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TriColumbia Merchandise
Open Water Swim &Run Clinic
Sprint Triathlon Skills Clinic
TriColumbia Iron Girl Dress Rehearsal
TriColumbia Coaches
Race Notes
Share Your Story!
FAQ's & Resources
TriColumbia Iron Girl NEWS



With race day just under 6 weeks away, are you looking for some training help?  TriColumbia has training opportunities and clinics for you.
Develop all the skills needed for success on race day.

There's still a couple days left to register for The TriColumbia Open Water Swim & Run Clinic
on July 17th (registration will close on Friday, July 15th at 9 am,) and for the July 24th Iron Girl Bike Clinic (registration will close on July 22nd at 9 am.)  Space is limited, so register today!

As an added benefit to your Athleta Iron Girl Columbia entry, you are invited to take part in the TriColumbia Iron Girl Swim & Run Dress Rehearsal on July 30th.

Here's what people are saying about TriColumbia's Training Clinics:

"Thank you again for organizing this event.  It was the BEST!!!!  Loved it!!"
    ~Cindy S., Age Group Athlete

"A BIG thank you to you and your team for putting on such a great open water clinic last Sunday at Gunpowder Falls State Park! Have to admit that I went into the clinic knowing little about swimming competitively in open water so I did not know what to expect.  I came away with a wealth of information thanks to your teaching, guidance and support.  Much appreciated!  To top it off, I am now more confident and feel better prepared to take on the challenge that Iron Girl has to offer.  Please tell Mei Mei that I am "in my box" and "eyeing my exit!"
    ~ Robyn P., Age Group Athlete

"Just wanted to thank you all for the awesome swim this weekend!  It was so helpful and I was so glad that I participated.  I think my next tri will be so much more relaxed because of the swim and all the "tips" by everybody. Thanks again!"
    ~ Renee P., Age Group Athlete 

So visit our website, register today, and see the difference our clinics can make for you!

Train Safely, Enjoy Your Journey, and Celebrate Life,

Robert Vigorito and The TriColumbia Team 

TriColumbia Open Water Swim & Run Clinicopenwater

When:  July 17, 2011
8:00 - 10:00 am
Gunpowder State Park, Hammerman Area; 7200 Graces Quarters, Chase MD 21027
Fee:  $65 + $10 USAT one-day membership fee (if not a yearly USAT member)

Mei Mei Connor will be working with beginner/ nervous swimmers.  A swim course will be set up with lifeguards and safety personnel on hand.   Margaret "Mei Mei" Connor has helped hundreds of athletes, at all levels with overcoming their fear of the dark water, racing strategies; race starts, turns/buoys and other invaluable open water swim techniques.

Do you want to be more efficient swimming in open water? Do you want to learn to site? Pam Williams will be working with athletes who are more comfortable being in the water.  Clinic is designed to help athletes with breath control, sighting buoys and stroke technique.  Her goal is to have swimmers more efficient and relaxed in the water.

Lisa Farias will be leading a 30-minute run clinic focusing on successfully transitioning from the bike to the run.  Primary emphasis will be on finding your legs, accelerating to a running pace and finishing strong.

TriColumbia is committed to making your triathlon experience richly rewarding!

Space is limited and registration closes on July 15, 2011 at 9:00 am EST, so register today!


TriColumbia Iron Bike Clinicskills

When: Sunday, July 24th, 2011
Time: 1:00-4:00pm, 1:00-2:00pm Basic Road Bike, 2:00-4:00pm Riding Iron Girl Bike Course
with Coaches
Location: Princeton Sports; 10730 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21045
Fee:  $25.00 + $10 USAT One-Day Fee (if not an annual USAT member)

The TriColumbia Iron Girl Bike Clinic on July 24, 2011 is designed to help you address "how to" successfully conquer the challenging Iron Girl Bike Course.  Participants will be divided into three groups based on bike speed and overall experience.  CTA Coaches will work with each group to provide instruction on proper bike technique and will ride with the group through the course working on "how to" attack or survive each section of the course.

Clinic will also include Basic Road Bike Maintenance, Pre-Race Preparation and Repair including; Airing Tires, Fixing Flats, Re-installing Dropped-Chains, Basic Adjustments and Hammer Nutrition.

Space is limited and registration closes on July 22, 2011 at 9:00 am EST,  so register today!


Athleta Iron Girl Columbia LogoTriColumbia Iron Girl Columbia Swim & Run Dress Rehearsaldress_rehearsal

When:  July 30, 2011
             5:45 am - 10:00 am
Where:  Centennial Lake, Centennial Park, Howard County, MD, Swim Finish Area near the amphitheater and then Run Course.
Parking:  Inside Centennial Park on the grass. There will be volunteers and police to assist you
Fee:  FREE to all registered 2011 Athleta Iron Girl Columbia participants

The TriColumbia Iron Girl Swim and Run Dress Rehearsal is only for 2011 Iron Girl Columbia registrants. It is designed to help you gain comfort and experience swimming in Centennial Lake and to run the 3.2 mile course.  The lake is not open to the public for swimming so this is your opportunity to feel what the race day swim will be like.  Our goal is to have you relax at the start of your race.

A swim course of approximately 1100 yards will be set up with lifeguards and safety personnel on hand. Race Director, Robert Vigorito will be there to give you lots of tips and encouragement.

After the swim there will be a FREE run clinic as well.  Gather by the amphitheater to participate. Robert Taylor, Director of Sports Performance at Gordon Institute, the Baltimore-based athletic complex, will conduct the clinic, which will will touch on goal setting, rules to building your base, pre-race training, tips to improve your performance on race day, and much more.

Princeton Sports, our Official Bike Support Shop will be on hand to provide basic tire changing and maintenance pointers as well. They will NOT be conducting Bike and Helmet Safety Checks at this event, but encourage you to bring your race day bike and helmet to either Princeton Sports location (10730 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044, or 6239 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21209) to have your free MANDATORY Bike and Helmet Safety Check done in the weeks prior to the race. No appointment is necessary. You must bring your CPSC-certified helmet and your race day bike. The age of your helmet does not matter as long as it is ANSI or CPSC approved and in good condition. Once checked and approved, Princeton will place a sticker on your bike which must be present on race day.  You may also have your bike inspected at the race site prior to racking your bike in the Centennial Lake transition area beginning at 11:00 am on Saturday, August 20th, after you complete the registration process at the hotel. However, we strongly advise against waiting until the day before the race, as the lines tend to be long, the weather could be inclement, your bike could need parts unavailable at the park, or repairs could take longer than just a few minutes.

Although there is no fee for 2011 Iron Girls to participate in the Iron Girl Swim & Run Dress Rehearsal, you MUST download and sign a waiver to participate. Bring this signed waiver with you to the dress rehearsal in order to obtain a unique wristband, which you must be wearing in order to enter the water.

Swim waves will begin to enter the water around 7:00 am. Beginning at 6:00 am, we will be collecting waivers, confirming that you are a 2011 Iron Girl participant, and providing a unique wristband to participants. Please do not arrive late.  If you are not ready to go into the water by 7:00 am, you may not be able to participate in the practice swim.

TriColumbia Mountain LogoTriColumbia Coaches

Anne Johnson, Director of Triathlon and Wellness Training, has a passion for helping athletes achieve fitness goals. She has a unique blend of operations and marketing experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors. In addition, she has played key leadership roles in the Junior League of Baltimore and Howard County Tourism. She is an Ironman finisher and has competed numerous times in the Ironman EagleMan 70.3, Columbia Triathlon and Iron Girl.  Anne has a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coaching Certification, and an IYCA Youth Fitness Specialist Level 1 Coach Certification.

Margaret "Mei Mei" Connor learned at an early age that water is a haven, and to be respected.  As a former High School All-American swimmer, Mei Mei continues to embrace her passion for any body of water - pool, lake, river and ocean.  Over 15 years ago, as a swim instructor and coach, it became evident to Mei Mei that many people struggle to swim in the water.  She coaches all levels of swimmers- beginner to Ironman - to help them achieve their desired goals. Mei Mei is a Masters swimmer, and a Level II Masters Swim Coach.

Suzy Serpico teaches Elementary P.E. for the Howard County School System.  Suzy is energized by the opportunity to educate people of all ages about the importance of living a healthy and physical lifestyle. She does this through teaching and mentoring the triathlon lifestyle. This is her passion.  According to USA Triathlon, Suzy is ranked 2nd overall female in the Mid-Atlantic Region and 1st age group female. Suzy is also ranked by USAT as 6th in the USA for females 30-34.

Pam Williams was a Division II All-American Swimmer, and 3 year collegiate All-Conference Swimmer - Division II.  She has over 15 years as a swim instructor specializing in Adult Fitness Swimming and Technique Instruction (Total Immersion Swimming).  Pam is recognized for her ability to help athletes at all levels become more efficient swimmers resulting in a more relaxed swimming technique which translates into significantly improved times. She has competed in numerous triathlons, and understands the unique challenges faced by the triathlete.  Pam also has competed in open water swims including the Bay Bridge 4.4 mile swim.

Robert Taylor, Director of Sports Performance at Gordon Institute, oversees all aspects of the Sports Performance program at the Baltimore-based athletic complex, encompassing the disciplines of Strength & Conditioning, Nutrition, VO2 Max, and Performance Evaluation and Training. Rob has extensive experience in working with college and professional athletes.

The Gordon Institute features state-of-the-art diagnostic resources that enable them to know exactly how your body burns calories and reacts to various physical stimuli. A properly designed strength and conditioning program helps the athlete enhance his or her performance through a mix of aerobic and anaerobic activities that focus on theareas of strength, speed and stamina

Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon Notes

Need a Hotel?
If you will require lodging for the triathlon, be sure to check in with the Official Host Hotel, The Sheraton Columbia Town Center.  Offering a Special Iron Girl Triathlon rate for participants and conveniently located in downtown Columbia, this is the location for packet pick up, the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon Health and Fitness Expo and is located just 2 miles from the race venue. In addition, the Sheraton serves as the official pick up and drop off location for the free race day shuttle bus that runs to and from Centennial Park, the race venue.
For reservations call (800) 325-3535 or (410) 730-3900 and mention your participation in the Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon.

Now Available! The Iron Girl Columbia Edition of The Rack Jacket
TriColumbia and Endurafit are pleased to announce the brand new "Rack Jacket," a great alternative to using trash bags to cover your bike. We fully embrace the "leave no trace behind" concept, and strive to eliminate litter produced at our events. As many of you know, we have banned the use of plastic bags of any kind on bikes stored overnight in the transition areas. The bags fall off, blow off, or are simply left behind. The Rack Jacket is the essential item for those of you who wish to protect your bike from the elements.

Key benefits of the Rack Jacket are:
  • Designed specifically for triathlon bike racks
  • Made of highly water resistant ripstop nylon
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Reusable
  • Cord locks and Velcro straps keep it securely fastened in windy conditions
  • Reasonably priced
  • Team orders are welcome
Order your Iron Girl Columbia Rack Jacket today!

Be Ready For The Race on August 21st.
Be sure to check out all the race details on our website under "key race info" and "resources."

Debi V
Share Your Inspirational Iron Girl Story With Us!
Often times triathletes become involved in multisport as a way to overcome an obstacle, cope with a loss, provide a role model, forward a cause, or as a way to change their lives for the better.

Why did you become involved? Where do you find your strength to compete? Do you race for a cause? How has your participation in multisport events changed your life? If you would like to share your story and inspire others, please send us an email with your inspirational story. We want to hear from you!

Thank you to Debi V. who recently shared her story with us.  "I'm 50 and the Columbia Iron Girl is my first event like this.  I've only ever run one 5k event and that was in Baltimore on 9/11/10.  I've never been athletic at all.  In fact, seven years ago, I weighed in at Weight Watchers weighing 327 lbs.  This has been a long journey for me.  Last November, my friend challenged me to sign up for Iron Girl.  At that time, I weighed about 200 lbs, much less than 7 years ago but still not at my goal.  I don't know why I took her challenge.  I barely could jog and really did not know how to swim.

I started working with a swim instructor and joined the Columbia Association fitness centers.  I've worked with various trainers too.  Now that the weather is warm, I'm putting it all together outside.  This I can tell you, in every practice group I work with, I am the slowest swimmer and the slowest runner.  But the last couple of Saturdays I've swam 44 laps in the pool, driven to Centennial Lake and hopped on my bike to ride the exact IronGirl course and come back to run around the lake on the IronGirl course.  I'm slow but I'm doing it. 

On top of that, I now weigh 153 lbs. Training for IronGirl has been an important part of my journey.  It's helped me finish a job I started 7 years ago.

I suspect that I will be one of the slowest to complete IronGirl 2011, but I intend to complete it and this in itself is something I never dreamed I would do.  It is my hope that I can serve as inspiration to other middle age ladies.  My message to them is that it is never too late."  Check out Debi's blog where you can read and see more about Debi's inspirational story!
event_schedule2011 Event Schedule
May 22, 2011 - Columbia Triathlon - Thanks for racing with us; see you next year!

June 12, 2011 - Subaru Ironman 70.3 EagleMan Triathlon  Thanks for racing with us; see you next year!

June 26, 2011 - Celebration Sprint Triathlon  Thanks for racing with us; see you next year!

July 24, 2011 - TriColumbia Kidz Triathlon  Registration is closed.

August 21, 2010 -Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon
General Registration is closed.

September 24, 2011 - ChesapeakeMan Endurance Festival featuring the Ultra Distance Triathlon named by Triathlete Magazine as a "Best 140.6", Skipjack 75.2 Triathlon, and Aqua Velo, and The Bugeye Sprint
** The ChesapeakeMan Ultra Distance Triathlon has been designated as the 2011 USAT Mid Atlantic Championship. Registration is open.

September 24, 2011  -Make-a-Wish Triathlon

Our Sponsors

Deer Park Natural Spring Water   PNC Bank   Athleta   Aqua Sphere   Polar USA 

Power Bar   Howard County Parks & Recreation   Howard County General Hospital   Pandora Store   Trek Women 

Ryka   Rohto Cooling Eye Drops   Muscle Milk   Sheraton Columbia Town Center   ASI Photo 

EnduraFit   David's Natural Market   Fitness-Concepts   Gatorade   Hammer Nutrition 

Maryland Public Television   Princeton Sports   Subaru   Tyr   XTerra Wetsuits 


Frequently Asked Questions & ResourcesFAQ's Question Mark
If you're not sure about some of the rules & regulations for CTA's races or if you're just looking for answers to commonly asked questions, download the FAQ  

Nutrition is a key component to proper training and racing. TriColumbia sponsor, Hammer Nutrition, has an extensive resource page 

If you still have questions about specific races, feel free to email us
Columbia Triathlon Association is now on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Please join us on these site for daily updates, special offers, and race reports.

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