caddyshack"
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Check out the Minnesota Tri News site. Tons of related info there.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [spookini] [ In reply to ]
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spookini wrote:
Whichever one Al Franken isn't working the photo booth at...

We have otters and muskie attacking us while we swim and you expect a little post race ass and boob grab to deter us?
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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I did lifetime fitness tri (Minneapolis Tri) pretty much every year when I lived in Iowa. Great race, hopefully they fixed some of the roads there. It was a real nut cruncher a few years.

Lifetime fitness did a great job considering the size of the race. I feel they were one of the best large race RDs for quite awhile.

-----------------------------------------------------------
De Soto Sport Athlete
Formerly Draketriathlon
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Tough man in Chisago Lakes is a great race.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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 I live in MA but often spend part of the summer in Minnesota up North at my families cabin. I have done tris in Bemidji, Walker and outside of Duluth and I believe all were not USAT races. It was odd as all the raced here are USAT sanctioned.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Timberman up in Grand Rapids. Crystal clear swim, honest bike, you get everything, rolling, flat and some climbs. Mostly flat run. Great venue.

Also, a new swimrun will be starting this year at Cuyuna Lakes Recreation Area. Beautiful site.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Superiorman in Duluth!! I absolutely loved this one. They do a 70.3 distance and then a sprintlympic with a mega bike (.5 mile swim, 35.4 mile bike, 5.6 mile run).

First, the people putting it on were great. You can tell they love this stuff and that's why they do it.

Jumping off of the ferry was way more fun than I would have guessed. The lead-up is so different than dithering around a beach while everybody pretends not to pee themselves. Since the swim is in a bay (I'm probably using the wrong term) it was more warm and calm than typical Lake Superior.

The run course is 90% along the edge of the lake on a scenic path. There's people walking their dogs or on rental bikes cheering you on. The bike course returns right along the lake on the same road as the Grandma's Marathon course. It was freshly repaved last year with very little vehicular traffic. I wasn't wild about the first and last couple miles getting in and out of town. Lots of turns with some sidewalk/bike path type stuff, but it was pretty free and clear the rest of the route.

The logistics were super easy. The hotels, restaurants and parking right next to the race area are pricey, but I found a very clean (and large) Motel 6 room 5-10 minutes from the race for under $100. The Duluth Grill sharing the same parking lot was also a good choice. Simple drive in the morning, large parking area next to the race, and brief walk to transition. Last year they gave out passes to a nearby gym/health club so I could shower before driving back to Illinois. I'm not sure if that's normal, but it was appreciated.

I don't think I would drove 6 hours each way solo again, but I would definitely go back for this one if I had somebody to split the drive with.

The first triathlon ever where I can say the swim was my favorite part. Who doesn't want to jump off a boat?


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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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There are quite a bit of fun races that aren't USAT sponsored or points gatherer but great experiences.

Graniteman series are fun but offer great raffle/giveaway prizes after the awards ceremony. Giving away entire bikes before at Graniteman (new Tri bike one year, new fatbike another, HED 3 front afterwards and other races giving away a HED Disc). Graniteman Clearwater has a point to point swim (start on one side of lake and swim across).

Lake Minnetonka Triathlon is awesome too and a well run Sprint distance race (one of those point to point swims too). Another fun one is the Square Lake Triathlon with a modified longer distance sprint (1/2 mile swim, 16-18 mile bike, 5 mile run) or a 1/2 Iron distance type race (nasty steep short hills in some areas from what I hear as anybody who has been in downtown Stillwater, MN will know how some of those roads are).

I've done the Toughman in Chisago prior to it being taken over from them and was an independent race. That was well run the year I did it (short distance only). I've heard good things about Superior Man in Duluth, MN too.

Like another has stated check out the Minnesota Tri News site as they list all the Tri's and Duathlons in the area.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [dangle] [ In reply to ]
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This was totally on my radar for the longest time and I finally feel like giving it a shot!
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [loxx0050] [ In reply to ]
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Absolutely love riding the Stillwater area. I am pretty set on doing Chisago, for one it's close and two, it's cheaper than most other 70.3 independents
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Full disclosure, I am from the Duluth area and have been part of the Superior Man race crew the past three years...

I have raced almost every triathlon in Minnesota over the last 20 years and my favorites are:
* Timberman in Grand Rapids - best lake to swim in (on par with Mirror Lake (IM Lake Placid) and Lake Tahoe), and awesome bike course
* Heart of the Lakes in Annandale - absolute best race organization of any race I have ever done
* Apple Duathlon - yes a Du, but good venue and great organization; can't beat having the school locker rooms available post race to shower before driving home!
* Buffalo - big early season race and they do a good job organizing everything
* Northwoods in Nevis - awesome small town race

Bottom line, there are great big time (1000 racers) races (Life Time, Buffalo, Annandale) and excellent smaller races. You want metro Twin Cities races? Lake Minnetonka, Life Time, Maple Grove. You like small town races away from the city? Timberman, Northwoods, Brewhouse, etc... Any of the Half Iron races have their pros: Liberty is a solid early season race set 25 minutes outside of Minneapolis at a park with a nice bike and run route with minimal traffic. Superior Man has the cool swim start, scenic run course (lakewalk, aerial bridge) and the bike course has 50 miles of fast riding with a couple miles in and out of town to deal with. Chisago has the big race atmosphere with close to 1000 people racing with the sprint, and the bike course has some solid hills.

For anyone thinking of racing in MN, feel free to message me with any more detailed question on a race!

Ryan
http://trinorthmn.blogspot.com/
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [ryans] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for your insight! I have done a ton of races here, but i always seem to go back to the races i am comfortable with and just wanted to hear from someone with experience of other races. Most of the ones you have listed with the exceptions of (MPLS, Maple grove and Buffalo) i have not done. I race mostly in the north west part of lakes country and its nice to hear.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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There are so many races to do in MN that anyone can find one they like.

Want a big time race with the big time feel? Life Time.

Want a smaller laid back race? Green Lake, Granite Man, Lake Minnetonka, Timberman, etc...

Any and all distances you want to try from sprint to half iron are available.

I need to get out and try the Hoot Lake Tri in Fergus Falls sometime. Maybe this year!

Ryan
http://trinorthmn.blogspot.com/
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [ryans] [ In reply to ]
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The Hoot lake was my first tri ever and I keep going back! It's great. Hope they fix the course this year though..
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Heart of the Lakes in Annandale has always been my favorite. Duluth half is also pretty cool and jumping off the ferry is a great way to start a swim.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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I am surprised nobody mentioned Trinona.

Been a few years since I have been there but it was a fantastic race when I went. I don't think I have raced on a more honest bike course.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [Runningwithbees] [ In reply to ]
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I definitely remember that course! I love the Hill Climb, it is such a cool feature! Always love running around lakes.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [ryans] [ In reply to ]
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I've done Hoot Lake from 2011-2015 and enjoyed every year. The swim is short (yet crowded), the bike is longer (for a sprint), and the run is pretty fair. Great venue and cool community - I was always welcomed despite my status as an interloper.

I did the tri in Perham in 2016 but the swim was a joke with most people just walk/running through the waist-deep water.
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Don't know currently but remember well the awesome ironman distance race in late 1980's in Fairmont, MN. Anyone remember that or race there?
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [matt39] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah Hoot is classic, last year was ridiculoius with the amount of people in the first heat. The bike course was switched, so hopefully it's back to normal this year. It's the hardest Sprint course I've rode. Perham, for sure. I hate how there are people that walk most of the swim. I have been FOTW there the past two years and was disgusted by the walkers! I think they could make the swim straight out and back so it gets deeper...
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [ryans] [ In reply to ]
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I can second the thumbs up for Northwoods in Nevis. I did it for the first time last near and really enjoyed it. The whole small town gets out for it. The Brewhouse north of Duluth was my first ever, it's still one of the nicest swims I've had. From experience, the Northwoods sells out really quickly, like in January or February.


Don't forget to unclip!
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Re: Best Triathlons in Minnesota [Armstronium] [ In reply to ]
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Are they both Sprint races?
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