Sunday, August 9, 2009


(Spicer, MN - August 9, 2009) The revered Timberman has the well-earned reputation as "Minnesota's Destination Triathlon." The family-friendly Green Lake races in bucolic Spicer richly deserve the title of our state's "Other" destination event.

Everything about this six-year-old race felt good. It was well-produced (for instance, the transition area is humongous and well designed) and well-attended by both participants (a record 500+ triathletes and relayers took part) and spectators. (Perhaps 1000 citizens lined the roadway outside of Melvin's on the Lake, the event's staging area). The weather, unlike that experienced in Shoreview the day before, was perfect. The event was low-key, as comfortable as grandpa's Lay-Z-Boy and operated on the single and uniformly-obeyed premise: Have Fun!

As for the race, itself, Hopkin's Robert Brown and Vermillion, South Dakota's Mark Lavin were repeat winners of the sprint and Olympic races. Lavin, in fact, has won all three editions of the intermediate-distance event. Stillwater's Holden Clausen and Richfield's Lucas Pedersen shared the podium with Lavin. Darin Weineke of Minneapolis, and Ted McNamara of Buffalo, did likewise with Brown.

Plymouth's Cindy Blackstock and Coon Rapid's Jill Ellenbecker recorded the first wins of their respective multisport careers at Green Lake. Blackstock's impressive 2:12:36 was an Olympic race-record (construction forced course alterations this year). And only three women in the six-year history of the sprint race had times that were quicker than Ellenbecker's 1:07:37.

Second and third behind Blackstock were former GL Sprint champ Mary Leedahl of Madison, Wisconsin, and recent Paul Bunyan Olympic winner Laurel Sundberg of Minnetonka.

Jennifer Mobley of St. Louis Park, and 2005 GL Sprint winner Tammy Marker of Waconia, were Ellenbecker's closest rivals.