The fourth leg of the 2011 Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series Race to the Toyota Cup takes place this weekend, July 9th just outside of downtown Minneapolis. The Life Time Fitness Triathlon, the premier triathlon event in Minnesota will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary in style. Two-time defending Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon champions, Sarah Haskins and Matty Reed return to Minneapolis to defend their titles against a stellar field of international triathletes which includes Andy Potts, Mirinda Carfrae and several others, including Minnesota's own professional David Thompson.
The Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon event has come a long way in its 10 years and will be celebrating in style on Saturday with various changes across the board. The first major one being a new race director as Dave Schutz takes over the reins from long-time race director Marilyn Franzen. Dave is no stranger to the sport of triathlon here in Minnesota. Three years ago he created the successful Trinona Triathlon, a Sprint & International Distance triathlon in Winona, MN. One of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the Midwest which features one of Bicycling Magazine's "Top 100 Climbs in the U.S.".
"Ten years ago, Life Time launched the Minneapolis Triathlon with a goal of growing participation in and recognition of the sport," said David Schutz, Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon Race Director. "Moving forward we will continue to expand triathlon events and formats in line with our Healthy Way of Life Company vision, while providing best-in-class experiences for the thousands of athletes we serve."
Back in the day, the Life Time Fitness Triathlon featured a very exciting, lucrative and unique pro challenge. It was called the "Equalizer" a unique timing structure that allowed the pro men and women to compete for the same cash purse. The Battle of the Sexes format was started in 2002 and lasted until 2006. After that, Life Time Fitness decided to focus its effort and money on their own premier Olympic Distance triathlon series. Today the Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series has seven premier races in its portfolio across the U.S., including the Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon in Dallas. Now in 2011, the company that continues to redefine the triathlon experience is bringing back its signature "Equalizer" format to the event. A spectacle to watch for spectators, as both the men and women go head-to-head for the top prize. Here is a list of some of the professionals racing this weekend.
|Pro Men||Pro Women|
|Matty Reed (USA)*||Sarah Haskins (USA)*|
|Andrew Starykowicz (USA)||Alicia Kaye (USA)|
|Andrew Yoder (USA)||Becky Lavelle (USA)|
|Andy Potts (USA)||Jenny Fletcher (CAN)|
|Benjamin Collins (CAN)||Laurel Wassner (USA)|
|Cameron Dye (USA)||Mirinda Carfrae (USA)|
|David Thompson (USA)||Nicole Kelleher (USA)|
|Eric Limkemann (USA)||Laurel Wassner (USA)|
|Filip Ospaly (CZE)||Pip Taylor (AUS)|
|Greg Bennett (AUS)||Rebeccah Wassner (USA)|
|Kaleb VanOrt (USA)||Sara McLarty (USA)|
|* = 2010 Defending Champion|
The Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon, a beginner friend event for triathletes from all over features both Sprint and Olympic distance races. New in 2011 is addition of the North American Junior Triathlon Invitational, an event for juniors ages 12 - 17. Junior participants will swim 0.25 miles, bike 15.0 miles and run 3.1 miles.
Commemorating the 10th anniversary, Minneapolis-based illustrator Adam Turman, known for his art prints of iconic city landmarks, cycling scenes and pinups, designed an exclusive print for Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon participants. Plus, finishers will be recognized with new and very distinctive medals and trophies, created by Life Time exclusively for the 10th anniversary.
Last year the race was selected as one of the Top 10 Best Urban Triathlons by Triathlete Magazine. The Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon begins and ends at Minneapolis' Lake Nokomis. The bike course navigates along the iconic Mississippi River and 'City of Lakes' before returning to the Lake Nokomis transition area. The event concludes with a run around Lake Nokomis to the cheers of thousands of spectators.
Part of the 2011 Life Time Triathlon Series, this event is the fourth leg in the Race to the Toyota Cup. The Series features a total professional division cash purse of $584,000 in individual race awards. In addition, a 2011 Toyota vehicle and the coveted Toyota Cup will be awarded to the top female and male champions at the Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon in Dallas, which serves as the Series finale championship October 2, 2011.
In addition to the professional division, the Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series provides elite and age-group participants with awards and opportunities to participate in the Series Championship in Dallas.
It's our local race here in Minneapolis, so throughout the week we will have updates, including on Saturday when the starting gun goes off on the 10th Anniversary running of the Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon.
For more information about the Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon visit www.mplstri.com. For information on the Life Time Triathlon Series and the Race to the Toyota Cup visit www.racetothetoyotacup.com.