Iron Girl—Graced with an Attitude
This nationwide series offers 10 events in terrific locations; destination races throughout the USA, and likely in your region. Women are participating, celebrating, taking the challenge.
Posted Sunday, 30 March, 2008
There’s an exciting race series on the national scene, and it was designed with “girls” of all shapes, abilities and ages in mind. The 2008 Aflac Iron Girl Event Series consists of 10 events nationwide that include running/walking, triathlon and duathlon courses designed to challenge the seasoned athlete or entice the hesitant novice. Iron Girl is noted as “An Attitude, not a Distance,” that supports a healthy and active lifestyle.
The Iron Girl Series began in 2004 with two 5K/10K events. In just five years, the series has grown to 10 events across the U.S. from Columbia, Maryland, to Seattle, Washington. With Americans more tuned into weight control and the value of exercise than ever before, the vision of women getting off the couch to walk, run, bike or swim in the Iron Girl Series is realistic and achievable. The Iron Girl Team named its spirited logo “Grace.” Participating in an Iron Girl event involves determination, dedication, strength and even celebration. It involves tapping into the Grace within us all to achieve our highest goals.
But the Iron girl is much more than just a string of races in fun and scenic venues located around the United States. The Iron Girl Series has an emphatic and bold mission—to empower all women to adopt a healthy lifestyle—tune up, turn out, take it on. To help achieve this mission, Iron Girl has created a community centered on fitness and performance, based on its interactive Web site, www.irongirl.com.
The Iron Girl E-community consists of equal parts event calendar, support network, cheering squad, personal testimonials and how-to resources. For example, of the Resources included, a Tools link allows you to calculate different exercise/nutrition metrics, such as your BMI (Body Mass Index), caloric intake need and calories burned per athletic activity. It’s difficult to resist interacting with this site. And for those who can’t resist a bargain, there’s even an Iron Girl Shopping site that features useful and attractive clothing and accessories with the healthy mission in mind.
Iron Girl is pleased to have as its new title sponsor, Aflac, the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States, and a recognized top employer by both Working Mother and Fortune magazines.
"Iron Girl is excited to partner with a company that promotes a similar mission; one that supports women's health and wellness. The partnership with Aflac will provide a new platform and greater opportunities for both brands to empower women toward a healthy and active lifestyle," said vice president of Iron Girl, Judy Molnar.
All of the Iron Girl events include a full array of first-class race amenities to support and reward participants. Each event is timed using IPICO, a high-tech, innovative timing system, with immediate personalized results available. Age-group awards are given three deep in 16 five-year age categories from 9 and under to 80+. The top finishers receive merchandize prizes. Past awards have included logo cuff bracelets, and this year, top finishers will receive Iron Girl earrings. The Mother/Daughter Team category is another popular aspect of this event, and you and your daughter don’t have to finish together to qualify for an award in this team category! Performance shirts sized specifically for women, individualized bibs featuring the first name of each participant and custom finisher medals are also included for athletes. One of the most popular aspects of an Iron Girl event is the hot and cold Breakfast Café buffet for all to enjoy when relaxing after the race.
Iron Girl has chosen the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF) as its charitable partner, with a 2008 goal to raise $75,000. The Ulman Cancer Fund assists young adult cancer patients and their families. Participants who raise at least $750 for the UCF will receive multiple merchandize prizes and recognition at the event/s in which they participate.
April 5 – Clearwater, Florida - The 2008 Aflac Iron Girl Event Series kicks off in Clearwater, Florida, on April 5th, just in time for any collegiate Iron Girls who may be heading to the Sunshine State for some R & R over spring break. Celebrating its 5th year in the series, this event consists of a 10K and 5K run, and a 5K walk, starting at a cool 7:30 a.m. in a waterfront park on the Gulf of Mexico.
April 12 – Lake Las Vegas, Nevada – The newest event on the Iron Girl calendar this year is the Aflac Iron Girl Lake Las Vegas Resort Triathlon. This event includes an international distance (1,500 Meter swim, 40K bike and a 10K run) and sprint distance (500 Meter swim, 20K bike and 5K run) triathlon around a residential resort located on a 320-acre lake, just outside the heart of Las Vegas. The bike portion of the event is through the scenic Lake Mead National Resource Area near the Hoover Dam. As a race destination, the resort includes first-class hotel and spa for a relaxing pampering session following the triathlon.
May 4 – Denver, Colorado – Staying in the West, the next venue is a 5K through Denver City Park in the center of the Mile High City for a quick jaunt at 8:00 a.m. This is the 3rd year in Denver, and the 2008 race will be a walk/run event, and also include a Mother/Daughter Category, and all other amenities.
June 22 – Del Mar, California – The Aflac Iron Girl Del Mar 10K & 5K starts at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and will then travel along the Pacific Coast Highway on a scenic out and back course. This is the second year at this location. A participant from the inaugural event, Ellie, had this to say about last year’s race, “It was extremely well organized, and I loved all the little touches that were put into it, such as the name on the bib, the cloth tablecloths and the beautiful fresh flower centerpieces.”
June 29 – Atlanta, Georgia – At the end of June, the series turns south again to the shores of beautiful Lake Lanier, northeast of Atlanta, for the Aflac Iron Girl Atlanta Triathlon. Following a ⅓ Mile swim on Lake Lanier, site of the rowing competition in the 1996 Summer Olympics, participants will take an 18 Mile ride through the rolling hills and will finish with a 3 Mile run in the scenic Lake Lanier Island Resort. Michellie Jones, winner of the 2006 Ford Ironman World Championship, took the top spot in the 2007 edition of this triathlon in 1:17:25, then, in the true spirit of Iron Girl, stayed around to run in with the last finisher.
July 20 – Irving, Texas – This flat, fast event will be held just outside the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and consists of a 500 Meter swim, a 20K bike and a 5K run. With an 8:00 a.m. start, there is plenty of time to visit the fabulous National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and other sites in Dallas/Fort Worth after the race.
August 24 – Columbia, Maryland[/B] – This triathlon drew a sold-out field to the 2007 edition. The course consists of a .62 Mile swim, 17.5 Mile bike and 3.4 Mile run, and is situated at beautiful Centennial Lake, mid-way between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and an easy 15 miles from BWI airport. The event Web site includes an extensive listing of hotel accommodations for visitors.
September 7 – Seattle, Washington – Held in Seattle’s beloved Green Lake Park in the heart of this vibrant city, this event is a 10K and 5K run, and a 5K walk. This is the fourth year Iron Girl has been in this location. The fastest finisher at the 2007 event, Erika Daligcon, completed the course in 37:07. The average time for all finishers was 58 minutes, proving that the series is just right for the fleet footed and the recreational runner alike!
September 21 – Bloomington, Minnesota – This unusual challenge is the only duathlon course in the series. Normandale Lake Park is the site of the Aflac Iron Girl Bloomington Duathlon, which sandwiches a 22 Mile bike between two 2 Mile runs. This race sold out in 2007, so early registration is a must.
December 6 – Tempe, Arizona – The 2008 Aflac Iron Girl Event Series culminates in one of the original Iron Girl locales, and features the longest run of the series (10 Miles) as well as a 5K run and walk. Tempe enjoys a perfect climate for running in December with an average high of 68 and low of 40 degrees. In 2007, more than 2,000 women enjoyed this event, which included the hot and cold breakfast buffet outside in the Southwestern sunshine.
To register for any of the 10 events nationwide, visit the Iron Girl Website at www.irongirl.com. Whether this is your first event or your one hundredth, the Aflac Iron Girl Series makes for a terrific local or destination goal. Join thousands of other women who have developed an Iron Girl attitude—and made exercise a part of their healthy lifestyle!