This Sunday, Rockwall, Texas, (just outside Dallas) will see a strong showing of professional athletes vying for the $60,000 total prize purse as well as a share in the $149,000 Toyota Cup purse. The Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon is the final stop in the seven-race Life Time Fitness Series Race to the Toyota Cup, a series of Olympic-distance non-drafting races all over the country.
Athletes have been competing all season to earn points toward this final race. The other races in the series have included the Nautica South Beach Triathlon (on April 1), Capital of Texas Triathlon (May 28), Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon (June 24), Life Time Triathlon Minneapolis (July 14), Life Time Triathlon Chicago (Aug. 26), and Herbalife Los Angeles Triathlon, which took place last weekend.
The U.S. Open will have the strongest field of the season, as well as the most points (and money) at stake. The overall series Toyota Cup winners will each go home with $30,000 plus a Toyota car.
The winner of the Dallas race will earn 20 points toward the Toyota Cup (twice as many points as any other race in the series), and with the top five men less than 20 points apart, the men’s race is wide open.
The leader in the Toyota Cup standings, Cameron Dye of the U.S., is fresh off a win in Los Angeles last weekend, but he only leads in the standings by 2.5 points. Ranked second with 40 points is American Ben Collins, who’s had multiple podium finishes throughout the season.
Currently sitting in third in the standings is four-time Olympian Hunter Kemper with 38.5 points. Kemper has won three of the races in the series and finished uncharacteristically off the podium last weekend in L.A. Fourth is Andy Potts, a 2004 Olympian and former 70.3 world champion, but he has decided to forgo the Dallas race to prepare for next weekend’s Ironman World Championship. Fifth, and still with a chance to win the series, is Chris Foster, who finished as the runner-up in L.A. last weekend. Bevan Docherty of New Zealand is too far off to win the overall cup, but you can’t count out a two-time Olympic medalist on winning the race.
Other men racing in Dallas but who aren’t in contention for the Toyota Cup include 2008 Olympian Matty Reed, who won this series in 2009 and American Kaleb VanOrt, who can post a super-fast 10K run split—look for him to pass a couple men in the final leg.
One woman has dominated the women’s series all season. The favorite heading into the race is 2008 Olympian Sarah Haskins, who’s won five of the six races in the series (the sixth one in L.A. she didn’t race). A two-time Toyota Cup winner, Haskins has been so dominant this season that she would have to have a really off day to not win the Toyota Cup, as she stands 14.5 points above second. Standing in second is Alicia Kaye, who’s the only other woman with a shot at taking the Toyota Cup. She’s finished behind Haskins all season and was able to nab the win in L.A. last weekend.
Other top contenders for the win in Dallas include Australia’s Annabel Luxford, who got on the podium in Austin and Chicago and is ranked third in the series; Lauren Goss, the runner-up in L.A. and ranked fourth; Jenna Parker, ranked fifth; and Jillian Peterson, ranked sixth.