When Laura Tiedge, Senior Director of Healthy Living at the Rye Y, was recovering from a stress fracture a few years ago she volunteered at a triathlon.
By Robin Jovanovich
When Laura Tiedge, Senior Director of Healthy Living at the Rye Y, was recovering from a stress fracture a few years ago she volunteered at a triathlon. “I helped a woman through the whole swim part and she was so appreciative,” Tiedge recalled, a first-rate swimmer who finds running the most challenging part of a triathlon. “Later, I thought to myself, ‘We could do this — transform women’s lives — at the Y’”.
Two years ago, Tiedge and the Rye Y launched TRIBE for first-time women triathletes.
“TRIBE represents more than taking part in a triathlon; the more important message is that we perform as a team,” Tiedge said proudly.
In 2011, 30 women signed up. The Y TRIBE group that participated at the Danskin Women’s Triathlon in Sandy Hook, New Jersey September 9 was 56-strong. They ranged in age from 21 to 78, some of them now mentors having competed last year.
“Everyone finished, including the eldest member of the group,” said Tiedge. “The whole team cheered her on!”
Tiedge said TRIBE draws an eclectic mix of women. “Some are trying to get back in shape. Others want to get back into racing. Most are trying to accomplish something. For one member, it was her first time being on a team. Everyone understands the concept of something bigger than themselves.”
As participant Catarina Cabrera wrote on her blog, “For that one day, I was great and I did something inspiring. I hope my girls and my son fully appreciate all the teams they will belong to and that their mom inspired them to be great too. I may never be a Super Model. I may never be President. I may never be a brain surgeon. But I will always be a Triathlete!”
The night before the event, the team had dinner together. “We ate a blend of good carbs and lean meat. We did sneak in an apple crisp, too!”
The Y will hold a TRIBE organizational meeting in February.