Monday, August 10, 2009


Sunday, August 16 marks the 12th anniversary of the Pigman Long Course, our region's premier half, and the 2nd running of the Lake Marion Sprint in Lakeville.

Big Pig Previewette:

Course record holder David Thompson of St. Paul, and defending champ Daniel Bretscher of Greencastle, IN, should duke it out for the top spot. David's record--3:58:17, set in 2007--may fall in the process.

As for the amateur men, look for former Vineman 70.3 winner Jason Maurice of Fairfield, IA, who placed 3rd here in 2008, to have his work cut out for him keeping alacritous Minnesotans Kevin O'Connor, Matt Payne, Dan Arlandson, Jeremy Sartain and Josh Riff, as well as Wisconsin's Mike Lavery, in his rearview mirror.

It should take a 4:10, weather permitting, to win the men's amateur race, and all of the abovementioned guys are capable of doing that.

As for the girls, expect Minnesotans Julie Hull and Kortney Haag and Michigander Alaina Neary to fight over the podium spots.


Hull has won here before (2007) and placed 2nd last year. And she's currently riding like a crazed banshee!

Haag's 70.3 debut at Chisago last month was nothing short of brilliant. This could be the best distance for the 2008 Minnesota Rookie of the Year.

Neary won the Muncie Endurathon in dominant fashion last month and has posted impressive times at past editions of Steelhead and Kansas 70.3.

Lake Marion Previewette:

Barring the appearance of late registering elites, it appears that the men to beat will be returning champ Brett Lovaas, '08 runner-up Nick Madrinich and Dennis Dane, who will make his LMT debut on Sunday.

Nick, 19, is not quite ready to out-race Brett or Dennis, but a 3rd place finish here will further reinforce his status as frontrunner for the Male Junior of the Year award.

Lovaas and Dane have faced each other six times in the last two seasons with Dennis coming out on top in all but one confrontation.

Will Lovaas pick up his 20th career W since becoming a Minnesotan in 1997? Or will Dane, who took up the sport in 2006, earn his 2nd career win (he was victorious at Lakes Country in 2007)?

Evenly matched in the first two phases, Dane has a clear advantage on the run. Can Lovaas arrive in T2 with the necessary 90+ second lead in a race of this length (750m swim/22.5K bike/5K run)?

Not likely. Advantage: Dane.

Both Dennis and Brett should dip under the 1:05:39 CR.

The girls field is still taking shape, with several accomplished ladies giving serious thought to making the pilgrimage to Antlers Park in Lakeville on Sunday. At this point in time, though, Waconia Elite champ Brook Mutzenberger is the clear favorite.

UPDATE: 2008 Master of the Year and Most Improved Award winner Jeanne Fleck has announced her intention to race. Jeanne and Brook have faced each other three times--Manitou, Life Time Fitness and HOLT--this season, with Jeanne coming out on top twice.

UPDATE II: LMT's field just got more formidable as Thunder Bay's Jonathan Balabuck and Lino's Lake's Diane Hankee have registered. Balabuck, winner at Liberty Half and Brewhouse (amateur race), moves into the favorite's role.

(Photo by Nick Madrinich will go for another podium finish at Lake Marion on August 16.)