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Triathlon event gives South Shore another shoulder-season sporting event

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Besides the upcoming Lake Tahoe Marathon Week, shoulder-season sporting events on the South Shore are definitely sparse.

Aflac Iron Girl Lake Tahoe South Shore, a women’s national triathlon series, is focused on changing that trend.

The series visits Lakeside Beach in Stateline for the first time Sunday, and Judy Molnar, vice president of Iron Girl, is confident the event will be around for years to come.

“We try to set the tone and have relations to be in the community for several years to come,” Molnar said. “In some cities we’ve been there six to seven years. It gets ingrained and people don’t want to see you leave.”

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority paid $15,000 to secure a spot in the series, according to Mike Frye, sales and event manager for the LTVA. Iron Girl representatives are expecting upward of 1,000 participants for Sunday’s inaugural event and that total should see a significant spike in years to come, Molnar said.

“Traditionally it takes that first year to get a reputation that you’re here, then it fills up the next year,” Molnar said. “The police have been fabulous and everyone has been super supportive to bring the event there.”

Iron Girl offers 11 other venues in its triathlon series and plans to add four more stops next year. In its maiden year in 2004, the series only offered two racing venues.

“Women’s only events are really popular, and the fastest-growing segment is triathlons, so it makes sense,” Molnar said. “It brings it into a different environment where it is less intimidating.”

The spring triathlon, which starts with a 400-meter swim in Lake Tahoe and also includes a 24-kilometer bike ride to Cave Rock and back and a 5K run, starts at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

Registration closed earlier in the week.


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