Virtual Olympic Challenge

Desirée Keegan

The i-tri Girls Hamptons Youth Triathlon has gone virtual.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit, committed to the empowerment of adolescent girls through the sport of triathlon, has transformed the annual BNB Bank-sponsored event into a virtual Olympic challenge.

“We are truly inspired by the i-tri organization and its efforts in helping young women across Long Island succeed in sports and in life,” said Theresa McCarthy, vice president of commercial real estate lending at BNB Bank. “As a community bank dedicated to improving our communities, we are thrilled to show our continued support and be a part of i-tri’s transformational program.”

The event will take place June 20 at 11:30 AM on Zoom and simulcasted via Facebook Live. The event will feature three 10-minute sections, each simulating parts of a triathlon — upper body exercises for swimming, leg and core exercises for biking, and high-intensity cardio for running. In keeping with social distancing rules, the girls will be led by i-tri trainers in participating in these activities from their homes. Throughout the event, the girls will be cheered on by Olympic athletes Katie Zaferes, Gwen Jorgensen, and Dara Torres, and professional triathlete Sara Piampiano. The challenge will culminate in a one-minute virtual “sprint to the finish,” featuring Zaferes, a professional triathlete since 2013 and current World Triathlon Series Champion.

“Sara, Katie, and Gwen have recorded videos of themselves doing the exercises that the girls will be doing, and Dara Torres is actually going to be working with and spoke to the girls Saturday on our weekly triathlon training session on Zoom,” said i-tri Girls Development and Events Manager Jennifer Fowkes. “Even if social distancing rules are relaxed, we did not anticipate that we would be able to hold our traditional triathlon, so we have spent the last few weeks trying to come up with a plan that would challenge the 145 girls who are participating in i-tri that could be completed safely at their homes. And, if we do say so ourselves, we think we’ve come up with a pretty great alternative. It’s been such a pleasure and an honor to work with all of these athletes, and we are hoping that the list of those participating continues to grow.”

Torres, the most decorated U.S. female Olympic athlete of all time, is also a New York Times best-selling author, fitness advocate, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and mother who started her career on the international stage by breaking her first world record at the age of 15. Jorgensen is an Olympic gold medalist, winning the triathlon at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was World Champion in 2014 and 2015. Piampiano is a board member of i-tri who in 2012 left her corporate career at HSBC Holdings to train and compete as a triathlete full-time. Later that year, she won the Ironman New Orleans 70.3, and since turning professional, has accumulated seven 70.3-distance wins, four Ironman wins, and over 30 podium performances, as well as a seventh-place finish at the 2015 and 2016 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

“This year, the look and feel of our event may be different, but the ultimate goal is the same . . . to train hard, believe in yourself, overcome self-doubt, and prove to yourself that you are capable, strong, and brave,” i-tri Girls founder and Chief Visionary Officer Theresa Roden said. “Our girls have shown such commitment and resilience during this challenging time, and are honored that these amazing Olympians and professional athletes care enough about them to share in this journey. We hope everyone logs on to cheer on the girls to the finish line.”

While the Olympic challenge is being held online, i-tri Girls also announced the return of the TurboTri triathlon, albeit virtually. This triathlon, which will consist of a 300-yard swim, a six-mile bike, and a 1.5-mile run, can be completed any time from July 1 to 31. More details about the event will be forthcoming, but those 10 and up can register at

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