Local woman wins indoor triathlon

Sarah Foley, of Cologne
Sarah Foley, of Cologne

Who says you can’t do a triathlon in the winter?

On April 13, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness (Prior Lake) held its 11th annual indoor triathlon. Top honors in the women’s race went to Sarah Foley, 42, of Cologne, a fitness instructor at Dakotah and Safari Island in Waconia.

Foley finished the race with a final calculated time of 57 minutes. Times for this indoor triathlon were based on a pace system. Participants were judged on their total adjusted time, which was based on the farthest distance completed in each event, as compared to the pace time. Each competitor completed a seven minute swim, 30 minute bike ride, and 20 minute run. Pace for the women was .26 miles in the swim, 11.5 miles on the bike, and 2.87 miles running. Foley is a supporter of the pace system.

“It makes it more fair,” she said.

Foley is a group fitness instructor for Dakotah! Sport and Fitness as well as Safari Island, teaching weight training, cycling, step aerobics, and a variety of other classes.

“I teach just about everything,” she said.

Foley is a veteran triathlete, not just in the Dakotah event, but throughout the area. She was the overall women’s winner of the Graniteman Tri-Series last year and has won the tri Minnesota series in 2003, 2004, and 2005. This season, Foley plans to compete in 13 different outdoor triathlons, beginning in early May. She plans to participate in the Lake Waconia Triathlon this summer. Foley has also competed in three Ironmans in 1997, 2004, and 2007.

The hardest part of Dakotah’s indoor triathlon for Foley is keeping her heart rate up and not being able to rest.

“I would say the hardest part is that you have to go all out for the whole hour,” she said.

Foley was spurred to victory this year by competing in a heat that included a few men, who made it fun, she said.

“They push you a little more,” she said. “They don’t want to let a girl beat them.”

While Foley won the race, Annie Melek of Shakopee finished second and Trisha Caton of Chaska was third. In the men’s race, Tad Dunsworth (Director of Dakotah! Sport and Fitness) won with a total time of 58.99 minutes, while Joe Eder (Prior Lake) and Mike Blair (Prior Lake) were second and third. There were 17 total competitors in the women’s race and 21 in the men’s.

When she’s not teaching fitness classes or competing, Foley enjoys running, biking, swimming, and spending time with her four children, all who enjoy the outdoors and being active.

“I have ever got my almost seven year old hooked on running, some would say I have corrupted him, and he loves to do the shorter kids races,” she said. “He is quite competitive, I wouldn’t know where he got that from.”


Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]