Candidate Statement – Elizabeth Kennedy

As an athlete who has participated in triathlon for six years on a very modest income, I have a passion for making the sport more accessible for lower-income athletes.

I want to see more Native, African, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander faces in the transition areas and on the race courses, and through a project management program at the University of Washington I’m developing a program to support ethnically diverse athletes from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in training for their first triathlon.

The program would outreach to Central and South Seattle, and through it the goal-setting, time management and budgeting skills used in triathlon training would be applied to barriers presented by employment, education, nutrition, health care, government benefits, etc.

In my dream I’d market the program to the YMCA and the City, with the aim of basing it out of the Meredith Matthews YMCA and/or the Garfield Community Center and Medgar Evers Pool. Each of these facilities is located in the Central District, on a bus line which travels to East Green Lake and the Bathhouse.

I’d love to volunteer to lead pilot program through the University Family YMCA to support 5-10 athletes in training for their first triathlon. Participants would meet one-to-one for goal setting and bi-monthly tracking. One swim, bike, run and strength training work out would be led per week (at the YMCA, Green Lake and Evans Pool), with strength training giving way to a brick workout closer to race season. Monthly clinics would cover race selection, gear, basic bike maintenance, nutrition, transition, etc.

I’d be training for my first 70.3, and once the brick workouts started I’d be more of a gear-guard than a participant. After the athletes took off for their first brick, I’d bust out a giant boom-box. When I saw the first returning towards the “transition area,” I’d blast Meghan Trainor and Mark Ronson, whip out a teeny-tiny cowbell, and start yelling, “Way to go! You own this! You’re almost there!” To simulate race conditions.

There may be triathlon, running, cycling and other stores which would be interested in partnering to provide gear for athletes, with whom we could partner as well. There may also be nonprofits, City, and County agencies which would be happy to learn of the Seattle Green Lake Triathlon Group as a group which offers no-cost swim, bike and run workouts for all athletes. Newer athletes from diverse communities may love to connect with folks who have trained for some time, and these personal bonds would make them more likely to return and make triathlon a part of their lives. We have some incredibly dedicated and supportive group leaders and I’d love to see more people benefitting from what we have to offer.

My eyes are open and searching for ways to expand the sport of triathlon in the City of Seattle, and my personal interest in developing a program gives me the drive to seek and create opportunities for getting our name out, coming together as a team to support newer athletes, creating and supporting events in the community, joining together in fundraising projects, etc.

Please consider me for a position on the 2016 Seattle Green Lake Triathlon Group Board.

Elizabeth Kennedy