Skip to main content

YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Tri Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Record-breaking Number of Registrants

By YWCA Minneapolis
August 7, 2017
Social Share


Grandmothers, teenagers, CEOs, mothers, sisters, coworkers and friends converge to celebrate women’s fitness. YWCA Minneapolis is celebrating a milestone year for the YWCA Women’s Triathlon as it celebrates its 10th Anniversary with the largest number of registrants to date. More than 1,500 female athletes are registered for the 10th Annual YWCA Women’s Triathlon. The race will draw an additional 3,500+ spectators to Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis on August 13, 2017.

The largest all-women triathlon in the region attracts nearly half of its participants attempting their first triathlon. Triathletes swim 500 yards in Lake Nokomis, bike 15.5 scenic miles along the Minnehaha Parkway, and then run 5 kilometers on the paved trail circling Lake Nokomis to complete the race. The race was voted People’s Choice Race of the Year by Minnesota Tri News in 2012 and in the top five every year since 2008. The SuperSprint is a race distance option perfect for beginners or those wanting to race a shorter distance. SuperSprint racers compete on a shorter course: 200-yard swim, 7-mile bike, 1-mile walk/run.

Ranging in age from 11 – 79, athletes represent both beginners and seasoned veteran triathletes who share the same course set against the beautiful backdrop of Minneapolis. YWCA Women’s Triathlon has six times the number of women over the age of 50 than the largest triathlon in Minnesota. The YWCA Women’s Triathlon has nearly 400 women age 50+ registered to race. Women can participate in a buddy swim wave, race as part of a relay team, mother and daughter, sister or life partner competitions, or push themselves to their limits and race for age-group prizes.

One of the most decorated female triathletes in history and the first woman triathlete to win both the Ironman Triathlon and Ironman 70.3 World Championship in the same year will be at this year’s YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon. Leanda Cave will join YWCA Women’s Tri participants at the Race Expo on August 12 and on race day (August 13) 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.

YWCA Minneapolis runs a “green race”; more than 95% of waste from the event (600+ pounds) is diverted from landfills to compost and recycling. After five years at a diversion rate of 95%+, this year’s Women’s Triathlon is focused on an overall reduction in all waste produced, even organics and recycling.

Proceeds from the event will benefit YWCA Minneapolis equipping people to create brighter futures for themselves. For more information, visit


Sunday, August 13, 2017

8:00 a.m. Triathlon start at Lake Nokomis

11:45 a.m.  Awards ceremony (following final finisher)


Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis, MN


8:00 a.m.                                     Swim start photos on the beach of Lake Nokomis

9:00 a.m.                                     Finish line photos – Elite athletes will be finishing

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.                        Finish line photos – Majority of athletes will be finishing

Interview Women Triathletes and Race Director:

Leanda Cave, age 39, is a four-time world champion and the first female to accomplish both the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and Ironman World Championships. Leanda is the only female triathlete in history to accomplish both feats in a single year. Leanda will not be racing, but will be available for interviews and photos.

Heather Lendway, age 32, returns for the fourth year in a row and is looking to defend her string of three first place finishes by margins of three, four, and seven minutes respectively. She has been racing as a professional athlete for multiple years now but returns to the local race of YWCA Women’s Triathlon because she shares the common goal of empowering women of all ages and all walks of life. In 2016, Heather placed third in Ironman 70.3 PanAmerican Championship in Panama City and fifth in Ironman 70.3 in Hefei, China.

Haley Chura, age 32, is new to YWCA Women’s Triathlon but not to racing. Haley will be the second professional racer, after Heather Lendway, to race in the Women’s Triathlon. In 2015, Haley placed fifth in the Ironman Latin American Championship and fourth in the Ironman 70.3 (half ironman distance) Latin American Championship. In reference to the YWCA Minneapolis mission, Haley said, “Those are definitely causes I can get behind and hopefully I can help in some small way!”

Judy Rykken, at age 79, will be completing her 10th YWCA Women’s Tri, going for her fifth win in the 75 – 79 Years Old category and will be the oldest competitor at this year’s event. Judy has competed in all previous YWCA Women’s Triathlons and about 200 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.”

Nicole Cueno, race director, a distinguished runner who won 2015 Minnesota Runner of the Year, ran in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic marathon trials, and a multi-sport athlete and coach, is available to talk about what sets apart the Women’s Triathlon from other races. She is available pre-race day and on site at the event.


YWCA Minneapolis is a nonprofit organization striving to empower women and girls and eliminate racism. YWCA Minneapolis has been empowering women and girls since 1891 and is a community leader in health and wellness.


Emily O’Gara
YWCA Minneapolis
Office: (612) 215-4164
Cell: (917) 364-3767