2017 UCare Tri-Loppet Race Recap
This article was posted on Monday, July 24, 2017
It was a beautiful day for the 12th annual UCare Tri-Loppet. This year we moved the race from its traditional June date to late July and lucked out with a cooler day that started off in the 60s and reached the 70s by the afternoon. Hundreds of paddlers, runners and mountain bikers of all ages, backgrounds and ability levels came out to paddle, run and mountain bike.
Unlike in past years, the wind was relatively calm when the paddlers took off from the start. The wind was a bit more noticeable towards the south end of Lake Calhoun – some paddlers mentioned that the waves were pretty big – but the wind didn’t play as much of a factor for the rest of the race.
At the end of the paddle section, the Surly Gives A Damn volunteers at Brownie Lake hauled everyone’s boats away and provided hydration before racers transitioned into the run section. From Brownie Lake, runners headed over the 394 bridge and into the single track of the Quaking Bog and the rolling hills of Eloise Butler Trails in Theodore Wirth Park. After the race, one first time racer commented that the transition from canoe to run was the hardest part of that race and her legs “felt like a ton of bricks” as she took off from the boat.
As the racers made their way from the woods on foot to the bike transition area, they were able to grab some water and energy from Tri-Loppet title sponsor volunteers from UCare.
The mountain bike course took participants on a great tour through the trails of Theodore Wirth Park, where they were able to get a peek at the construction site for The Trailhead. They were also the first ever to ride the new single track section near the Chalet. Loppet Trails Superintendent, Isaac Kasper noted that, “the new trails are still a work in progress and won’t be open until the fall, but it was fun to give everyone a taste of the new routes to come.”
When racers crossed the finish line at the Loppet Adventure Camp location right next to Wirth Beach they were greeted by friends, family and relay team members. Also greeting participants in the finish area was a fun and festive post-event party. Great music was played by Sawyer’s Dream and cold beer was poured thanks to Surly Brewing Co.
A $1,700 cash purse was at stake in this year’s Tri-Loppet. $500 for the top male and top female individual General Boat competitors, $250 for second, and $100 for third.
Matt Liebsch pulled off the hat-trick this year, finishing in first place for the third time in a row. He won with an impressive 10 minute gap, finishing at 1:35:20. Justin Bakken crossed the line in second place at 1:45:21 and just behind him in third place was David Nelson, finishing at 1:45:26. Matt said after the race that he felt like he made the most time by pushing the pace during his run. He held a significant gap on the field as he headed out of the transition area on his bike, and despite a small crash in the single track section, he kept his lead for the win.
In the women’s race, Josie Nelson crossed the line first for ladies for the fourth year in a row with with a time of 1:44:50. Josie was also 5th overall! Kim Rudd came in second place at 1:45:48 and Jan Guenther rounded out the top three with a time of 1:54:28. Josie said after the race that she enjoyed the surprise cooldown in Brownie Lake when she unintentionally went for a swim before heading into the run section.
Race Boat Results
Five finishers had race boats in this year’s UCare Tri-Loppet. Jonah Lidberg came in first with a time of 1:41:32. Patrick Nelson came in second with a time of 1:41:50 and in third place was Daniel Luoma, with a time of 1:42:29.
Paddle Board Results
A field of 12 competed in Stand Up Paddle Board division, which is now in its second year. This category has its own start, 15 minutes after the main field, and takes a shortcut straight to the Lake Street Bridge from North Beach so that they could compete throughout the race with the main field of racers.
Matthew Schlosser came in first at 1:42:29. Steven Orwig took second with a time of 1:50:03, and Robert Nelson — yes, that makes four Nelson’s who made the podium — rounded out the top three at 2:18:30
For ladies, Beth Wicklund finished strong in first place for the second year in a row with a time of 2:17:27. Evonne Remhof came in second at 2:18:03. And Sally Sexton finished in third with a time of 2:25:30.
Relay Team Results
There were 38 total relay teams that competed in this year’s UCare Tri-Loppet. Relay teams could be made up of 2, 3 or 4 team members.
For the Mixed Relay, Team Allie (made up of Loppet Coach Allie Rykken, Joe Clifton, Alex Edstrom) came in first at 1:45:35. Team Tank (Beth Tank, Steve Fuglestad, Rose Lindberg-Maingi, Jay Obenauer) came in second with a time of 1:57:06. And in third place was Worry Force Neptune (Amy Carlsen, Zach Legein) finishing at 2:00:14.
There were two teams in the the Men’s Relay category. The Breck Connection (Jeff Paulsen, Eric Chien, Grant Bemis) came in first at 1:55:57. In second place was The Skater Dad’s (David Goodman, Marv Richardson) with a time of 2:32:26.
The Nacho Bunnies (Jenny Batten, Alana Mcquirter, Anne Skold) came in first in the Women’s Relay category with a time of 2:22:44. In second place was Go Tommies! (Karla Krause, Sarah Rudolph, Karla Krause, Sarah Rudolph) finishing at 2:55:40.
The Corporate Relay category, sponsored by True North Consultants, awarded the top team a True North Adventure Academy session! The first place team from Dangerous Man was Dangerous Man Rebel Alliance (Sarah Bonvallet, Ryan Jurgenson, Maggie Pears, Lilah Guertin) who won with a time of 2:17:06. The second place team from UCare was the The Bedraggled Boars (Michael Klassen, Sam Holmes, Dan Sarles) who finished at 2:24:41.
The Family Relay, sponsored by Minnesota Parent Magazine, had some fierce competition. In first place with a time of 1:52:34 was LMR – Loppet Mungers Racing (made up of the Loppet Foundation Executive Director, John Munger and his daughters / LNR Racers Ellie Munger, Lauren Munger). In second place was If you are walking… you are wrong! ( Another Loppet Team made up of David Rhude and Elliott Forsman) who finished at 1:55:05. In third was GeezerPlus2Speedsters (Carleton Perry, Ben Perry, Johanna Perry) with a time of 1:59:23
The Loppet Foundation is very thankful for the volunteers who put in a ton of work to make the event happen. This included setting up the finish area the day before the race on a very hot day! We couldn’t have done it without the race day course marshals, water stop volunteers, and each and every other volunteer whose role was so very important and appreciated. Over 100 volunteers came out to make the UCare Tri-Loppet a success!
Thank you to all our participants and spectators. Your support at this year’s UCare Tri-Loppet was fantastic. And thank you to all of our sponsors for their continued support – UCare, North Memorial Health Care, GO 96.3, Surly Brewing Co., Hoigaard’s, Gear West, Minnesota Parent, True North Consultants, Wheel Fun Boat Rentals, Penn Cycle & Fitness, Bachman’s, Bearskin Lodge, Great Harvest Bread Co., and CHUX Print.