New Distances in 2018

Blog COver

I kind of thought I’d have this year’s race schedule a little more locked-in by now, but with a few core races decided on and registered for, my 2018 season is starting to take shape.

The plan so far

Trinona | June 10, 2018 | I’ll be kicking-off my triathlon season at the race where it all began for me. Trinona has a special place in my heart and I’ll probably compete in it for as long as I’m able. It’s the first triathlon I ever competed in. It takes place in the beautiful bluff country and river valley of southeastern Minnesota where I grew up. And it’s a race that some of my good friends are competing in now as well, which makes it even more fun with banter before, during and after. This will be my third consecutive year competing at this race, and fourth time overall. In 2017, I missed the podium in my age group by 16 seconds. I’ve registered for the sprint distance once again, with a goal of making this my best Trinona finish yet.

Minneapolis Triathlon | July 14, 2018 | New distance alert. I’ve registered for the International / Olympic distance for this race, which is twice the distance of a sprint. I’ll be swimming 0.93 miles, biking 24.5 miles and running 6.2 miles. I’m pretty excited to be taking my triathlon career to the next level. And I’m even more excited to be doing it as part of Team Save the Children, raising awareness and funds to help support the amazing work they do for children around the world (I’d be honored if you visited my personal fundraising page here). This is sure to be a special race on many levels.

Twin Cities Marathon | October 7, 2018 | Another new distance. Last fall I ran my first half marathon. This fall I’ll be running my first marathon. Tackling this distance wasn’t on my radar until last year. As my overall triathlon goals began trending towards an Ironman within the next few years, I realized I needed to start increasing my distances and exposing myself to the physical and mental challenges that come with them. But exposure to suffering wasn’t the only reason I chose to run a marathon. I’ve heard so many great things about this race specifically from past participants. It’s been dubbed the most beautiful urban marathon in America. It’s well organized and has tremendous fan support. The atmosphere is sure to be electric, providing a spark right when runners need it most.

Yet to be planned

I’d like to get a few running races under the belt prior my first triathlon of the year in June. A few options include the Hot Dash and Goldy’s Run, which both offer 5k and 10-mile options, and the Get in Gear event, which offers a 5k, 10k and half marathon. I’ve raced the Get in Gear 5k the last two April’s, but given my goals for this year, I’d likely target the 10k distance. A ten-miler at the end of March or early April might be a way to start the season with a bang though!

The biggest gap in my schedule is the second half of July through August. I’d really like to do four triathlons again this summer. With two already registered for in the early part of summer, this late summer window is the place to add them. A few local options include the Chisago Lakes Triathlon at the end of July and the Maple Grove Triathlon at the end of August. Or it may be time to look into a long weekend trication.

I was disappointed in learning that Life Time Tri races moved away from being USA Triathlon sanctioned, meaning the Minneapolis Triathlon will no longer be the regional qualifier for USAT nationals in August. I was really hoping to make my first run at the International / Olympic distance as an effort to qualify. However, it’s been a race I’ve always enjoyed and coupled with my opportunity to leverage race efforts as a way to bring positive change for kids around the world through Save the Children, it’s still a race I’ll continue to prioritize.

While I still have some planning left to do, one thing has already become clear — 2018 is going to be a year of new distances and new challenges. It’s going to take me out of my comfort zone. It’s going to push me harder than I’ve trained and competed before. But it’s also going to provide opportunities to get faster, stronger and smarter. The comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. I’m ready to see how much farther I can go. Cheers to goals, growth and new experiences in 2018!

12 thoughts on “New Distances in 2018

  1. Trinona and MG were Lifetime Events But are back under local control with support from Lifetime. Not sure what that means for USAT sanctioning. If under USAT (I suspect it is if for no other reason then it provides the race director with liability insurance), then sprint distance can qualify you for Olympic distance Nationals. You can just sign up for the sprint distance Nationals without qualifying…but Cleveland is a road trip just for a sprint. Chisago Offers one of the few 70.3 races in the state if you want a real stretch. Personally, I would do an Ironman branded event since they just put on a really well polished event. I have heard good things about the Madison 70.3 but I think it’s mid-summer. Ohio or Steelhead 70.3 are both in August. Lifetime now has their own championship in NYC if you podium in Minneapolis. They were offering so great goodies if you signed up (like free bike shipping). Something to look into in advance if you feel that you have a shot at the podium. Will you ever try the Olympic in Trinona? It has one of the toughest triathlon bike courses anywhere (which you completely bypass on the sprint). I did the sprint a few years ago, and they offered the bluff as a time trial the night before. I was shocked that I didn’t fall off my bike and that I made it to the top of the hill. Tackling that hill halfway thru an Olympic tri seems insane! Then the bike back down is just plain terrifying! Goldie’s Run and Hot Dash are both nice events. Goldie’s has a more unique course with a finish on the 50 yard line at TCF stadium (and you can watch yourself cross on the Jumbotron) so I would lean towards that race between the two. Sounds like a great season! I’m signed up for the TC 10 miler so I might see you there.


    • Trinona is already USAT sanctioned again for 2018. MG was USAT sanctioned last year (the first year post-Life Time) so I’m assuming it will be again. That’s an interesting comment about a top sprint performance qualifying for nationals. I’ve been looking over the USAT website and only found info on International distance finishes qualifying for International distance nationals. The new regional qualifier is Leon’s Tri down in Hammond, IN, but it’s the weekend before Trinona. I’d be nervous about tackling the International swim without much open water swim training that early in the year.

      I’ve been having that same conversation in my mind about Chisago Lakes Tri or an Ironman branded event. On one hand, Chisago Lakes is more budget friendly both in registration fees and being closer to home, but I’d love to experience the Ironman brand first hand as I’m sure they’re events are top notch.

      Life Time events aren’t totally off of my radar either. I’ve really enjoyed their races. They’re very well organized and well respected. Just bummed about the qualifier moving and those races no longer contributing to USAT rankings. Their NYC Tri is still on my bucket list!

      I thought about going for the International distance at Trinona this year, but again was concerned about getting enough open eater practice for the longer distance in time. I think I’ll give it a go in 2019. It’s pretty cool to know that Greg LeMond used to come to Winona to train on that Garvin Heights climb in preparation for the Tour de France!

      Thanks for the advice on the early season running events. And glad to hear you’re running the TC 10 mile! If I remember correctly, you’re last blog post mentioned taking a step back from running and triathlon in 2018 — glad you changed your mind some! Hopefully I’ll see you there this year again, and if I do, I’ll try not to catch you off-guard! Cheers!


      • “What events qualify for Age Group Nationals?
        To qualify for Olympic-Distance Age Group Nationals, you must finish a USAT Sanctioned Age Group Triathlon of any distance. Distances can be as short as super-sprint and as long as ultra-distance (full Ironman). These events can include on-road and off-road triathlons. Olympic-Distance Age Group Nationals is the only USA Triathlon National Championship which requires this strict qualification.

        Qualification cannot be met by participating in a duathlon, aquathlon, or aquabike event.

        There is no qualification required to participate in Age Group Sprint Nationals.

        What Category Must I Participate In To Qualify?
        To qualify, you must participate in an age group category. Participating in an Elite, Open, Athena, Clydesdale, etc. category will not qualify you. Qualification is based on the finish in the athlete’s age group, not where the athlete is extended an award. For example, if an athlete wins an overall award at an event and is removed from their age group, they will be placed back in their respective age group for purposes of qualification and the USAT rankings database.

        If Jane Doe is the overall female champion at an event and does not take first place in her age group at that event (because the race director removes her), Jane Doe will be placed back in her respective age group in the results that the race director submits to USAT for qualification purposes.”


  2. I ran the TC 10 mile on October 1st. Today was the first time I ran at all since that race. Clearly, I need something on my radar. So one Triathlon (lifetime Minneapolis Sprint) and one Running event (TC 10 mile/TC 10k/TC 5k-Loony challenge). Basically, my fave tri and my fave running events of the year…but not a full season. I did throw my name in the NYC Marathon lottery, but didn’t get selected…likely a good thing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • MPLS Tri too? Cool! Maybe I will see you around this summer then. I’m the same way – I need to be registered for some races to stay motivated, especially during the MN winters. Good luck with your training!


      • Only missed it once since 2012. That’s when I did Ironman Muncie 70.3 as a warmup for IM Wisconsin in 2014. It’s always the same day as Lifetime Minneapolis. I love Minneapolis, but I had bigger priorities that season…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I would recommend Ironman Ohio 70.3! I will be racing it and it is the end of July! I will also be cheering at the Minneapolis Marathon as my husband will be racing it! Cheers to new distances and pushing to new limits this year!


    • You’re the second person that’s mentioned Ohio 70.3 to me! I might have to look into that one further. I’m excited for the Twin Cities Marathon – I’ve heard the spectator presence is amazing. I hope you both enjoy it. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s