Close to 300 women competed on June 8 in the sold out The Everett Presson Group She Tris Sprint Triathlon at the I’On Club in Mount Pleasant. As Charleston’s first and only all-women sprint triathlon, the event has become a favorite among local athletes over the last four years and even attracts visitors from a dozen other states each year.
Participants, many of them first-time triathletes, swam 200 yards in the I’On Club pool, biked 9 miles in I’On and surrounding neighborhoods and ran 2 miles in the I’On neighborhood, ending at the I’On Club parking lot. Every year, She Tris attracts women from various ages and athletic abilities. In many cases, there’s also a story behind why they chose to participate in this event. This year was no different. Mary Chapman, who has battled lymphoma and COPD as a result of the lung damage from her disease over the last several years, will be participating in her first triathlon. Even with one lung she is a fighter.
“While the swim may take me much longer than it would have in the past, I’m just grateful to be able to be well enough to participate. I have been a part of Tri It For Life, the training group and non profit beneficiary of She Tris, and am just surrounded by the most wonderful women. What a phenomenal organization She Tris is,” Chapman said.
Another Tri It For Life athlete, Tracie Rennell, returned to an active lifestyle when the training program started 12 weeks ago. Just a couple of weeks into the program, Rennell, only 44 years old and mother of two, experienced a mild heart attack. According to her doctors, the return to training may have dislodged a clot that, had she not started the program, may have grown and resulted into a much more severe hear attack. Rennell took some time off but was determined to complete her goal of finishing her first triathlon at She Tris this weekend. Days after her heart attack, Tracie was cleared to resume training and she was all smiles as she crossed the finish line.
These are just two of the many incredible stories of perseverance, courage and determination of the women who completed She Tris this year.
Interested in participating in a She Tris Event? There are two more opportunities this year. Hamlin Plantation neighborhood is hosting its first She Tris event on Aug. 24 and Carnes Crossroads in Summerville will be hosting women and little girls for their She Tris event on Oct. 5. You can find more course details and the link to register at shetris.com.
Volunteers are always needed and can also sign up on She Tris website.