Women, girls meet the challenge in triathlon

HARLINGEN — She had her third child last summer.

Now a year later, Esmeralda Rodriguez has been named overall winner in the Tri Girl Sprint Triathlon.

“I feel very happy and satisfied because after having the third baby a year ago, I didn’t think I would be able to be as good as I am right now,” said Rodriguez, 38, of Matamoros.

“I feel relieved that I am back in shape,” she said as her 18-year-old son Oscar Reyes translated.

The event yesterday morning, starting at Victor Park, was sponsored by Bicycle World RGV. It attracted 127 athletes who accepted the challenge to perform a 300-meter swim, a 10-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run. Bicycle World began sponsoring the event three years ago after customers expressed a need. It has grown each year.

“We have had a super turnout,” said Ana Adame, manager at Bicycle World.

“Everybody is super excited,” she said as triathletes in brightly-colored spandex walked around drinking water and eating chilled fruit.

They’d begun the event with the swim, then hopped on their bicycles and rode quickly along the route guarded by police officers before returning to Victor Park.

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