Thursday, April 28, 2011


3rd Annual Falls Du Race Preview (borrowed from without their permission : )

Have you ever heard the expression "champing at the bit?" It's not used much these days, and those who still use it are probably very old and, unless they are triathletes, are lucky to still be alive.

"Champing at the bit" is an equine metaphor which means "anxious to get started." Apparently horses impatiently bite or chew, i.e. "champ" (shouldn't it be "chomp"?) on their bits when they want to do something. An anxious dog, on the other hand, will squirm and make squeally noises when he, say, needs to go out to pee or do #2. This is because dogs don't have bits to champ on. And it's probably for the best that we don't describe a person who is very anxious to do something as one who is "squirming and squealing like a dog who needs to pee of do #2."

We'll therefore use the bit-champing metaphor here because it's less excretory.... Three-time Minnesota Duathlete of the Year nominee, Julie Hull is champing at the bit to get her racing season underway. Via e-mail she let us know that she is fit and trim and fully prepared to defend her Falls Duathlon title this Saturday. If she's able to do so, as we believe she will, the win will be the 11th of her impressive career. We also suspect that, weather permitting, the smiley former collegiate gymnast will nibble a minute or so off her the course record--1:13:38--she set last year.
In 2010, Hull's nearest pursuers were Joanna Hall and Diane Hankee, both of whom, like Julie, finished well under the event's previous CR despite the cool and very windy conditions. Hall hopes to return to Cannon Falls this weekend but tells us that doing so will be "a game-time decision." If she can make it, Hall, an intractable coffee addict, will joins friends at the wonderful Burly Coffee Company on 5th Street after the race. A family commitment will keep Hankee, who is a transplanted Canadian and a total hoot, off the starting line this year.

It's hard to tell when Chad Millner, a totally mild-mannered dude, is champing at the bit. We suspect that underneath his placid exterior, though, he is an impatient stallion who rears up, makes impatient stallion whinny noises, and has a mouthful of bit that has endured extreme champing damage. Like Hull, Chad was victorious in race record time last year. And like Hull, he is expected to repeat on Saturday. If the wind is manageable, Chad should coax another 1 mph out of his Felt. Though his 1:03:46 over the undulating 2-14-3 route is a strong effort, we think a fit Millner could pop a 1:02 this weekend.

Several recidivists should once again land in the men's overall Top 15, starting with Jesse Nelson (1st in 2009, 2nd in 2010) and including Mario Minelli (3rd in 2010, 4th n 2009), Andy Clark (4th in 2010), 53-year-old bit champing stud horse Charlie Roach (5th in 2010 & 2009), Randy Peterson (10th in 2010), Dan Doesdel (9th in 2009) and the photogenic Steve Stenzel (11th in 2010). Also expected to vie for spots in the Top 5 are Cannon Falls first-timers Harold Doise, who is from Belgium, and Ross Weinzierl, who like Harold, really likes Belgian beer.

The Falls Duathlon boasts scenic courses and great event execution (Final Stretch) and abundant and nummilicious post-race chow. Registration is open and a field of nearly 300 participants is expected on Saturday. Will you be be there? RACE WEBSITE

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