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YWCA Women’s Triathlon Celebrates 10 Years of Strength and Determination

By YWCA Minneapolis
August 17, 2017
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Grandmothers, teenagers, CEOs, mothers, sisters, coworkers and friends converged to celebrate women’s fitness. YWCA Minneapolis celebrated a milestone year for the YWCA Women’s Triathlon as it hosted its 10th Anniversary with the largest number of registrants to date.

Record-Setting Number of Racers

On Sunday, August 13, a record-setting 1,312 racers gathered at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis for the 10th Annual YWCA Women’s Triathlon. In addition, an additional 3,500+ spectators also joined the event.

The day, as always, was filled with inspiration and celebration, but was truly a 10th birthday to behold. This year’s race smashed all previous records for participation. Registration numbers were 23% higher than ever before, making this the largest all-women triathlon in the region. Nearly half of all participants were attempting their first triathlon.

Racers Age 11 – 79

The girls and women, spanning ages 11 through 79, swam, biked and ran their way through the beautiful urban course that YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Tri calls home. The race this year had eight times the number of women over the age of 50 than the largest triathlon in Minnesota. The YWCA Women’s Triathlon had nearly 400 women age 50+ registered to race.

For the first time, racers who have participated in every YWCA Women’s Triathlon were honored.

Our 10-year racers were:

  • Brooke Darst-Rice
  • Amy DeBruin
  • Susan Denk
  • Kim Edelman
  • Jill Farris
  • Barbara Frohnert
  • Jennifer Her
  • Margaret Kelly
  • Catherine Vaughn
  • Kristin Nelson
  • Barbara Norrgard
  • Judy Rykken

Elite Race

In the elite race, the winner was pro triathlete Haley Chura, age 32, who joined the race for the first time from Bozeman, MT. She led from the start and maintained her lead throughout the race finishing in 1:03:37 by a 3:30 margin. In 2nd place was local racer Heather Lendway, 33, also a pro triathlete and winner of the YWCA Women’s Triathlon for the last three years. Christina Roberts, 31, took 3rd with a time of 1:09:12 and the top five overall were rounded out by Suzie Fox, 34 and Diane Hankee, 40 with times of 1:11:13 and 1:11:22 respectively.


In the SuperSprint, the shorter distance race option, the winner was Lisa Goepfoert, age 55 in a time of 39:25. Second place was Kristine Haertl, age 53 in a time of 40:44, and in 3rd was Megan Benker, age 15, in 42:14.

World-Renowned Triathlete – Special Guest Leanda Cave

Leanda Cave, one of the most decorated female triathletes in history, cheered racers on at this year’s YWCA Women’s Triathlon. Leanda Cave also joined YWCA Women’s Tri participants at the YWCA Race Expo on August 12 to share information about her triathlon team, Team LC, which has a mission similar to the YWCA Women’s Triathlon– Empowering Women Through Triathlon. Leanda has won four world championship titles, winning the Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championships both in the same year, a feat only one other female has done in the history of the sport.

Race Director Passes Torch

After seven years of leading the YWCA Women’s Triathlon, Nicole Cueno is stepping down as Race Director. In her tenure, she solidified low-waste event efforts, put in place a Lead Volunteer crew of 30+ people, a Scholarship Fund, a Transgender Policy, a refined Sponsorship package and many other developments. This final year culminated in the best year yet with the biggest turnout, the most local and national attention and the 10th Anniversary.

Cueno is taking on a new role at YWCA Minneapolis as the Assistant General Manager at YWCA Uptown and is sure to be a presence in coming years’ races.

Thank You for Supporting YWCA Minneapolis

Thank you to everyone who was part of the 10th Annual YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon! We look forward to having you back for the 2018 YWCA Women’s Triathlon – registration now open.

Proceeds from the event will benefit YWCA Minneapolis equipping people to create brighter futures for themselves.

Racer Experiences

Participants in the 10th anniversary race share how their races went and what they loved about competing in the YWCA Women’s Triathlon!