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YWCA Women’s Triathlon Competes to be Nation’s “Most Welcoming Race”

By YWCA Minneapolis
July 22, 2019
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For August 11, 2019

Media Advisory

WHAT: YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon has sold out for the second year in a row and it has now become the largest women-only race in the contiguous U.S. One major reason for that: YWCA has a goal to host the most welcoming and supportive triathlon for female/non-binary racers of every size, ability, age and background.

Paratriathlon Friendly

New this year, and one huge leap toward that goal is the “Paratriathlon Friendly” designation by the USA Triathlon Paratriathlon Committee. Along with only a handful of races across the country, YWCA Women’s Triathlon has been officially approved as a race welcoming to adaptive athletes.

This year, YWCA is also partnering with Fund Her Tri, an organization that provides sponsorships to first-time female triathletes to address the financial barrier that many women face.

Women’s Representation in Sports

Each year, the event attracts participants ranging in age from 11 – 80. One in three participants are completely new to triathlons. They are beginners, seasoned triathletes and everyone in-between. “It’s about representation,” says Race Director Rachael Weiker. “When they see other women they know and who look like them, the more likely they are to think: I can do that, too.”

“Most Welcoming Race”

Many call it the “most welcoming race,” because of its warm, encouraging atmosphere and the many supportive features that make YWCA Women’s Triathlon unique – a free training plan, open water swim clinics and training classes that help triathletes prepare to race. Through YWCA Women’s Triathlon, women achieve athletic goals they might not thought possible.

4,500 Spectators

On August 11, triathletes will swim 500 yards in Lake Nokomis, bike 15.5 scenic miles along the Mississippi River on the West River Parkway and run 5 kilometers on the paved trail circling Lake Nokomis to complete the race. SuperSprint racers compete on a shorter course. The race draws an additional 4,500 spectators to cheer on the athletes.

WHERE: Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis, MN 55417

WHEN: Sunday, August 11, 2019, 5:45 am – 12:00 pm

Photo Opportunities:

  • 5:45 – 7:45 am – Transition area opens
  • 8:00 am – Welcoming remarks and national anthem
  • 8:10 am – First wave of racers starts and waves continue through 9:30 am
  • 9:10 am – First athlete crosses the finish line
  • 11:15 am – Last SuperSprint athlete crosses the finish line; Awards Ceremony begins
  • 11:45 – 12:00 pm – Last Sprint athlete crosses the finish line
  • 12:30 pm – Award ceremony concludes

Interview Opportunities:

Heather Hannig, vice president Health and Wellness, responsible for leading the operation of YWCA health and fitness centers and programs, can speak to the triathlon’s history, its place as a leader among races and its mission to empower women and girls.

Rachael Weiker, race director, is a seasoned triathlete and has raced around the world in endurance events. She received both her MBA and Masters in Public Policy from Brandeis University, and can speak to the growth of YWCA Women’s Triathlon and what makes the race unique.

About YWCA Minneapolis

YWCA Minneapolis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women and girls. For more than 125 years, we have worked to create opportunities to overcome social injustice, particularly in matters of gender and race. Last year, YWCA Minneapolis served more than 30,000 people in our community through Racial Justice and Public Policy, Early Childhood Education, Girls and Youth programs, and Health and Wellness. To learn more, visit

Media Contact: Cori Matli, 612-215-4107 or 

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