Eight Colorado Women Nominated at Outspoken Summit

By Bill Plock and Lisa Ingarfield

Colorado was well represented last week in Tempe, Arizona, at the second annual Outspoken Summit. Co-founded by Dr’s Lisa Ingarfield (of Denver) and Sara Gross, about 160 women from all corners of triathlon gathered for an enriching conference. They heard from industry leaders and developed leadership skills related to their role in triathlon. The summit provided a rich forum to help develop stronger voices to inspire and advocate for changes in the sport.

There were several Colorado women nominated across six categories for the first annual Outspoken: Women in Triathlon Awards. Nominees were chosen by the triathlon community. The Outspoken Summit team had an open call for nominations in September and October for six award categories. 

Outspoken Woman of the Year:

A woman who has advocated and broken down barriers for women in triathlon in 2019. Won by Coloradan, Triny Willerton

Triny Willerton is a wife, a mom of 5, and a cyclist. In May of 2018, she was struck from behind by a driver with a truck while on a bike ride in Boulder. She sustained over 12 fractures and a punctured lung. Now Willerton, and her platform #itcouldbeme, work to change the narrative between cyclists and motorists to promote road safety for everyone. Triny recovered from her injuries and raced in Kona at the IRONMAN World Championship in 2018 and then qualified and raced in the 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships in 2019. In between all of that, she started the #itcouldbeme initiative and captured the attention of the endurance community all over the world. More information can be found here: https://www.itcouldbeme.org/. Also here is a link to an article published on USA Cycling about Triny: https://www.usacycling.org/article/triny-willerton-in-our-own-words

Coach of the Year:

A triathlon coach who is changing lives, changing the game of coaching, contributing in outstanding ways to triathlon coaching, or women’s equity in the sport, or all of the above.

Tristen Rogers, Hat House; Tristen has been an athletic coach for most of her life, previously working with high schoolers and now with weekend warriors to elites through her coaching and altitude training company HAT House. She has an unstoppable positive attitude and will go out of her way to assist her athletes and folks in the tri community. Her coaching is extremely personalized, and she is an amazing cheerleader. Tristen will lift you up while also keeping it real and helping you be your best self and athlete. Hat House info found here: http://hathouseendurance.com

Yoli Casas, Team YTT; Yoli’s passion, education and wealth of experience coaching endurance athletes or over 30 years make her a sought after coach. Yoli’s unwavering commitment to her athletes have helped thousands of people transform their lives and reach their fitness goals. Yoli’s coaching interests focus on helping people through life challenges by incorporating athletics into their lifestyle. She empowers athletes of all levels and ages achieve their goals while cultivating self-confidence and individual’s belief in themselves. Team YTT info found here: https://yolistrainingteam.com

Susan Yasuhara, Karma Multisport; Susan has a passion and talent for supporting beginners, particularly those who have never swam or are scared of the water. She runs a small multisport group for women with a focus on beginners, athenas, and anyone new to the sport in a non-intimidating environment. She is patient, kind, and will go above and beyond for her athletes. Info on Karma Multisport here: http://karmamultisport.com

Siri Lindley, Team Sirius; Siri is a world champion triathlete and accomplished coach. Her mission is to positively influence others, to help empower individuals by connecting them to their greatest strengths. She is the head coach of Team Sirius, a tri club designed to support beginners to seasoned triathletes. Info on Team Sirius: https://www.teamsiriustriclub.com

Rachel Joyce; Rachel took up triathlon in 2005 and what started as a hobby turned into a passion. Since 2008, she’s climbed to the top of her sport. She has captured a world title, six iron distance titles and stood on the podium three times at the Ironman World Championships. Outside of training and racing, Rachel is a passionate advocate for equality and increasing participation in sport by women. She is a founding member of TriEqual and sits on the Women For Tri Committee of Advisors.

Triny Willerton, Rachel Joyce, Dana Platin, Barbara Perkins

Honorable mentions: Yoli Casas and Susan Yasuhara

Bethany Rutledge Memorial Award

Bethany Rutledge was an active member of the Atlanta, GA triathlon community. She spent her life helping others and supporting triathletes to achieve their best selves. She believed helping people in small ways created potential for much bigger change. For this memorial award, please nominate a woman you believe embodies Bethany’s spirit and philosophy, and has affected many people in small, and meaningful ways.

Nominees from Colorado: Tristen Rogers and Yoli Casas

Athlete of the Year

A pro or age group athlete who has used her platform to advocate for, and make positive change in triathlon.

Triny Willerton (see above)

Barbara Perkins; Barbara is a 2 time Kona competitor and member of Team Couer Sports. Barbara goes out of her way to encourage athletes every single day. She is always contributing and doing her best to help answer any question and calm fears for other triathletes. On top of that, she is fast as fast can be. She broke the tape at IM Santa Rosa this year! She is an extraordinary woman and a fierce athlete. 

Angela Naeth; Angela is a multiple 70.3 and Ironman Champion with 3 sub-9 hour Ironman performances. She is now currently ranked among the top triathletes in the world. Angela continues to pursue her career in these distances and build awareness around Lyme, and Women in Sport. Angela created a women’s triathlon/cycling community in 2017.  www.iracelikeagirl.com. Growing in numbers, iracelikeagirl is her ability to support others in the sport of triathlon.

If you don’t see a woman on this list who you think should be there, then don’t forget to nominate in 2020!

Takeaways from the Outspoken: Women in Triathlon Summit

Back in late spring or early summer, I – saw an ad? got an email? – announcing the inaugural “Outspoken: Women in Triathlon Summit.” Outspoken: check. Woman: check. Triathlon: check. So while I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from the weekend, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I anticipated inspiring women, new connections, and stimulating conversation, but really didn’t know what else the weekend might hold, right up until I walked onto the rooftop deck at a hotel in Arizona for the first night of the inaugural Summit.

Meredith Kessler may not have realized it at the time, but she set the tone for the weekend as she stood at the podium to present the Opening Keynote and told us, “I need you to come closer.” And we did. Our group of 100, comprised of pros, both relatively new and deeply experienced age-groupers, coaches, and industry leaders, walked forward from corners of the rooftop and gathered together – that night and for the remainder of the weekend. We listened to speeches and panels and asked questions and participated in discussions, all of which were raw and honest and personal. We had come closer.

While I couldn’t possibly recount the entire weekend’s worth of stories and dialogue – and really, if you weren’t there you’re just going to have to accept that you don’t get all the details – here are some of my favorite takeaways from the weekend:

• Me, someone who thinks that wearing any attire not designed for sweating is “dressing up:” A conference that advises wearing comfortable shoes and includes morning coached swim and run workouts is my kind of conference.

Senator-Elect Krysten Sinema

• Sally Edwards, pioneering and incredibly accomplished endurance athlete and former spokesperson for the Danskin women’s triathlon series: Triathlon began in the 1980s with a fascinating cultural juxtaposition, both establishing a progressive policy of equal prize money for pro men and women while simultaneously judging female triathletes based on looks rather than ability, shunning pro female triathletes from magazine covers if they “weren’t pretty enough.”

• Kyrsten Sinema, Congresswoman and Senator-Elect from Arizona: In order from least to most difficult, it goes like this: run for Congress, train for and complete an Ironman, run for Senate.

• Meredith Atwood, a.k.a. Swim Bike Mom: “Words are the house you live in” (although she did attribute the quote to someone whose name she acknowledge she couldn’t quite pronounce). If we look in the mirror and criticize our body’s appearance rather than celebrate its strength, we are going down the wrong path.

• Me, a person who apparently doesn’t set goals unless I understand that they are achievable: I had no idea how many people’s stories include “I didn’t know how to swim or own a bike, but I signed up for a triathlon and here I am!”

Meredith Atwood,
a.k.a. Swim Bike Mom

• Dr. Stacy Sims, Environmental Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Scientist specializing in sex differences with regards to performance: Women are not small men. It turns out that when you do tests and trials that only include male subjects, the results are often not applicable to women. For example: the common thinking on heat acclimation protocols and the effectiveness – or lack thereof – of ice baths is accurate for men, but not for women. (Want more info on what is applicable to women? Buy her book, ROAR – I just did.)

• Gabriela Gallegos, Race Director of the Mighty Mujer Triathlon: Let’s have the Wonder Woman version and not the Princess version. (Me: oh hell yes!)

Ultimately, the inaugural Outspoken: Women in Triathlon Summit was exactly what I anticipated it would be. I listened to stories from inspiring women, I made new connections with women across the spectrum of the triathlon community, and I had and heard stimulating conversations about where triathlon is today and where it needs to be tomorrow. The Summit provided an environment where one could raise provoking and sometimes challenging questions that might otherwise be reserved for one-on-one conversations. Panelists, speakers, and conference attendees alike stepped away from formal dialogue where certain topics are simply alluded to, and spoke in raw and honest and personal terms about sexism and empowerment, our strong and unique bodies, gender equality, and inclusion for minorities and transgender athletes.

Beyond that, the Summit provided an opportunity for each of us take ownership of growing the sport of triathlon and specifically the representation of women and minorities within the sport. After the closing brainstorming session, each participant – from the pro to the age grouper to the coach to the industry leader – left with actionable items, and a forum for reporting back on her progress. I am excited to see where these action items take us over the next year, and what stories and conversations those actions create for next year’s Summit.