Saturday, August 29, 2009


(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: