A new era in the sport of triathlon was set when Maik Twelsiek and Amy Kloner won the United States debut of the TriStar111 format in Maple Grove, Minnesota. The European triathlon format keen on the cycling discipline covers the distances of a 1km Swim, 100km Bike and a 10km Run.
Perfect conditions greeted the athletes early Saturday morning at Weaver Park for the U.S. debut of the international TriStar111 race format along with the Maple Grove Triathlon. The event attracted local and out of state triathletes, including a mix of professional triathletes. Two-time Ironman World Champion and TriStar111 Ambassador Chris McCormack was there along with Commerzbank Triathlon Team member Maik Twelsiek, local pro Devon Palmer Amy Kloner and Christie Sym.
The TriStar111 event kicked off the days' action bright and early with the pro wave going first and then the reaming amateur athletes willing to test out the new distance. The water temp was 77 which meant it wasn't wetsuit legal for the pros but was legal for the amateur athletes. McCormack better known as Macca exited the water first, in front of Twelsiek and company. Last minute entry Sym exited the water ahead of Kloner.
The bike course was two loops, with gave spectators and easy way to catch the action as is passed a short distance away fro the transition area. Twelsiek aka "The Flying German" who was testing our his Boulder training was out in front first loop of the bike His fast biking ability gave him a nice gap between Karl Bordine and Palmer. Twelsiek, first into T2, had a three minute lead on Bordine and seven minute lead on Palmer.
Sym was first on the first loop of the bike but later it was determined that she made a costly mistake, cutting part of the course accidently. Kloner had her own issue on the bike course, she end up going longer after she missed a turn, came back on was then on course.
The run course was also two loops which again gave spectators a great opportunity to see the athletes out racing. The TriStar111 course was part of the same coursed used with the Olympic and Sprint distance races that were part of the Maple Grove Triathlon.
Twelsiek's lead off the bike was enough for the German on the short 10km run. He dominated the day with a 3:12:45 finish time, which also becomes the new distance standard. Twelsiek beat's Thomas Hellriegel's previous course distance mark of 3:12:53 set at TriStar111 Estonia. Bordine finished in second with Palmer rounding out the podium in 3rd place. Kloner, the only other female professional woman, took the victory on the women's side.
2011 TriStar111 Minnesota Results:
Maple Grove, Minnesota
|Pro Men Results||Time||
|Pro Women Results||Time|
Due to bike problems, McCormack was forced to drop out of the TriStar111 Minnesota. He switched bikes and then entered the last wave of the Maple Grove Sprint Triathlon. Macca said this before he took off for the sprint race, "Races don't always go as planned, but I wanted race for the fans that have been so good to me here in Minnesota."
Mathew Payne was the first amateur male and 6th male over all while Jenny Wilcox takes the age group race on the women's amateur side.
This is only the second triathlon in Minnesota behind the world famous Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon with a professional prize purse. The race featured a $10,000 prize purse that was totally funded by a local 5 moth old triathlon store called Urban Tri located in Minneapolis. Owner Todd Olson footed the bill to attract the pros here to Minnesota so he and other locals could see them race here. Because the race only had two female pros, the 3rd place prize money was used to pay out 2 more spots on the men's side. The DQ of Sym left money in the pot, which was then distributed to all the pros who won money a great gesture for their hard work. The event festivities continued into the evening with the award ceremonies being held on a paddle boat on the St. Croix River for all TriStar111 participants. Not only did they hand out the check to the pros there, they also handed out all the age groups awards.
The race with which only had just over three months of planning pretty much went off without a hitch. Only a few minor things here and there, but noting major. The pluses out weighted the negatives. The overall comments from the athletes that we talked to after the race were very good, which even included several of the pro we talked to. Olivier Castelli from Star Productions was on hand and was very pleased on how things turned out on the U.S. debut of the TriStar111 Minnesota race.
Something quite unique to all American athletes not familiar with the TriStar brand would be the little amenities here and there that the race features. The TriStar111 Minnesota race featured its own boxed in transition area. The transition area had rubber mats on the asphalt in front of the bikes on the racks. Athletes had T1 Bike bags and T2 Run bags, similar to those used in Ironman race, along with changing tents, something not normally seen in half iron distance triathlon. The best feature that we liked was the raised finish line ramp with accompanying arch that made everyone a star when crossing the finish line. It gave spectators at the finish line the ability to see their athlete cross the finish line even with rows of people in front of them.
TriStar Minnesota was part of Dare to Tri Maple Grove Triathlon which hosts Sprint and Olympic distance races on the same day. The race attracts many beginner triathletes with its Dare to Tri concept / motto. Over 1, 000 athletes took part in Saturday's triathlon action.