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March 21, 2013

Groff off to fast start

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The Daily Star

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The Olympics behind her, Cooperstown’s Sarah Groff is on the go again.

Groff earned the women’s victory to lead the United States at the Clermont (Fla.) ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup, which ran March 9 at Lake Louisa State Park.

Groff covered a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike and a 5-kilometer run in in 1 hour, 17 seconds to earn her third career ITU Pan American Cup win.

Olympian Helle Frederiksen of Denmark finished second in 1:00:23. Kaitlin Donner of Gainesville, Fla., rounded out the women’s podium in 1:00:31.

Groff ran the 5K in 17:43, which marked the fastest run. She also led the pack after the swim.

A week earlier, Groff finished second at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco. She did so despite an upset stomach and a gash on her head that needed staples after the event.

“I split my scalp open,” Groff told Bonnie D. Ford of ESPN.com. “You know, it’s a tough enough race as it is, and I kind of made it a lot harder on myself. There’s a 20-meter-long tunnel (near the start of the running leg) that’s probably five feet (high). You crouch down and run through it. I stood up a hair too quickly and hit it really hard, ended up on the ground.

“The woman who was stapling my head together after the race said, ‘Maybe you should have left your helmet on,’ and ‘I guess you really, really wanted to win,’ because I kept on going,” she continued. “Character-building moment, I guess. The next six miles were pretty miserable; I’m not going to lie. Needless to say, when I went back the second time, I was really, really cautious.”