Race Coverage

"Who Are Those Guys?"


OAKDALE DUATHLON XVII - Lots of folks are lamenting the decline in event attendance that the multisports world has been experiencing over the last half dozen years. And rightly so. 


And many of those people are searching for ways to help, including adding an extra race or two to their schedules, and/or inviting heretofore uninitiated friends and family to adopt the lifestyle. 

Many insiders think that a resurgence is in the relatively near future. We hope they're right.


What we need to keep in mind during this downturn is that lower race attendances do not mean that the races are not outstanding. Though not as large as they were in the 2008 - 2013 era, Minnesota's events still feature some of the very best venues anywhere, and the same great event production and amenities. In other words, the races are not smaller because the events are not as great as they use to be. There are other reasons for that that will be addressed in other posts.

Last Saturday's Oakdale Du, though smaller than it used to be, was a great event, one which created a great experience and positive memories for its participants. 

It was also a very exciting event to watch, whether your focus was on the competition at the front of the race, or the joyful finishes of the first-timers, or the three women who we featured on MTN's Facebook page, who were doing the event as a much needed respite from their parental and professional responsibilities and a justification for drinking lots of beer. We chatted with the ladies after the race. All three of them--Suzanne, Erin and Jeanelle--were total HOOTS!

As we mentioned on our FB post, a pair of new stars emerged at Oakdale. We're speaking of two former UW-Stout Blue Devil cross country runners, one who we suspected, based on his runner-up performance at Falls a few weeks back, was destined for stardom. The other guy, we learned, is returing to multisport racing after a six-year hiatus. Before that, though, he rocked some outstanding results in southern California.

The first guy is JACOB OLSEN, who with his buddy / former teammate /current roommate JESSOP KEENE, led from the get-go, causing many spectators to speculate in Butch Cassady and Sundance Kid fashion: "Who are those guys?


Those guys went 1-2 at the race, eclipsing the very solid performances by smooth-striding bronze medalist JORDAN ROBY, and totally underrated DAVID KOPPEL, who finished in the 4th spot. And though Jacob and Jessop are good friends and are similarly talented as athletes, their personal tastes don't always line up.* Olsen is into Rap and Hip-Hop. Keene prefers Hard Rock and Reggae, with a dollop of Taylor Swift  thrown in. Jessop likes the of Rocky movies, all 6000 of them; Jacob prefers goofy humor, like The Hangover and Step Brothers.

The women's race was also super exciting, with two-time Oakdale champ DIANE HANKEE making the last second decision to race, and CHRISTINA ROBERTS, our state's winningest multisportswoman in 2017, squaring off.

These national class stars covered the first run (3 miles) together, then Hankee pushed to a 25ish-second lead after the 14-mile bike leg. Game over? Would Hankee charge on to her 32nd career multiport win, and her sixth run-bike-run victory since this time in 2014? Or would Roberts overtake Diane and claim her first du win, and 19th multi W of her career?

Roberts pushed hard and was able to overtake Hankee, who was experiencing some ouchiness in one of her porkstrings. CR's time was 1:14:07. DH crossed 33-seconds thereafter.

Third place was earned by 52-year-old TRACY SERREYN, with fourth going to phenomenal 14-year-old MACY IYER, who won the overall women's title at Cinco Sprint the previous weekend. 

Hankee, who turned 41 a day or two day before the race, set a divisional record, as did ANDREW NOVAK, 16, who is undefeated in AG action this year, and LUKE HARNED, 65 but can pass for 49. RESULTS


 * According to the quasi-unassailable info on their Facebook pages.

PHOTOS - Top (L-R) - Those Guys - Jessop Keene and Jacob Olsen.

Page 2 - (L-R) - Suzanne, Erin and Jeanelle.

Smaller Page 2 photo: Rookie duathlete Sarah Lembke, who totally rocked, placing 6th overall in the women's race.



0 #1 Tracy Serreyn 2018-05-21 17:41
Not that I want to admit it....but I’m 54!

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