When: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Where: Strathmore, Alta.
Swim 500 m
Bike 20 km
Run 5 km
The Strathmore Women’s Triathlon is now entering its second decade of providing a platform and venue for women to make life and lifestyle changes through triathlon. For many, this race convinces women in a small way that anything is doable. It is their Everest, their Ironman. Participants not only have finished something they have started, they have been empowered by their success and have conquered something significant. The race is set up to provide a safe and supportive environment for all participants from the moment they register until the time they pack up their gear in the car after the race. It creates a community of women supporting women.
The race was born in 2003 when Calgary’s Deanne Jabs was approached by the Alberta Triathlon Association and prompted to organize an all-women’s triathlon after the success of an all-women’s race in Leduc, Alta. With the absence of a women’s event on the race calendar in the southern portion of the province, Jabs and the town of Strathmore chose each other. The result is an 11-year relationship that has helped triathlon, women in sport and the town. “Many women in the Strathmore Women’s Triathlon have had to overcome many obstacles, such as breast cancer, diabetes, MS as well as managing young children and toddler’s schedules,” explains Jabs. “Many have lost a significant amount of weight while training for the race and from following a healthy diet. I hear of many gals forming new friendships with other active women.”
Novice Racers’ Support
The race has catered to first-time triathletes since its inception and, in many cases, women returning to sport after extended absences. In the months leading up to the race a number of clinics are available to provide assistance to those racing. Included are courses that guide first-time triathletes through the sport’s maze of rules, along with training direction and guidance to help prepare and ease women in their return to sport. There are also clinics that address specific training tips in all three disciplines and transition setup that reduce the mystique and help simplify participation in triathlon.
The host town of Strathmore is a bedroom community 40 km east of Calgary and is in the prairie heartland of Alberta farmland and cattle ranches. The town of 12,000 has adopted the race as its own and has provided participants with that good old-fashioned rural hospitality that the town maintained during its growth.
The Course The 500 m swim is in the indoor, six-lane swimming pool at the Strathmore Family Centre. The 20 km out-and-back bike route ventures north of town on a traffic-controlled secondary highway that is well marked and has volunteers at regular intervals to provide guidance, support and encouragement. For many of those racing, the race is their first experience cycling on an open roadway, which is an additional source of anxiety. Ridley’s bike shop from Calgary patrols the bike route throughout the day and provides mechanical assistance to everyone in need, adding yet another level of support and comfort to those racing. The 5 km run takes place on the trail system and residential streets. Volunteers not only guide and provide aid to those racing, but also add words of encouragement in chalk on the roads and pathways.
The Strathmore Women’s Triathlon is limited to 330 individual participants and accommodates 22 relay teams. It normally reaches capacity in late June. Visit the race website at LeapingDogRacing.com for further race information and registration.