Motivation. High fives, words of encouragement and a sense of achievement reverberated throughout Stanley on Saturday as participants took part in the second annual Women’s TRY-athlon and Fun Run.
The event welcomed approximately 140 women of varying fitness backgrounds and strengths to partake in either the ‘TRY’ – a 200 metre swim, six kilometre ride and two kilometre run – or a choice of the two or six kilometre Fun Run events.
Beginning at Tatlows Beach, participants embraced a change in last year’s bike route and navigated their way to Trethewies Lookout before finishing at Godfreys Beach.
Organisers say they have received nothing but positive feedback since the event.
“I loved the fact that most of the women were trying their first triathlon and I was stoked with the number of women that entered from out of the community,” committee member Toni Popowski said on Monday.
“The feeling of encouragement between the women was amazing and there was a really positive feel in the air.”
Fellow committee member Claire Young echoed Popowski’s thoughts.
“Coming along Alexander Terrace in the run [and] seeing all the ladies passing each other smiling, high fives and encouraging each other – to me that says the day went to plan.”
Committee members Popowski, Young, Sally Stanley and Kathleen O’Connor took part in the events while Madison White provided sideline support to keep the event running smoothly.
“Standing at the finish line this year I got to congratulate the women,” White said.
“And each of them told me how much they enjoyed it and [that] they’ll be back next year. That’s what it’s all about and that inspires me.”
Stanley said she experienced first-hand the motivating effect the TRY has on participants.
“Halfway through the bike ride [when] I thought I wasn’t going to make it, all the ladies riding past kept encouraging me and I tell you, when I reached that turning point and headed back downhill, I felt like a total winner!” she said.
Following the sudden closure of the Circular Head War Memorial Swimming Pool in its inaugural year, the event was forced to move to Stanley, a move which has been seen as positive by participants.
Leading into the second annual event, O’Connor admits she was concerned something would put a spanner in the works.
“But everything seemed to fall into place,” she said, “even down to the weather.
“The volunteers were so wonderful and generous in giving up their day to support the event, the participants were amazing [in] stepping out of their comfort zones and giving it a go, and the ladies I worked with on the committee were so patient and encouraging.”