Women for Tri Provides 450 Additional slots for 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships

400 Top performing female athletes based on 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 Age Group Rankings and 50 top performing female athletes from Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban provided with additional bonus qualification spots
TAMPA, Fla. (May 7, 2018) – Women For Tri®, a program of the IRONMAN Foundation®, today announced that a total of 450 additional women have earned an invitation to race in the 2018 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship taking place in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa on September 1 and 2, 2018. After previously announcing 50 additional slots allocated to the Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban race for top finishing female athletes, Women For Tri is providing 400 additional slots for top-ranked female athletes based on their total 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 Age Group Ranking (AGR) points. The additional slots will be utilized by Women For Tri, a program launched by IRONMAN to welcome and empower new female triathletes to be a part of the sport’s continued growth in high-level competition.

“We are excited to welcome top age-group athletes from around the world to this year’s IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in South Africa,” said Kyrsten Sinema, Chair of the Women For Tri Advisory Committee and U.S. Representative from Arizona. “Following in the footsteps of the women who raced in support of Women For Tri last year in Chattanooga, we hope the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship inspires women around the world to reimagine their potential as triathletes.”

Allocating these 400 additional slots based on IRONMAN 70.3 AGR will create a deeper field of female athletes and maintain the integrity and prestige of an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event. The AGR system measures an athlete’s performance in IRONMAN 70.3 races throughout the 2018 qualifying year.

All net proceeds from the registration revenue of the 400 additional slots will go towards supporting Women For Tri’s TriClub grant program. To date, nearly $250,000 has been awarded by this program to TriClubs around the world to support women’s engagement initiatives, including bringing first-timers into the sport. Since its inception in 2015, Women For Tri has seen an 18% increase in female participation in IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events, totaling more than 66,000 female athletes globally.

The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is the pinnacle event in the global IRONMAN 70.3 series. The 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship race will be a two-day event with the professional and age group women racing on Saturday, September 1 and the professional and age-group men racing on Sunday, September 2. Nearly 5,000 athletes will qualify to race in the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship from among over 100 IRONMAN 70.3 races around the world throughout the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 qualifying season.

For questions about Women For Tri programming, please contact womenfortri@ironman.com. For media related inquiries, please contact press@ironman.com.

Colorado Athletes in Kona: Jamie Twedt

I started tri’s in 2013 and fell hook, line and sinker. Jumped straight to full Ironman’s in 2014 in honor of my sister who was fighting Ovarian Cancer. We used my Ironman races to raise money for the OCRFA and successfully raised over $45K that last three years for research.  My sister always fueled my training and racing, as what I go through to train is nothing compared to what my hero went through fighting her cancer.

 

She has been with me during every full Ironman race with our last one being in Cozumel 2015.  I crashed my bike 10 days before Boulder last year and lost 2 months’ worth of training this year for Boulder as my sister was making her journey to heaven which I spent with her. It was our last race together, getting her to heaven ready to be happy and healthy again. During her journey, I asked her three times if she wanted me to race one more full Ironman in her memory as we knew she was not coming home this time as did she. She would never answer my question except to say she needed to think about.  When she became an angel on April 9th I told my parents I would race again since that was something special that Dawn & I did together plus they scare my dad.

Fast forward 5 weeks after my sister finished her journey I received an answer to my only unfinished conversation with my sister as I was walking into my grief counseling. Cris Howard who had watched our Ironman and cancer journey had presented our story to the Women for Tri board who in turned offered me a slot to race Kona this year in memory of my sister. After discussing with my parents I accepted the offer as God was working in mysterious ways to finish our only unfinished sister conversation. I looked at it as my sister finally saying, ” yes little sister, please race one more time and make it the big dance that we always wanted to get to someday together.”  So I accepted the race slot and raised the required $40,000.

 

As of today I have raised $42,029 to help other women get into the sport I so love and has helped me heal again with losing my sister. We all know the journey to line up is the best part of a full Ironman and the journey has been very healing for me. Kona will be my last Ironman (I know in our sport it hard to say we will never do it again) but it’s highly unlikely for me. Kona will be a bittersweet day for me without my sister cheering me on all day and waiting to get her picture taken with me at the finish line while I get her my medal as she always got them all. I do however know she will be sitting on my shoulder all day as my very special guardian angel on 10/14.

Swimming Costume or Swimsuit? Linguistic and Behavioral Code-Shifting in Triathlon

By Lisa Ingarfield

 

On a recent call with a friend of mine, we got into a discussion about language and how our language has changed over time. We both have spent time living abroad; her in the UK and myself in the USA. The conversation started with accents, and how some people “lose” their accent when they move to a new country and live there for a while. I used myself as an example. For the most part, folks in the U.S.A think I am Australian. In the U.K, folks think I “sound American” and when I hear myself speak, I still hear a strong British accent. I have, admittedly, adapted my accent over time, code-shifting more routinely into U.S linguistic and behavioral culture as a means of camouflage. Not because I am ashamed of my Britishness, but because I am so darn tired of being asked where I am from, or being told that either my accent is lovely, or that I am not understood. For my friend, she reflected that while her accent didn’t shift significantly, the vernacular she used to “fit in” in the U.K did. She adopted terms readily used there, and strayed from North American terminology more frequently over time. She also expressed exasperation at being told her accent was cute, or having conversations interrupted or derailed because the focus shifted to the way she said a certain word. I can relate. It’s annoying.

I think what is interesting about all this is that rather than expecting our friends and colleagues to flex to incorporate us in our original state without fetishizing our accents, we shifted and changed to fit the new culture. In so doing, we lost a little part of our identity. Collectively, we realized that we made these changes because it was easier and more expedient. But at what cost?

Since we are both triathletes, our conversation shifted to athletic terminology and our need to code-shift depending on the nationality of our audiences. In the U.K, for example, a swimsuit is called a swimming costume, which here in the U.S.A seems like such an archaic term. When she and I have used this term in North America, the response is often laughter and puzzlement. The same is true for running machine (treadmill) and turbo (indoor bike trainer). There is the old adage that the U.S.A and U.K are divided by a common language. While both nations speak English they do so differently enough, leading to confusion and misunderstanding.

Triathlon is a global sport, and individuals of many languages participate across the world. My conversation with my friend led me to ponder just how much language and meaning difference is there within our sport and how much code-shifting happens for triathletes who routinely occupy international spaces. How much do they lose of themselves when they try to fit in, and what cultural norms dominate in the sport? Who is most at risk of needing to change to experience inclusion and success? What this line of pondering also highlights for me is the skill involved in existing in two worlds, two cultures, or more. It’s not easy, and takes practice.

Beyond linguistic code-shifting, there is also the reality of how women code-shift behaviorally to fit into sport. Sport broadly, occupies the domain of the masculine. Men’s sports often get more money and resources, more air time, and more sponsorships. Men’s sports are the norm, and women’s sports are often the add-on, or the afterthought. Systems, processes, and competitions are (historically) built for men around masculine norms. In sports where all genders participate, men are generally viewed as the main event, and women as the lesser “other” event. The 2016 coverage of the Ironman World Championship bears this out: women received 27% of the coverage as compared to the 43% for men. How much do women triathletes need to code-shift to be taken seriously in the sport? How much do they need to change who they are, to ensure their participation is featured by networks and taken seriously by sports journalists and fans alike? I don’t have any answers on this just yet, but I think it is worth consideration. What are we asking of women triathletes to “fit in” to the triathlon system as designed, versus being willing to redesign the sport and system so they no longer have to code-shift, losing a piece of who they are, to be equally recognized?

Ironman: Calling All Women Who Tri

Women For Tri is looking for one inspirational woman to tell her story, raise support, and inspire other women to Tri as she represents us at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii!

The purpose of the Women for Tri IRONMAN® World Championship Slot 2017 is two-fold: (1) to support a female IRONMAN triathlete who embodies the spirit of Women for Tri at the 2017 IRONMAN® World Championship, and (2) to raise at least $25,000 in support of Women for Tri charitable programs. Do you want to make a tangible positive impact on the lives of female athletes like yourself?

Apply here by April 15, 2017 at 11:59pm.