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posted: 12/4/2012 4:53 PM

Lake Zurich to host at least 600 Iron Girl Triathlon competitors

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  • Suzanne Branding

    Suzanne Branding

  • Video: Essence of Iron Girl


Hundreds of women who are into running, bicycling and swimming are expected to descend on Lake Zurich for an inaugural competition in mid-June.

Village board trustees Monday evening approved a request to use Paulus Park for the women-specific Iron Girl series. Iron Girl stages triathlons, duathlons, runs and walks across the country.

At least 600 women are projected to compete in Lake Zurich's first Iron Girl Triathlon on Sunday, June 16, according to organizers. Like previous triathlons, the swimming portion of the Iron Girl will be in the village's namesake lake, which abuts Paulus Park.

Mayor Suzanne Branding said provided both sides wind up satisfied, she hopes the Iron Girl grows and becomes an annual village staple. She said many out-of-towners are expected to visit the village for the Iron Girl.

"I view it as a potentially very big deal, particularly in the future," Branding said Tuesday.

Naperville has been a longtime venue for an annual women-only triathlon. In June, about 1,900 women swam, bicycled and ran in the SheROX Triathlon that attracted competitors from across the Chicago area.

As for Iron Girl, it is part of Tampa-based World Triathlon Corp., known for its production of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. Iron Girl has grown from two events when it started in 2004 to 13 this year.

Triathlon involves swimming, biking and running. Iron Girl Triathlon distances vary, with some on the 2013 schedule in the neighborhood of a quarter-mile swim, 19-mile ride and a three-mile run.

Iron Girl representative Stefanie Wertovich, who handled the Lake Zurich special event permit application, didn't return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Similar to the Lake Zurich Area Triathlon, Iron Girl will pay $11,685 to cover the village's costs that'll include park use, lifeguards, police officers and paramedics. Village documents state Iron Girl intends to donate an unspecified amount of money to local charities.

Village officials this week also approved the use of Paulus Park for the Lake Zurich Area Triathlon that began in 2010. That competition, scheduled for Sunday, July 14, drew about 550 participants this year.

For both triathlons, Lake Zurich will seek permission from the Illinois Department of Transportation for temporary lane closures on Route 12, Fairfield Road, Old McHenry Road and Miller Road.

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