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Olympians Whitfield and Snowsill Win Life Time Fitness Triathlon

Simon Whitfield of Canada and Emma Snowsill of Australia, both who will represent their countries at the Olympics in Beijing in August won the Life Time Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis on Saturday. It's was Whitfield's first win and Snowsill's 3rd victory at the Life Time Fitness Triathlon and for their effort they both receive a nice check for $60,000.

Last year in the men's race Greg Bennett set a new course record with a time of 1:48:49. That record didn't last long as Whitfield used his blazing 4:56 / mile pace to set a new mark with a time of 1:48:01. The weather conditions for this year’s race were ideal, in the mid 60's and cloudy at the start of the race. This was a contributing factor in the blazing times in the men’s division as Andy Potts, Bennett and Stuart Hayes also beat last year’s record time.

Men’s Race Summary:
This was the first race for Andy Potts who last month did not qualify for the USA Olympic Team at the HyVee World Cup race in Des Moines. Maybe he had something to prove as he was the first out of the water with at least a 40 second lead on the other male professionals. Whitfield, Hayes and Brent McMahon initiated the chase out of T1. Local pro David Thompson's day didn't start off so well as he was down at least 2:40 exiting the swim, he finished the bike well behind the leaders and started the run but ended the day with a DNF. Bennett who was released as a memeber of the Australian Olympic team because of its country ranking blazed into T2 ahead of Potts and flew out of T2 with the lead. A pair of Canadians, Paul Tichelaar and Colin Jenkins followed in 3rd and 4th place with Craig Alexander and Matt Reed close behind. Bennett looked strong just past the 5km mark but Whitfield was right on his tail, step for step as they ran past us. Potts’ looked strong several seconds down and flying down the course chasing the lead group. You could hear the cheers down the road as the leaders approached the bend that sends them down to the finish line. Whitfield came around the bend first and was doing all he could to stay barely ahead of Potts and Bennett who were chasing him down to the finish line. Hunter Kemper who won a spot on the USA Olympic team in Des Moines finished in 10th place, over two minutes and thirty seconds behind the top finishers.

david thompson men’s professional swim start women’s professional field greg bennett
matt reed tj tollakson david thompson becky lavelle
sarah haskins snowsill, dibens, zeiger greg bennett andy potts
craig alexander hunter kemper sarah haskins julie dibens
stuart hayes becky lavelle joanna zeiger simon whitfield
• David Thompson getting ready for the swim
• Men's professional swim start
• Women's professional field at the swim start
• Greg Bennett & Andy Potts flying into T2
• Matt Reed coming into T2
• TJ Tollakson coming into T2
• David Thompson coming into T2
• Becky Lavelle, women's race leader into T2
• Sarah Haskins coming into T2 in 2nd place
• Snowsill, Dibens and Zeiger flying into T2
• Greg Bennett leading Simon Whitfield half way into the run
• Andy Potts chasing Bennett and Whitfield
• Craig Alexander half way into the run
• Hunter Kemper half way into the run
• Sarah Haskins in 2nd place half way into the run
• Julie Dibens half way into the run
• Stuart Hayes finishing in 4th place
• Becky Lavelle finishing in 3rd place
• Joanna Zeiger sprinting to a 4th place finish
• Simon Whitfield getting his 1st place check for $60,000

Women’s Race Summary:
A note table no-show was at the race was Laura Bennett. Sara McLarty was first out of the water, at least 30 seconds ahead of Amanda Stevens, Sarah Haskins, Snowsill and Becky Lavelle. McLarty's lead didn't last long as Lavelle flew in and out of to T2 in 1st place. The women's chase group of Haskins, Snowsill, Dibens, Zeiger, Ellis and McLarty closely followed. At the half way mark on the run Snowsill's blazing run had her out front by a sizeable lead, ahead of Haskins and Lavelle. She finished the race with a 2 minute lead.

This was the first race in the Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series. Over 3,100 athletes participated in the race in Minneapolis.
2008 Life Time Fitness Triathlon Results:

     Men          Women  
1 - Simon Whitfield 1:48:01    1 - Emma Snowsill 1:58:04
2 - Andy Potts 1:48:04    2 - Sarah Haskins 2:00:36
3 - Greg Bennett 1:48:07    3 - Becky Lavelle 2:01:19
4 - Stuart Hayes 1:48:48    4 - Joanna Zeiger 2:01:52
5 - Matthew Reed 1:48:54    5 - Julie Dibens 2:02:15

- For more results and coverage of the race in Minneapolis check the Life Time Fitness Triathlon website (link).
- Life Time Fitness race press release (link).