The Life Time Fitness Triathlon is scheduled to take place next weekend, Saturday, July 14, 2007 in Minneapolis, MN and based on the race schedule and the prize money it appears that the "Battle of the Sexes" format is over for now. As a spectator, it was exciting to see the men play catch up with the women all day, the real excitement came down to the run as they looped the lake twice.
In 2002 the Life Time Fitness Triathlon introduced big prize money and a new and exciting race format to the sport of triathlon for the pros. The new format was called the "Battle of the Sexes" and it paired the best women and best men triathletes from around the world against each other in a head-to-head competition. The race format featured an equalizer, a unique timing structure that allowed the professional women and men to compete on equal ground. Basically, the equalizer allowed the pro women to start ahead of pro men by a predetermined amount of time, which resulted in exciting and dramatic races to the finish.
In the inaugural race the pro men started 9 minutes and 39 seconds after the pro women; Barb Lindquist finished ten seconds in front of Becky Gibbs and 15 seconds ahead of the first male, Australian Greg Walton to win the $50,000 first place prize. In 2006 the women's handicap was 9 minute and 49 seconds and Hunter Kemper not only battled the women but the heat to take first place and the $200,000 first place prize ($170,000 and a $30,000-value 2006 Toyota RAV4). In it's five year history, the women lead the men 3-2 in overall victories. We'll have to see if they bring it back some day.
In 2006 Life Time Fitness introduced the Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series which links four premier Olympic distance triathlons in the United States together (Nautica New York City Triathlon, Accenture Chicago Triathlon, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon, Life Time Fitness Triathlon) for a prize purse of more than $1,000,000. Any professional male and/or female triathlete (or both) who wins each of the four Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series events in a given Series year will win the Series bonus of $200,000 in addition to the prize money offered by each respective event. The 2007 Life Time Fitness Triathlon will be the 2006 Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series Championship. The Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series was expanded earlier this year to include a new Championship event, the Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon in Dallas, TX in October.
Emma Snowsill dominated the 2006 Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series by winning the New York City Triathlon, finishing second at the Chicago Triathlon and winning the Los Angeles Triathlon. Snowsill is amazing, last year she pulled off back-to-back wins by winning the women's race at the Life Time Fitness event in Minneapolis and then less than 24 hours later by winning the New York City Triathlon. We will have to see what she can do pull off next weekend at the Series Championship race.
Hunter Kemper and Emma Snowsill will both return to Minneapolis to defend their titles on July 14 along with another stellar professional field.
The 2007 Life Time Fitness Triathlon professional field:
|Laura Bennett (AUS)||Craig Alexander (AUS)|
|Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)||Greg Bennett (AUS)|
|Julie Dibens (UK)||Richie Cunningham (AUS)|
|Michelle Dillon (UK)||Bevan Docherty (NZL)|
|Vanessa Fernandes (POR)||Kris Gemmell (NZL)|
|Sarah Haskins (USA)||Javier Gomez (ESP)|
|Rina Hill (AUS)||Leon Griffin (AUS)|
|Becky Lavelle (USA)||Stephen Hackett (AUS)|
|Annabel Luxford (AUS)||Rasmus Henning (DEN)|
|Samantha McGlone (CAN)||Andrew Johns (GBR)|
|Sara McLarty (USA)||Hunter Kemper (USA)|
|Margie Shapiro (USA)||Filip Ospaly (CZE)|
|Emma Snowsill (AUS)||Bruno Pais (POR)|
|Kirsten Sweetland (CAN)||Vladymyr Polikarpenko (UKR)|
|Pip Taylor (AUS)||Ivan Rana (ESP)|
|Joanna Zeiger (USA)||Matt Reed (USA)|
|Peter Robertson (AUS)|
|David Thompson (USA)|
|Simon Thompson (AUS)|
|TJ Tollakson (USA)|
|Craig Walton (AUS)|
|Simon Whitfield (CAN)|