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Diva Du: A Local Women’s Duathlon

Diva DuLast year, on April 30th, in the wee hours of the night, 8 separate tornadoes ripped through East Texas, leaving the rest of the region flooded and blasted under a downpour of rain and wind. It also happened to be the day of the first annual women-only event at Kiepersol Estates – the Diva Du.

We, at East Texas Moms Blog, wanted to hear what, exactly, this event is and how iTRI365 Race Director, Cori Moore, turned a destroyed course into a day of fun and camaraderie. Stay tuned until the end of the interview for a chance to win a FREE Diva Du entry, and  claim your special discount code for all ETMB readers!

 

ETMB: “Cori, can you first tell us what the Diva Du is and what motivated you to create this event?”

Cori: “The Diva Du is a beginner-friendly, women-only duathlon. I wanted to bring an event to East Texas that could meet the beginner where she is. I wanted women to be encouraged to try something new and outside their comfort zones. By keeping a race about the fun and the distances shorter, I really felt it could introduce more women to endurance sports. My ultimate goal is to get women of all ages to discover how empowering it is to challenge yourself and to accomplish what some may have thought otherwise impossible.”

ETMB: “Can you explain more about the distances and the fun?”

Cori: “Haha! Yes! Being a duathlon, it is 1.5 mile run/walk, 10 mile bike, 1.5 mile run/walk and we chose to host this event at Kiepersol to incorporate the ‘wine’ element into our post-race party. All of our participants receive a wine ticket along with their race swag and being a female-only event, it really sets the stage for the ladies to let their guard down and dare to have fun in what is usually an intimidating environment. It’s been my experience in coaching athletes, that newer athletes don’t want to go to major events because they don’t think they belong or are capable. That’s the stigma I wanted to dispel with this race. By 9:30am last year, we had ladies doing the macarena for door prizes. It was hilarious and fun and exactly what so many of us need in the midst of our hectic lifestyles!”

ETMB: “It sounds like you guys had a great time last year! I understand you had to modify the event due to the storms?”

Cori: “We did. And that was really difficult for me, as a race director. It’s not the first time I’ve had to ‘call’ an event, but regardless, it’s never easy. Our bike course had been devastated by the storms. Portions of the original run course were several feet underwater. Roads were washed away. Even experienced riders would have had to proceed with extreme caution. I just couldn’t justify putting new, beginner riders on a course with so many hazards. At 4:00am we {my team} decided we had to call off the bike portion. It was heartbreaking. We had athletes coming in from out of town – in fact, many had been driving through the exact storms that created all the destruction. It wasn’t an easy call, but it was the right thing to do.” 

ETMB: “So if so much had happened to the course, how were you able to have an event? Or did you?”

Cori: “At 6:00am the rain had basically stopped and we worked with Marnelle and her team (Kiepersol) to find a route on the property that would at least allow the ladies to run a 5k. In my mind, so many women had been looking forward to this event, we had sponsors who had taken a chance on a new event and it was important that I did my best to fulfill those obligations. I can’t say enough amazing things about Marnelle and her family. Without their support that morning, there’s no way we could have pulled this off as smoothly. They have been a true blessing to work with.”The Diva Du

ETMB: “Wow. So you were able to have an event and it sounds like your participants still had fun. Did you have reservations in doing this event again?”

Cori: “Not at all. Bottom line, the mission is still the same. I want to continue to promote women in endurance sports, to be an advocate and facilitator for women to discover their potential and believe what I believe – that they CAN do anything they put their mind to. I knew I wanted to do this again and our title sponsor, HealthFirst, supported us and encouraged us to continue on.”

ETMB: “That’s awesome! You have your second annual Diva Du coming up at the end of THIS month. April 29th, right? Is the plan the same for this year?”

Cori: “Yes, we scheduled a second race! Races take consistency to grow. Participants want to know they can count on a race director to be dependable and predictable. And that’s important to me, as an RD and an athlete. This year, however, we moved the venue to Kiepersol’s Bushman’s Celebration Center. I was determined that the weather wasn’t going to affect our vendors – so we’re giving them the ability to be indoors. This change also allowed me to create a bike course that could withstand another monsoon, you know, just in case lightning strikes the same place twice! {laughs} And this year, we have Stone School of Massage coming out with their therapists, we still have the wine and Kiepersol will also have their bar inside, open for additional purchases. Abuelo’s has graciously stepped in to sponsor our post-race food. I’m expecting there to be fun, but also the ability to relax a little and really bask in the accomplishment of having raced.” The Diva Du

ETMB: “I understand you all are donating to a local charity and have an evening cocktail party?”

Cori: “We chose to donate a portion of our proceeds to For the Silent, a local non-profit who fights local human trafficking by getting into the schools and educating our young girls. Their work absolutely touched my heart and after speaking with them, I knew they were who I wanted to work with. And yes! We will be having a cocktail party in the evening. Many women come from out of town, this is a weekend close to Mother’s Day and we have moms, daughters, besties, who want to enjoy something together. We wanted to find a way to incorporate the ‘Diva’ side of the Du and what better way than to get dressed up?! So we’ll be having a photo booth and are giving the ladies the option to use their wine ticket that evening at the vineyard – our original event location last year. It will be from 6:00pm-9:00pm and For the Silent is offering childcare so that moms can enjoy the evening. Oh! The ‘dudes’ can come, too. It’s actually open to anyone who’d like to come out and see the gorgeous winery and scenery of the vineyards.

ETMB: “It sounds like you have a day full of fun for women! How can someone sign up if they’re interested?”

Cori: “They can visit www.itri365.com and click on the Diva Du to read more about the event. I have a link to registration and there’s a list of frequently asked questions that truly helps beginners. And if anyone has any direct questions, they can email me at [email protected].”

The Diva DuETMB: “Great! Is there anything else you want our readers to know?”

Cori: “I’d love to have women come out, whether they are racing or not. It’s a great way to support others, to see what is going on before jumping on the wagon yourself. If someone wants to volunteer, we have openings for that as well. Really, my team and I  just want to leave our own little fingerprints on this community by lifting up other women through our events.”

To register for The Diva Du and claim your special ETMB reader discount, head on over to www.itri365.com and enter the code “DIVAMOM”.  

In addition, ENTER  for your chance to win a FREE Diva Du entry below and we’d love it if you’d share the details with your friends too!

Diva Du Giveaway

***Thank you to our Sponsor for talking with us about this Local event. 

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One Response to Diva Du: A Local Women’s Duathlon

  1. Mya Murphy April 6, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

    I love it when everyone can be a good sport!! I love watching people train, and the exhilaration of it all!!

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