Saturday, June 13, 2009

News & Notes from Liberty Tri

(Top - Thunder Bay's Karen Rosehart wins Liberty Half again. Bottom - Brett Lovaas runs away from the competition at Liberty Olympic. Photos courtesy  of

The Canadian duo of Jonathan Balabuck and Karen Rosehart, both of Thunder Bay, took the long course wins at Liberty today. Balabuck has racked-up five wins on Minnesota soil in the last three years.

Brett Lovaas nuked the men's Olympic course record (by about 3 minutes) and Alaskan Lori Deschamps bested the rest of the field by a full 11 minutes. Lovaas has won 16 races since coming to Minnesota a decade ago. This victory rivals in magnitude his win at Turtleman in 2006.  Deschamps was 8th place woman at the 2007 Best of the U.S. National Championship. --Trudy Marshall

UPDATE: Several AG records fell on that beautiful June 13 morning. MTN congratulates the following athletes for raising the bar:

* Lakeville's Doug Davis lowered his own 40-44/overall masters record, set in '06, by a slim two seconds. New Record: 4:30:31

* Chisago City's Tom Krenz lopped a healthy 5:11 off the men's 45-best:  New Record:  4:36:41

* Hudson, WI's Patrick McCann took a 5:19 bite from the men's 50-54 mark. New Record: 5:08:29.

Sue Abrahamson of Wazata, owner of the women's 40-44/overall masters best (5:01:00, set in 2006), now owns the 45-49 mark, too. She lowered the old standard by an adipose 6:37. New Record: 5:07:43.

And speaking of raising the bar in the Minnesota long course racing community, former mid-Atlantic elite Josh Riff (Inside Tri All American in 2004) relocated to Edina last year. Josh finished 2nd at Liberty in 4:17:37.  Some of his highlights include a 4th place amateur finish atBaja Ironman 70.3 in 2006, a 2nd at the 2005 Tupper Lake (NY) Tinman (half iron) and a 9:29 at Ironman Arizona in 2008. Welcome to Minnesota, Josh.

OLYMPIC UPDATE:  It’s amazing what great conditions and a deeper talent pool can produce. The following divisional records were rewritten at Liberty Olympic ’09:


  • Maple Grove’s Gabby Keller posted her 2nd junior win in seven days and lowered the 19U CR by a cyclopean 14:13. New Record: 2:41:35
  • Minneapolis’ Carol Markham-Cousins abused her own 50-54W best by almost 10 minutes. New Record:  2:43:56
  • Excelsior’s Chap Achen lowered the men’s 40-44 best by behemothic 13:41: New Record: 2:06:10
  • Duluthian Rhett Bonner set a 45-49M/overall masters mark, both by gargantuan margins. This was arguably the day’s best performance. New Record: 1:58:35
  • The 55-59M best went down by 3:11, thanks to Minnetonka’s Kent Schwitzer. New Record: 2:19:48
  • Detroit Lakes’ Bob Koshnick took a humongous bite (13:07) out of the previous 65-69M best. New Record:  2:54:18