Lifetime Fitness Triathlon – Race to the Toyota Cup



ltf mn

Sarah Haskins Takes The Tape Photo By Eric Wynn

 

Lifetime FitnessMinneapolis Equalizer

On Saturday morning, July 9th, I competed in my fifth Lifetime Fitness Triathlon.  This race is special to me not only because of the great support from the Lifetime staff, but also because Minneapolis is my husband’s hometown.  We have lots of family members and friends who make the trip over to Lake Nakomis ever year to cheer me on.

This year was the 10th anniversary of the race and race directors decided to make the race more exciting for the athletes and fans by bringing back the Equalizer, which has not been run since 2006 when Hunter Kemper won.  The Equalizer is set up so that the women start a certain amount of  time before the men and the first athlete to cross the line is the overall winner for the day.  The time gap is measured based off of past performances in the all the previous years (typically the high and low difference is thrown out and the rest of the times are averaged together).  The time gap this year was 10:43.  I believe that was right around the difference between Matt Reed and I last year.  I knew that time gap was doable, but would be a challenge none the less.

At 6:00AM warming up for the race, I felt a thick humidity in the air and the mosquitoes were still biting.  Air temp was relatively on the warmer side, 80 degrees, but the sky looked ominous overhead.  Nate pulled up the radar on his smart phone and a huge storm was approaching.  The calm, glass like lake surface that usually surfaces on Lake Nakomis was a bit choppy due to the wind and drops of rain. Starting the race, we did not know what we were going to run into:  rain, lightning, wind?   Fortunately, mother nature was on our side and the storm passed just south of the city and we only had some damp road surfaces to deal with while racing.

The swim started with a short run in (the water was high this year due to an excess amount of snow and rain this spring).  I ended up getting on Sara McLarty’s feet early on the swim and was able to stick with her the entire way.  Swimming in the near 83 degree water, I did not want to get my core up too high and exert too much going into T1 and was very glad to have a swim partner.  I felt fairly relaxed on the swim and know that the wind and chop only helped me stay with Sara, as that particular type of swim condition is a strength for me.

I had a decent T1, got onto my Fuji D-6 bike and pushed the first ten minutes hard.  Not only was I racing the women, but in my mind I knew I had the men chasing me.  The course is rough and technical, and I still remembered to put my safety first.  I took extra caution on the corners and did not want to chance going down.

Sarah Haskins on her Fuji D6 Photo By Paul Phillips

I exited the bike with a two minute lead over the Alicia Kaye, but I really was eager to hear the men’s split.  The first numbers I heard was 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  Prior to the race, I knew five minutes would be very doable, four minutes would be a challenge, so I had it right down the middle.  I started off feeling a little heavy in the legs from the bike, but quickly got into a good rhythm and focused on relaxing my shoulders and having “quick” feet.

As I reached the end of the first lap of the two lap run, I was surprised how much energy the cheering crowd was giving me.  I was feeling good, but knew I still had to keep pushing.  With 3k left to go in the race, my time gap was 2:45 to Matt Reed.  At this point I was trying to do the math, but new Matt would have to have a blazing run finish to catch me, but you never know what is going to happen.

I approached the finish shoot and did not look back until just before the line.  I crossed the tape just under a minute before Matt.  The Equalizer was an exciting element added to the race and hopefully the format will be brought back next year for a male/female rematch!  I was also very happy for my third win in a row in Minneapolis.  The race is top notch and it is great to see

hard work pay off.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH-AeUyGV74

My nutrition during the race:  Breakfast:  1 bagel thin with peanut butter and banana.  30 ounces of EFS and 20 ounces water.  I had an additional 24 ounces of EFS before the 7am start during warm-up and a 100 calories of liquid gel shot just prior to race start.  During the bike, I had 36 oz of EFS and 1 gel packet. Post race I had an Ultragen recovery drink.

Speaking of hard work, I will be continuing to focus on my training for the upcoming Olympic Trials in London on August 6th.  This race is my main focus for the year as I would love to qualify for the Olympics and secure a spot early on.  It will be a very tough challenge, but I am ready for it.  Thank you sponsors, family and friends for all your continued support this year.  I am very blessed and thankful for being able to live my dreams.

Sarah Haskins Popping the Cork!!!!

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