Tuesday, March 30, 2010


By Darin Wieneke

March Legal Question Of The Month: Will a governmental entity pay for damage to a bicycle that is caused by a pothole

-Question Submitted by Christophe Lenglet (photo below right)

With the receipt of this question, I can officially declare that Spring has arrived Minnesota! Like the first sight of a robin, the pains of potholes are now an annual spring passage here in Minnesota.Unfortunately, the spring declaration is the only good news that I can likely bring to you on this subject.

UNLIKELY, is the short answer. This question is actually pretty complicated and, depending on the specific facts of the incident, can make for a challenging law school exam question. Accordingly, I recommend to anyone incurring property damage or bodily injury as a result of a pothole to consult with an attorney immediately. You will be barred from making a claim, regardless of the merits, if you do not provide proper notice to the governing body of a municipality within 180 days of the incident.

As long as you provide prompt notice, you can attempt to make a claim by way of submitting a Notice of Claim Form to the governmental entity which will then be investigated by the governmental entity and it will determine whether you have a valid claim against it after investigating the matter. The Notice of Claim Forms are generally available online at the applicable entity's website or clerk's office. The outcomes of these proceeding are not very favorable to claimants. In fact, KSTC45 recently contacted MNDOT regarding claims submitted to it in the past year. MNDOT responded by stating that 150 pothole claims had been submitted to it for review in the metro area and that it paid only 2. 3 were still being examined and 145 were rejected. Another option to collect damages is to simply sue the governmental entity in conciliation/small claims court (or in district court depending on the value of the claim).

The outcomes in these other venues are not too promising either. There are a number of reasons why pothole claims are not very successful in any forum. First, governmental entities argue that bicyclists are required to maintain a proper lookout when riding on a street or roadway and should avoid potholes. Accordingly, they argue that any damage to your bike was caused by your negligence. Second, governmental entities will argue that they are protected by a statutory or governmental immunity and/or did not have notice of the pothole. The municipalities often argue that the underlying reason why a pothole was not observed or fixed was because of a policy-level decision, generally due to budget constraints or prioritization. A municipality cannot generally be held liable for policy-level decisions pursuant to Minnesota statutes.

If you can prove that the municipality had actual notice of the pothole prior to your accident, there is a slight chance that you can make a recovery. THAT IS ONE IMPORTANT REASON WHY BICYCLISTS SHOULD REPORT DANGEROUS POTHOLES IMMEDIATELY TO GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES. Many cities and the State of Minnesota actually have pothole notice forms on their websites.

Ride Safely and Happy Spring!

Darin is a personal injury and wrongful death attorney. In addition to posting periodic triathlon safety articles, he will be answering a legal question of the month. Please send him an e-mail at dwieneke@tewksbury-kerfeld.com if you have a triathlon-related legal question that you would like him to address on MTN.


The winner of the Peace Coffee Logo Contest is the design submitted by Jason Lehmkuhle. Jason's concept finished in a veritable tie with the one presented by Stephanie Shuster, but was selected because it remains articulate at any size, whereas Stephanie's design works best when it is large. Because the logo will appear on printed materials and clothing, as well as on the new MTN website, we have decided to go with the one that has the best sizing options.

We love Stephanie's design an will produce a limited number of t-shirts featuring her concept. If you'd like one (or more), they can be gotten at our cost plus postage.


Electronic cigarettes have recently grabbed the attention of countless tobacco users across the United States. Also known as the “E-Cigarette,” these groundbreaking devices are raising a lot of eyebrows. Are they really a healthier and cheaper alternative to traditional cigarettes? Creators say these devices are very different from the traditional cigarette, and thousands of smokers have already made the switch with hopes the device will be better for their health. But can this clever looking contraption live up to all the hype? READ

Monday, March 29, 2010


Registration for the 2nd annual Minneapolis Duathlon, which will be staged on August 29, will close on April 7. WEBSITE

Sunday, March 28, 2010


(Photos: Above - Stephanie's MTN logo design. Cool, huh! Left - Stephanie fully formed. Below left - Stephanie during a more formative stage.)

We've never met triathlete/future kindergarten teacher Stephanie Shuster but we like her intensely. What's NOT to like about a person who loved "The Hangover" and eats chocolate chip cookies that are as big as her head?

Have you read "Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs"? It's a very cool book - it has an abiding reverence for irreverence; it demonstrates that it can be fashionable to be anti-fashion; and it is very serious about not taking things too dang seriously. Reading this book will make you cooler than you already are. And it's one of Stephanie's favorite tomes, ergo, she is totally cool and impossible not to like.

Stephanie also created one of the two great logo designs that are being considered for the official MTN masthead, letterhead and merchandise identity. We love your design, Steph, as do a plethora of folks who voted for it. (Winner announced on Tuesday!)

And here's some more "Going Off-Course" stuff about the totally cool Stephanie Shuster:
Name: Stephanie Shuster
Age: 26
Family: Just me, my mom, my dad and our dog, Bandit.
College? Degrees? Graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in English Literature. Currently at St. Thomas to get my masters in Education - I want to teach kindergarten- what can I say? I love the little rug rats.


Singers, Bands?
Way too many to list. I like a little bit of everything.
Movies? The Hangover, The Departed, Willy Wonka, 500 Days of Summer

TV Shows? 30 Rock, Modern Family , Big Bang Theory and Arrested Development are my fav. I have no time to watch any of them, however. Thank goodness for the magical Tivo.
Junk Food?
I can always go for a giant chocolate chip cookie and I always eat the entire thing in one sitting. None of this "save it for latter" crap for me.
There is a place called The Green House. Unfortunately, it's not here in MN, it's in Arizona. But it's all very fresh food and quiet scrumptious.

Alcoholic Beverages? Martini anyone?
Books? The Great Gatsby, Hamlet, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs.
Tattoos? Way too big of a commitment for me.
Non-Tri Hobbies?
Hanging out with friends, walking around the lakes with the dog, baking (although I am not very good at it-I feel bad for my friends and family who are forced to eat my concoctions).
Dream Vacation Destination? I really want to go to Australia.
Weird Habits? I like turkey sandwiches for breakfast...is that weird?
Pet Peeves? I don't really like being late.


The Elite National Duathlon Championship took place with great weather today (3/27/2010) just south of Birmingham, Alabama at Oak Mountain State Park. The twenty-five professionals raced in a stand-alone event to a great crowd with an exciting three-loop bike course.

Crossing the line first was Duathlon World Champion Joerie Vansteelant of Belgium for the men and first-year pro duathlete (5th-year pro cyclist) Marisa Asplund of Durango, CO for the ladies.

St. Paul's David Thompson, who had won this event the previous three years, finished an impressive 3rd against the event's deepest field in a decade on Saturday. This was DKT's 5th appearance at Powerman Alabama. His record there is: 3 wins (2009, 2008, 2007), one 2nd (2006) and a 3rd (2010).

Visit Team-Magic.com for more news and results.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

CALIFORNIA 70.3......

Germany's Michael Raelert and Australia's Mirinda Carfrae, who are arguably their respective gender's premier half distance racers, reinforced the argument with big wins over amazingly deep fields on March 27 at Ironman California 70.3 in Oceanside. Raelert out-raced runner-up Matt Reed of Boulder, CO by almost two minutes. Carfrae's margin over 2nd-placing Scot, Lesley Paterson, was a porcine 5:02. RESULTS

Here's how the Minnesotans did:

- DAN COHEN - 4:31:19
- JMATT KEIL - 4:52:32
- MARTA LEWINSKI - 5:18:24
- GARY NELSON - 6:17:30
- MATT MOSHER - 7:40:35


Recently we asked 2009 Athlete of the Year Cathy Yndestad about her 2010 racing schedule, specifically if she were to kick off the year, as she'd done in '08 and '09, at St. Anthony's in St. Petersburg, FL. Here was her e-mail reply:

Hey ....,

Unfortunately no St. Anthony's for me. After a few very long seasons the last few years, Im ready for a break from the routine and will be attempting a new and exciting challenge in 2010. Kerry and I have always wanted to race in the Leadville 100 Mtn bike race, but as you can imagine, it didnt exactly fit into our standard racing schedules. We made a decision late last year that we would enter the Leadville lottery (this race has become extremely popular), and see what happens. Well we didnt get in, but thankfully Lifetime Fitness is the title sponsor, and they had an essay contest for their members to earn their coveted entries. We both received a slot (maybe winning the LifetimeFitness Triathlon the last 4 years helped my case), so well be spending A LOT of time on the fat tires this summer. AS far as triathlons go, the only race Im currently registered for is Ironman Wisconsin (4 weeks after Leadville). Im very excited to actually train for an Ironman instead of just squeezing it in between all my Olympic distance racing. Im sure all the hill training for Leadville will translate well to the hills of Wisconsin.

I will post an update on my blog eventually-Right now Im playing in Arizona with the Julie, Erik, Merilee and KerryOur annual YndeCamp AKA-Adult play dates in the sun!

Have a Super day!!


Friday, March 26, 2010


Register now if you want to race at the 2nd annual Trinona Triathlon at Lake Winona on June 12. Charity Slots will open on April 1. WEBSITE


(Photo: This may not be what the author had in mind?)

Here is reason #5 for not being a breakfast-skipper:

Skipping breakfast makes you grouchy. Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to be in better moods. Breakfast gets you started on the right track for the day. If you start out with a healthy breakfast, then you set the mood for lunch. You’re more likely to choose something reasonable for lunch if you’ve paid some attention to your breakfast choices.

Breakfast can make or break a diet, because breakfast helps set the tone for the rest of the day. If you’re one of those people who thinks skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight, think again. Here are the top reasons why you should definitely eat breakfast every day...READ

Thursday, March 25, 2010


At least eight Minnesotans are slated to race this Saturday--March 27--at Ironman California 70.3 in Oceanside. They are: James Ball, 43, Dan Cohen (muscular guy), 36, JMatt Keil, 35, Chad Kelly, 40, Marta Lewinski (pretty girl), 36, Matt Mosher, 44, Gary Nelson, 40, and Nathaniel Tollefson (smiley denim-wearing guy), who is between 25 and 60 years old.

MTN wishes them well and will post their times and places when results are available.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


MTN is pleased to reveal the finalists of the Peace Coffee Logo Contest. The first concept was created by web guy/elite runner Jason Lehmkuhle, who also happens to be the designer of MTN's new website, which will be unveiled in the very near future. The second great concept (middle) was created by triathlete/future elementary school teacher Stephanie Shuster. The 3rd design (bottom) was submitted by stud triathlete / totally cool guy Brendon O'Flanagan.

Okay, readers, it's up to you. Which of these designs should become our permanent logo? We're anxious to get your feedback. You can contact us at jerry@minnesotatrinews.com.

The creators of the top two designs will receive gourmet beans from Peace Coffee and a totally cool Peace Coffee t-shirt.

UPDATE: Day 1 voting has been brisk. We thank everyone who has participated thus far. People will be allowed to e-mail their votes over the weekend. The winner will be announced on Monday, March 29.


By Bonnie Edema

Have you ever noticed it's the little things that can take down the giant?

So there we were - running up Mt. Everest. Okay, not the Mt. Everest but Eagan's version of it. With just a few more thousand feet to go I was considering how well our training had been going the last few weeks. Both my fiancé and I are recovering from ankle injuries and had taken several months off training. I proudly blurted out, "Isn't this great! Not one injury so far!" You could hear the needle slide across the vinyl record and come to a ripping stop. I glanced next to me only to see houses, cars passing and wind blowing. No fiancé. The air seemed to suddenly hold only the sound of birds chirping in ignorant bliss in the distance. I turned my body to look behind me and there he was: stopped dead in his tracks. He raised his arms to the sky and admonished me, "Don't say that out loud! You know how unlucky you are!" After we finished the run I took an ice bath for good measure.

That was two days ago.

Spring has sprung and we all are taking every opportunity we can to train outside. Ah, yes - the sunshine, the cool breeze, the dog poop plastering the sidewalks since apparently the pooper-scooper law isn't in effect in the winter....

I'm not sure about you but I'm hearing from friends that injuries are popping up like baby bunnies in early spring. Overtraining? Overzealous for the outdoors time? Changes in body mechanics from the shift from the mechanical running track of bodily hate (a.k.a. the treadmill) to road and sidewalk surface?

A friend of mine is experiencing heel pain as of late. He's an avid runner and preparing for another marathon. Though the temptation to run outside is there, he's abdicating to following orders to give it a rest, some massage and stretching. He inspires me.

I sent my surgeon a text this morning explaining my ailment - 'Severe pain in my left foot arch. Haven't been able to walk since the run on Sunday.' After his words of wisdom, which included the much-dreaded words no endurance athlete fresh back to training wants to hear, "Take some time off," I relinquished and sent my coach a note. The last thing I want to do is to have to take extended time off from training. Better to suffer a bit now and lay low than to train through the pain and hope it magically disappears.

Enjoy the weather and the feeling of freedom that comes with commencing outdoor training. After I finish up with some rest, foot-strengthening exercises, new shoes and inserts, I'll be joining you. And being careful of what I say.


On Tuesday we received this e-mail:


My name is
Erika Sperl-Imhoff, and I'm a member of the University of Minnesota Triathlon team, as well as Peace Coffee Racing. I've been meaning to write this email for forever now, but apparently today's the day! The UMN Tri Team is headed down to USAT Collegiate Nationals in Lubbock, TX on April 17th. A lot of people aren't even aware that the University of Minnesota has a tri team, let alone a bunch of great racers!

I'm a frequent reader of Minnesota Tri News, and I love all the interviews and highlights you do on individuals, companies, and teams. I'm wondering if you'd be interested in doing some sort of post about or Q&A type thing with the University of Minnesota Tri Team to help us get our name out a bit before we head down to Nationals? We'd definitely appreciate it!

Hope to hear from you soon!

Erika Sperl-Imhoff

We responded immediately and are so glad we did. Erika (photo) has agreed to keep us up to date on UMN Tri Team news. We look forward to her first submission.

Erika also has a very cool website. We encourage you to check it out: LINK. She is also a pretty darn good runner, as you can probably tell from her picture. In fact, she was 3rd woman overall at the Get Lucky 7K last weekend.

A closer look at her picture shows that she is VERY thin. Who do you know know who is slim enough to wear their wristwatch on their upper arm?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


From smarterlifestyles.com

If you have problems with snoring and think that there’s nothing you can do, you must continue reading…

Most of us snore—and most of us consider snoring little more than an inconvenience. Yet, the truth is that snoring can cause serious health problems, and snoring only gets worse as we age.

Snoring can be lethal

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute more than 12 million Americans have a condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)....READ


By Lee Gardner & Walter F. DeNino (for usatriathlon.org)

As the racing season is about to start, you may want to consider what worked and what did not from the season past. One of the most common training errors we see athletes make is to overtrain. As such, we think it is a perfect time to explore the topic of overtraining and how it might be detected before it's too late. After all, that's the key: avoiding overtraining in the first place. Triathletes, by nature, are a hard-working and highly motivated group of people. Independent of talent, far too many athletes incorrectly think that relentlessly increasing training volume and intensity will lead to improved results. More is better, right?

What many find, eventually, is that the body can only handle so much training. At some point, fatigue sets in and it's very difficult to recover from this fatigue. In European academic circles of sport science, a vocabulary a bit different from ours has coined the terms "over-reaching" (overtraining), functional over-reaching (FOR), non-function over-reaching (NFOR) and overtraining syndrome (OTS). As you can probably guess, these terms represent a spectrum of increasing fatigue. Functional over-reaching or "FOR" is what the athlete should be doing during the training process, that is applying varying dosages of stress followed by recovery, hence functional. READ

Monday, March 22, 2010


By Ryan Hutmacher

From usatriathlon.org

Spring is just around the corner. Those who've braved the seasonal elements and concentrated on staying strong over the winter look to showcase their commitment in the hopes of new PRs. On the other hand, the rest of us will reluctantly step onto that scale for the first time, only to cringe at what's been undone during the offseason. In either case, as the seasons change, our eating habits should too.

This is the time of year to let go of those heavy, stick-to-your-ribs types of foods and replace them with light, yet filling foods that help energize and fuel you for your workouts. Believe it or not, among all of the variables that effect optimal performance, nutition is the one we have the most control over. READ

Sunday, March 21, 2010


MTN congratulates stud triathlete and Birkie skier Ananda Bates, who used to sport the best dreds in the entire triathlon world, and his wife Jennifer on the totally unmedicated (Ouch!) birth their new son, Julian. Ananda shared this happy news with us via e-mail and he left out the exact date of birth and the size of the infant. Judging from the baby's size in the above photos, our guess is that Julian was born recently. As for size, we suspect he weighs between four and 15 pounds and is in the range of 17 to 35 inches long.

Ananda, we'll miss the dreds but the new "do" rocks.

LATER: Ananda sent this e-mail:

"...actually me dreads are just back in a ponytail. And all of Julians stats are included in the image. read the middle copy. youre so funny. thanks for the free publicity."

ED: Oops! Hey, does anyone else have trouble reading the copy on the dark background? Must have had another "senior moment."

EVEN LATER: Ananda wrote:

"Ah, well in that case the particulars are as follows.
Julian Teyo Hanson Bates was born at 11:42 pm on March 19th. Weighing in at 8 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long.

We're all very excited to have increased my cheering section by one as I'm sure all will see him at the races."


Saturday, March 20, 2010


(Life Time Fitness - Minneapolis was named one of the top 10 urban races.)

In this first-of-its-kind feature, the Triathlete Magazine editors have carefully selected 100 events that stand out from all the rest.

A good triathlon has to cover all the basics: proper aid stations, a clearly marked course, scenic surroundings, friendly volunteers and all those other little details that make the entry fee feel justified. A great triathlon needs to cover more than just the basics. The scenery has to be so good that you forget about your speedometer for the entire bike leg. The volunteers have to be so friendly that you’re inspired to finally volunteer at a race. In order for a race to be one of the greatest on Earth, participating in it should be a life-changing experience and one that you know you’ll never forget.

We first chose 13 categories of races that represent the full gamut of triathlon—from off-road to women only to where you can find the best post-race parties. In each category we’ve selected an overall winner, explained what makes the winner worthy, and also listed a number of “best of the rest” in each category. Whether you’re looking to test the limits of your fitness on the hardest climbs in Europe or you’re just looking to unwind with an easy swim, bike and run on a tropical island, you’ll find your new favorite race here....READ


Timberman, "Minnesota's Original "Destination Triathlon," has filled but are accepting Waiting List applicants. To get onto this list, e-mail the event at registration@timberman.org.


An excerpt from "Slow, Fat Triathlete"

By Jayne Williams

Oh, my god, she's using the F-word! Is she calling me fat? Is she admitting to being fat herself? Why would she call herself fat? Or slow, for that matter? What is the meaning of this? Relax. Take a deep, cleansing breath. Slow Fat Triathlete is me. I'm a triathlete at a very modest local level. I've been training and racing for two years now. I'm also fairly slow and kind of fat, especially as triathletes go. I used to be a lot slower and a lot fatter, though, and this book is about my journey from injury and obesity to a pretty decent level of fitness using triathlon as my vehicle. It's an invitation to you to come along for the ride, with some tips and encouragement on actually getting started in the sport. My fondest hope is that reading the book will be fun for you, and that you'll close it at the end feeling like you want to go outside and start moving your body around. "Fun" is the f-word that really matters here.

This is not a book about fatties' rights or the politics of obesity or how I'm a victim of the fast-food industry. If you want to read about how overweight folks have a tough time, there are plenty of books out there that can meet your needs. This is not that book. This is also not a book for hard-core lycra-clad tri-junkies who want yet another training book so they can shave 23 seconds off their bike time. If you're one of those people, and you want to read this for fun, that's cool. But don't come back and complain that I didn't make you faster.

This is a book for people like me. Folks who may have struggled with a few extra pounds all their lives..READ

Friday, March 19, 2010


Decorated nordic skier, healthcare professional and 2nd-year triathlete with really white teeth, Hilary Patzer will make occasional editorial contributions to Minnesota Tri News. We look forward to sharing her words and encourage everyone to check out her website.

Check out Hilary's stellar race results:

2010 Ski season:

* Pre-Season Physical (10km skate) - 2nd woman overall
* Pre-Loppet (15km skate) - 1st woman overall
* Seeley Hills Classic (42km classic) - 2nd woman overall
* Balsam Vinter Fest (20km skate) - 1st woman overall
* Noquemanon (58km classic) - 1st woman overall
* Book Across the Bay (10km skate) - 1st woman overall
* Birkie (54km classic) - 2nd woman overall

2009 Tri season (Rookie Season)

* Manitou Sprint - 32nd woman overall
* Heart of the Lakes - 27th woman overall
* Chisago 1/2 - 18th woman (4:57:12)
* Square Lake 1/2 - 5th woman overall

ALSO: This interesting autobiographical article appeared on skinnyski.com in 2006: Link


After months of swimming in the luxurious width of a pool lane, the arrival of race season brings with it the necessity of facing the controlled frenzy of a mass-start open-water swim. Abby Rudy explains how to get ready for the first few seconds of your next triathlon.

Written by: Abby Rudy ....

(for triathlon.competitor.com)

Swimming in close quarters can be intimidating to many triathletes, who often struggle to get through the first few minutes so they can settle down and just swim. With a little preparation, however, you can make those first few minutes work to your advantage. READ

Thursday, March 18, 2010


A half century ago, Apple Duathlon founder and director until 2009, Daryl Stevens (#42 above and having a good "hair day" right) was a member of Edgerton, Minnesota's legendary high school basketball team. Daryl, a.k.a. "Pam's husband" and "the guy with the great car" (You should see it! It's really cool!), and his teammates will be introduced at halftime of the final Minnesota State High School Championship game on March 27.

Here's more on that historic game in 1960 and its enduring impact on Edgerton and Minnesota basketball:

On a bitterly cold weekend in southwest Minnesota, Edgerton residents converged on J.H. Brovold Gymnasium in December of 2008, eager to extend a warm welcome to 10 members of the 1960 state championship Flying Dutchmen basketball team.

The occasion was the release of “Edgerton: A Basketball Legend,” a 277-page hardcover book chronicling the improbable journey of the community’s 1960 state champions, athletes who let nothing or no one interfere with their incredible run. It was one of the team’s largest reunions since a 27-0 season in which Edgerton, population 1,019, became the smallest community ever to produce a state basketball title when the Minnesota State High School League sponsored only one classification. READ


The 2010 Race To the Toyota Cup will include a stop in the City of Brotherly Love, the home of Big Bells, Rocky Balboa and Donovan McNabb. LTF welcomes the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon. READ

Also: Trijuice.com Press Release: Link

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


By Bonnie Boyardee

(Stolen from trijuice.com)

There is an art to burning water. An art so delicate, so precious that I'm not even going to tell you what it is. I'm just going to say I've burned it three times in my life. READ


Does this sound familiar ? Quick Tip


I have a friend here in AZ that wants me to help her with her swimming for a triathlon she will be doing in May. It is her first one. She has to swim 800 meters. I was wondering if you could help me out with some workouts for her to do? I know she can swim laps but does not have the endurance to go a full 800. She said she can only do 10 laps of a 25 yard pool without being totally exhausted. I am not sure where to even begin with her. Should I just start building her yardage up? Help!


If she is in shape and cannot ever get past 10 laps before going anaerobic (no air), then she is not breathing properly......READ


FYI for this Sunday's Clinic Focus

March 21st 2010 Session 2, due to demand, a second session has been added. Training and race techniques, how to structure your swimming workouts and to apply training drills and stroke detail to workouts. Open water and triathlon skill tips. In-water demonstrations, filming and individual critique. This Clinic will run from 2:15pm-4:30pm. Sign up now!, 10 max spots.

Tim Walton



article about Jan Guenther on your blog. Jan is wearing an outfit that I gave her. Velour bodice with a fringe and chiffon skirt - a former figure skating costume, but not a Tu Tu! Wouldn’t it be fun to race in a classical ballet tutu? I think so! See photo....

Hope to see you again soon.

Karen Bebchuk (Skort Lady, I think you called me

ED NOTE: Thanks for the heads-up, Karen. Is it true that the outfit was originally intended for Johnny Weir?