Sports

Reebok Women's Triathlon coming back to town

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Organizers of the second annual Reebok Women’s Triathlon are expecting over 1,000 athletes to pack Steel Lake Park next month. The Federal Way event, scheduled for Sept. 11, is the third of the four-race Reebok Triathlon Series which also includes stops in Chicago, St. Petersburg, Fla., and San Diego.

Last year, the inaugural Federal Way triathlon drew close to 700 participants for the race, which offers athletes a choice of two different distances — a Sprint competition (.75-kilometer swim, 19.5k bike, and 6.5k run, completed as an individual or relay team), and the SuperSprint competition (.375k swim, 13k bike, and 3.4k run).

The 2004 Reebok race received rave reviews from fans and participants and was won by one of the most decorated triathletes in the world — Australia’s Michellie Jones. Organizers of the race flew the 2000 Olympic silver medalist in from California and she finished the course in 1 hour, 11:58 — six minutes ahead of second-place Amity Hall from New York.

Unlike a lot of the bigger triathlons around the country, the Federal Way race features one venue — Steel Lake Park — that is able to house the transition areas for all three events — swim, bike and run — along with the finish line.

This year’s festivities in Federal Way kick off at 10 a.m. Sept. 10 with the Reebok Multisport Experience at Steel Lake Park, where competitors have the chance to register for the race, enter sweepstakes and find deals on athletic clothing, equipment and apparel. Beginning athletes will appreciate the clinics and talks that are designed to help better understand triathlon basics and discuss course details.

Race day begins at 7 a.m. Sept. 11 with waves of athletes starting the swim three to five minutes apart. The bike course then takes competitors through the streets surrounding the park and the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Campus before heading back into the park. Athletes finish the race with a run around Steel Lake.

While the race is underway, roads in the neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity of Steel Lake Park may have limited access (one lane open) or may be closed to all traffic except during an emergency.

A portion of the proceeds from the Reebok Women’s Triathlon Series will benefit The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Inc. (OCRF), which is devoted to the formulation of early diagnostic treatment programs and research toward the ultimate conquest of ovarian cancer. To date, over $16,000 has been raised for OCRF by participants of the Federal Way event, with over $140,000 raised by all series competitors.

For more information on the Reebok Women’s Triathlon Series, including how and where to register for the event, call (206) 215-6200 or visit www.reebokwomenstriathlon.com. Officials are also looking for 200 to 300 volunteers during the race weekend. If interested, call (253) 835-2652 or email vnp@cityoffederalway.com.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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