The Kitsap TriBabes

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There is a group of triathletes in the Kitsap county area (on the Olympic Peninsula across the sound from Seattle for those that don’t live here) that simply amazes me more and more each time I have the opportunity to come in contact with them. They call themselves the Kitsap TriBabes and they are fearlessly led by Lisa Ballou, the self-proclaimed “Tri Turtle”. Why is she known as the Tri Turtle? Well, because her goal in every event is simply “finish upright before the sponsors take the finish line down”. She has taken this “can do” attitude and turned a group of women into the most prolific and dynamic group of triathletes that I have ever seen. She has taken the TriBabes from a group of 7 women that completed the Danskin women’s triathlon in Seattle in 2003, to a group of 130+ TriBabes that finished the Danskin women’s triathlon in 2010! How amazing is that! The total number of TriBabe members is well over 200 now and they range from age 13 to 65 and weigh anywhere from 90 lbs to 300 lbs. There are all levels and abilities. They train together, they support each other, they support the community (park cleanup and donations), and they race together.

The TriBabes proudly display the quote “the miracle is not that I finished; the miracle is that I began.” Yet, the TriBabes boast in that, to this day, every TriBabe that has started a triathlon has finished that triathlon! What an accomplishment!

This last weekend, I had the privilege of watching the Danskin Women’s Triathlon (my wife was competing), and I must say that the Kitsap TriBabes presence was more noticeable than any other group at the triathlon. Now that might not seem like that big of a deal since there were 130+ of them there racing, but this is not your average sized triathlon either. The Danskin in Seattle had somewhere on the order of 3,300 participants this year. Yet, it seemed like there was a TriBabe around every buoy on the swim, over every hill on the bike, and around every corner on the run. There was an inspirationally loud, cowbell-wielding support group at the finish line as well as at various other points along the course and they were all there until the very last TriBabe came across the finish line. I was very impressed…they own that triathlon.

Then, just two days after the Danskin, I had the privilege of running a free open water swim clinic for the TriBabes in place of their normal Tuesday open water swim workout at Wildcat Lake since I am now a certified TI coach (read more here). I was so amazed at the turnout. There had to be at least 75 women there…most of which had just raced two days prior! I was humbled by their organization and camaraderie. They listened to everything that I said, asked questions, thanked me, asked more questions, complimented me on my swimming, and just plain impressed me.

If you want to know more about the Kitsap TriBabes, visit them at their website

I would love to see more groups like this started across the country. The TriBabes promote health and fitness, community involvement, charity work, teamwork, and just plain fun. How many other groups are out there like this already? Do you know of one? I would love to hear about it!


  • Geoff A.

    August 19, 2010

    We found a comfy spot to cheer on my mother Nancy who joined the Tri-Babes earlier this year with our hand crafted cowbells. I didn’t realize that so many Tri-Babes would be on the Danskin this year, but as soon as I saw the support that my mother (a below the knee amputee) received during the Mary Meyers Super Sprint Triathlon at Cottage Lake, they all now get “the cowbell” and a cheer!

    • tribasetraining

      August 19, 2010

      Hi Geoff! Thanks for the comment. The TriBabes are awesome! I saw your mother at the lake swim on Tuesday and she recently sent me an email about TI. She is an inspiring woman!

  • Janet Anderson

    August 23, 2010

    Thanks for the nice write up about kitsap Tribabes, this is my sencond year with the group and it’s great. Thanks again for the trainning. Iam interested in the lessons and would love to split the coast with another Tribabe if someone contacts you. I would like to start ASAP to get some lessons in before the TriTurtle and the black Dimond Tri.

    • tribasetraining

      August 23, 2010

      Hi Janet! I am so glad you liked the write up…I have really enjoyed meeting all of the TriBabes. I am excited to work with you on swimming! Many tribabes have contacted me already but I think all of them have found partners so far. If I find one that doesn’t have a partner, I will let you know. However, I would suggest asking around at the open water swim on Tuesday (I assume there is one again this Tuesday). I am sure you could find someone. There is a new appointment scheduling tool on my site that shows the times I am available. Can’t wait to start! We can definitely get you going before tri turtle if you sign up this week. We can even start Wednesday night if you find a partner tomorrow….or tonight without a partner.

  • Sarah

    September 4, 2010

    Wow — cool blog post! Thank you so much! And thank you so much for the open water clinic the other day — I learned a lot, and told a bunch of other folks about your program. Now, just have to find time myself to do it!!!

    • BASEtraining

      September 4, 2010

      Hi! I am so glad you liked the write up! The Tribabes are awesome. I am looking forward to working with you if you find time. Have you signed up for my newsletter yet so you can find out about any specials that I am running?