Greg Bennett was congratualted by his wife Laura Bennett as she crossed the finish line and learned that he had won the Life Time Fitness Triathlon Saturday in Minneapolis.

Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

Men's record takes beating on cool day

  • Article by: Ron Haggstrom
  • Star Tribune
  • July 14, 2007 - 9:50 PM

The weather conditions were ideal. The challenge was inviting.

Australia native Greg Bennett turned in a record-setting performance Saturday to win the Life Time Fitness Triathlon at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis. He covered the course in 1 hour, 48 minutes, 46.3 seconds, breaking Craig Walton's mark of 1:49:33 in 2003.

"The last few years there have been record temperatures for this race," Bennett said. "I was getting ready for that again, but it was cooler today."

The breezy conditions and temperatures in the 60s at the start of the race -- unlike the 90-degree temps of a year ago -- were welcomed by the triathletes. The Olympic-course competitors swam 1.5 kilometers, biked 40 kilometers and ran a 10K.

"The last couple of miles really hurt," Bennett said. "I just had to hold it together."

Runner-up Bruno Pais and third-place finisher Craig Alexander also bested Walton's previous record time. The victory also wrapped up the season series title for Bennett, earning him a payday of $120,000.

"We're in a bigger tax bracket now," Bennett said, laughing. His wife, Laura, earned the largest paycheck in triathlon history ($200,000) last month in Des Moines. "Now I can afford my relationship."

Laura Bennett finished sixth in the pro women's race, nearly 5 minutes behind the winning time of 2:00:31.0 posted by Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal.

Fernandes, who finished eighth in the 2004 Olympics, beat two-time defending champion Emma Snowsill. She finished with a time of 2:01:10.1.

"I felt good today, very strong," the 21-year-old Fernandes said. It was her sixth triathlon of the year, and her fifth victory. She finished third in Australia. "The only thing in my mind is to win," she said.

Ron Haggstrom •

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