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Summer Tri Fest: A Celebration of Resilience, Strength & Virtual Togetherness

By YWCA Minneapolis
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August 31, 2020

This summer, YWCA Minneapolis put on its first virtual race. We called it Summer Tri Fest, a race where athletes could stay on track to accomplish their summer goals and connect with others in spirit — even though our beloved Women’s Triathlon was canceled this year. 

This spring, as events were canceled, gyms closed and social distancing became the norm, we knew people would have a thirst to go outside, continue their training and enjoy activities in the safest way possible.

Our Most Flexible Event Ever

We created Summer Tri Fest as our most flexible event ever, with options to do a triathlon, duathlon or aquabike race, open to everyone, everywhere. Throughout the summer, people signed up, planned their DIY race course, set their timeline and completed their race.

Added Fun on Instagram and Facebook

For added fun, we invited athletes to our Strava Endurance Sports Club, hosted live Instagram and Facebook chats, posted several Instagram giveaways with the support of our lovely sponsors and held an in-person socially-distanced celebration on the last day.

Many participants were grateful for the opportunity to race in the midst of the pandemic. One participant shared:

“In an alternate non-COVID universe, today would have been my 5th @ywcampls women’s triathlon. Although we’re currently in a pandemic dystopia, I’d vowed I would do this race every year until I die, and so this morning as part of #summertrifest I did my first ever covid solo sprint along the same course as my beloved YWCA women’s tri at Lake Nokomis and #southminneapolis.”

Another participant posted:

“This Sunday I would have been racing in my 6th YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon, but instead, I “raced” my first (virtual) duathlon as part of the YWCA #SummerTriFest and had a blast running and biking! This was supposed to be my biggest year for triathlon, but the universe had other plans! 😂”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This is what a #FeelGoodFriday looks like! This Sunday I would have been racing in my 6th YWCA Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon, but instead, I “raced” my first (virtual) duathlon as part of the YWCA #SummerTriFest and had a blast running and biking! • This was supposed to be my biggest year for triathlon, but the universe had other plans! 😂 • I was hoping to do more races than ever before and was so excited to be a member of #TeamZoot2020! But, when factors out of our control arise, we look to what we can control! This summer I’ve tried to focus on having fun, trying new things, and treating my body well! • Here’s to continuing to make the most of what we’re handed right now!

A post shared by Whitney Moore (@positivepotential) on

Funds Raised for Equity-Centered Programs

In total, 100+ athletes joined us and many went the extra mile to fundraise while they raced. Altogether, over $5,600+ was raised to go back to YWCA’s equity-centered programs. (Thank you, fundraisers!)

We are grateful for everyone who participated and joined us in this experiment of virtual racing during a worldwide pandemic; we definitely learned a few things along the way and you may see elements of Summer Tri Fest show up next year. “Virtual racing is here to stay,” says Beth Nymeyer, assistant race director. “It adds a fun dimension to the race, expands our audience and allows us to get creative with challenges!” 

A huge congratulations to all those who were #SummerTriFest finishers this year! We look forward to seeing you in person at the 2021 Women’s Triathlon.

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