Tuesday, May 11, 2010


(Photos: Images from 2009 Oakdale Duathlon: L - Men's Top 3 -Brendan O'Flanagan (3rd place), Kevin O'Connor (Winner), Neil Miller (2nd place). Middle - Julie Hull (Winner) and Sarah Viamonte (2nd place). Right - Diane Hankee (3rd place).

The 9th annual Oakdale Duathlon will be staged at Lake Elmo Park Reserve on Saturday. It's a great event at a great venue. A field of 500+ participants is anticipated. A glance at the start list reveals that the field will be formidable. Overall course records will definitely be in jeopardy if the weather isn't extreme. And several AG marks could fall, as well.

Dropping names is fun and the Minnesota multi scene has more than its share droppable monikers. For giggles, let's do some name droppage here. We offer the following observations and predictions, which when coupled with $1.89 will get you a Grande Tanzanian Peaberry at Starbucks:

* 2009 US Duathlete of the Year Kevin O'Connor will become the event's first 2-time men's champ. He'll be pushed hard by Falls Du record-holder Chad Millner, who's very fit and focused right now. Kevin did not have the race he wanted at Du Nationals last month. He'll right his ship on Saturday.

* Two-time US Duathlete of the Year Kristin Miller's seven-year-old course record (1:15:37) will finally fall. Marlo Crosby-McGaver, who when on her game is arguably the best female duathlete in American, will cross the finish line first. Jenny Wilcox, who's coming off a CR effort at Cinco Du Mayo will not be far behind.

* The following athletes should lower their divisional CRs: Ashley Heinlein (00-19W), Scott Penticoff (40-44M), Charlie Roach (50-54M) and Bob Bailey (65-69M). Familiarity will serve Penticoff well on Saturday. The 2-time Most Improved nominee, has two outright wins on this Lake Elmo Park course, winning the Oakdale Du in 2005 and the late-season Young Life Du last year. FYI, Heinlein, 18, won her division at Du Nationals three weeks ago. Very cool.

* Other suspected female AG winners: Amy Klosterman (45-49W), Cindy Tiedke (50-54W), Karen Rothbauer or Jeanne Minder (55-59W), Ann Rhea (60-64W)

* Most Competitive Divisions - 40-44M, 65-69M

- 40-44M podium challengers: Scott Penticoff, Karl Schultz, Jeff Grebner, Rick Wegener, Charles Donly, Nolan Barrios, Jared Roy

- 65-69M - Wow! Check out this assemblage of vintage studs: Bob Bailey, Hank Larsen, Nick Vanduzee, Gene Holen, Steve Paladie

* Other credentialed participants with droppable names: Dan Arlandson (2008 Performance of the Year winner), Casey Richter (her first career win was recorded last weekend at the Cinco Du Mayo Sprint Duathlon), Jesse Nelson ( two 2nd place finishes thus far in 2010), Shelley Nelson (Jesse's sister won this race in 2006), Derick Podratz (2-time Cinco Du Mayo winner), Tracie Kent (2-time podium finisher here), Ross Weinzierl (3rd at Chain of Lakes two weeks ago), Jim Felling, Jill Hughes, Tina Welzein, Jill Ellenbecker, John Heinlein III, Pam Zachman and Sarah Berger.

The highlighted names in this post do not represent all of the talented athletes who will be racing on Saturday. Moreover, there's always the possibility of a breakthrough or two, e.g. Sam Janicki at COLT. And remember, there are bound to be a few elites who will sign up between now and the then. Unfortunately, 2009 women's champ Julie Hull will not be one of them.