In 2011, the D.C. Triathlon Club began a loosely organized effort to reach out to the large number of LGBT athletes in the area. In 2013, the club began a more formal outreach spearheaded by club members David Lutz and Jonathan Montet.
This year, with its club member list swelling upwards to 1,500 athletes, the Club launched a pilot project to begin segmenting its athletes into affiliate triathlon teams. The first new affiliate is TriOut, which will consist of athletes from the LGBT community and their friends. Also launching soon is MoCo Mafia (Montgomery County).
“We thought about forming our own entity,” Lutz says. “But with so many great programs already in place at DCTri, this was the best choice for us.”
Athletes interested in joining TriOut will receive the full benefits of the Club, $50 membership fee and will receive a member kit geared specifically to the TriOut athletes.
“We are just launching this project and the support has been amazing,” Lutz says. “There are already 69 members on our Facebook page.”
All club training events will be available to new LGBT team members along with some extra training rides, runs and swims to bolster an inclusive team feel. In the works for later in the summer is an intense training weekend in Lost River, W.Va., where attendees can expect to spend a three-to-four day weekend cycling, running, swimming and recovering with yoga workouts.
In addition to the club’s featured races, TriOut team members will compete in several LGBT-interest races.
“We will be sending athletes to the D.C. Frontrunners Pride Run and the District of Columbia Aquatics Club’s Swim for Life,” Lutz says. “In August, we are hoping to send at least 10 members to the Olympic-length triathlon at the Gay Games in Cleveland.”
Lutz competed in his second Ironman in Copenhagen last August followed a week later by an Olympic-length triathlon in Stockholm. He was awarded “Most Improved Triathlete” by DCTri for his accomplishments in 2013.
Currently, the TriOut members are holding happy hours every second Thursday of the month and the location rotates around the various bars in the area. Coming up in March is the first quarterly mixer with multiple local LGBT sports teams, which will feature the D.C. Gay Flag Football League, the D.C. Frontrunners and TriOut.
Interested athletes will also get a chance to talk to the triathletes one on one at the annual Team D.C. Sportsfest to be held in April. Over this past weekend, I was in attendance at the virtual Pride House event at the HRC for the Sochi opening ceremonies. I ran into Washington Wetskins water polo player Kris Prichard, who enthusiastically told me about training for his first triathlon with some of the inspiration coming from TriOut.
Welcome to the Team D.C. family, TriOut.
Stay tuned for the announcement of yet another LGBT sports team in the coming weeks.