Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Giving It the Ol' College Tri

In other Minnesota multi action on the weekend of April 25-26, Golden Valley's Jason Midgarden and Minneapolis' Cynthia Cook posted convincing wins at the 25th annual UM-Morris Tinman, while approximately 130 miles away on another college campus (Gustavus Adolphus), Mike Torchia of Minneapolis, and Kathleen Dewahl of St. Peter, led their respective genders at the 2nd running of the Gustie Tri. Torchia, only 21, has at least two other tri wins--St. Paul Olympic '08 and North Mankato '07--to his credit and placed a very respectable 18th at the Collegiate National Championships the previous weekend on West Texas' lunar-like landscape. Perhaps he is on his way to barking with the region's Big Dogs? A Most Improved nomination may not be out of the question. Dewahl, only two years older than Torchia, may be one to watch as well. She placed 2nd at Green Lake Olympic last August.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Racing: April 25-26

(Richmond, Virginia) Forty-four-year-old Jeanne Fleck  from Proctor, has only been competing in tris and dus for two years but has already picked up three Minnesota Multisport Awards (2007 Rookie of the Year, 2008 Master of the Year, 2008 Most Improved). Finishing fourth in her age division and ninth among all over-40 women, which she did at USAT Duathlon Nationals on April 26, was bound to raise some eyebrows. Certainly, her performances against national caliber competition last season at Apple (1st master, 7th overall) and especially Iron Girl-Bloomington (4th overall and a substantial lowering of the masters record) demonstrate that, if healthy and well-trained, she has nothing to fear from the top girls in the U.S., even former Du Master of the Year Kristin Villopoto (Chapel Hill, NC) and current MOY Julie Deery (Bala Cynwyd, PA).

 "...My intention was to go there to guarantee a qualification," Fleck said in an e-mail the day after the race. She went on to explain, "....given my poor fitness level and the unseasonal heat... I was actually satisfied with my finish." 

How hot was it, Jeanne? "...Verging on 100 degrees, which was pretty brutal for a northern Minnesota girl like me."

Poor fitness level? What's that all about? "I suffered a groin injury late last fall, which then manifested into a knee problem." Ouch! "The injuries left me unable to do any kind of lower body training until recently."

Fleck's performance in toasty Richmond on April 26 was ultimately more motivating than deflating. Setting her sights on Apple, see expects to "definitely see an improvement from my performance at Nationals now that I am able to maintain some consistent training."

The good news for the 40-44 girls at Apple, which is a Team USA Worlds Qualifier this year, is that Jeanne Fleck has already picked-up her Worlds slot. Some lucky lady who would have just missed earning a trip to North Carolina next September had Fleck decided to forego Nationals, will now be able to toe the starting line alongside Minnesota's Master of the Year.

(St. Petersburg, FL) "I had a solid race," Cathy Yndestad said after St. Anthony's. She had just placed 4th in Elite Amateur division of the 26-year-old mega-event (4000+ participants), which had to be abbreviated due to dangerously high seas. The pros still had to battle the Bay, but the age groupers did only the bike (40K) and run portions (10K). 

Cathy's bike split (1:02:47) was impressive-only Florida's Angela Hygema rode faster (1:01:58)-- but her run (40:52) was not up to her usual standards, though she did not express disappointment. 

The women's Elite Amateur race was won by phenomenal 45-year-old Linda Robb of Juno Beach, Florida. The former US Athlete of the Year and Master of the Year and owner of four World Championship medals is a five-time St. Anthony's champion. Chicago's Lindsay Whalen, the 2008 25-29 National Champion, placed second and USAT All American Stephanie Liles of Tallahassee, Florida was third.

The cancellation of the swim had a profound effect of Chaska's Curt Wood. Runner-up here two years ago thanks to race-leading swim and bike splits, Curt came into Sunday's race listed as one of the favorites but race management's fateful announcement relegated him to "elite-also-ran" status. And while Wood ultimately placed 27th among Elite Amateur men, thanks largely to an uncharacteristically laconic bike split, he had something to smile about after the race. He'd been working very hard in the off-season to improve his running and his diligence truly paid off at St. Anthony's as he was able to trim more than two minutes off his typical 10K times in 2008. 

The Elite Amateur men's podium spots were earned by Connecticut's Christopher Thomas,who finished 11 seconds ahead of  40-year-old West Virginian Vinnie Monseau, who endured a bike crash, and Tennessee's Thomas (Zach) Winchester, who was another 16 seconds in arrears.

In St. Anthony's men's professional race, St. Paul's David Thompson was able to battle back from his 26th place arrival in T1 to 8th place at the finish line. It was the third consecutive year that David has earned prize money at St. Anthony's.

This year's pro winners were Andy Potts and Rebeccah Wassner, both of whom were runners-up here in 2008.

St. Anthony's Results: Here

Friday, April 24, 2009

Minnesotans Among Favorites at St. Anthony's

Chaska's Curt Wood and Apple Valley's Cathy Yndestad are among the favorites to win the Elite Amateur division of the 26th annual St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg, FL on April 26. Other than the USAT National Age Group Championship, St. Anthony's is arguably the most competitive Olympic distance age group race in America.

Wood, who placed 2nd against a similarly talented field at St. Anthony's in 2007, has been training hard and with great results lately. He appears to be in even better shape than he was at this time of year in '07, when he was run down in final miles by fleet-footed Greg Rouault of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Wood's stiffest competition this Sunday should come from 21-year-old rising star Javier Beuzeville (Tampa, FL), former US Athlete of the Year John Reback (Jupiter, FL), 2008 USAT Athlete of the Year nominee Chris Thomas (Easton, CT), underrated Californian David Valencia (Encinitas), Zach Winchester (Chattanooga, TN), who has won two major races--Miami International and Florida's Great Escape--already this season and uber masters Vinnie Monseau (Morgantown, WV), who won the Best of the US Championship last October (at age 39) and former US AOY and MOY Bruce Gennari (Brentwood, TN). Of this august group, Winchester appears to pose the most serious threat to Wood.

As runner-up for AOY in 2008 (AOY winner Brooke Davison is now a pro), Cathy Yndestad comes into St. Anthony's as the favorite "on paper." There are a pair of Chicagoland women that could get in her way, though. They are Elizabeth Ott, whose 2008 resume includes a win at Chicago and a close 2nd at the Best of the US Championship, and reigning 25-29 National Champion Lindsay Whalen,  who won convincingly at Miami International last month. And then there is the amazing Linda Robb, a former AOY and MOY, owner of four medals--3 gold--in World Championship competition and most significantly, a four-time winner at St. Anthony's. Though 45, she is still one of the top 5 US amateur women at Olympic distance. Moreover, Robb has racked up at least two big wins--Nautica South Beach and FAU Wellness--thus far in 2009. 

Look for either Yndestad or Robb to come out on top.

Nearly 5000 triathletes are enrolled in this year's St. Anthony's Triathlon.

Coverage of Minnesota's Kick-Off Events

 Minnesota's outdoor multisport season gets underway this weekend (April 25-26). Stay tuned for race coverage of the 25th annual UMM Tinman, the 2nd edition of the Gustie Tri and the 2nd annual Winter Be Gone Duathlon. Also covered will be the St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Florida, featuring the participation of  St. Paul's David Thompson in the pro competition and Chaska's Curt Wood and Apple Valley's Cathy Yndestad battling for podium spots in the Elite Amateur contest. Former Minnetonka resident Becky Lavelle is listed among the women's pro favorites. Becky is a two-time St. Anthony's champion (2005 & 2006).

Minnesota's 2008 All Americans

Minnesota Tri News congratulates the Minnesotans triathletes and duathletes who earned USA Triathlon All American honors in 2008. Todd Firebaugh, Marlo McGaver, Julie Hull, Jeanne Fleck, Becky Youngberg made both lists.

Tri Men: Devon Palmer, Patrick Parish, Michael Williams, Dennis Dane, Marc Ellingson, Eric Hendrickson, Eric Ellingson, Anton Pschon, Andy Newman, Curt Wood, Dan Arlandson, Brett Lovaas, Matt Payne, Steve Sander, Kevin O'Connor, Scott Penticoff, Mark Carey, Carl Unger, Todd King, Brian Bich (#2-40-44), Rhett Bonner, Doug Davis, Rich Heilman, Nathaniel Tollefson, Mo Mouw, Todd Firebaugh, Pete Guidinger, Dave Dow. Honorable Mention: Scott Ross, Terry Alexander, Jason Bates, Anthony Hirschman, Josh Blankenheim, Gary Bork, Duane Millslagle, William Schmitt, Mark Lawrence, Ted Patton, David Goldberg, Dan Friendrich, Rick Campins, Jey Carlson, Richard Hoover, Joe Langel, Paul Krumrich, Jim Guenter, Mario Minelli, Ananda Bates.

Du Men: Todd Firebaugh, Brendon O'Flanagan.  Honorable Mention: Joe McGaver, Lucas Pedersen.

Tri Women: Kate McCann, Kortney Haag, Robyn Wangberg, Cathy Yndestad (#2- 30-34), Becky Youngberg, Jenny Wilcox, Julie Hull, Marlo McGaver, Susan Williams, Jeanne Fleck, Sarah Mercer, Sue Rubens, Jan Guenther, Amy Samples, Barb Beutler, Jeanne Minder. Honorable Mention:  Brook Mutzenberger, Jennifer Imsande, Erika Binger, Merilee Sander, Amy Klosterman, Suzann Mouw.

Du Women:  Cynthia Brockman (#3-40-44), Jeanne Fleck (#4-40-44), Marlo Crosby-McGaver (#1-35-39), Julie Hull (#2 - 35-39), Jenny Wilcox, Becky Youngberg, Sarah Kolpin (#2 -25-29), Ann Moyer (#3- 25-29). Honorable Mention: Ann Rhea, Robin Tedlund, Susan Burton.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Not only did St. Paul's David Thompson, aka DKT, win the prestigious Powerman Alabama (April 19) for the third consecutive year, he was crowned US Elite Duathlon National Champion in the process. Thompson nearly added injury--his own--to the insult he heaped upon his fellow competitors--his margin of victory over runner-up Dereck Treadwell of Laurens, NY was an extravagant 6:53--when a family decided to cross the roadway just as he was speeding by on his Litespeed. David and a young girl ate macadam. Luckily, neither was seriously injured. Undaunted, David remounted, rode to T2 well ahead of the field, then went on to post the fastest 2nd run split of the day.

David's performance in Birmingham signaled his recovery from an inguinal hernia. His first two post-surgical (he went under the knife on January 30) races--Desert Classic Duathlon and Ironman California 70.3--were understandably sub-DKTesque. His PA victory and the confidence it inspired should serve him well at St. Anthony's this weekend.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cathies Rock!

 Cathies Lee and Yndestad have kicked off their 2009 tri seasons in grand style. As in April '06 when she cracked the women's top 10 at Ironman Arizona (10:27:53 - 2nd female amateur / 1st 30-34), and May '07, when she placed 6th among amateur women at the ultra-competitive Florida 70.3, Cathy Lee was impressive at the inaugural New Orleans 70.3, finishing 4th among amateur women. A  Minneapolis resident, Lee became a triathlete in 2002 and has a half dozen regional wins on her resume.

(Photo - Cathy Lee with husband Terry at New Orleans 70.3 Finish Line.)

Cathy Yndestad of Apple Valley collected her 32nd career multisport win on March 22 at the Barlett Lake Olympic Triathlon in the high desert northeast of Phoenix, AZ. Cathy called the experience the toughest international distance tri she had ever done. Since her first tri in June of 2002, a year she earned a Minnesota Rookie nomination, Cathy has enjoyed a mercurial career featuring six Minnesota Awards and two nominations for US Athlete of the Year.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2009 Tri Predictions: Serious Name-Dropping

Who will set the performance standards on the Minnesota multi scene in '09? Hey, let's do some serious name-dropping.

Last year's runner-up for USAT Athlete of the Year
Cathy Yndestad, will be going for her 3rd consecutive Minnesota Triathlete of the Year award. A phrase of advice: Don't bet against her. At this point in her career only an injury can get in the way. There are many great girls out there who can push her, but none appear ready to close the gap, though don't be surprised if Kortney Haag, 2008 Minnesota Rookie of the Year, makes Cathy's racing life miserable in 2010.

As far as Cathy's fellow nominees for MN-TOY '09, let's list the usual suspects:
Marlo McGaver, Julie Hull,Marnie Walth and toss Kortney's name into the mix as well.

The woman (the amazing Brooke Davison) who stood between Yndestad and the USAT AOY trophy last year is now a pro. Can we assume that Cathy is the favorite to win the big prize this year? If she were to limit her racing to 70.3s and shorter, the answer would probably be yes. She plans to qualify for Hawaii Ironman World Championship this year, though. And there are several American women who "do" 140.6 better than Cathy, most notably sub-10 hour girls, Rachel Ross, Wendy Mader, Kathleen Calkins and emerging superstar Heather Jackson. A 10:10 would therefore appear to be a blemish on her scorecard and probably drop her out of AOY contention. This can be called the "Heidi Grimm Syndrome." In 2006 Heidi was 9 for 9 heading into Kona. She appeared to be the next AOY until she turned in a 10:36, for which she was crowned Military World Champ. But at least 20 American girls went faster than she did. She had to settle for an Honorable Mention, and chances are, Cathy will fall victim to "HGS."

Brian Bich, 2008 USAT Master of the Year, has been our state's Triathlete of the Year for the last three years. Can the mild-mannered biology instructor, now 43, make it four in a row? Well, if anyone is due for an off-season, it's Brian. Heck, he hasn't had a bad race since 2002. Despite his relatively long teeth and his defiance of the law of averages, don't bet against Bich (which is pronounced "Bish"). Why? Two reasons. Firstly, mitigating circumstances should prevent two of his four closest challengers--Jeremy Sartain and Sam Hauck--from catching up. Jeremy may need at least half of the season to return to the form he displayed before his devastating motorcycle accident, and Sam will be juggling the stresses of medical school. The other challengers are Dan Cohen and Curt Wood and their head-to-head battles with Brian will tell the story. Another name to throw into the mix is affable 22-year-old Devon Palmer. This kid has the potential to be special. Will 2009 be the year he starts barking with the big dogs? Or 2010? The question isn't "if" he'll get there. It's "when" he will get there. The other factor is that Brian is Minnesota's "Dave Scott." Like Scott, Bich is an "odds defier." You don't bet against Dave, and you shouldn't bet against Brian.

Stay tuned for more name-dropping in these categories: Masters, Grand Masters, Juniors and Most Improved. If you have questions or comments, send them to

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Gear West Tri Club (Twin Cities)
Minnesota Tri Club (Twin Cities)
Tri Fitness Tri Club (White Bear Lake)
Twin Cities Multisport Club
Buffalo Tri Club (Buffalo)
Tri 4 Evr (Willmar)
Rochester Tri Club (Rochester)
Now Bikes & Fitness Tri Club (Twin Cities)
Wild River Tri Club (Hudson, WI)
Performance Power (P2)(St. Paul)
Tri Kings / Bluegills (Andover/Blaine) -
DuTri-St. Cloud (St.Cloud)
FCA Endurance (Twin Cities)

Not on this list? Send us your link.


4/24 - 26th UMM-Tinman (Morris) - Results

5/1- 2nd Falls Duathlon (Cannon Falls) - Results
5/1 - Chain of Lakes Triathlon (Alexandria) - Tri Minnesota Series - Results
5/2 - MSU Triathlon (Mankato) - Results
5/8 - 3rd Gustie Triathlon (St. Peter) - Results
5/8 - 3rd Cinco de Mayo Duathlon (Stillwater area) - Results
5/10 - Aunt Amy Duathlon (Rainbow Resort, Waubun) - CANCELLED
5/15 - Oakdale Duathlon (Lake Elmo) - Results
5/15 - 3rd Lakes to Pines Triathlon (Park Rapids) - Results
5/16 - Mid-Minnesota Early Bird Triathlon (Sauk Rapids) - CANCELLED
5/22 - 1st annual Green Lake Duathlon (Spicer) - Results
5/22 - 26th MeritCare Triathlon (Thief River Falls) - Results
5/23 - 18th Gear West Duathlon (Orono) - Midwest Multisport Series - Results
5/23 - 6th Land Between the Lakes Triathlon (Albert Lea) - Tri Minnesota Series - Results
5/29 - Apple Duathlon (Sartell) - Midwest Multisport Series - Results

6/5 - New Bri Triathlon (New Brighton)
6/6 - Pigman Sprint (Paol, IA) - Minnesota Multisport Series
6/12 - Liberty Triathlon (Independence)
6/12 - Loon Lake Triathlon (Lake Crystal)
6/13 - 21st Manitou Sprint (White Bear Lake) (Midwest Multisport Series)
6/13 - 2nd Trinona (Winona)
6/20 - 3rd RochesterFest Triathlon (Rochester)
6/20 - 4th Fairmont Triathlon (Fairmont)
6/26 - My First Tri (Perch Lake north of Hudson, WI)
6/26 - 6th Croixathlon (Hudson, WI)
6/26 - 2nd Du the Dam (Coon Rapids)
6/26 - Average Jo Triathlon (Perham, MN)
6/26 - Xterra Pipestem Creek (Jamestown, ND) (steven.aesoph@goodrich.com)
6/27 - Lake Waconia Triathlon (Waconia) - Midwest Multisport Series

7/3 - Minneman (Andover) - 3 x Minnesota Race of the Year
7/10 - Timberman (Grand Rapids) - Midwest Multisport Series
7/10 - 9th Life Time Fitness Triathlon (Minneapolis)
7/__ - Elysian Rookies Triathlon (Elysian)
7/18 - 25th Heart of the Lakes Triathlon (Annandale) - Midwest Multisport Series
7/25 - Chisago Lake Triathlon (Chisago City)
7/31 - 4th Paul Bunyan Triathlon (Bemidji)
7/__ - Hoot Lake Triathlon (Fergus Falls)
7/31 - Root Beer Kids Triathlon (Duluth)

8/1 - 24th Brewhouse Triathlon (Duluth) - Midwest Multisport Series
8/1 - 2nd Waseca Triathlon (Waseca)
8/7 - Lake Minnewaska Triathlon (Glenwood)
8/7 - Lakefront Days Triathlon (Prior Lake)
8/8 - Paynesville Area Triathlon (Paynesville)
8/14 - Turtleman Triathlon (Shoreview) - Midwest Multisport Series
8/14-15 - Green Lake Triathlon - Kids & Adult (Spicer)
8/15 - 2nd Wingman Triathlon (Red Wing)
8/15 - 3rd Lake Marion Triathlon (Lakeville)
8/15 - YWCA Women's Triathlon (Minneapolis - Lake Nokomis)
8/21 - Younglife Triathlon (Detroit Lakes) - Tri Minnesota Series
8/21 - Kingswood Off-Road Duathlon (Minnestrista)
8/22 - Pigman Long Course (Palo, IA) - Midwest Multisport Series
8/22 - St. Paul Triathlon (St. Paul)
8/22 - Muddy Buddy (Minneapolis)
8/28 - 1st annual Maple Grove Triathlon (Weaver Lake Park)
8/29 - 2nd Minneapolis Duathlon (Minneapolis)

9/4 - St. Croix Valley Sprint (Hudson, WI)
9/5 - St. Croix Valley Olympic (Hudson, WI)
9/11 - Burrito Union 10-Hour Tri (Superior, WI)
9/11 - Square Lake Sprint (Stillwater area)
9/12 - Square Lake Half (Stillwater area)
9/12 - Treadman Duathlon (Pine Island, MN)
9/12 - One Last Tri (Big Marine Regional Park)
9/__ - 5th Park Tool Duathlon (Lake Elmo)
9/26 - Iron Girl-Bloomington (Bloomington)
9/26 - 3rd Peregrine Charities Triathlon (Waterloo, IA)

10/__ - Kicking Leaves Duathlon (Grand Rapids)