Skip to main content

Race Forward 2-Day = Best Weekend of the Summer!

By YWCA Minneapolis
August 17, 2022
Social Share

Under beautiful overcast skies, YWCA Minneapolis combined two signature events into one breezy August weekend at Lake Nokomis. The 5K, traditionally known as our Race Against Racism, and the esteemed Women’s Triathlon, the largest in the state, were billed together as our 2022 Race Forward 2-Day.

Making a Comeback

Race Director Beth Nymeyer says she couldn’t be happier in how participants, volunteers, staff and cheering sections came together and pulled off the two-day event. Saturday’s 5K saw 159 participants trek around the lake; while Sunday, more than 800 female-identifying competitors swam, biked and ran the triathlon for the first time since 2019. “It was such a positive experience to witness acceptance and heart-felt support for all our competitors.” Still, Nymeyer concedes timing issues due to a power malfunction was a disappointment, “But, I am really so pleased with the many who were forgiving, focused on the journey of training and joy in crossing the finish line.” Participants with questions about the tabulation of race results are encouraged to check their email for next-step details.

5K Race Against Racism

Brothers Julian, 8, and Peter, 9, literally followed in their parents’ footsteps in the 5K, with mom Katie Schroeder and dad Jeremy leading the way. Dad said “sprinting,” early on led to “preserving energy” as a lesson learned. Regarding the spirit of the run/walk, Peter, a 4th grader, offered insights about why racism is wrong by recounting a hypothetical situation that illustrated the down sides of making assumptions. Katie, too, modeled a real-life lesson in perseverance for her boys, as she not only completed the 5K, she tackled the tri as well. Way to go!

Youngest Competitor

Grace Berseth, unofficial representative of six awesome 11-year-olds (the tri’s youngest participants) completed 500 yards of swimming (think five football fields), 15.5 miles of biking and 3.1 miles of running. She says she was inspired by mom Sarah, a tri-vet, and decided to go for it because “I thought it’d be really cool.” Her advice to anyone her age thinking of doing it, “If you want to do it, do it. Train until you think you’re ready.” Mom and daughter agree, “We love this!”

Tri Trio

Mara Fink, a 20-year-old, who’s done the tri before, teamed up with 16-year old sister Naomi Fink (a SuperSprint vet) and 17-year-old Grace Swenson, who like Naomi became a first time triathlete this weekend. All smiles, the three agreed with Naomi’s assessment, “It’s really, really empowering being here with all these women.” And training. What was that like for them? “We do Nordic and other sports activities. So, we trained some, and got ready about 6-8 weeks ago.”

Acting Your Age

Our oldest triathlete this year, 84-year-old Judy Ryker declares “the YWCA Triathlon is the best of them all,” and she should know, having  competed in more than 200 triathlons since 1977, and all 13 of our YWCA outdoor triathlons. When asked what makes ours the best, she’s says, “It’s inclusive of women of every shape, size, gender, Hispanic women, Black women, and women of every age!”

At 72, Jeanne LaBore, a friend of Judy’s, says her secret to the tri is concentrating on her goal of “Outliving the competition!” Seriously, Jeanne offers this advice for anyone trying to get a competitive edge: “Bike, bike, bike! That’s where you gain the most time.” She says you’re not going to gain in the swim or running. As a former full-time runner, Jeanne speaks from experience. She is also serious when expressing concern about the return of a post-race staple: “Where’s the chocolate?”

Self-proclaimed dinosaur Judy (“Rex” is printed on her bib as a tongue-in-cheek reference to her longevity) also has advice for those who need additional motivation. “Every class reunion I go to, I can look at them all and tell you who exercises and who doesn’t!”

Results and Photos

View your finish line photos and race results for individual, SuperSprint, Relay, Aquabike and Virtual.

Race Results and Finisher Photos

Race Forward 2-Day Facebook Album

Women’s Triathlon Facebook Album

More About Race Forward 2-Day