Ironman and Life Time Fitness launch ‘Women for Tri’ initiative
IRONMAN and Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life CompanySM (NYSE:LTM) announced today a nationwide “Women For Tri™” initiative to expand the participation and support of women in the sport of triathlon.
Through research, study and investigation, IRONMAN, Life Time and other industry leaders will aim to continue to increase female participation across the continuum of triathlon distances. The new initiative will unite and empower female athletes of all fitness levels, champion content to identify and break down barriers to entry and help more women to accomplish their fitness goals through triathlon. This initiative will include an appointed Board of Advisors and an Ambassador Team to lead a network and social community for women in the sport.
“As we continue to see female participation in endurance sports rise, it is essential for us to ensure we are creating an unmatched athlete experience and environment that is welcoming and encouraging to all athletes. We feel this important initiative is a major step in growing the sport,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN.
“We are extremely proud and fortunate to have a rich history of female athletes and look forward to seeing future generations make their mark on triathlon.”
The influence of women in the sport began early on with Judy Collins, who co-founded IRONMAN along with her husband John in 1978. The race’s second running in 1979 included female cyclist Lyn Lemaire who would become the first female IRONMAN finisher, even maintaining second place throughout much of the race before finishing fifth overall.
In 1982, Julie Moss helped put IRONMAN and the sport of triathlon on the map as she heroically battled her way to the finish line. Influence has continued to this day through the likes of eight-time IRONMAN® World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser, four-time IRONMAN World Champion Chrissie Wellington and most recently, the incredible performances of back-to-back IRONMAN World Champion Mirinda Carfrae.
Historically rich with female athletes, IRONMAN and Life Time are committed to continuing the growth of women in the sport of triathlon. Growth of female participation in the sport of triathlon has been on the rise in recent years. IRONMAN has seen female registrations grow by more than 80% during the past four years with international growth of 275% during the same time frame.
This year’s IRONMAN World Championship also saw the largest female field in its history including a nine percent increase in participants as compared to 2013. Since 2011, the Life Time Tri Series, which includes eleven triathlons from coast to coast, has seen an average of 37% female athletes.
The Board of Advisors will include a select group of influencers from all walks of life who are passionate about triathlon and will be selected from the ranks of pro athletes, age groupers, coaches and other industry participants. They will work with IRONMAN and Life Time to research, brainstorm, create and put into action strategies, which will further develop female participation. IRONMAN and Life Time will also form an Ambassador Team that will mentor and help cultivate new athletes while providing support to first timers throughout their training and competition journey.