Race Coverage

Rookie Race. Rookie Champions

Rain. Wind. Thunder. Lightning zapped a tree across the street from the venue. Seventy minute delay. Squeegees in transition. A fine event, nevertheless. Baby back ribs and pulled pork afterward. Gastronomic heaven.

Not Amy WoolseyThe girl in the picture (L) is Amy Woolsey. We filched the pic from Facebook. This Amy Woolsey is NOT the Amy Woolsey who won the inaugural Green Lake Duathlon this morning, but this was the only Amy Woolsey photo we could find.

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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

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Shouldn't It Be "DOS de MAYO DUATHLON?"

"I would have been here a lot sooner but I obeyed all the speed limit signs," Tom Couillard announced through a wry grin when he arrived in T2. His tone was one of feigned disgust, as if accusing all who outrode him at the 2nd annual Cinco de Mayo Duathlon of blatantly violating traffic laws.

There was one man in the field who rode significantly faster than everyone else, albeit within the posted speed limits. He appeared impervious to the diabolical wind, which gusted to 25 mph at times and always seemed to be in the rider's face; and the hills, which one participant later referred to as the "Alpe d'Wheeze." His name-the fast cyclist's, not the complainer's- is Rick Christenson, and he out-split the next fastest rider by 2:35 over the 20 mile route.

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Records Tumble in Alex

"I'm still grinning," Jen Lenarz bubbled in a phone interview ten hours after she obliterated the women's course record at the 8th edition of the Chain of Lakes Triathlon in Alexandria on May 2. Propelled by the briskest women's bike and run splits of the day, Jen covered the 600-13-2.8 course in 1:04:29, bettering Lynette Bacon's 2007 CR by a chunky 1:36.

"I felt good and strong the whole way through," she effervesced, still abuzz with lingering endorphins. "It was a good day. I was having fun."

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Giving It the Ol' College Tri

In other Minnesota multi action on the weekend of April 25-26, Golden Valley's Jason Midgarden and Minneapolis' Cynthia Cook posted convincing wins at the 25th annual UM-Morris Tinman, while approximately 130 miles away on another college campus (Gustavus Adolphus), Mike Torchia of Minneapolis, and Kathleen Dewahl of St. Peter, led their respective genders at the 2nd running of the Gustie Tri.

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Weekend Racing: April 25-26

(Richmond, Virginia) Forty-four-year-old Jeanne Fleck from Proctor, has only been competing in tris and dus for two years but has already picked up three Minnesota Multisport Awards (2007 Rookie of the Year, 2008 Master of the Year, 2008 Most Improved). Finishing fourth in her age division and ninth among all over-40 women, which she did at USAT Duathlon Nationals on April 26, was bound to raise some eyebrows. Certainly, her performances against national caliber competition last season at Apple (1st master, 7th overall) and especially Iron Girl-Bloomington (4th overall and a substantial lowering of the masters record) demonstrate that, if healthy and well-trained, she has nothing to fear from the top girls in the U.S., even former Du Master of the Year Kristin Villopoto (Chapel Hill, NC) and current MOY Julie Deery (Bala Cynwyd, PA).

"...My intention was to go there to guarantee a qualification," Fleck said in an e-mail the day after the race. She went on to explain, "....given my poor fitness level and the unseasonal heat... I was actually satisfied with my finish."

How hot was it, Jeanne? "...Verging on 100 degrees, which was pretty brutal for a northern Minnesota girl like me."

Poor fitness level? What's that all about? "I suffered a groin injury late last fall, which then manifested into a knee problem." Ouch! "The injuries left me unable to do any kind of lower body training until recently."

Fleck's performance in toasty Richmond on April 26 was ultimately more motivating than deflating. Setting her sights on Apple, see expects to "definitely see an improvement from my performance at Nationals now that I am able to maintain some consistent training."

The good news for the 40-44 girls at Apple, which is a Team USA Worlds Qualifier this year, is that Jeanne Fleck has already picked-up her Worlds slot. Some lucky lady who would have just missed earning a trip to North Carolina next September had Fleck decided to forego Nationals, will now be able to toe the starting line alongside Minnesota's Master of the Year.

USAT Du Nationals Results:

(St. Petersburg, FL) "I had a solid race," Cathy Yndestad said after St. Anthony's. She had just placed 4th in Elite Amateur division of the 26-year-old mega-event (4000+ participants), which had to be abbreviated due to dangerously high seas. The pros still had to battle the Bay, but the age groupers did only the bike (40K) and run portions (10K).

Cathy's bike split (1:02:47) was impressive-only Florida's Angela Hygema rode faster (1:01:58)-- but her run (40:52) was not up to her usual standards, though she did not express disappointment.

The women's Elite Amateur race was won by phenomenal 45-year-old Linda Robb of Juno Beach, Florida. The former US Athlete of the Year and Master of the Year and owner of four World Championship medals is a five-time St. Anthony's champion. Chicago's Lindsay Whalen, the 2008 25-29 National Champion, placed second and USAT All American Stephanie Liles of Tallahassee, Florida was third.

The cancellation of the swim had a profound effect of Chaska's Curt Wood. Runner-up here two years ago thanks to race-leading swim and bike splits, Curt came into Sunday's race listed as one of the favorites but race management's fateful announcement relegated him to "elite-also-ran" status. And while Wood ultimately placed 27th among Elite Amateur men, thanks largely to an uncharacteristically laconic bike split, he had something to smile about after the race. He'd been working very hard in the off-season to improve his running and his diligence truly paid off at St. Anthony's as he was able to trim more than two minutes off his typical 10K times in 2008.

The Elite Amateur men's podium spots were earned by Connecticut's Christopher Thomas,who finished 11 seconds ahead of 40-year-old West Virginian Vinnie Monseau, who endured a bike crash, and Tennessee's Thomas (Zach) Winchester, who was another 16 seconds in arrears.

In St. Anthony's men's professional race, St. Paul's David Thompson was able to battle back from his 26th place arrival in T1 to 8th place at the finish line. It was the third consecutive year that David has earned prize money at St. Anthony's.

This year's pro winners were Andy Potts and Rebeccah Wassner, both of whom were runners-up here in 2008.

St. Anthony's Results: Here

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