U.S. Women’s Triathlon coming back to Steel Lake Sept. 7

The 2008 U.S. Women’s Triathlon will take place Sept. 7 at Steel Lake Park. It will be the fifth time the women-only event has been contested in Federal Way.  - File photo
The 2008 U.S. Women’s Triathlon will take place Sept. 7 at Steel Lake Park. It will be the fifth time the women-only event has been contested in Federal Way.
— image credit: File photo

Organizers of the fifth annual U.S. Women’s Triathlon are expecting over 1,000 athletes to pack Steel Lake Park next month. The Federal Way event, scheduled for Sept. 7, is the second of the four-race U.S. Women’s Triathlon Series, which also includes stops in Illinois, Texas, and San Diego.

Last year, the Federal Way triathlon drew close to 1,000 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).

Festivities in Federal Way kick off on Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. with the 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.

Last year, the fourth annual triathlon drew just over 700 participants and rave reviews from fans and athletes because it features one venue that is able to house transition areas for all three events — swim, bike and run — along with the finish line. That is different from a lot of the other large triathlons around the country.

The most impressive performance last year was turned in by Seattle’s Teresa Nelson. Nelson finished the main event sprint course in 1 hour, 15:48 — two minutes ahead of the second-place runner Karin Stender of Seattle. It was the second year in a row that Stender has finished second.

Race day commences at 7 a.m. on Sept. 7 with waves of athletes starting the swim three to five minutes apart from one another. The bike course then takes competitors through the rolling hills surrounding the park, Military Road and the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Campus before heading back to Steel Lake. 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 U.S. 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. Last year’s Federal Way race raised $32,000 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

For more information on the U.S. Women’s Triathlon Series, including how and where to register or to volunteer at the event, visit Participants can run as individuals or in relay fashion. Entry fees range from $70 to $130.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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