Moved to Do More: Raising $8,500 as a Fundraising Triathlete
What inspired you to compete in YWCA Women’s Triathlon?
I competed in my first YWCA Women’s Triathlon in 2010 after moving to Minneapolis. I signed up knowing that this was an all-women race – which was so unique at the time. Not only did it make the atmosphere feel safe and less intimidating than other races – it had a vibe of empowerment that I knew I wanted to be a part of. And that first race did not disappoint.
Not only did it make the atmosphere feel safe and less intimidating than other races – it had a vibe of empowerment that I knew I wanted to be a part of.
I’ve competed in YWCA Women’s Triathlon every year since (this year will be number 10)! But it’s not just about me, YWCA Women’s Triathlon has become really special for my family. I’ve been racing since 2010, with my sister Jackie since 2014 and with her daughter Lizzy since 2017 (YWCA Women’s Tri was the first for both of them)! That tells you just how inspiring and welcoming this event is!
You accomplished a lot by training and finishing the race, and you also went above and beyond to fundraise for YWCA Minneapolis. What did those accomplishments mean to you?
In 2014, I attended the Circle of Women event and was moved to do more to support YWCA Minneapolis. That was also my 10th year of competing in triathlons and I decided that fundraising would be a perfect way to celebrate and push myself to new goals while giving back to YWCA.
In 2014, I attended the Circle of Women event and was moved to do more to support YWCA Minneapolis.
That first year, I was able to raise over $1,300. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends and family. I’ve fundraised each year since and even fundraised as a team with my sister, Jackie. In total, we’ve raised $8,500 over the last five years. This year, I’m hoping our total will top $10,000! That accomplishment means even more to me than finishing the race itself (although finishing in third place last year was pretty awesome!). It feels AMAZING to finish a race – it feels AMAZING’ER to finish a race and give back at the same time!
That first year, I was able to raise over $1,300. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends and family.
What advice do you have for new fundraising triathletes?
My advice for other triathlete fundraisers is just to ask. Go beyond your social media channels and get personal. Talk to people about YWCA Minneapolis, about the mission to eliminate racism and empower women and girls and why it’s important to you. Each time I ask for a donation – even if it results in a “no,” I still get to help spread the mission of YWCA Minneapolis. If that fails – challenges for pushups, burpees and baked goods help too!
My advice for other triathlete fundraisers is just to ask. Go beyond your social media channels and get personal.
How would you describe the experience you had on race day?
The vibe on race day is hard to describe – it’s just a feeling you feel. To see more than 1,400 women gathered on race morning with their family and friends ready to support them is inspiring. To watch and cheer on each racer (from 11 to 79+ years young) as they cross the finish line is empowering.
No matter the race I had, I always feel humbled and overcome with emotion thinking about how each of these women has a story – a story of why they choose this race, what it took for them to get to the start line and who they inspired once they crossed the finish line. THIS is the way we empower women and girls – by supporting each other through a simple thing like swimming, biking and running. So, even if you’re not racing on August 11 – get down to Lake Nokomis to volunteer or spectate. There’s nothing else like it.
What does YWCA Minneapolis mean to you?
YWCA Minneapolis is WAY more than a place to work out. There aren’t many gyms where you can feel good about what you’re doing physically while feeling good that you are contributing to your local community – supporting an organization that strives to eliminate racism and empower women and girls. I’ve met so many wonderfully diverse people through my involvement with YWCA, who I could not have met otherwise. I can’t imagine going anywhere else.