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TriColumbia Merchandise

TriColumbia Training 
Important Race Information
Packet Pick-Up and Expo
Gear/Clothing Drop
Victory Celebration
Your Virtual Badge
Thank Our Volunteers
A Few Rules
Inspiration From Iron Girls
NEW EVENT - Iron Girl Rocky Gap
2012 Event Schedule
FAQ's & Resources
Race Day Is Almost Here!



Race Day is just 3 days away on Sunday, April 29, 2012! Thank you for being a part of this, the Inaugural Athleta Iron Girl Columbia 1/2 Marathon and Coed 5K! Your journey to the finish line is almost complete, and we can't wait to congratulate you!   


To keep you going along the way, at Aid Station #5 (approximately mile 8), enjoy premium chocolate provided by Alber Ulster Fine Gourmet Foods! 


Be sure to dress for the weather, and if you do not have family or friends with you to leave pre/post race clothing and gear with while you run, take advantage of our convenient Pre and Post Race Clothing Drop. 

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.

140.6 Best Triahtlete MagazineIn 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!


Celebrate Life!

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.
  • Download the Athletes Guide FinisherPix logo
  • Download the Course Map 
  • Download Travel & Lodging Information 
  • Race Photography by Finisher Pix - Keep your race number visible & smile as you cross the finish line! 
  • Official Timing Results by Sommer Sports - available post race. Please note that individual Half Marathon athletes will be using IPICO race timing shoe tags. Click HERE for use directions. Half Marathon Relay athletes will be using timing chips fastened to the ankle which will be transferred from one relay team member to the other at the half way point.  5K athletes will also be using ankle chips. All chips will be removed at the finish line by volunteers.  
  • Runners may self-select a pace group to run with by gathering near signs at the start area that designate 7, 9,11 or 13 minute mile paces.    

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.

Polar LogoOn Saturday, after the 3 pm Meet & Greet with Joan Benoit Samuelson, Polar will be conducting a heart rate clinic.  So be sure to stick around for some great information from Joan and Polar!

There will be limited onsite registration available on a first come - first served basis for both the Athleta Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon and Coed 5k at Packet Pickup ONLY.

Also be sure to check out a  special expo offer for Iron Girl Half Marathon and 5K Athletes to register for the Inaugural Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon. This offer is valid from Friday, April 27, 2012 - Sunday April 29, 2012.

GeardropPre & Post Race Gear/Clothing Drop        

Be prepared for the weather by dressing in appropriate layers! 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.

Post Race Victory Celebration  

Endurafit logoAfter crossing the 1/2 Marathon finish line, you will be presented with a medal, and are invited to collect your beautiful finisher bracelet with a dated sterling silver Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon bead at the EnduraFit Tent in the Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon Village on the Howard Hughes Parking lot. Tear off the bottom portion of your race bib, labeled "finisher gift," and present it to the EnduraFit representative to collect your 2012 Iron Girl Finisher Bracelet.

Iron Girl Half Bead Event
Iron Girl Half Bead date

Wegmans Logo without border
All participants are invited to enjoy refreshments located in the Athlete's Food Tent presented by Wegmans. 

TriCBodyMasonsolumbia will provide complementary massages on a first come, first served basis. The Massage Tent will also be located in the Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon Village, and massages will be executed by BodyMason Performance Therapy.

The Awards Ceremony will begin at approximately 10:30 am at the post race celebration.  Up for grabs is a $5000.00 prize purse! Overall and age group awards will be given.  Top 3 overall 1/2 Marathon  finishers and the top 3 Half Marathon finishers in each age group will also be receiving a beautiful bracelet provided by Milestones Jewelry!

The Champions, overall and age group, will also be invited to a special post race Champions Reception at 2:00 pm after the race.

For those who have taken the Titanium Girl Challenge to complete both the Athleta Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon and the Frederick Running Festival 1/2 Marathon within 1 week, your medal will be available for you post race at the Frederick Running Festival.  Race staff will have a list of Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon finishers. However, please bring your Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Finishers Medal with you to expedite receipt of your Titanium Girl Medal.

Show Your Commitment to Training With Your Official Iron Girl 13.1 In Training Badge

212 Athleta Iron Girl 13.1 in Training
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.  

Iron Girls Tell Us Why They Are Running  

We have received so many inspirational stories and comments that detail how much running in the 2012 Athleta Iron Girl Half Marathon means to participants.  We asked women on our Facebook page to tell us why they're running. Here are just a few answers.

"To prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. I'm running in honor of my grandmother who was just diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago. Her strength is my strength and if she can get through surgery, I sure can get through 13.1 miles with a smile on my face because life is too short!" ~ Leah

"I made a promise to myself that I would lead a healthy lifestyle, not only for myself, but for my girls. So that they have an active mommy who they can look up to. When I run, I often think of the family health history I am running away from. A cycle that I do not want to repeat... The Iron Girl is the perfect symbol to add to my running journey. As I run on Sunday, I will hear my little girls voices saying "Go, Mommy Go!" and that will keep me moving toward the finish line." ~ Amy

"Because I just turned 40, not too late to start, right? Plus after plasma therapy treatment to heal torn ligaments, fractures and plantar fasciitis I needed to show myself I could do it and I want my girls how strong a woman can be. Titanium, baby." ~ Helen

"Just to see if I could do it! After major knee surgery years ago and a screw holding my patella tendon in place, I didn't think I would run a mile ever again, let alone 13.1!! I have enjoyed every minute of the training journey with my running buddy Jaime Piper Fontanazza and I can't wait to cross the finish line with her!!" ~ Allison

"I am running in honor of my 46-year-old aunt who just received a heart transplant on February 7th. She is my strength and inspiration. When I feel myself getting discouraged and frustrated, I simply think of her and all that she has endured and also think of the amazing person who made the decision to donate life so that my aunt could have a second chance at life." ~ Jen

Check out our Facebook Page and read answers from more amazing women!


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.

 Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon To Take Place September 9, 2012 - Special Offer For Half Participants 

Iron Girl Rocky Gap LogoTriColumbia 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.

Best of CompetitorThe 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

Also be sure to check out a  special expo offer for Iron Girl Half Marathon and 5K Athletes to register for the Inaugural Iron Girl Rocky Gap Triathlon. This offer is valid from Friday, April 27, 2012 - Sunday April 29, 2012.

event_schedule2012 Event Schedule
April 29, 2012 - Athleta Iron Girl Columbia 1/2 Marathon & Coed 5K - benefiting Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center
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"


Our Sponsors

Athleta   Milestones Sports Jewelry & Apparel   FinisherPix   Howard County General Hospital 

The Howard Hughes Corporation   EnduraFit   The Mall in Columbia   Wegmans 

Mix 106.5   Gatorade   Hammer Nutrition   Princeton Sports 

Howard Magazine   Lisa Hussman Foundation   Polar USA   Sheraton Columbia Town Center 

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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