Northwest NEWS

August 28, 2000

Sports

Woodinville woman wins Danskin Triathlon

* by Deborah Stone
  
Features Writer
  
Woodinville triathlete and competitive cyclist Sara Graham is the winner of the 11th Annual Seattle Danskin Triathlon.
   The event, held recently at Seward Park, drew 2,300 women, all of whom participated in a .75k swim, 20k cycle and 5k run.
   Graham's winning time was 1:01:20 for the three-event competition. This is the first Danskin win for the well-known athlete, coach and trainer.
   "I had done the Danskin twice before and the highest I had placed was fourth," says Graham. "This was a few years ago though. I decided to enter again this year with the intention of winning for my mom, Jean Lindgren. She has been such a great support for me all these years that I have competed, plus, she is a two-time breast cancer survivor and is an inspiration to me (a portion of the fees from the Danskin Triathlon are give to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation).
   "I also wanted to race with my twin sister, Katie Robertson. It was such a special event for me to have my sister competing and then to have my mom and dad and the rest of my family all waiting for me at the finish line. It felt great!"
   Graham took the lead in the cycling portion of the competition, her strongest event, and never looked back.
   Over the past year, she placed first in the Washington State cycling time trials, fourth in the Memphis in May Triathlon (a strenuous race with double the distances of the Danskin) and twelfth in the Olympic cycling time trials in Jackson, Mississippi.
   When she's not competing, Graham teaches aerobics and spinning classes at Gold Creek Tennis and Sports Club and the Northshore Y.M.C.A, as well as coaches and trains women triathletes and cyclists. She also conducts individualized weight loss and fitness programs. Her own training regime is rigorous.
   In addition to the nine classes a week she teaches, she rides at least 50-60 miles on her bike each weekend, swims with a masters group, runs several times a week and lifts weights.
   For many Woodinville women (this reporter included), Graham is an inspiration and a great motivator.
   As a coach, she encourages others to set and reach their goals, giving them the support and guidance they need along the way.
   Her enthusiasm and positive can-do attitude is contagious.
   "I love coaching and I want to do more of it," says Graham. "I like to use what I have learned and give back to others. I enjoy helping people because it's so rewarding for me. It's wonderful to see their self-confidence grow along with their physical ability and then it's great when they realize they can set a goal and actually achieve it."
   Graham is sponsored by Clif Bar, Bigfoot Bagel and Saturn of Bellevue and feels indebted to their generosity and support in her competitive endeavors.
   Future plans for this talented and ambitious woman include continued cycling racing and coaching, as well as possible competitive cross-country skiing.
   "I'd like to get into something new," comments Graham. "Different challenges are always exciting for me. I'd also like to introduce triathlons to junior athletes and try to start up a training program for them here in Woodinville. Maybe we'll have some future Olympic competitors right here in our community!"