Sunday, July 12, 2009


(Diane Hankee podium-bound at Oakdale Du. File photo courtesy of Erik Hull.)

(Rockville, MN - July 12, 2009) Perfect weather (66-68 degrees, gentle breezes) greeted the record turnout (almost 500-members strong) at the 6th annual Graniteman. The men's race was won by transplanted Belgian triathlete Harold Doise and the women's by Lino Lakes-based Manitoban, Diane Hankee.

It was Hankee's 2nd victory of the season and each time she appeared to benefit from the absence of elite no-shows. At Cinco de Mayo Du last May, Marlo McGaver was the conspicuous absentee. At Graniteman, it was course-record holder Michelle Andres. In Hankee's defense, she raced brilliantly on each occasion and would have given the elsewhere favorites a serious run for their money.

Especially at Graniteman. Andres would to have been on her elite game, as Hankee went out and posted a 1:14, which was only a minute off the CR. Diane's bike split was particularly impressive, a 40:46 (22.1 mph), which is faster than any women in the history of this race has ridden.

In 2nd place for the girls was Sartell's affable Nikki Bergh, who turned in her best effort of the year. Unsurprisingly, Northfield's Brooke Larsen also reached the podium.

Doise's margin of victory over runner-up Jim Graif, was 53 seconds. Graif's 1:07:43 was impressive, too, as it proved to be 3:28 lowering the 45-49M CR. Race founder and co-director Bill Corcoran of Waite Park, finished 3rd in a personal best 1:08:46. He was 4th here in 2008.

Several Divisional Records were set on Graniteman VI's 1/3 mile, 15 mile, 5K course:

* 45-49M - Jim Graif's 1:07:43 (Old Record - 1:11:11, set in 2005)
* 60-64M - Ben Ewers' 1:13:04 (Old Record: 1:27:59, set in 2005)
* 40-44W - Heidi Robb's 1:19:24 (Old Record: 1:20:08, set in 2008)
* 45-49W - Margie Carr-Oxley's 1:21:23 (Old Record: 1:25:40, set in 2006)
* 55-59W - Jan Handlos' 1:28:49 (Old Record: 1:33:12, set in 2006)

It was an especially good day for Handlos. Not only did she set a course record, she won a Trek Mountain Bike in the post-race raffle.