Michigan's first all-women triathlon to honor life of its founder for 10th annual race

Event began in 2009

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 07: Women competitors dive in the Mixed Team relay during the Triathlon on day three of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Southport Broadwater Parklands on April 7, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

CHELSEA, Mich. – More than 500 women have taken part in the Tri Goddess Tri, the state's very first all-women triathlon, at the Waterloo State Recreation Area in Chelsea for nine years. 

The 2018 event -- which is this weekend -- marks 10 years since the first-ever all-women triathlon in Michigan, and the coordinators of the event are hosting it in honor of Karen McKeachie's life.

The event was formed in 2008 by McKeachie, who was an avid triathlete and cyclist before her untimely death in 2016, after being struck by a vehicle while on a bike ride.

Even though the triathlon will have a different feel to it this year because it is honoring McKeachie, one of the co-founders wants to keep the reason for the event alive.

"We started the Tri Goddess Tri 10 years ago because Michigan needed a fun, inclusive all-women's multi-sport event," said Eva Solomon, co-founder of the event and CEO and founder of Epic Races, the organization putting on the event. "It's our mission to make sure that women of all ages, sizes and physical abilities have the opportunity to participate in a triathlon where they feel welcome and valued."

A weekend of events is upcoming to kick off the triathlon. On Friday at 4 p.m., participants can pick up the packet for all weekend events while listening to Meredith Atwood for a Q&A session about what you must know about triathlons before participating. A race begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Big Portage Lake Unit of the Waterloo Recreation Area.

The transition area opens at 6 a.m. Saturday. Yoga on the beach begins at 7 a.m., a mandatory meeting on the beach is at 7:15 a.m. and the Olympic-style race begins at 7:30 a.m. There will be other events scattered throughout the day, including art in the park at 2 p.m., a bike maintenance clinic at 4 p.m. and pasta in the park at 5:15 p.m.

It's most of the same for Sunday's race. The only difference is that Sunday's race is a sprint triathlon instead of an Olympic-styled race.

All money raised at the event go toward the Karen's Trail campaign, which is a public campaign to support the building of the Border-to-Border (B2B) trail system.

The trail system, which is expected to be finished by 2021, will be a paved, non-motorized trail that follows the Huron River from its entry into Washtenaw County near Pinckney until its exit into Wayne County near Belleville.

The trail includes a 44–mile stretch that connects Dexter and Chelsea, the Waterloo and Pinckney State Recreation Areas, and the Lakelands State Trail system.

For more information on this weekend's event, click here.