The relationship between triathlon/cycling and motorsports is a close one. From NASCAR, Formula 1, Moto GP and even Supercross; drivers these days are required to stay physically and mentally fit in order to compete at the highest level. Gone are the days of beer bellies and late nights at the local pub with the crew. Today, almost every motorsports team is a well-oiled machine, driver to pit crew member. Each team now includes a fitness coach as well as a doctor to look after the drivers and the pit crew to see they are in their best form each and every day.
A healthy lifestyle, education, and daily monitoring used to be the norm for just the drivers but has now been extended to include the mechanics and pit crew members as well. You can’t have a sick crewman on race day when every second count during the fast-paced pit stops. One slip up from a single member can cost a team the race. With the goal to be fit and fast, triathlon and cycling is quickly becoming the prime choice for drivers and crew to be at their best, every day.
This week, we focus our attention on Mike Shank Racing’s very own, Katherine Legge. Racing from a young age, Katherine is no stranger to putting her mind and body through strenuous pacing on and off the track. So, getting into the sport of triathlon seems like a perfect fit with how many similarities there are between the two sports. Like the motorsports side of racing, you always go into a race with a set goal and expectations, but many know how fast things can change due to problems outside of ones control, being able to mentally handle the situation whilst staying focussed is the challenge many face. The skill of driving through emotion is something many drivers must conquer. At any moment, a driver can be spun out, put into the wall or just have a mistake all their own. How they handle that after the fact is key. Same goes for triathlon, you can get a penalty, drop a bottle, get a flat etc, but you must tackle the issue at hand and press on. Thats racing, and that is what makes it so addicting.
For 2018, Katherine has teamed up with Leanda Cave and her team (Team LC) with the goal of empowering women across the globe, a passion shared by both of these highly-accomplished champions.
“One of my main goals in life is empowering females through the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) stuff that I do,” Legge said. “When this came up, I thought, what better way to say ‘You can do it. You can be a race car driver. You can be a triathlete. You can do whatever it is you set your mind to doing.’
“The empowering women aspect of it really kind of grabbed me. Leanda is awesome and one of my heroes. There’s no way I could even be half as fast as her, but I will keep trying. It’s a great way for me to keep motivated and keep focused, challenge myself and give myself some competition at the same time. Competition is what drives me if you hadn’t noticed.”
Katherine will be a riding a 2018 Ventum One for the Challenge Daytona Triathlon. Custom wrapped to compliment her Acura NSX IMSA car; both vehicles share an affinity for advanced aerodynamics, carbon fiber, electronic shifting, and ceramic bearings.
After competing in this year’s Challenge Daytona Triathlon, Katherine’s custom Ventum One will be auctioned off with all proceeds benefiting Leanda Cave Foundation and Team LC. The Leanda Cave Foundation is a non-profit, organization dedicated to creating new opportunities for women in sport through triathlon.
The team’s focus is to strengthen the community by giving individual attention to the empowerment of women of all ages. With their all-women triathlon team program, they create a comfortable environment for athletes to grow as students and as educators themselves. Team LC ambassadors are role models within their communities, who are encouraged to fulfill their own goals while spreading the message amongst their peers.
We look forward to supporting Katherine’s performances in her car and on her Ventum this season. It is exciting to be part of her team in the quest to better herself and other women through sport.