Important 2012 Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon & Coed 5K Participant Information
Welcome to the Inaugural Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon and Coed 5K. Race Day is just over 2 weeks away on Sunday, April 29, 2012, and preparations are being finalized to make your day great! We hope that you have enjoyed every minute of your journey toward the finish line; gaining strength, confidence and celebrating your unique grace as you have trained.
Please read the important information in this email, and remember to download the 2012 Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon & Coed 5K Athlete's Guide, and other resources located on the TriColumbia Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon webpage to address questions or concerns you may have.
In addition to picking up your race packet on Friday, April 27th or Saturday, April 28th, don't forget to stop by the host hotel, The Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel at 3 pm on Saturday April 28th to hear race spokesperson and Olympic Gold Medalist, Joan Benoit Samuelson, as she discusses her experiences, and provides her unique insight and tips for race day and beyond. Questions are welcome and Joan will be available to sign autographs at the end of the discussion. She is pleased to be supporting this event to help women achieve their best, and to support the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at Howard County General Hospital that provides valuable services to cancer patients and their families.
After running the race, Joan Benoit Samuelson will be at the finish area to congratulate runners and to assist in handing out medals.
If you need to speak to TriColumbia Staff on race day, please go to the TriColumbia tent located in the Athleta Iron Girl Half Marathon Village near the start/finish line in the Howard Hughes Parking Lot.
We look forward to celebrating with you as you cross the finish line, a proud, courageous, and strong Iron Girl!
Continue to train safely, and we'll see YOU at the finish line!
Robert Vigorito, Level 2 Race Director, and The TriColumbia Team
Important Race Information
Be sure to take a look at all the important information about the 2012 Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon & Coed 5K on our website. Parking on race day will be in the lots at The Mall In Columbia. Please note that beginning at 6:45 am, Little Patuxent Parkway Eastbound will be closed at South Entrance Road and along the route.
Athlete Check-In, Packet Pickup, and Health & Fitness Expo
When: Friday, April 27, 2012 from 2:00pm - 7:00 pm
Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Where: The Official Host Hotel, Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel, 10207 Wincopin Circle · Columbia, Maryland, 21044, (410) 730-3900
Please note that there is NO RACE DAY CHECK-IN/PACKET PICKUP. All registered entrants, including all relay team members, MUST attend packet pickup on Friday or Saturday in person. Each participant MUST pick up her
/his own packet. If you do not check in during the designated check-in times in person, you will not be able to participate in the event. All participants must bring the a photo ID to packet pickup.
Enjoy browsing the Health & Fitness Expo featuring many vendors offering the latest in running and health related gear and products.
Pre & Post Race Gear/Clothing Drop
Prior to running, you may drop-off your pre-race/post-race clothing and belongings (stored in the bag supplied to you at packet pick up) at the Gear Check area near the TriColumbia Information Tent in the Howard Hughes Parking Lot.
Be sure to label your gear bag with your race number, also supplied at packet pickup. While you run, your gear will be held at the TriColumbia Gear Check, but please be advised that we are not responsible for any lost or stolen items. DO NOT leave valuables, cash or jewelry in your gear bag.
After you finish the event, visit the Gear Check area to pick up your bag. You must be wearing your wristband and have your race bib number in order to retrieve your bag. Gear bags must be claimed by 11:00 am.
Show Your Commitment to Training With Your Official Iron Girl 13.1 In Training Badge
Athleta Iron Girl Half Marathon participants have received their email invitation to claim their virtual Iron Girl 13.1 In Training Badge. Be sure to claim yours today, courtesy of TriColumbia.
Finishers will receive an additional invitation to claim their unique virtual Iron Girl 13.1 Finisher Badge. Badges can be proudly displayed on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and personal blogs to let everyone know of your accomplishment!
Please Respect The Area And Thank Our Volunteers
PLEASE respect both the environment and the areas that this event travels through. Do not drop trash anywhere other than aid stations and use the portable toilets, not the neighborhoods. We encourage you to use trash receptacles and to take your trash with you when you leave the venue in order to protect the environment.
And don't forget to thank the many enthusiastic volunteers stationed throughout the race course and venue. Our volunteers are comprised of many charity and community groups as well as individuals who simply enjoy helping out. We would be unable to provide events such as this one without their capable assistance! If you would like to help out with this or any of our other events, simply visit our website and let us know.
Thank you for your cooperation!
Some Rules To Follow
- The time limit for runners to complete the half marathon is 3 hours and 40 minutes after the start. (approximately a 16 minute/mile pace). Athletes must reach the mid point aid station by 9 am. Those who do not do so will be transported back to the finish line.
- All athletes are required to wear race numbers at all times during the run. Numbers must face the front and be clearly visible at all times. Numbers may not be cut or folded or altered in any way. DO NOT transfer your number to any other athlete or take a number from an athlete that is not competing.
- The use of baby joggers or strollers is not permitted.
- The responsibility of knowing and following the prescribed course rests with each participant.
- Pets, skateboards, roller skates, and bicycles are not allowed on the course.
Regarding the use of personal music devices:
The use of personal music devices is strongly discouraged at this race. To enjoy all that our race has to offer and for the safety of all participants, TriColumbia encourages a headphone-free environment during
the running of The Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon & Coed 5K.
We believe your race experience and those around you will be greatly enhanced by leaving the headphones at home or in the car. Running headphone-free allows opportunities to develop camaraderie with your fellow runners and to enjoy everything the race has to offer. Plus, volunteers and spectators will be on course cheering you on and providing directions to help get you to the finish line.
Runner safety has always been, and will continue to be, a top priority for our event. Please be mindful of the other participants and respect the race personnel to ensure a safe and enjoyable race for everyone.
Announcing A Brand New Iron Girl Event - Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon To Take Place September 9, 2012!
TriColumbia is pleased to announce the inaugural Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon. The triathlon will take place on September 9, 2012 at Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone, Md. and consist of a 0.5 mile swim, 16 mile bike and 3 mile run. This inspirational all women's event is about empowering women toward a healthy lifestyle and providing a platform whereby women support one another as they journey toward the finish line.
The 7th annual Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon, the most popular event in the Iron Girl series, sold out in less than four hours and will take place August 19 at Centennial Lake Park in Columbia, Md. Earlier this year, the Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon was named the "Best Women's Event" in the Mid-Atlantic by Competitor Magazine.
Registration for the 2012 Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon opened on April 10, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. Registration is $135 for USAT members, $145 for non-USAT members and $235 for a three person relay team. The prize purse is $4,999 for all competitors except relays. For more information and to register for the Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon visit TriColumbia.org
Follow All The Excitement On Race Day With TriColumbia TriLights
Once again, TriColumbia will be live blogging all the race excitement. Friends and family can follow the race on our website. Go to Tricolumbia.org, and click on the TriLights Drop Down under the News tab. Check out the TriColumbia Facebook page for updates as well.
An Inspirational Story From One Of Our Participants
Often participants become involved in endurance events 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 endurance events changed your life? If you would like to share your story and inspire others, please send us an email with your inspirational story.
Please take the time to read a personal story recently submitted in the athlete's own words. Ayanna inspires us all to work hard to reach our goals, and to become role models. We wish Ayanna and all Iron Girls a successful and meaningful journey to the finish line!
My name is Ayanna and I'm the "Big Girl."
What a funny term that people use for any woman who isn't model-tv-skinny?
Imagine that as beautiful as Marilyn Monroe was back then, even she herself according to our ridiculous standards of what the female body should be, is considered to be, dare I say it, a "Big Girl."
I remember not being considered that cute when I was younger and it really affecting me as an adult.
So the term "big girl" for me was synonymous with "unattractive" which was what I already thought I was even before I was even considered "big", just because I'd heard all the other negative things about my looks growing up.
The funny thing is, I wasn't big then, in fact I was in really good shape. Two kids, two cup sizes and a nice healthy set of hips LATER however, big was actually more of my reality.
Little did I know that not only was I now a "Big girl", I was also "BEAUTIFUL GIRL", I just didn't know it yet. To be honest though, I still struggle with telling myself and believing that statement everyday, But I make a daily effort to make it my reality.
Unfortunately I've never been athletic and while I had the sincere desire to be fit and fabulous like some of my friends and significant other, it just never really happened for me. Even in basic training, when I was literally the skinniest I would ever be in my ENTIRE lifetime, I was still huffing and puffing and sweating like a pig to BARELY make my 1.5 mile run in the minimum required TWENTY ONE MINUTES.
Sad I know, especially since I was only 20 and should have been breezing through that run with my eyes closed!! I didn't run anymore after basic training really, I kind of cruised through the rest of my military career with a knee waiver and a lot of excuses about why I wasn't able to make that run this morning..DARN.
By the time I started trying to run again, even though it was slow as all hell, and I was now in my thirties, I still never could get past the DD's that were in front of me, jogging super hard as well and cheerfully keeping up with my pace.
I would always give up, and while most folks would give up and at least walk, I would just stop completely, look around at all the fit jogger/walkers going on ahead of me, and sheepishly head for the car and nearest cool beverage.
This is what brought me to Iron Girl however:
I overcame being put in group home's and foster care and being an abuse victim as a child.
I overcame joining the Air Force in an effort to try and make something of myself DESPITE my awful odds and background.
I overcame becoming a single mother at the age of 21, balancing my military career AND motherhood.
I overcame a failed, verbally abusive marriage, where I was called ugly and fat regularly in an effort to destroy the little esteem I had.
I overcame being a single mother of TWO as opposed to one and STILL meeting my goal of purchasing my first home by thirty!!
Most importantly, I overcame my fears and insecurities and was then able to find true love with the most special person in the whole world. I accepted and finally FEEL beautiful and comfy in my own skin as a result. I smile when I look in the mirror. I let my Afro ROCK out and don't care what anyone thinks about it because I FEEL like a rock star everyday!
SO if I can beat the odds in ALL other aspects of my life.
WHY can't I trick my body into thinking it's ATHLETIC?!
I'm laughing super loud right now because truly, I may never be athletic, but one thing I have NEVER been in terms of my kids and my career is a QUITTER.
So I'm NOT about to continue to QUIT when it comes to physical challenges.
I am going to train my butt off from now until the day this race starts. I am going to buy the best,
super- duper sports bra available and harness my twin joggers in front of me down! And even with ALL of that it still may take me awhile to complete this race.
My biggest fear is that they may be literally cleaning up the roads and all the other racers may have all gone home and god forbid I may even have to finish it on the side of the road, but dammit I will finish this.
My supportive, gorgeous and most awesome spouse and my daughters ages 7 and 13, will still be there regardless, cheering me on, and I have to show my girls that Mommy is indeed an "IRONGIRL", so they know that inside of them is an IRONGIRL too!
I'm challenging MYSELF, this is a race against all my fears and insecurities and all those who tried to take my light and make me feel bad about who I am and what I look like, and I plan on WINNING.
#TEAM AYANNA!!! :-)
|2012 Event Schedule
April 29, 2012 - Athleta Iron Girl Columbia 1/2 Marathon & Coed 5K - benefiting Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center - Registration is open
In addition to an awesome inaugural medal, Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon finishers will receive a bracelet with a special commemorative sterling silver Iron Girl 13.1 bead.
May 20, 2012 - Columbia Triathlon - Registration is open - only a few slots remain.
June 3, 2012 - Blackwater Duathlon - USAT National Long Course Duathlon Championship - Registration is open
June 10, 2012 - Ironman 70.3 EagleMan Triathlon & AquaVelo - Registration is closed - contact charity teams for possible entry opportunities or contact us for a CTA Community Slot.
**The EagleMan 2012 Aqua Velo has been named by the USAT Mid Atlantic Regional Committee as the 2012 Regional Championship.
June 24, 2012 - Celebrating Heroes Triathlon benefiting MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital Network. Registration is open
July 22, 2012 - TriColumbia Kidz Triathlon Registration is open
August 19, 2012 - Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon - Registration is closed - contact charity teams for possible entry opportunities. CTA Community Slot are no longer available.
September 9, 2012 - Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon - Registration is open
September 29, 2012 - ChesapeakeMan Endurance Festival benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation® of the Mid-Atlantic featuring the Ultra Distance Triathlon, Skipjack 75.2 Triathlon, Aquabike & Bugeye Classic (intermediate distance) - Registration is open.
** The ChesapeakeMan Ultra Distance Triathlon has been designated as the 2012 USAT Mid Atlantic Championship and was named by Triathlete Magazine as a "Best 140.6"
|Frequently Asked Questions & Resources |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
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