Race Like A Girl – Celebrating International Women’s Day

Angela riding with fellow women at a training camp in Florida in January 2019.
Riding with the ladies at our 2019 IRACELIKEAGIRL Team Camp in Florida.

A few years ago, my mom went on a week-long cycling trip.  It was from my home town Prince George, BC, in Canada to Banff, an amazing National park around 350 miles away. It was a group trip. The experience empowered her. Before this, she rode her bike an hour here and there, to/from local lakes and back home. But it was this trip, that changed her. She came back from that trip with new friendships and a sense of confidence I have never seen from her. It made me smile from the inside.

As female cyclists, we know the joy that comes from riding a bike. The independence cycling provides. The confidence and self-empowerment we feel when we ride. I started my career at a triathlon camp that had a century ride as part of it. It was my first. I managed to stay with the men and rode all 100 miles proving I belonged.  And that I did.

International Women’s Day 2019 is bringing gender-balance into action.  #BalanceforBetter. 

The two stories above – my mom’s discovery of her own confidence and empowerment, my desire to belong in a ride – we all face these. Bikes Empower women. And communities help make us thrive. IRACELIKEAGIRL is a women’s triathlon community that empowers our team members to challenge themselves in sport, encourages one another and promote change. With female participation in the sport of triathlon hovering around 37 percent, it’s a mission for us to inspire more women to participate in our sport. Our goal is to provide a space for women to connect and be a team, regardless of skill, ability, and experience. Every month we offer a variety of challenges, social events, meetups, forum conversations, and support. I’ve personally connected with many women on the team and am so grateful to have the connections and ability to bring women together – all thanks to the power found in cycling and triathlon

Angela and several women celebrating after the finish of a race.

Whether it be triathlon and/or cycling, the bike has a way to form friendships and memories.  Going on a cycling trip, doing a triathlon together – the journey along the way, can create change and empower. Communities are the backbone of triathlon/cycling. Triathlon may not be a true ‘team sport,’ but it is a community sport. We might be out racing the course as an individual, but the struggle and fight we all experience throughout the race, and frequently in training, is shared. If you’ve participated in or even viewed any race, it’s easy to see the camaraderie among the competitors and spectators alike. The energy is addicting!

When you combine all of that with the power of a team, that energy becomes electric. When I first founded IRACELIKEAGIRL two years ago, it was based on the idea of building a community much more significant than myself to connect other women, support and inspire each other with camaraderie, education, and connection at races and in training. Now in our third year, we’ve created a dominant community in triathlon where women globally are connecting, meeting up and supporting each other, in triathlon and beyond.

As a professional woman athlete, I believe I have a responsibility to help women succeed in sport. I want to encourage women new to the sport and help support established athletes alike. IRACELIKEAGIRL is a community of women and girls, providing this sort to encouragement for female triathletes, runners, cyclists, and endurance athletes. We ride/run/tri/RACE like a girl, and our mission is to bring equality to women in sport.  #iracelikeagirl. #balanceforbetter

Women listen to Angela from the swimming pool at the team camp in Florida.
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Growing up in British Columbia, Canada, Angela Naeth, known in the triathlon world for her prowess on the bike, is a multiple 70.3 Ironman Champion, twenty-five 70.3 podium finisher, Ironman 2014 Chattanooga Champion (her third Ironman) and the 2015 North American Ironman Champion with her scorching under 9-hour performance! With a Masters degree in Physical Therapy and Bachelor’s in Health Sciences, Angela graduated in 2005 and worked as a pediatric and orthopaedic physiotherapist for three years. In 2008, she competed in her first triathlon and shortly thereafter made the jump into full-time racing. She is now currently ranked among the top triathletes in the world - with 2 sub-9 hour IRONMAN performances, 30+ podiums at the 70.3 and Ironman distances. Angela continues to pursue her career in these distances. Giving back - Angela created a women's triathlon/cycling community in 2017. www.iracelikeagirl.com. Growing in numbers, iracelikeagirl is her ability to support others in the sport of triathlon.

Professional PEARL iZUMi Athlete

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