About Us

Hey Bluffbusters,

It’s not too early to start thinking about our 2017 race schedule. Some members have been compiling a list of upcoming races that we will discuss. And additional input is always appreciated.
IM events sometimes require a years advance planning. Nationals and worlds (ITU) require prior planning, and for someone that is going to do their first triathlon, there will be seasoned veterans to help pick which race, and when to start training.

Hopefully we can map out our race schedules and get motivated about the coming year.
We will mix in some cycling events, and swim events as well.

The social will be at Schmitty’s on Monday Jan 23rd 2017 from 6:00-8:00. hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

The more the Merrier!

Also check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/594778490712941/

Hope to see you there at this planning/social gathering
 Thank you for everyone that attended the banquet, it’s nice to get together to chat and talk about how our races went this year.

2016 awards:
Male Long Course: Tom Hirshbrunner
Male Short Course: Ron Rasque
Male Most Improved: Sridhar Hari “VJ”
Male Rookie: Michael Molstre
Female Long Course: Barb Sims
Female Short Course: LeeAnne Schwan
Female Most Improved: Kimberly Warner
Female Rookie: Julie Van Den Heuval
Misadventure: Jamie Frawley (bike crash at Ironman Wisconsin)

End-of-the-year Banquet
Sunday, October 9th 5:30 PM
Rowe Park Shelter #2 in Onalaska
Join us for the Bluff Busters 2016 end-of-the-year banquet. We’ll be celebrating another successful and fun year by socializing, eating food and giving out awards and awesome door prizes. Bluff Busters will be providing a meal catered by Qdoba. The event is free for all members and their families.  Please bring a dessert to pass and any beverage you would like! Please RSVP at the following link so we know how much food to get.


Please nominate your fellow triathletes for this years awards.

Once again, there are a number of awards we’d like to present to our standout athletes this year. Please nominate your pals here:


In addition to nominating, we’d like to encourage folks to share a story at the banquet. If you nominate someone and would like to share the story at the banquet, please let us know. If you would just like to tell us something fun that happened this season, please let us know that too.

Would you like to be more involved in the local triathlon community?

We have at least one open board position. As Mike Bouska retires from the board, we thank him for his service and phenomenal leadership. That means we are in need of a new Vice President. If you would like to join a fun group of athletes in helping organize and run events, let us know and we would be happy to tell you more about it.



Read the Events / Training page for more details on upcoming and past events.

Bluff Busters Tri Team is located in the 7 Rivers Region, including western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa. Bluff Buster Triathletes have a wide range of talent, experience and time to train. We pride ourselves on inclusion and having fun while meeting personal athletic expectations and goals.

No matter what your goals are, you will find compatible training partners and have fun along the way.

Bluff Buster Activities:

Group training activities – weekly scheduled training activities as well as spontaneous training sessions organized and led by different members of the team during the season. Click “News” to find training activities (available to current members only).

Workshops – led by experienced team members to assist other members with a specific event or aspect of triathlon competition or training (planning your season, nutrition, transition, emergency bike maintenance, etc.). If you feel you’d like to host a workshop, please contact a board member.

Clinics – led by experienced coaches either in triathlon or one of the disciplines of triathlon. Swimming, biking, running nutrition and transition tricks/tips are some of the clinics we’ve held for members and the general public.

Team Triathlon Events – opportunities to ride together, compete and socialize with other team members at regional events.These focus specifically on tri training practice.

La Crosse Area YMCA/Touchstone Energy Triathlon – Assist in organizing the Got Energy? La Crosse Area YMCA/Touchstone Energy Triathlon each June in West Salem.

“Dry Run” Training Events – Organized “dry run” training events on the West Salem course prior to the race and provide first-time triathletes with opportunities to train, ask questions and experience their first triathlon with the help of experienced triathletes.

Social Activities – fun activities that involve family and friends.These are held through the year.

Volunteering – volunteer at triathlons, running, cycling and other multisport events. If Bluff Busters can’t compete, they are often there to provide support to fellow teammates by cheering and volunteering at the race. Every member is encouraged to volunteer because without volunteers, we would have no races.

Distance-specific training – train with various member-leaders for the following distances.

  • Sprint & Olympic
  • Half-Ironman
  • Ironman

History of the Club

Bluff Busters has was created in early 2004 as a competitive group of Triathletes with a desire of corporate sponsorship. Over the years it has transitioned to an open group that welcomes all levels of triathletes.

Below is a short description of the founding of the Bluff Buster Tri Team as told by Berry Clark, the first president and founding member.

In early February, 2004, Barry Clark sent out an invitation to local triathletes to attend an organizational meeting for a new triathlon club. On a snowy Friday evening, ten triathletes (Barry Clark, Bill Markwardt, Greg Olson, Keith Stubbendick, Dee Dee Stoker, Bob Schmidt, Jeff Fleig, Bill Nelson, Brian Huebner, and Nate Berkeley) met at the home of Bob Schmidt. The first order of business was election of officers. Barry Clark became President, Jeff Fleig was Vice-President, and Bill Markwardt was treasurer. Various responsibilities were delegated to individuals: Brian Huebner would begin the process of setting up a website, Barry Clark would prepare a mission statement, Dee Dee Stoker and Jeff Fleig would become newletter editors, Nathan Berkeley would set up a Yahoo email site, and Jeff Fleig would look into club insurance and develop a membership application form. The remainder of the meeting consisted of a spirited discussion of possible team names. The agreed-upon criteria were that the name should be unique to the Coulee Region and that it should by dynamic. Names like La Crosse Triathlon Club, Coulee Region Multi-Sport Club, or Tri La Crosse were unique but not dynamic. Names like Team Tsunami (or Lightning, or Landslide, or Eclipse) were dynamic but not related to our region. Finally, Barry Clark suggested Bluff Busters, and there was an immediate positive response. However, the final decision was made a few months later through ballots cast by all team members on a ballot with a half dozen alternative names. Bluff Busters was the most popular choice. Within a year, the membership topped fifty. During that first year, several individuals put their shoulders to the wheel and deserve credit for making Bluff Busters what it is today. Pam Culver and Mark Thorn took the lead in funding, designing, and ordering team uniforms. Greg Olson organized bi-weekly training sessions at Lake Neshonoc. Scott Cooper developed the team logo that appears on our uniforms, t-shirts, and bumper stickers with help from Pam Culver from Gather Waters Design. Maureen Kinney, Dee Dee Stoker, and Bob Schmidt secured team sponsors.

The success of the Bluff Busters in competition was evident after the end of the 2004 season. During that year, team members competed in 43 different events, winning three of them outright, placing second in eight races, and third in three races. In age-group competition, the results were even more impressive. Team members won their age group 45 times, placed second 22 times, and finished third 21 times. As the team grew and matured, new individuals added their energy to the organization. Particularly noteworthy during the early years are the contributions of Pam Starcher, Karen Markwardt, Larry Schmidt, Francis Schmitz, Stacey Huebner, Don Stoeckly, Paul Ricker, and Amy Cooper. Today, twelve years after its founding, this brief history should make us all more even more proud of the Bluff Busters Triathlon Team.

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