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Valley Girl Triathlon ends after a 16-year run

MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. - Friends, family, even strangers cheered women of all ages on for the final time in the Valley Girl Triathlon.

After 16 years, the annual triathlon hosted its final event Sunday morning in Medical Lake. Hundreds of women followed by a plethora of support filled Waterfront Park with cheers and laughter as the competition ensued.

There were three different groups of competition with the Olympic athletes putting in the most mileage on the day. They swam nearly a mile, biked 25 miles and ran six miles.

Sprint Distance was another group where each person swam about half a mile along with ten more miles on bike and three on foot. Duathlon was more focused on running as each woman ran a total of six miles as well as biking another ten miles.

Haley Cooper-Scott was first to cross the finish line among the Olympic competitors and it was a kind of storybook ending for her. She said she has participated in about half of the Valley Girl triathlons, including the very first one 16 years ago. Now, in the final one, she finished first but credited that to the great support this race offered.

"This race has such a unique atmosphere of support from the families, from the racers among themselves. I mean everyone is just high-fiving and lifting each other up," Connor-Scott said.
Marla Emde is the woman responsible for making this event happen over the past 16 years, and she said it just was time for it to end and go out with a bang. She also said it makes it even more special since this is a women's event.

"I think there are many women would have never tried this had it not been a women's event," Emde said.

The event also offered a wide variety of ages as a girl as young as 12 years-old participated as well as a woman as old as 78. 



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