Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The fifth annual Albert Lea, aka Land Between the Lakes, Triathlon is slated for Sunday, May 17. The 1/4-19.8-4.2 event is the 2nd stop on this year's 10-race Tri Minnesota Series.

Barring the last minute sign-up of defending champ Patrick Parish, or someone of his competitive ilk, Columbia Height's pre-registered Matt Payne  should have little trouble posting his 2nd victory of the young season. 

But will Matt be able to rewrite Jeremy Sartain's 2007 course record, you ask? If the weather Gods cooperate and he races like he did at Chain of Lakes, the answer is an unequivocal "yes." And if all this comes to pass, a "Most Improved" nomination and spot on Team Minnesota, i.e. being ranked among the state's top 10 multisportsmen, could be forthcoming at season's-end.

It's not as if Matt is the only quick dude who will make the trek to Edgewater Park on Sunday. The Boys from Northfield, Andy Clark and Randy Peterson, will also be on hand, as will North Mankato's Todd Landgraff.

Speaking of North Mankato, that happens to be the town from whence the ALT women's record holder hails. But Lynette Bacon is not registered, thus her mark should stand another year.

But records do not necessarily a great event make. This year's women's contest promises to be exciting. It's quite possible that Albert Lea's own Jennifer Chalmers, who has been on the this event's podium thrice already, albeit never on the highest step, will come out on top. This would give her the distinction of being the race's first local champion. Or perhaps Northfield's Brooke Larsen, who almost earned a Rookie of the Year nomination on 2008 ('08 was a great year for female Rookies!), will pick up her first career victory.

(Photo:  Matthew Payne at '08 Pigman Half)