What you Should know about the YWCA Women’s Triathlon 5k – Recap
I’ve been a runner for several years and do enjoy getting out on my bike, but I’ve never dipped my toes into the world of triathlons. So when my triathlon-veteran friend had the idea to organize a couple relay teams for the 6th annual YWCA of Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon last weekend, I happily raised my hand for the 5k run. This, I thought, would be a great way to participate in a triathlon without having to challenge my rock-like swimming abilities.
Most of the event takes place at Lake Nokomis. The full competition had racers swimming 500 yards, biking 15.5 miles around the lake and along the Mississippi River, and finishing with a 5k run around the lake. I can’t speak for my teammates who swam and biked, but I can say that I appreciate the bodies of water we have in this city and that race courses can be designed around them.
On to the run. After a quick chip hand-off, I left the transition area and headed south on the parkway on the west side of Lake Nokomis. We crossed Cedar Ave and followed the parkway until we met up again with Cedar, where there was a short out and back before finishing the counter-clockwise loop around the lake. The course was quick, beautiful, and fun. I crossed the finish line in 22:38.
The event went off without a hitch, and the staff was incredibly helpful. So helpful, in fact, that when one of our relay teams was suddenly without a runner just days before the race, we were allowed to shuffle our lineups to make sure we had each event covered. My bib read “Katie,” and it was the oddest thing to hear people cheering for me as Katie, but heck…who doesn’t want to be Katie for a day?
I especially appreciated the effort to keep this race environmentally friendly. All flatware, dishes, and napkins were compostable (complete with a bounty of compost bins); ridesharing and biking to and from were encouraged; paper was kept to a minimum; plastic was avoided, etc. It’s hard to argue with an organization’s efforts to care for Mother Earth.
And, this was truly a women’s event. From a breastfeeding tent and rockin’ 7-months pregnant racers to a booth from St. Kate’s, estrogen abounded. It was what I hoped an all women’s event would be: empowering, encouraging, and completely supportive of all things lady. But then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less from an organization that is all about “eliminating racism and empowering women.”
Overall, this women’s event was great. Being part of a triathlon was fun — even as a runner — and it was a blast to compete against other women with other women. Ladies, do yourself a favor and check this out next year. I might even be inspired enough to work on my front crawl.
What’s your next big race?
Featured image sourced from YWCA Minneapolis Flickr.