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Congrats and Thank You to All Involved in the 9th Annual Women’s Triathlon

By Nicole Cueno, YWCA Women’s Triathlon Race Director
August 16, 2016
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Over 1,025 racers gathered at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis for the 9th Annual YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon. The girls and women, spanning ages 11 through 78, swam, biked and ran their way through the beautiful urban course that YWCA Minneapolis’ Women’s Tri calls home.

Race Recap

In the elite race, the top three were repeat performances from 2015. Pro triathlete Heather Lendway, age 32, led from the start for the third year in a row and posted the fastest swim and bike times of the day. Christina Roberts, 30, again took second with the top 5k run time. Lisa Lendway, 35, was third and sealed the Sister-Sister competition with Heather. Kortney Haag, 37, was fourth with a stellar bike performance. Rounding out the top five was Jennifer Fitzharris-Funk, 41, who worked her way into the top 5 without having started in the elite wave.

SuperSprint Race

With over a 40% increase in participation in the SuperSprint, the shorter distance race option was won by Morgan Nichols, age 13. She was followed in the rankings by Tory Kirby, age 17, and Caroline Hilk, age 39.

New Race Additions

The day, as always, was filled with inspiration and celebration, but was bookended by two new traditions. The singing of the National Anthem was performed by Juma, Besso and Tigi, three participants in Girls Inc. at YWCA Minneapolis, inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

During the anthem, the U.S. flag was held by former Marine, YWCA Personal Trainer, and first-time-triathlete Emily Shelton. Emily shared, “I am extremely thankful for all the women before me who made it possible for me to serve my country the way I wanted.”

A Race Legend Continues

During the awards ceremony, Judy Rykken once again won her age group in the 75-79 category, but for the first time accepted her first place finish as a great-grandmother. Judy has competed in all nine YWCA women’s triathlons and about 160 total triathlons. She is an inspiration to all, but when asked about that number, she responded, “Over the last 60 years or so, I’ve had the opportunity to do ski, bike, and run races, triathlons and golf tournaments…but I don’t think the number is important – it’s just so much fun to be outside with the excitement and camaraderie of other racers. It’s the lifestyle that is of value.”

Register to Race Next Year!

Thank you to everyone who was part of the 9th Annual YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon! We look forward to having you back for our 10th Anniversary – registration now open.

Register for 2017 Women’s Tri

We Love Hearing from You!

What was your race experience like this year? Check out the racer comments below, post about your own experience to our social media pages, and go to our YouTube page to view all 2016 Women’s Tri video footage.

Heather Lendway, winner of the 2016 Women’s Triathlon, shares what she loves most about this race.

Mary Beth Zins shares the best part of racing with her grandmother (Kathy Lentz) is being inspired by all types of racers, including grandmothers!

KaLeah Norman answers the question: “What would you say to someone thinking about racing next year?” She also shares her favorite part about the race.