Friday, April 30, 2010


The 8th annual Chain of Lakes Triathlon will be staged on Saturday, May 1. MTN's Darin Wieneke asked COLT Race Director Mark Storhaug a few questions about his race, which happens to be the Tri Minnesota Series' kickoff event.

1. Could you give us a little history on your race? (i.e. when started, why started, changes in venue/courses over the year, charities involved, etc...)

MS - The COLT was started in 2001 by Alexandria biking enthusiasts that had gotten involved in Pickle Series triathlons. Charities included the Alex Swim Club and Lakes Area Recreation, both provide programming for youth in the area.

2. How did you become involved in this race?

MS - I first became involved as a participant in the triathlon but was also one of the coaches of the Alex Swim Club. My team provided lap counters for the swimming participants in the race.

3. What is your favorite aspect of being the race director for this race?

MS - My favorite aspect of the race is enjoying the fruits of the labor involved in putting on a big competition and hearing about the successes of the athletes involved

3. What do you believe is the most interesting feature of your race? (i.e. tough hill, some visual item, etc...)

MS - The most interesting aspect of the COLT is that it includes a pool swim instead of a lake portion. We also seem to have a variety of weather that never fails to surprise us as this race is the first in the Series (running the first weekend of May)

4. Are there any differences in the race from last year to this year?

MS - None

5. Any key racing or safety tips that you would like to share with participants? (i.e. particular corner to be wary of, hill to expect, wave conditions, etc...)

MS - Since the COLT includes a pool swim, there is less anxiety about that leg among many of the inexperienced racers

6. Any recommendations for post-race restaurant, beverage spot, or landmark to visit?

MS - Alexandria has many great little shops downtown and popular restaurants for post-race participants to enjoy.

Looking for a great pizza in Alex? We recommend the Depot Express at 1907 Burlington Train Station - 320-763-7712)

COURSE RECORDS: Matt Payne - 53:44 (2009) & Jen Lenarz (photo) - 1:04:29 (2009)

COMMENT: Before 2009, when Payne and Lenarz obliterated the old CRs, the men's race winners typically covered the sprint course in 56-57 minutes and the fastest woman went 1:06-1:07. Neither Payne nor Lenarz are on this year's start list. PREDICTION: 2009 Tri Minnesota Series champs Steve Sander and Brooke Larsen will win the race. Steve's time could flirt with Payne's CR; we suspect he'll pop a very respectable 54 or 55. Larsen's bike split will need to improve dramatically if she is going to challenge Lenarz's '09 time. We suspect she'll win with a 1:06 and change. Brooke should be one to watch this season. There may be room for her on Team Minnesota at season's end if she plays her cards right.

Forecast for Alexandria on May 1: Hi - 65, Low - 45; 30% chance of rain.