Monday, August 31, 2009

MTN's AUGUST 2009 ATHLETES OF THE MONTH -Presented by PEACE COFFEE..


(YndeCam Photos - Clockwise - Cathy Yndestad dolphining at Pigman, Devon Palmer running at Nationals, Rhett Bonner finishing at LTF Elite and Jeanne Fleck blasting off the starting line at Minneapolis Du.)

Minnesota Tri News and Peace Coffee are proud to announce its August Athletes of the Month:

OVERALL: Cathy Yndestad, 31, Apple Valley & Devon Palmer, 22, St. Paul

In August, Cathy won the duathlified Turtleman in thrilling come-from-behind fashion. Two weeks later she finished 3rd overall at USAT Nationals, winning the 30-34W crown for the 2nd consecutive year. Yndestad is a shoo-in to earn her 3rd straight US Athlete of the Year nomination.

Like Cathy, Devon was victorious at the altered Turtleman. Also like Cathy, he finished 3rd overall at Nationals (he took home the 20-24M's silver medal). And like Cathy, he should receive consideration for US AOY at season's end.

Also receiving consideration for the Overall AOM: Kevin O'Connor, 38, Medina, Dan Cohen, 35, Eden Prairie, Steve Sander, 30, Richfield, Jeanne Fleck, 44, Proctor and Marlo McGaver, 38, Duluth.

AGE GROUP: Jeanne Fleck, 44, Proctor & Rhett Bonner, 45, Duluth

In August, Jeanne won two races--Brewhouse Short Course and Lake Marion--and placed 2nd at the Minneapolis Duathlon.

Bonner's August featured a 5th place overall finish at Brewhouse, where he lowered the 45-49M course record by 6:57, and a divisional win at the USAT National Championships. His margin of victory at Nationals was 3:11.

Other AG considerees: Christel Kippenhan, 44, Bemidji; Charlie Roach, 51, Lakeville; Lauren Rantala, 19, Eden Prairie; Pam Stevens, 57, Sartell; Jim Graif, 47, Elk River.

Yndestad, Palmer, Fleck and Bonner will receive Columbian Heavy Pedal Coffee, courtesy of Peace Coffee.

PAST AOM WINNERS:

* July Overall - Devon Palmer & Cathy Yndestad
* July AG - Greg Taylor, 55 & Jan Guenther, 50

* June Overall - Kevin O'Connor & Cathy Yndestad
* June AG - Ben Ewers, 63 & Jan Guenther, 50

* May Overall - Matthew Payne & Marlo McGaver
* May AG - Todd Firebaugh, 47 & Jan Guenther, 50

Eligibility Criteria: Athletes must turn in a minimum of two outstanding performances during the month. Athletes age 19 & under and 40 & over are eligible for AG award consideration.

Three members of the Minnesota Multisport Awards Selection Committee--Heidi Keller-Miler, Stephen Bullard and Jerry MacNeil--serve on the MTN AOM Selection Committee.

DEVON CROSS-DRESSES AT NATIONALS...

(YndeCam Photo: That's Devon, not Cathy.)

Via email, Devon Palmer described his Nationals experience:

"The best part of my Nationals story has nothing to do with my race. The MJETs drove to Tuscaloosa, leaving Thursday afternoon and arriving at 5:49 am on Friday. The trip was uneventful except at 4:00 am when I spontaneously remembered that I had NOT remembered to pack my race suit.

"I quietly cursed my faulty memory the rest of the trip. Luckily we were in the company of good Minnesota friends so I had a few options to borrow other suits. Kerry Yndestad was kind enough to loan me his Blue Seventy swim skin and Cathy herself loaned me a red and black Gear West fastskin. I tried it on and it fit! I looked goofy as all hell and I had "Yndestad" on my butt, but it worked just fine.

"Race morning we woke up to relatively mild weather by Alabama standards, 70s and humid. My teammate Nick (Madrinich) and I made the classic mistake of starting right at the center of our wave and I spent the first section of the swim dodging feet and elbows. Eventually things cleared up as we started our epic journey upstream, the current was going strong and I got out in a stunningly slow 26 minutes.

"I felt good on the bike and took great pleasure knowing my competitors might think they were getting "chicked" as I rolled past them. Kris (Coach Swarthout) told me, "One more ahead!" going into the second lap and it took the entire lap to bring him back. He out-swam me 22 to 26 and I out-biked him 53 to 57, so he was just a few seconds up going into the run. He took off running hard and I came out running, well, at least I was running. He put 90 seconds on me the first half and I may have closed that down a little the second half but I knew my legs didn't have the juice to chase him down.

"My mystery competitor turned out to be Joey Maloy, the eventual overall champion. I spoke with him, and later with Sean Jefferson (2nd place), and both were excited since they were both in their rookie year as triathletes! Unbelievable athletes.

"The weekend was a tremendous success and those who went represented our state with pride. We took 2 AG wins, 3 AG 2nds, 3rd overall for both men and women and put another man in the top 10 (even if he--Sam Hauck--claims to be from Nebraska). Our spirited standing ovations for MN podium finishers put the other states to shame."









RUBENS IS TOP MASTER AT IRONMAN CANADA...

(Penticton, British Columbia - August 30, 2009) Plymouth's Sue Rubens was the first 40-plus woman to cross the finish line at Ironman Canada on Sunday. Her time was 10:26:44, which was the 7th fastest women's amateur clocking of the day.

Ironman Canada Results:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

CAREY 4th AT IRONMAN LOUISVILLE...



(Louisville, KY - August 30, 2009) MTN congratulates Mark Carey, 39, of Rochester, on placing 4th overall among amateur men at Ironman Louisville on Sunday. Carey's time on this scenic and challenging course was 9:27:19.

Apple Valley's Jen Lenarz also competed, turning in an 11:38:25.

(Competitor Photo: Mark Carey winning the Kansas City Tri.)

Ironman Louisville Results:

MINNESOTANS IN CHICAGO...

(Paul Phillips / CompetitiveImage.us - David Thompson doing what he does best in the Windy City.)

(Chicago, IL - August 30, 2009) How did Minnesotans fare at this year's Chicago Triathlon?

* DAVID THOMPSON - 4th overall in pro race (1:50:34)

* JOSH BLANKENHEIM - 27th Elite Amateur Male (2:06:59)

* THAD INGERSOLL - 36th Elite Amateur Male (2:08:57)

* BROOK MUTZENBERGER - 10th Elite Amatuer Female (2:15:57)

* SUSAN WILLIAMS - 13th Elite Amateur Female (2:19:04)

* LAURA HOFFMAN - 26th Elite Amateur Female (2:26:56)

Chicago Results:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

O'CONNOR & MCGAVER WIN AMERICA'S LARGEST DU...


(Minneapolis, MN - August 30, 2009) Kevin O'Conner and Marlo McGaver (see photo) led the way at the inaugural Minneapolis Duathlon. For O'Connor, it was his 3rd du victory of the season. For McGaver, it was her 15th run-bike-run win in 18 starts since returning to her native Minnesota in 2005. Both Kevin and Marlo will be racing for medals at the World Duathlon Championships in North Carolina on September 27.

Dogging O'Connor through the opening 5K run and the 30K bike segment was two-time Minnesota Duathlete of the Year nominee Dan Cohen. This talented twosome arrived in T2 within seconds of each other and at least 4 minutes ahead of their nearest challengers.

Then Kevin took over.

O'Connor reached the finish line in 1:19:28. Cohen, winner of four tris this season, cruised in 1:24 later (1:20:52). Dereck Podratz (1:24:05), 2008 Duathlete of the Year nominee John Shelp (1:24:19) and Troy Vargas (1:25:55) rounded out the top five.

Marlo McGaver established a 1:11 advantage on eventual runner-up Jeanne Fleck when she (Marlo) mounted her Specialized. That lead grew by another 1:20 during the cycling phase, and by another 2:24 when she crossed the finish line.

Third-placing Catherine Lee, fatigued after winning a 2 1/2 hour adventure race the previous day, left T2 1:13 behind Fleck. She dug in and fought hard, though, and was able to whittle all but 14 seconds off Jeanne's margin when it was all said and done.

Fourth place went to likely Rookie of the Year nominee Tara Croteau. Fifth was earned by Cindy Blackstock, who has raced brilliantly--including one course record-setting win--in the 2nd half of season. Sixth went to another woman who has significantly improved her game in 2009, as her other 6th place efforts at Timberman, Lake Minnetonka and St. Paul Olympic aptly illustrate. Her name is Ann Snuggerud. And 7th went to another rookie with great potential, Casey Richter. Richter also cracked the Top 10 at Lake Waconia (Citizens) and St. Paul Olympic.

The age group performances of the day were turned in by 51-year-old Charlie Roach, who placed 10th overall, and Worlds medal hopeful Bob Bailey. Undefeated this season, the 66-year-old Bailey turned in a time (1:44:54) on Sunday that would have won the 55-59 and 60-64 divisions. For Roach, it was his fourth Top 10 overall finish this season.

Minneapolis Duathlon Results:

MASTERS OF THE GAME...

Which state has the most elite masters?

Florida?

Let's see, there's the amazing Linda Robb. And a mutant named Joe Bonness. And let's not forget Jeff Cuddeback.

What about Colorado?

Well, there's Steph Popelar, Ellen Hart and Michael Hagen.

And Georgia, especially as far as the women are concerned: Laura Sopiea, Kris Kester, Lisa Marshall.

And California, of course. Pete Kain, Tim Sheeper, Katrin Tobin, Kathy Winkler, Holly Nybo are some talented folks who come to mind.

These states, and several others, have more than their share of top flight 40-59 men and 40-55 women. But a very compelling argument can be made for MINNESOTA being home to the most elite masters.

Why?

Brian Bich, Rhett Bonner, Tony Schiller, Greg Taylor, Todd Firebaugh, Mo Mouw and Jeanne Fleck, Heidi Keller-Miler, Jan Guenther, Marnie Walth and Mary Beth Tuttle.

And these are not the only top 40-plussers in our state. They are just the ones who will be vying for 2009 Minnesota Master of the Year nominations.

What have the aforementioned masters of their triathlon domains done lately?

* Brian Bich, 43, Duluth - Despite nagging leg and back injuries, the 2008 US Master of the Year has won two of the four races he's entered this season.

* Rhett Bonner, 45, Duluth - Rhett won the 45-49M division at the AG National Championships by 3:11 and would have podiumed (3rd) in the 40-44M category. He's set four divisional records and was the first master at Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3.

* Todd Firebaugh, 47, Woodbury - His course-record performances at Oakdale Duathlon and The Apple were truly national-level efforts. A medal at Du Worlds is not out of the question.

* Jeanne Fleck, 44, Proctor - The 2008 Minnesota Master of the Year has posted two overall wins and three podium finishes in Midwest Multisport Series events. She should come home from Du Worlds with a medal around her neck.

* Jan Guenther, 50, Mound - Winner of 31 races since turning 40, Jan has raced seven times this year and set at least nine records in the process. She was the outright winner of the Lake Minnetonka Triathlon, lowering Becky Youngberg's five year old CR in the process. Her performance at Chisago Lakes Half (4:36:05) was World Class.

* Heidi Keller-Miler, 44, Chaska - Despite injuries that have sidelined her for the previous 1 1/2 season, Keller-Miler has managed to win two major events--Minneman and Brewhouse--this year. She also reached the podium at Buffalo Olympic (3rd), Lake Minnetonka (2nd) and RochesterFest (3rd).

* Montgomery Mouw, 45, White Bear Lake - The former pro has been the masters champ in every race he's finished this year. (Mechanical problems forced him to DNF at Chisago Lakes Half.)

* Tony Schiller, 51, Eden Prairie - The six-time World Champion is still cracking the overall Top 10 on a regular basis.

* Greg Taylor, 55, Mankato - Five starts, five divisional records. His effort (4:21:03) at the slightly short Chisago Lakes Half was the equivalent of a World Record.

* Mary Beth Tuttle, 46, Pine Springs - Five starts, one overall win and she never finished any lower than 6th.

* Marnie Walth, 40, Bismarck, ND - Her masters record at The Apple and her 4:23:26 half iron DEBUT! at Chisago, where she placed 2nd overall only 21 ticks behind pro Heather Haviland, are her '09 highlights. Her Chisago effort should earn her a Performance of the Year nomination.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

MINNESOTA'S ROOKIES OF THE YEAR...1999 - 2008

(Photo by YndeCam. 2006 Rookie of the Year Marta Lewinski at Life Tine Fitness Elite.)

Since 1999, 17 triathletes have been the recipients of the Minnesota Rookie of the Year award. Most of these folks have gone on to enjoy successful multisport careers, and those who haven't, certainly could have if "life" had not intervened.

Who are they? And where are they now?

* 2008 - KORTNEY HAAG - Now in her 2nd season, Kortney has already achieved stardom. Winner of three races to date, she has also emerged as one of America's premier 70.3 racers. She will likely be nominated for three MMAs - Triathlete of the Year, Most Improved and Performance of the Year (for her amazing win at Pigman Half).

* 2007 - JEANNE FLECK - Winner of the Master of the Year and Most Improved awards in 2008, the 44-year-old from Proctor has already amassed five career wins. A shoo-in for another Master of the Year nomination, don't be surprised if Fleck medals at Duathlon Worlds in September.

* 2006 - MARTA LEWINSKI - Health issues (asthma) have prevented Lewinski from fulfilling her national level potential. Let's hope these issues are resolved soon so that Marta can experience the success she appeared destined to enjoy.

* 2005 - JEREMY SARTAIN and SARAH KOLPIN - Jeremy and Sarah have gone on to stellar multisport careers. Despite an accident that kept him out of the Winner's Circle for almost two full seasons, Jeremy has nevertheless recorded 11 career victories and seven course records. In 2007 he won the Most Improved award. In 2008 he won the Thorpe Running Inspiration Award. Kolpin has won 12 races in her career, including the 2006 World Duathlon Championship. Sarah is now serving her medical residency in Pittsburgh, PA.

* 2004 - JOHN KEANE and KRISTIN RYGG - Despite their initial successes, neither Keane, a former distance runner at Notre Dame, nor Rygg, who swam at The U, have pursued the multisport lifestyle.

* 2003 - CHUCK SMITH and KRISTEN WEAVER - Smith is the only Minnesota athlete to have been nominated for Rookie of the Year and Triathlete of the Year in the same season. He raced seriously and successfully through 2006 then focused on other pursuits. He still dabbles in the sport, albeit infrequently. Today he is a swim coach and directs the Lake Marion Triathlon. Kristen enjoyed a brilliant first season, but by 2005 had turned her attention to family and professional pursuits.

* 2002 - MIKE GRUBA and JOYCE BOURASSA - Gruba put his multisport career on hold after the 2004 season to focus on med school. He still races occasionally. A decorated distance runner, Bourassa had great aptitude for multisports, but lacked the appetite. After receiving her ROY, she retired from the sport.

* 2001 - NATHAN KORTEUM and EMILY DEPPE - Nate and Emily went on to pro careers. Deppe, now Finanger, lives in Bloulder, Colorado and is still racing. Today, Korteum's focus is not on his own racing, but rather the management of his wife's tri career. His wife is Olympian Sarah Haskins.

* 2000 - DAN COHEN and MORGAN LUZIER - While Dan, who won the Most Improved award in 2006, remains one of Minnesota's premier multisportsmen, Morgan left the sport in 2001 to concentrate on running and coaching.

* 1999 - JONATHAN "JONO" MCLEOD and ALLIE LAWLER - McLoed and Lawler have long since left Minnesota. Jono returned to his native Canada and Allie had relocated to Connecticut, where she is still a successful triathlete.

VELODROME TRAINING..

Have you ever trained at the NSC Velodrome? Triathlete Brian Maas has. READ..


Monday, August 24, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS DU PREVIEW..

Minnesota is not generally perceived to be a "duathlon" state, but a closer look reveals otherwise.

Iron Girl-Bloomington is the largest women's du in the country.




Then there's the venerable Apple, which is arguably the most competitive "small" du (under 500 participants) in America.

And now there's the Minneapolis Duathlon, with 1100+ entrants, the largest run-bike-run in the U.S. Not a bad turnout for an inaugural event.

The MD will not only be large, it will also be very competitive.

Eden Prairie's Dan Cohen (see photo) and Medina's Kevin O'Connor come into the event as the men's favorites.

Duluth's Marlo McGaver, who finished 2nd in the voting for US Duathlete of the Year in 2008, is the clear women's favorite. Jeanne Fleck of Proctor, and Minneapolis' Catherine Lee could fill out the podium.

Let's look at the du creds of these gifted athletes:

* KEVIN O'CONNOR

2009 - 1st @ Oakdale Duathlon
1st amateur @ Apple (6th overall)
(Kevin is a strong candidate for 2009 Minnesota Duathlete of the Year.)

Career - 2nd @ Oakdale '07; 1991 Triathlon Today! All American Duathlete

* DAN COHEN

Career - 1st @ Oakdale Duathlon '07; 2nd @ Apple '08; 2nd @ Gear West '07; 3rd @ Gear West '08; 3rd @ Oakdale '07; 4th @ Apple '07. Dan was nominated for Minnesota Duathlete of the Year in 2007.

* MARLO MCGAVER

2009 - 1st @ Apple; 2nd @ Gear West

Career - 4-time winner of The Apple; 4-time winner of Iron Girl-Bloomington; 3-time winner of the Duluth Duathlon; 2-time winner of Chequamegon Fat Tire Du; 2007 winner at Gear West; 3-time Minnesota Duathlete of the Year (2008, 2007, 2006)

* JEANNE FLECK

2009 - 3rd @ Gear West; 6th (1st master) @ Apple

Career - 4th @ Iron Girl-Bloomington '08 (Masters Record); 7th @ Apple '08 (1st Master); 6th @ Iron Girl-Bloomington '07 (1st Master)

* CATHERINE LEE

Career - 2nd @ Oakdale Duathlon '03; 4th @ Iron Girl-Bloomington '07; 4th @ Gear West '06

U.S. ROOKIE OF THE YEAR...

Brighton, Massachusett's Joe Maloy is a first-year triathlete. He appears to have an aptitude for this sport. In case you haven't heard, he WON the USAT Age Group National Championship last Saturday.

What else has the 24-year-old done this season?

Joe Maloy's Rookie Tri-Resume:

* 1st @ Hammerton Sprint (NJ)
* 1st amateur @ Jersey Man Sprint (NJ)
* 1st @ Wilkes Barre Olympic (PA)
* 1st @ Sunset Challenge Olympic (NJ)
* 1st @ Killington Olympic (VT)
* 1st @ USAT Nationals (AL)
* 2nd @ Brandywine Duathlon (PA)

LEAH'S BEST RACE...

Rookie triathlete Leah Prudhomme of Andover, rocked at Lakes Country last weekend, finishing 2nd, just four seconds behind winner Christel Kippenhan. Her bike split was particularly noteworthy: 44:09 - 23.5 mph (17.3 mile course).

Via email, Leah described her race:

"Beautiful sunny day start for the race, lake temps good and water calm. The Swim was steady for me. T1 getting faster. Bike, where I dominate...80% [effort]..so I had something for the run.

"I started in Wave 5 and on the Bike portion which ran on hwy 210 (kinda crazy) I passed all of Wave 5, 4,3, 2, and some of 1 and saw this one lady (Christel) with 6 on her calf (wave 6)... Christel threw me for a loop... I thought I was suddenly lost on bike course...and that wave 6 on her calf had me second guessing myself... I passed her and forgot about it...went into the Run strong and held the lead .. and last mile had to fight for it with Sawra (Rochester, MN) who sprinted up behind me and took lead for .5 mile. We battled it out and I pulled an all out turbo boost dash to the finish line to pull ahead to cross first... She was strong, though. I passed her on the bike so she had to have been a fast runner. I won by seconds..


"About a minute or so later Christel crossed, but she in fact was FIRST. She and I talked about how when I passed her on the bike she had that 3min. margin from wave 6. ..She was a powerful competitive swimmer and that paid off. It was great to run across First female... and find out I won 2nd Overall and my Age Group...


"This was my first Podium finish! I just started racing first season this summer. I've won my AG before at Minneman Sprint on July 4 and placed top 25-30 at two Half Irons..and run Grandma's Marathon 7 days after Liberty Half Iron in 93 degree heat. My hope is to do Ironman (Wisconsin) next year."



TRI MINNESOTA SERIES FINAL STANDINGS...

MTN congratulates all the participants of the 2009 Tri Minnesota Series. How did you do?

And the Winners are:

* Overall - Brooke Larsen & Steve Sander
* 19U - Shelby Woodworth & Anton Knack
* 20-24 - Megan Albers (ND) & Ryan Macmaster
* 25-29 - Abbe Turman & Micah Turman
* 30-34 - Brooke Larsen & Steve Sander
* 35-39 - Sarah Foley & Bill Corcoran
* 40-44 - Pam Zachman & Tim Sykes
* 45-49 - Mary Deeg & Jim Graif
* 50-54 - Katherine Carlson & Larry Stracke
* 55-59 - Jan Handlos & Denny Ellingson
* 60-64 - Denise Kaiser & Ben Ewers
* 65+ - Maggie Steffen & Lynn Nelson

Tri Minnesota Series Final Standings.

MIDWEST MULTISPORTS SERIES FINAL STANDINGS..

How did you fare in America's most competitive amateur tri series?

* Overall Winners: Cathy Yndestad & Devon Palmer
* 1-19 - Sarah Daniels & Caius Rickard
* 20-24 - Nordica Stocker & Michael Williams
* 25-29 - Lydia Novotny & Daniel Conley
* 30-34 - Kortney Haag & Brooks Grossinger
* 35-39 - Julie Hull & Jeff Mortensen (IA)
* 40-44 - Wendy Bengston & Jey Carlson
* 45-49 - Judith Peters & Kerry Yndestad
* 50-54 - Jan Guenther & Tony Schiller
* 55-59 - Pam Stevens & Bill Schmitt
* 60-64 - Jean Wood & Tom Couillard
* 65-99 - Cheryl Woodworth & Hank Larsen

COHEN 1ST, FINGER 2ND AT BLACK SQUIRREL..



(Council Bluffs, IA - August 22, 2009) Eden Prairie's Dan Cohen recorded his 4th win of the season and 9th W of his multi career at the Black Squirrel Triathlon at Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs, IA last Saturday.

The event consisted of a 1000 yard swim, 21 mile bike and 10K run. Cohen's time was 1:34:46 and his margin of victory over runner-up Lucas Marshall of Omaha, NE, was 1:51. Dan also won this race in 2007.

Tri rookie Suzie Finger of St. Louis Park, continues to impress with yet another podium finish. At Black Squirrel, the SCS Multisport protege (coached by Dan Cohen) finished 2nd just 18 seconds behind winner Lisa Preeg, a perennial USAT All American from Austin, TX. Finger has also medaled at Chaska (1st), Du the Dam (2nd), Waseca 1/3 IM (2nd), YWCA Women's Tri (2nd) and the Winter Be Gone Duathlon (3rd).

(Minnefota Moment Photo: Suzie Finger at Du the Dam)

Black Squirrel Results:


Sunday, August 23, 2009

A RECORD-BREAKING DAY FOR SANDER...


(Baxter, MN - August 23, 2008) Richfield Steve Sander had one of "those days." You know, where everything works. There's probably an astrological explanation for these kinds of occurrences.





Stringing three brilliant splits together, Sander, who also won the Young Life Olympic Tri eight days earlier, covered the 1/2 - 17.3 - 3.9 course in 1:14:21, which was 2:36 faster than Dennis Dane's 2007 course best. The resurgent Greg Rhodes of St. Paul, also slipped under the old mark.

The women's race was won by late registrant Christel Kippenhan of Bemidji. Her 3rd victory of the season, Professor Kippenhan's 1:29:42 lowered Melinda Silbernick's five-year-old masters record by almost a minute.

Christel's win didn't come easy. Down by 36 seconds when she exited T2, she had to run down super cyclist Leah Prudhomme of Andover, to claim her 4-second triumph.

The Lakes Country Triathlon was the final race of this year's Tri-Minnesota Series. Final Series Standings are posted elsewhere in this week.

(Photo: Christel Kippenhan after her victory at Northwoods.)

JEREMY'S BACK!


(St. Paul, MN - August 23, 2009) Seventeen months after his devastating motorcycle accident, St. Paul's Jeremy Sartain is back in the Winners Circle. It was a perfect day a Lake Phalen, mild with light breezes, the water sky blue. And it was a perfect performance by Sartain, who did not simply win the 4th edition of the St. Paul Olympic Triathlon, his amazing 1:51:35 lowered Brett Lovaas' course record by 1:52.

Via e-mail, Jeremy (pictured) described his race:

"I’ve had amazingly consistent training the past month, a bit of bad luck at Pigman Half, and finally some fantastic past few nights of sleep after dealing with some fairly significant work woes. All in all, I was set up perfectly for a race in my very own back yard (I live less than a mile away from Phalen). Add to this the fact that Suzie Danner, graduate of the Massage Therapy and Personal Trainer programs at St. Paul College was doing her fist tri (the sprint distance) and I was set up for an eventful day. Suzie has lost over 150 pounds in the past year and a half. She demonstrated today what the human body is capable of and her finish is much more impressive than my result.

"My swim was terrific, evidence of some recent breakthrough workouts with Duane Dobko. I swam on Brendon’s feet and stayed relaxed and focused. My transition was smooth but not fast, but my legs were loving the bike. I had loads of power and simply flowed through the course attacking the hard parts and getting back up to speed very quickly after any climbs. The bike course is deceivingly tough but I know those roads well. I passed everyone within 2 miles and began to build up from there. I wanted to get as much time as possible before the run. The run was beyond my wildest dreams. The course is accurate – I run it a couple of times a week at least with a Garmin. I had the fastest run split and dropped below the 6 minute mile pace (5:45 to be precise) which I can only thank the work of Dr. Josh Sandell and his staff at Spine and Sports whom I’ve been working with the past month to get full range of motion and rid the remaining scar tissue in my leg and pelvis. Although I broke the old course record set by Brett Lovas, I do recall that Brett set that in terrible cold and rainy conditions. It would have been fun to have Brett there today though!

"The bottom line is that today was a huge mental hurdle that I overcame. I won the Tri America version of this race in 2005 – my second tri ever and first win. Today, on the same course, I had my first win since my accident. Today will certainly serve as a launching pad into next season and as a huge confidence booster for Ironman Wisconsin on September 13th. Thanks to everyone who cheered me on. You’re encouragement was not only heard but also digested."

2009 St. Paul Triathlon Facts:

* Jeremy Sartain's course record win was the 11th of his career.
* White Bear Lake's Brendon O'Flanagan finished 2nd in the Olympic race with a sub-2 hour time (1:58:20).
* Catherine Lee of Minneapolis lowered the women's sprint course record by 4:01. Her time was 1:04:29. good for 9th overall.
* This year's races drew 1013 entrants.
* The women's Olympic race was won by Madison, Wisconsin's Lauren Birkel. Her time was 2:14:15. nudging runner-up Karla Bock, also of Madison, by 13 seconds. Birkel is currently leading her state's Fleet Feet Aquathon Series and won the Capital View Sprint Triathlon earlier this season. She also has strong half IM credentials (PR - 4:49). Bock has been one of Wisconsin's most successful multisportswomen for more than a decade.
* St. Paul's Katherine Schlaefer was 3rd in the Olympic race, just 30 seconds behind Bock. A relative newcomer to the sport, she has been very impressive in her last three outings: 3rd @ Waseca 1/3 IM, 11th @ Turtleman and 3rd here at St. Paul.
* The men's sprint was won by Red Wing's Jesse Nelson. It was Nelson's fifth victory of the season. St. Paul's Anton Pshon finished 2nd and Lino Lakes' Dereck Podratz took 3rd.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

COMING...ST. PAUL & LAKES COUNTRY COVERAGE...

NATIONAL CHAMP KAITLIN SHIVER....


This 20-year-old girl is special! A junior at the University of Florida, she is a decorated track and cross country runner. But it appears that her best event is triathlon.

Learn more about Kaitlin from USA Triathlon's post-race press release.

Shiver has dabbled in triathlon since 2001, though only on a regional level. Nationals was her first triathlon outside of her native Florida.

Kaitlin's 2009 Scorecard:

* 1st @ Huntington's Olympic Triathlon - 2:04:39 (Margin: 6:54)
* 1st @ Heartland Sprint - 1:05:23 (Margin: 4:20)
* 1st @ Marineland Olympic - 2:00:04 (Margin: 15:30)
* 1st @ Gainesville Olympic - 2:11:03 (Margin: 24:03)
* 1st overall @ USAT Nationals - 2:08:13 (Margin: 2:06)

MINNESOTA'S MEDALISTS!

(YndeCam and Greg Fleck Photos - clockwise from lower left - Rhett Bonner, Devon Palmer, Cathy Yndestad and Dennis Dane.)



(Tuscaloosa, AL - August 22, 2009) - Sixteen Minnesotans competed at Age Group Nationals today and a record FIVE reached the podium. Two--Cathy Yndestad and Rhett Bonner--were crowned National Champions.

Here's an interesting tidbit: Only one state placed more than one athlete in the men's overall top 10. Guess which one?

GOLD:

* 1st - 30-34W - Cathy Yndestad (Apple Valley) - Cathy is now a two-time National Champion. She finished 3rd overall. (Cathy's race report.)

* 1st - 45-49M - Rhett Bonner (Duluth)

SILVER:

* 2nd - 00-19W - Lauren Rantala (Eden Prairie) - This is Lauren's rookie season!

* 2nd - 20-24 - Devon Palmer (St. Paul) - Devon finished 3rd overall and posted the fastest bike split.

* 2nd - 30-34 - Dennis Dane (Golden Valley) - Dennis placed 18th overall

Other Minnesota Participants:

* 4th - 60-64M - Ben Ewers (North Oaks)
* 5th - 50-54M - Charles Clark (Eden Prairie)
* 6th - 25-29M - Samuel Hauck (Shoreview)
* 20th - 45-49M - David Goldberg (Excelsior)
* 21st - 20-24M - Nick Madrinich (Chaska)
* 26th - 20-24W - Katie Anderson (Mahtomedi)
* 32nd - 50-54M - David Swanson (St. Paul)
* 37th - 50-54M - Dale Woodbeck (Excelsior)
* 38th - 50-54M - Bill Baker (Winona)
* 43rd - 20-24M - John Heinlein III (Stillwater)
* 50th - 25-29M - Byron Lubenkov (Plymouth)

Friday, August 21, 2009

ONGOING NATIONALS COVERAGE...




Tuscaloosa weather: Race Day

10:30 AM EST- Temp - 77 degrees, humidity - 65%, clear, wind - 6 mph,
expected high - 88 degrees

Overall, AG, Masters and Grand Masters winners take home an official 2009 National Champions Jersey. How many Minnesotans will earn this garment?

* CATHY YNDESTAD TAKES 30-34W CROWN AGAIN!

E-report from Kerry Yndestad at 11:30 AM CDT: "CY wins AG and beat Lindsay (Whalen) and Beth H (Handley). Looks like 2 20-24 F are showing up ahead of her in overall. Devon 2nd AG 3rd Overall so far. Dennis Dane 2nd AG behind Mark Harms."

* DULUTH'S RHETT BONNER WINS 45-49!

At least 2 Minnesota's have earned AG Champions Jerseys - Cathy Yndestad & Rhett Bonner. Devon Palmer and Dennis Dane reach AG podium.

* 1:30 PM update from Kerry Yndestad: "Cy finished ahead of LR (Linda Robb), but still 3rd OA behind two unknown 20-24 AGs. We think Devon won the bike preme, and maybe Cy too."

MTN's AG National Champions Predictions & Final Results:

00-19M - Joseph Welsh (TN) - (Welsh won by a 6:57 margin)
00-19W - Jennifer Walz (GA) - (Walz won by 3:18 over runner-up Lauren Rantala of Eden Prairie)
20-24M - Brian Duffy, Jr. (PA) or DEVON PALMER (MN) - (Won by overall champ Joe Maloy of Brighton, MA. Palmer placed 2nd in the division; Duffy, 5th)
20-24W - Erin Anderson (IA) - (Won by overall champ Kaitlin Shiver of Gainesville, FL)
25-29M - Daniel Moss (SC) or SAM HAUCK (MN) (Deepest division in the race! Includes IA's Nathan White, PA's Rick Fesler etc.) - (Won by Floridian Sean Jefferson, an elite runner who closed with a 30:59-10K. Hauck placed 6th in the division; Moss did not crack his division's top 10.)
25-29W - Lindsay Whalen (IL) - (Won by former Tennessean Bethany Handley, who now resides in Oklahoma City. Whalen placed 2nd, 55 seconds back.)
30-34M- Mark Harms (WI) (MN's DENNIS DANE could reach the podium) - (Harms won his division for the 2nd year in a row. Dane finished 2nd, 2:01 behind Harms.
30-34W - CATHY YNDESTAD (MN) -(Like Mark Harms, Cathy won for the 2nd consecutive year. Her margin was 2:37 over runner-up Lauren Ivison of Boulder, CO.)
35-39M - Jason Schott (GA) - Defending National Champion (Denver's Kirk Framke dominated the division. Schott placed 2nd, 3:36 back.
35-39W - Michelle Shoup (GA) - (North Carolina's Alicia Parr won the division. Shoup placed 2nd.)
40-44M - Bruce Gennari (TN) (Yes, he will beat NJ's Doug Clark. Bruce went to college in Tuscaloosa.) - (Clark won for the 2nd year in a row. Gennari placed 2nd.)
40-44W - Peggy Yetman (TX) - (Fellow Texan Mina Pizzini took 1st; Yetman finished 2nd.)
45-49M - RHETT BONNER (MN) - (Bonner won handily by a margin of 3:11 over William Schumann of Connecticut.)
45-49W - Linda Robb (FL) - (Robb won by almost 4 1/2 minutes and placed 7th overall, the highest placing ever by an 45+ triathlete. THe previous best placing by a 45+ woman was an 18th by California's Karen Chequer-Pfeifer in 2003.)
50-54M - Steve Pyle (CO) - (The division was won by Texan Michael Buonaugurio. Pyle finished 2nd, 31 seconds back.)
50-54W - Laura Sophiea (GA) - (Sophiea won by a slim 17 seconds over former pro Liz Bulman of San Diego, CA.)
55-59M - Kevin Moats (GA) - (Kim McDonald of Del Mar, CA won. Moats finished 3rd.)
55-59W - Karen McKeachie (MI) - (McKeachie won by a 7:13 margin.)
60-64M - Steve Smith (IN) (MN's Ben Ewers will take the silver.) - (Smith, as always, won. Ewers crushed the bike but seemed to have problems in the tepid lake, losing more than 11 minutes to Smith. In 11th place when he arrived in T1, Ben rallied to finish 4th.)
60-64W - Lauren Binder (OR) - (Binder nuked her division by a margin of 26:31.)
65-69M - Robert Plant (CA) - (Plant won, beating fellow Californian William Marshall by 10:01.)
65-69W - Ann Erickson (TX) - (Erickson was either a DNS or a DNF. The division was won by Macon, Georgia's Anne Wright.)
70-74M - Don Ardell (FL) - (Late-registrant Jon Adamson of Alpharetta, GA won. Ardell took 2nd.)
70-74W - Lis Heckmann (TX) - (Heckman was either a DNS or a DNF. Evanston, Illinois' Graciela Val won the division.)
75-79M - Dick Robinson (CA) - (No 75-79 finishers recorded)
75-79W - Molly Hayes (MT) - (No 75-79 finishers recorded.)
80+M - Dean Davis (FL) - (Davis won)

MTN Predictions: 12 out of 26 (46%)

A LITTLE HISTORY...

(Cathy and Devon celebrate after winning Life Time Fitness. Could Nationals be a replay of LTF? Yer darn-tootin', it could. Photo by YndeCam.)

Minnesotans are rarely well-represented at the USAT Age Group National Championships, still, those who do attend tend to race impressively. Heck, Minnesotans are not strangers to the Top 10 at Nationals. In fact, three of our best guys top-10ed in 2003.

On Saturday, three Loon Staters--Devon Palmer, Sam Hauck and Dennis Dane--could finish in the men's top 10. We only expect one of our girls--Cathy Yndestad--to do likewise, and she just might win it all. And if she does, she just might share the Winners Circle with Devon or Sam. Or even Dennis.

Minnesota's Top-10ers:

* Jared Berg (Long Lake) - 5th in 1999 (2nd 25-29)
* Brian Bich (Duluth) - 6th in 2004 (1st 35-39), 7th in 2007 (1st 40-44), 9th in 2008 (2nd 40-44), 10th in 2003 (3rd 35-39)
* Tony Schiller (Chanhassen) - 2nd in 1995 (1st 35-39), 4th in 1999 (1st 40-44), 10th in 1997 (2nd 35-39)
* Charles Smith (Minneapolis) - 6th in 2003 (2nd 25-29)
* Phillip Smith (Minneapolis) - 7th in 2003 (3rd 25-29)
* David Thompson (Appleton) - 3rd in 2002 (1st 20-24)
* Wendy Woods (Minneapolis) - 9th in 2002 (3rd 25-29)
* Cathy Yndestad (Apple Valley) - 2nd in 2008 (1st 30-34)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SHE COULD WIN IT!

This woman is 45-years-old. She is also one of the favorites to WIN the 2009 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship in Tuscaloose, AL on Saturday. No woman over the age of 40 has finished higher than 4th at Nationals--Washington's Tracy Orcutt in 2007 and Californian Holly Nybo in 2004.

We are predicting that Linda Robb of Juno Beach, Florida, will make history this weekend. Even if she doesn't win--MTN is unashamedly pulling for Apple Valley's Cathy Yndestad--we do not believe she will finish any lower than 3rd.

Linda Robb's Tri-creds:

* 1995 USAT Athlete of the Year * 2005 USAT Master of the Year * 4-time World Champion -1995, 1996, 2004, 2005 * 2 x National Champion * 5 x winner of St. Anthony's Triathlon * 2 x winner of NYC Triathlon * 2009 wins at St. Anthony's, New York City, Nautica Miami *


MTN's Women's Top 5:

1. Cathy Yndestad (MN)
2. Linda Robb (FL)
3. Lindsay Whalen (IL)
4. Margaret Finley (TN)
5. Mandy McLane (FL)

WEATHER IN TUSCALOOSA...

To follow the weather in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the site of the 2009 USAT Age Group National Championships, link here.

ST. PAUL TRI PREVIEW...

(Photo: Jeremy Sartain at Chisago. He should pick up his 11th career win at Lake Phalen on Sunday.)

The St. Paul Triathlon' s course records * are very solid, and shouldn't be disturbed on Sunday. This is not to suggest that the fields assembled for the 4th running of this event are talent-free. In the sprint, for instance, Red Wing's Jesse Nelson and St. Paul's Anton Pshon should, weather permitting, crack the one hour barrier. St. Louis Park's David Binsfield may do so as well. White Bear Lake's Amy Klosterman is having a great year and could pick up her 2nd win of the season at Lake Phalen. The closest women to the 1:10 mark should win. (Amy posted a 1:12 last year.)

Maple Grove's Harold Doise, who was victorious at Graniteman last month, and UMM-Tinman champ Jason Midgarden of Golden Valley, appear to be the men to beat in the Olympic-distance contest. On paper, Doise has a slight edge--he out-raced Jason in their only head-to-head meeting at Chisago--but he may bring some post-Pigman fatigue with him to the starting line on Sunday.

And let's toss darkhorse Jim Felling of River Falls into the mix. We see a tight race unfolding. Should be interesting.

As for the women, Hopkin's Lydia Novotny should go off the front, leaving Madison, Wisconsin's Karla Bock, Chaska's Ann Snuggerud and St. Paul's Kathryn Jensen to fight over the other two podium spots. A win would be the 3rd of the season and the 2nd in 8 days for Novotny.

* St. Paul Sprint Course Records:

- 57:46 - Devon Palmer (2007)
- 1:05:28 - Erin Manlove (2008)

* St. Paul Olympic Course Records:

- 1:53:27 - Brett Lovaas (2007)
- 2:10:42 - Katherin McCann (2007)

UPDATE: St. Paul's Jeremy Sartain and Minneapolis' Sarah Viamonte have been added to the St. Paul Olympic start list. Jeremy immediately assumes the role of men's favorite. Sarah can be expected to vie for a podium position.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MORE ON NATIONALS ..WHO'S FAVORED & WHY..

Who are some of the favorites to win the overall National title in Tuscaloosa on Saturday? Here are some of the top guys and girls to consider, and why:

The Boys (in alpha order):

Brian Duffy, Jr. (PA) - 2009 winner at Philadelphia and New York City
Sam Hauck (MN) - 2009 winner at RochesterFest (Course Record) and Cornhusker State Games, 2nd amateur at Heart of the Lakes
Mark Harms (WI) - 2008 National 30-34 Champion. Two-time USAT AOY Honorable Mention. 2nd at HyVee '09.
Daniel Moss (SC) - 2009 amateur champion at New Orleans 70.3. A former pro, he returned to the amateur ranks this season.
Devon Palmer (MN) - 2009 Winner at Life Time Fitness-Minneapolis, Heart of the Lakes / Minnesota State Triathlon Championship, Turtleman
Jason Schott (GA) - Jason won the 2009 National AG Championship. He lives and trains in the sultry south.
Nathan White (IA) - 2009 winner at HyVee and Big Creek. He finished 3rd overall at Nationals in 2008.

Darkhorses: Kirk Framke (CO), Brandon Del Campo (CA), Rick Fesler (PA)

The Girls (alpha order):

Linda Robb (FL) - 2009 victories at New York City, St. Anthony's and Nautica Miami
Lindsay Whalen (IL) - 2009 wins at Memphis in May, Miami International, HyVee
Cathy Yndestad (MN) - 2009 wins at Life Time Fitness-Minneapolis, Heart of the Lakes / Minnesota State Championship (Course Record), Turtleman; 2nd overall at 2008 USAT AG Nationals

Darkhorses: Mandy McLane (FL), Michelle Shoup (GA), Margaret Finley (TN)




LAKES COUNTRY PREVIEW...

The semi-retirement of local star Michelle Andres, who won this race in 2006 and finished 2nd here last year and in '05, has really opened up the women's race. There are at least eight girls who could win on Sunday. In alpha order, they are Kirsten Bich (Duluth), Casey Hirschman (Maple Grove), Amy Klosterman (White Bear Lake), Tammy Marker (Waconia), Jena Ogston (Duluth), Suzie Olsen (Blue Earth), Caroline Skaar-Page (Eden Prairie) and Pam Zachman (Golden Valley).

Skaar-Page and Zachman have the most to gain. If both girls crack the top 5, the one who wins the head-to-head contest will win the Tri Minnesota Series. If current Series leader Brooke Larsen (Northfield) decides to register, however, she (Brooke) should win the race and secure her top spot on the Series leaderboard. In her absence, and assuming that another elite multisportwoman does not register before this evening's (Tuesday) deadline, we predict that Tammy Marker will post the fastest women's time.

Last weekend Richfield's Steve Sander tasted victory for the first time. He shouldn't have to wait long before he does so again. He should also win at Lakes Country, though he'll be pursued by a gaggle of talented guys, foremost of whom will be Greg Rhodes of Bloomington, North Dakotan Mariusz Czarnomski and Jim Graif of Elk River. Dennis Dane's CR-1:16:57 (2007) should be safe for another year, but Steve's time should fall somewhere in between Dennis' and the event's second fastest clocking, a 1:18:11, posted by Matthew Liebsch in '07.

UPDATE: We have just learned that women's Series points leader Brooke Larsen will indeed be racing in Baxter on Sunday. If she wins, and she will be favored to do so, it will be her 3rd Series victory of the 2009 season.

TRI-MINNESOTA SERIES - 9 DOWN & 1 TO GO...

Northfield's Brooke Larsen and Columbia Heights' Matt Payne currently top the overall women's and men's leaderboards in this year's Tri Minnesota Series. Neither of these talented athletes are registered for the series finale in Baxter this weekend, which is good news for female challengers Pam Zachman (Golden Valley) and Caroline Skaar-Page (Eden Prairie), and male challengers Jim Graif (Elk River), Micah Turman (Minneapolis) and Bill Corcoran (Waite Park).

MINNESOTANS AT NATIONALS...


Two-time USAT Athlete of the Year Honorable Mention, Cathy Yndestad of Apple Valley, is going into Nationals next weekend as one of the women's favorites. Many, in fact, many think she will win.

Via email, the ever-philosophical Yndestad had this to say:

"I’m very excited to head to Nationals on Thursday. After a 1st place AG, 2nd place OA performance last year, it’s hard not to think about the big prize. Of course, I’m also realistic and fully aware that there are at least 5-10 other individuals with the talent and ability to win. That’s the beauty of a Nationals Championship. I’ve been extremely busy with work, so I haven’t had time to put much thought or analysis on the competition, but I do know that Linda Robb and Lindsay Whalen will be there and ready to race. We’re all in different waves, which should make for an interesting finish. I hear the course is much flatter than last year which does not play to my my strengths as much as hilly Hagg Lake (the site of Nationals in 2008), but I’ll do the best I can and see where that puts me at the finish. The other X factor for Tuscaloosa is the weather. With the water temp already pushing 85 and humidity and temps typical of Alabama in late August, this race will not just come down to the fastest, but rather the athlete who handles the adverse conditions effectively. With Kerry alongside and fellow racers I haven’t seen since last year, regardless of what happens on the course, it should be a fantastic weekend."

Cathy is not the only Minnesotan expected to excel at Nationals. Devon Palmer of St. Paul, and Sam Hauck of Shoreview, are also considered podium worthy.

Only twice in the 18-year history of the AG National Championships have the male and female winners come from the same state--Californians Pete Kain and Julie Swail in 2002, and Georgians Jim Lefebvreand Betty Mills in 1996.

Can Minnesotans win both the men's and women's titles on Saturday?

In a word, YES!

And as many as 5 Loon Staters could win their divisions!

Who?

Devon Palmer (20-24M)
Sam Hauck (25-29M)
Cathy Yndestad (30-34W - defending Divisional champ)
Rhett Bonner (45-49M)
Ben Ewers (60-64M)

And let's toss in Dennis Dane (30-34M), in case defending divisional champ Mark Harms (WI) has a sub-par day.

(Photos by YndeCam.com. Top - Cathy Yndestad. Bottom - Devon Palmer)

MTN's AG National Champions Predictions:

00-19M - Joseph Welsh (TN)
00-19W - Jennifer Walz (GA)
20-24M - Brian Duffy, Jr. (PA) or DEVON PALMER (MN)
20-24W - Erin Anderson (IA)
25-29M - Daniel Moss (SC) or SAM HAUCK (MN) (Deepest division in the race! Includes IA's Nathan White, PA's Rick Fesler etc.)
25-29W - Lindsay Whalen (IL)
30-34M- Mark Harms (WI) (MN's DENNIS DANE could reach the podium)
30-34W - CATHY YNDESTAD (MN)
35-39M - Jason Schott (GA) - Defending National Champion
35-39W - Michelle Shoup (GA)
40-44M - Bruce Gennari (TN) (Yes, he will beat NJ's Doug Clark. Bruce went to college in Tuscaloosa.)
40-44W - Peggy Yetman (TX)
45-49M - RHETT BONNER (MN)
45-49W - Linda Robb (FL)
50-54M - Steve Pyle (CO)
50-54W - Laura Sophiea (GA)
55-59M - Kevin Moats (GA)
55-59W - Karen McKeachie (MI)
60-64M - Steve Smith (IN) (MN's Ben Ewers will take the silver.)
60-64W - Lauren Binder (OR)
65-69M - Robert Plant (CA)
65-69W - Ann Erickson (TX)
70-74M - Don Ardell (FL)
70-74W - Lis Heckmann (TX)
75-79M - Dick Robinson (CA)
75-79W - Molly Hayes (MT)
80+M - Dean Davis (FL)




Monday, August 17, 2009

HOW TOUGH WAS PIGMAN?



MTN asked decorated multisportsman Kevin O'Connor, who finished 3rd at Pigman Half on Sunday, to describe the conditions on race day:

"It was with-out a doubt, with-out comparison, unequivocally the worst conditions I have ever raced in. The wind was much worse than Waconia out on the bike. Waconia's ride was easy compared to Pigman. It was simply indescribable. With that said the swim at Waconia was definitely much harder than Pigman.

"To give you an idea of how much the wind blew you around, Kerry Yndestand, Jeremy Sartain, and David Thompson all broke a wheel when the wind blew them across the road and they hit a pothole. You didn't have much control over your bike or where you were riding. The weather dictated your location."

(Cathy Yndestad Photo: Kevin O'Connor is glad to be off the bike at Pigman XII.)

KORT TALKS 70.3...

(Cathy Yndestad Photo: Kortney Haag at Pig Half.)

MTN: At Pigman you out-performed several great 70.3 racers. How'd you do it?

KH: "I learned a lot from my first half (Chisago) and knew I could push the bike a little harder, as well as taking in more nutrition. As you know, the weather at Pigman was really bad and we were all struggling out there trying to stay upright. Everyone was pretty much in survival mode. I knew there were some great runners in the field, so I needed to come off the bike with some time on them. I came into T2 first..., a position I'm not too familiar with. I am usually trying to run people down, so knowing there were people out there trying to run me down was kind of scary! My run wasn't the strongest, most likely due to the amount of energy I put out on the bike just trying not to get blown over! At the turnaroun point I figured I had about a minute and a half cushion, so I just tried to dial in as much as I could. Once I made my way up the hill into the park it felt great not seeing anyone too close to me."

MTN: 70.3 may be your best distance. Do you agree?

KH: "Yes, I think this may be my best distance. I'm not the weakest swimmer out there, but definitely not the strongest. With the 70.3 mile distance, I can make up a lot of ground on the bike and run, while maintaining an average pace that isn't too much slower than what I would do on an Olympic course. I do like the Olympic distance because of the speed and the all-out mentality, but with the 70.3 distance an extra 15 seconds in transition or a sighting mistake in the water won't cost you the race like it could in an Olympic or sprint."



Sunday, August 16, 2009

DANE & FLECK WIN...


(Lakeville, MN - August 16, 2009) Dennis Dane picked up his 2nd career victory and Jeanne Fleck garnered her 4th--3rd of 2009--at the 2nd edition of the Lake Marion Triathlon on Sunday. Dennis' time, 1:04:56, lowered Brett Lovaas' course record by 43 seconds. Fleck's 1:16:03 knocked the women's masters record down by a behemoth 11:23.

Race Director's Recap:

4:30 - Woke up and saw the massive storms coming in... Ugh oh, Turtleman part deux, I thought.

5:30 - Rain moves in an it's pouring. Doppler looks encouraging, but I'm not sold! Luckily our course was already set up and we could slow down a bit (volunteers that is).

6:15 - Rain stops completely and it becomes perfect race weather!

7:30 - Elite and relay wave heads out. Overcast and light winds. Ugh, what a relief.

Nick Madrinich killed the swim. Took out a HS All American (Liz Kleiner) and a D-1 swimmer (Robert Gorycki) from my club (granted he had a wetsuit and they didn't, but still!).

A 3-man "pack" formed on the bike, consisting of Lovaas, Dane and Joe Langel. They came in nearly together with Dennis out of T2 slightly ahead. After that it was all Dennis! He beat Brett by 1:50 or so on the run and won going away.

The womens side was closer than expected!

Teresa Breist came out of the water with a 3 (that's right!) minute lead on the elite field. She did her best to hang on, but Jeanne Fleck was just too strong. She cut 2:50 off on the bike to pull nearly even and then beat her....on the run to win by 50 seconds.

It was just the best day. I think the potential for bad weather made people a bit glum on the way out, but when it cleared off, spirits shot through the roof. At the finish line it was all smiles!

- Chuck Smith








(Ed. NOTE: LMT Race Director Chuck Smith was the Minnesota Rookie of the Year in 2003 and has twice been nominated for Triathlete of the Year (2003, 2004). He is a two-time Inside Triathlon All American. He won the Life Time Fitness Triathlon in 2003 and the Turtleman in 2004. He finished 6th overall at USAT Nationals in '03, his first full season in the Sport.)

(Photos by Greg Fleck. Top - A happy Dennis Dane nears the finish line. Bottom - Jeanne Fleck making a big splash in Lake Marion.)