Tri Digest Bulletin: Triathlon's $500,000 Race
Thursday, March 6, 2003
Published by Katherine Williams (mailto:katherine@...)
Triathlon in America was transformed into a major-league-money sport on
Tuesday with a Minnesota company's announcement of a $500,000 race, the Life
Time Fitness Triathlon for Saturday, August 2.
Life Time Fitness officials joined Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and the
mayor of Minneapolis, RT Rybak, in announcing the second-year event, which
features a first prize of $250,000.
The race also will be broadcast live for 90 minutes with NBC's network
television. The national coverage on NBC Sports from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
(Central Time) underscores Life Time Fitness commitment to heighten the
profile of and participation in the sport of triathlon.
The record-setting purse is the largest ever in the history of triathlon. Of
the $500,000 total, the top five finishers will receive $250,000 (first);
$50,000 (second); $35,000 (third); $25,000 (fourth); and $20,000 (fifth).
Cash will be awarded to the overall top 12 professional women and top 12
The event features The Equalizer, a unique timing structure that allows
professional women and men to compete on equal ground. Based on past Life
Time Fitness Triathlon course results, as well as the outcomes from a number
of world and American international-distance events, The Equalizer allows
pro women to start ahead of pro men by a predetermined amount of time,
resulting in a new and innovative competition format, and a dramatic
battle-of-the-sexes race to the finish.
Professional triathletes Becky Gibbs Lavelle, a Minnesota native, and Craig
Walton of Australia - the second- and third-place finishers respectively in
last years Life Time Fitness Triathlon - also attended the press
conference. Both have already committed to this year's race.
Said Bahram Akradi, founder and CEO of Life Time Fitness, Inc.: "The 2002
Life Time Fitness Triathlon set a new benchmark for the sport of triathlon.
In 2003, were raising the bar by both increasing our prize purse to
historic levels and presenting this years event to a large national viewing
audience on NBC Sports.
"At the same time, our unique battle of the sexes timing format brings
intense excitement and drama unparalleled in other sporting events of its
The race couse starts and ends at Minneapolis Lake Nokomis, covering a
27-mile path within the citys parkway system. Both short- and
international-distance courses will be offered. The short-distance course
includes a .4-mile swim, 10-mile bike race and a 2.1-mile run. The
international-distance course features a .75-mile swim, 21.3-mile bike race
and 4.7-mile run.
The Event also is a part of the Minneapolis Aquatennial, a 10-day premier
Twin Cities civic celebration that upholds a 63-year community tradition and
hosts more than 800,000 visitors.
With hundreds of participants already registered, Life Time Fitness
Triathlon organizers expect a full field of 2,000-plus. For more information
about the Life Time Fitness Triathlon or to register online, visit
Life Time Fitness, Inc. is a privately held health, fitness and nutrition
company with 29 sports, fitness and recreation centers in Minnesota,
Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Washington DC.
In last year's Life Time Fitness race, which gave away $179,000 in prize
money, overall winner Barb Lindquist won the top prize of $50,000. This
year's first prize will be worth five times that amount.
End of Tri Digest Bulletin.