Updated 07/20/2012 07:51 PM
Tri it Again: Female triathlons on the rise
Hundreds of women are preparing for the Gillie Girl Triathlon this week and more than a thousand will compete in the Iron Girl Triathlon in August. Both events are sold out. The nearly 1,400 Iron Girl slots sold out in 24 hours. In this week's segment of Give it a Tri,our Katie Gibas caught up with some triathletes at the CNY Tri Club's weekly practice series and tells us what's drawing so many women to the sport of triathlon.
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As a female, when you're starting to work out or doing a new sport, like triathlon, it can be a bit intimidating. That's why there's been a rise in all-female events, like the Iron Girl and Gillie Girl sprint triathlons.
"There's a much more inclusive nature. It's much more supportive. In terms of if you have a question, it's much easier to ask that and not be as intimidated. Whereas, I've done the co-eds and they are just as friendly, but there is this level of intimidation," said Sarah Bettinger, a Baldwinsville resident.
Laura Currey, a Cicero Resident added, "It's a great time to be a female triathlete. I think the Iron Girl is a great race for people to start off in and they do a good job. And they sell out so quickly."
Two of the three all-female triathlons in the entire state are right here in Central New York. Eric Prager started Gillie Girl this year.
And to accommodate the increasing numbers, the CNY Tri Club expanded their Wednesday night practice series to three locations. Nearly 600 people practiced their swim, bike and run at the Tri series this week. Most of the athletes are women.
"It's good for our community. The more people that there are active later in life, the healthier our overall community is. And ultimately, I think that's what this is about, empowering people who maybe haven't been involved in exercise and get them active again," said Eric Prager, the Gillie Girl Triathlon founder.
This will be Iron Girl's third year in Brewerton. And they've already announced another three-year commitment.
"When we were looking at Syracuse, we were like, 'This is the perfect place.' The park systems are amazing. The community is amazing. You can come in for the weekend and enjoy the park with your family. You wife, your sister, your mom is going to be able to do a triathlon and then you can enjoy the community, from shopping to restaurants to festivals. There's just always so much going on," said Judy Molnar, the Iron Girl Vice President.
So what makes triathlon so popular?
"I think people get coerced into it, and then it becomes very addictive. People who are just runners, there's this constant pounding on the body and the body kind of fatigues. You're constantly moving, so you can change what you're doing according to how you feel. So it ends up being a very therapeutic sport," said Prager.
And between the two races, more than 1,600 women will "Tri it Again."
We'll be checking back in with the athletes just before the Iron Girl Race, which happens at Oneida Shores County Park August 5th.
If you want to check in on Katie and her teammates' training progress, check out her blog, "Tri it Again".