Valley women compete in Iron Girl triathlon |

Valley women compete in Iron Girl triathlon

by Steve Yingling & Joey Crandall

Offering an iron triathlon is a recreational activity that the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority has envisioned to promote the area well into the future.

That vision was realized on Sunday when the Aflac Iron Girl Lake Tahoe women’s triathlon series visited the South Shore, bringing hundreds of athletes to the Stateline area.

“Everybody has figured out that these participation events are terrific for our town,” said Mike Frye, sales and events manager for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

“We’ve worked to broaden our brand and what the image of the South Shore is. It’s a really cool event, cool brand and this fits us really well.”

Frye said that landing one of Iron Girl’s 12 stops around the country cost the LTVA $15,000.

More than 460 women had registered for the event and 375 competed on Sunday. One of them is South Lake Tahoe’s Kelly Lancellotti, a mother of two.

“I’m really excited. The last time I did one was a long time ago … before kids,” Lancellotti said.

A group of Carson Valley women began training for the race eight weeks ago through Sierra Race and Running.

Nicole Johnson, who operates Sierra Race and Running, gathered about 28 women (who called themselves Team TriGirl) to train for the race, which included a 400 meter open water swim, 14-mile bike race and 5K run.

All five Carson Valley women in the group finished the race with Johnston taking 10th overall with a time of 1:23:19. Kristi Moore (1:36:29), Dawn Nenzel (2:00:14), Kim Munoz (2:10:05) and Kelle Rhoades (2:16:06) all successfully completed the race as well.

“It was exhilerating,” said Munoz, who signed up for the program with a friend eight weeks ago and began training the same day, “Other than my wedding day and the birth of my children it was the best experience I’ve ever had.

“I literally came off the couch and started training. It has always been a bucket list item for me. I wanted to do one last year but didn’t get around to it. This was just a great opportunity.”

The group trained six to seven times a week in preparation for the race.

“It was pretty intense,” Munoz said. “The first three weeks were probably the hardest. The first two weeks I wanted to quit every day. It was painful and I was having to put ice packs on my knees and thighs every night. But by the fourth week, nothing was hurting.”

The actual race presented some challenges the group couldn’t have simulated during training.

“The swim was pretty hard,” Munoz said. “We swam in open water four or five times during training, but you’re in there with about 75 other women and just finding the room to swim was very hard. People were kicking me and I was kicking other people.

All the preparation we’d done kind of got thrown out the window at that point.”

The group included several like Munoz, who had little to no race experience, and others who had run in marathons previously.

“It was quite a mix, but everyone had their goals and everyone was there to push each other on,” Munoz said.

Team TriGirl wasn’t the only local representative at the race.

Gardnerville resident Megan Waskiewicz was third overall and first in her division with a time of 1:16:58, Paula Frey was 23rd at 1:28:07; Minden resident Nicole Warren took 27th overall and fifth in her division with a time of 1:28:56 and Alissa Nourse was 29th with a time of 1:29:24.

Allison Wall, Minden, was 31st with a time of 1:29:54.

Other Valley finishers were Jennifer James (1:30:32), Allison Bolognani (1:32:21), Kelli McHenry (1:32:42), Deb Olson (1:35:59), Melissa Oxley (1:36:20), Kristi Moore (1:36:29), Tammy DeGiovanni (1:37:50), Jan Lindsey (1:38:47), Dana Killion (1:39:09); Katherine Leao (1:40:01), Claudia Bertolone-Smith (1:40:04) and Cate Guzy (1:55:01).

Sierra Race and Running will be starting a new 10-week indoor training program in October. For more information, visit or contact Johnston at (775) 901-1177.