Tuesday, March 9, 2010


We received this sad and poignant e-mail from Team Minnesota's Jon Balabuck on the evening of March 9:

Hi MTN Readers,

I hope all is well,

I am sending you a little note on the passing of one of our multisport family. Kathie Chezick age 50 of Thunder Bay, Ontario was killed on Monday March 1st when she was struck by at Transport Truck while on a training run.

I had the awesome pleasure of being her coach. She was an amazing women. Standing only 5,2" she had the personality of a giant, and a smile that radiated genuine happiness. She was a traithlete. trained hard and never complained. A swimmer by trade, she learned to endure and try her absolute best whenever asked. She decided at age 50 she would do an Ironman. and with Little outside help, she posted a 5:00 hr 1/2 at chisago. In Wisconsin, she did in an amazing 11:59 3rd in her age group behind Jan Guenther. Later she told me she did it on water and chicken soup broth. Gatorade was gross and gels didn't sit right. As for pacing, she went by feel, no HR monitor, just the sound of her breathing. I admired her for this take on racing in an age where super tech is the norm. Her ticket was punched for Kona in 2010, and it was bliss to be associated with such a dynamic and goal orientated person.

On Sunday Feb 28th we did our first Big training day together - a 400m time trial (500yrds approx) a 1:20 bike workout and a 5km local running race. She crushed it. Kathie broke a 25 year old personal record in the water (5:55) and PB'd in the 5km 22:53. This chick was in shape, the girls on the island would be concerned; she was a legitimate top 5 in 50-54.

It is hard to write about someone who so closely loved the same ideals as myself. A girl that was just happy to "do" and not worry about the "it".

We will miss you dearly Kathie, especially that radiant smile.

I'll be watching Kona this year thinking- what if?

- Jon Balabuck

Ed. Thanks for sharing, Jon.