Friday, July 3, 2009

MINNEMAN TRIATHLON: The Race of the Year Just Keeps Getting Better!

(Patrick Parish stalks Matthew Payne at Minneman V. Photo courtesy of

(Oak Grove, MN - July 4) For the last three years, Minneman has been named Triathletes Choice Favorite Race of the Year. And guess what, the 2009 version was better than ever.

What makes this event so special, a cut or two above so many otherwise great events? A wonderful venue? "Go-the-extra-mile" management and volunteers? Extra love for newbies and novices? Great competition? Abundant amenities? Free food for spectators?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And perfect weather and a placid, i.e. very un-Waconia-like, lake don't hurt, either.

The competitive headliners on this day were David Thompson, who torched his own Elite course record, June Athlete of the Month Kevin O'Connor, who lowered Curt Wood's amateur CR by 20 seconds, divisional record setters Terry Alexander (50-54M), Bob Sturm (60-64) and the astonishing Katharine Lowrey, who at 14, nuked the junior course best by almost five minutes and finished 7th overall in the women's race.

Minneman works hard to attract newbies and novices, and almost 20% of the 450-registrant field fell into these categories. What's the difference? Newbies are those who were making their triathlon debut this morning. The novices are those who are rookie triathletes who have participated in at least one other multi this season. The fastest of the newbies/novices were Kjersten Johnson, 28, of Edina, and Nathaniel Morrill, 25, of Minneapolis. Johnson covered the 1/3 - 13 -3 course in 1:22:32; Morrill in 1:12:32.

2009 Minneman Records:

* Elite Male Overall - David Thompson, 53:34 (Old Record: David Thompson's 54:56 in 2008)
* Amateur Male Overall - Kevin O'Connor, 56:11 (Old record: Curt Wood's 56:31 in 2008)
* 19U Girls - Katharine Lowrey, 1:10:45 (Old Record: Jessica Delgehause's 1:15:10 in 2006)
* 50-54M - Terry Alexander, 1:07:07 (Old Record: Dale Woodbeck's 1:07:22 in 2008)
* 60-64M - Bob Sturm, 1:17:11 (Old Record: Bob Sturm's 1:18:46 in 2008)

Updates & photos coming soon.