The Aflac Iron Girl National Event Series: Strength in Numbers

With two events down and eight to go throughout 2009, now is the time to become a part of something life-changing. Aflac Iron Girl events vary in distance and type, including 10 milers, 5K and 10K road races and walks, a duathlon, and Olympic and sprint distance triathlons. Events have grown tremendously in number and popularity since the series was first introduced in 2004. And as the numbers of participants grow, so does the power of the event’s mission—empowering women toward a healthy lifestyle.

The Iron Girl Series “Grace” symbol also celebrates the strength, beauty and athleticism within each woman. The “Grace” symbol represents each woman’s ability to power through challenges and overcome obstacles—all while maintaining a positive sense of self. And each race in the series gives participants a chance to do just that.

From Coast to Coast
The excitement of these races is definitely spreading. Registration numbers for this year’s first event—a 10K and 5K run/walk on April 4th in Clearwater, Fla.—were up more than 15 percent over last year. This venue has been a mainstay for the series since its inception. “Congratulations on such a great event,” noted one Clearwater participant. “I have been a spectator at many events—as a mother of two marathon runners and triathletes—and your event is by far the most impressive.”

On the other side of the country was the Las Vegas Women’s Triathlon on May 9th. This Mother’s Day weekend event featured an Olympic distance triathlon (1.5K swim in Lake Las Vegas, 40K bike and 10K run), as well as a sprint triathlon that hosted an 800-Meter swim, 16K bike and 5K run. The event's close proximity to the Las Vegas Strip makes it a perfect “Girls’ weekend” event!

Here is a rundown of events scheduled throughout the remainder of 2009. Look for an event in your area or plan a weekend vacation around one to get in on the action! There’s no better reason to crisscross the country this summer than Aflac Iron Girl events.

On June 7th in Del Mar, California, you can be a part of the third annual Aflac Iron Girl 10K and 5K, which takes place at the Del Mar fairgrounds. With part of the run on the winding Pacific Coast Highway and through beautiful Del Mar, just north of San Diego, this is the perfect backdrop for an exciting spring event.
June 28th marks the Aflac Iron Girl Atlanta Women’s Triathlon, consisting of a 1/3-mile swim, 18-mile bike and 3-mile run at Lake Lanier Islands Resort outside of Atlanta, Georgia. This wildly popular event is sold out, but be sure to check out other Iron Girl triathlons throughout the year.

New in 2009 is the Aflac Iron Girl Syracuse Women’s Triathlon on July 26th. This sprint-distance tri offers an 800-meter swim, 30K bike ride and 5K run. This Upstate N.Y. event brings another exciting and challenging triathlon event to the east coast.

On August 8th, you can celebrate summer by running a 5K in Denver’s City Park. This course offers participants shade from the hot sun, few steep hills and great scenery of local neighborhoods. The event was voted the best 5K event in Colorado by the readers of Colorado Runner Magazine in 2007.
On August 23rd, the Aflac Iron Girl Triathlon in Columbia, Maryland, features a 1K swim, 30K bike and 5K run in Howard County.

Registration for this popular event is closed; however, if you’re lucky enough to have a number for this one, you won’t want to miss the free “dress rehearsal” on July 31st.

September 13th takes Aflac Iron Girl to the Emerald City—Seattle, Washington—for its fourth year. The Aflac Iron Girl Series features a 10K/5K run and 5K walk throughout the Seattle’s spacious Green Lake Park. Register for this event at http://www.irongirl.com/Events/Seattle/Registration.htm.

You can head from the Northwest to the Midwest for the 5th annual Aflac Iron Girl Bloomington Duathlon in Bloomington, Minnesota, on September 27th. This event is the largest duathlon in the country, and there is no question as to why. Start off the challenge with a 2-mile run in beautiful Normandale Lake Park, hop on your bike for a 22-mile ride out of the city and then hit the roads again by foot for that final 2-mile run.

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