Wind beneath their wings

More than 150 women braved the elements to participate in the third annual Women’s TRY-athlon and Fun Run in Stanley on Saturday. Photos courtesy of Donna Howard Photography.

Event. While energy levels ran low, spirits were high during the third leg of the Women’s TRY-athlon and Fun Run held in Stanley on Saturday.

The final stretch, a two kilometre run, challenged participants further after pushing through a 200 metre ocean swim and six kilometre bike ride in strong easterly winds.

Despite the overwhelming exhaustion felt by many, a sense of achievement, encouragement and triumphant positivity resonated throughout the 90 odd TRY-athletes. A further 60 women took part in the two and six kilometre Fun Run events on the day.

At the finish line, women were greeted by local Olympian Heather Innes and presented a participation medallion.

“It was absolutely wonderful to see women with prams, people walking, jogging or running, cycling and swimming – just fantastic!” says Innes.

“It was obvious that a lot of women weren’t seasoned athletes and didn’t have a great deal of expertise, but that is not the point. It’s not about winning or losing, timing or placing but just doing it for yourself.

“Every one of them came back perspiring, they all tried very hard and they made it.”

As the participants began streaming towards the finish line at Godfrey’s Beach, Innes says she was reminded of the need to provide an inclusive and participation oriented event such as the local event: “I was really admiring the women who went in it . . . it’s a tremendous effort.”

The celebratory ‘fourth leg’ topped off the event with refreshments available and entertainment provided by local artists Dudley and Cho Billing.

“It was a really great day,” says TRY committee member Toni Popowski. 

“This year was held in very trying conditions with a strong easterly wind in Stanley but everyone had a really good go . . . The encouragement and support from each other, it was great.”

Popowski said it is pleasing to see the event grow each year with at least half of the competitors travelling from outside of Circular Head to take part.

“I think a lot start off with the Fun Run and see others doing the TRY and think, well I can have a go at that next year.”

The third annual event also saw the inclusion of prams into the Fun Run and a lowered entry age to 16.

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