Michellie Jones Wins Inaugural iTRYathlon in Irvine
The Northwood area of Irvine was abuzz Saturday morning with hundreds of burgeoning athletes completing the iTRYathlon (www.itryathlon.com), presented by Destination Irvine (DI) and benefitting the Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF). Irvine-based Renegade Racing produced the event, which included a Women’s and Youth Triathlon, a 5K Run/Walk, and a Junior Triathlon. For many, the iTRYathlon was their first triathlon or competitive sporting event. The event drew star quality, with Olympic silver medalist and two-time ITU Triathlon World Champion,
Michellie Jones, winning the women’s overall triathlon with a time of 49:38.
Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang and Council Member Steven Choi kicked off the kids’ race. Mayor Kang presented the awards, along with Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) Board Member Gavin Huntley-Fenner, to the overall and age-division winners at the awards ceremony. The event raised thousands of dollars for IPSF, which provides financial support and enrichment programs for the students of IUSD.
“IPSF is excited about being a part of a community event that promotes fitness and supports our schools at the same time. Our partnership with Destination Irvine and the Irvine Chamber of Commerce is another example of how our effort to provide educational excellence in Irvine is valued by, and serves to unite the community,” said Neda Zaengle, CEO of IPSF.
Race Director Jonathan Pauley designed a beautiful and scenic course along the foothills of Irvine. “We wanted to create a fun, safe environment for women and kids to experience a triathlon. Many women are intimidated by participating alongside men or swimming in the ocean. We eliminated those elements to create an event where women and children feel comfortable competing.”
“The best thing about the iTRYathlon is that it gave me a solid goal to reach for. Instead of saying, I'll get in shape someday, I had a tangible deadline that kept me on track,” said participant Ellen Bell. “I loved the fact that it was an all-female event. The other women were so supportive and encouraging...it wasn't a hyper-competitive atmosphere at all. Plus, I loved experiencing my first sprint triathlon with my daughter by my side.
It's hard for me to believe that 12 weeks ago I couldn't run for 30 seconds without stopping. I didn't even know how to swim. On Saturday, I may not have completed in world record time, but it certainly was a personal best for me.” Bell documented her 12-week journey to iTRYathlon on the Destination Irvine blog (http://www.destinationirvine.com/blog/).
In addition to Destination Irvine, sponsors included: A Road Bike 4 U, Orchard Hills Shopping Center, Mike Dunn Realtor, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Doctor’s Ambulance, Whole Foods, Sports Conditioning and Rehabilitation (SCAR), Rausch Physical Therapy, The Printery, and Hammer Nutrition. The event also included a finish line festival with entertainment provided by the Irvine student band, Breach the Summit, and an expo featuring many local businesses and non-profit organizations.
For more information, please log on to www.iTRYathlon.com