Sarah Haskins wins Life Time Fitness Triathlon: The next step, taken |

Sarah Haskins wins Life Time Fitness Triathlon: The next step, taken

Matt Reed and Sarah Haskins each finished second last year in the Life Time Fitness Triathlon, Matt in the men’s professional division, Sarah in the women’s.

Each remembered seeing the other on the stage for the awards ceremony. Each remembered noticing that somebody else held the big winner’s check for $20,000.

Each held that check Saturday, as winners of the 2009 Life Time Fitness Triathlon at Lake Nokomis.

More than 11 minutes after Reed completed the course, Haskins crossed the finish line and raised her arms in celebration. Her victory was much easier. Haskins finished her swim in second place, then took the lead in the bike stage. When it was time to run, Haskins extended her lead and finished in 2:00:15, separating herself from second-place finisher Julie Dibens by more than two minutes.

“I really felt great out there on the bike,” Haskins said. “This was a goal of mine to win, and I accomplished that.”

Last year, Haskins was dealing with minor injuries from previous events. This time around — with a healthy body — she was able to win the Life Time Fitness Triathlon for the first time.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Nate Kortuem, Haskins’ husband and personal coach. “She really had a good day. She wasn’t great in any one of the three sections, but she didn’t make the little mistakes that can cost you.”

Once the two could catch their breath, both were interviewed live by the local news stations. Then they were greeted by competitors who wanted to congratulate them. Following that were multiple family members wanting pictures. When Reed and Haskins had time to let their feelings on the victories set in, they spoke to one another.

“I saw you in the pack,” Haskins said to Reed. “Nice job winning that sprint.”

“You were really fast today,” Reed said to Haskins. “You keep getting better and better.”

Then there was the award ceremony. This time, Reed and Haskins were the main attraction. The two were the last to be called to the stage, and soon every other athlete on stage was asked to step down, leaving the final moments of the ceremony to Reed and Haskins.

With big blue checks in hand, they two looked at one another, smiled and turned back to the crowd.

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Posted on: July 12, 2009
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