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Honoring the Incredible

WOMEN IN SPORTS

Vlog series by Marjaana Rakai aka Tired Mom Runs

To honor the National Day of Women in Sports, I wanted to do something special. Here's a week full of interviews with these incredible women. Please watch the videos, comment and ask questions! I truly loved speaking with these amazing women, and I am sure you will too! 

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Get all interviews sent to your inbox 

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She’d love to hear from you and is @ChandraCrawford on the socials.

Chanda Crawford

Born and raised in Canmore, Alberta, Chandra Crawford is an Olympic Gold Medalist and 3 x Olympian in Cross Country Skiing. She completed her MBA at the University of Calgary, founded a national charity called "Fast and Female" in 2005 (before qualifying for her first Olympics), and is a mom of 4 kids under 7 years old. 

 

Chandra lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband Jared, their kids and an affectionate, barky golden retriever named Stella. 

 

She is a sought-after keynote speaker on topics such as resiliency, mental health, burnout, and bravery. Her purpose is to share her high-vibe energy and growth mindset to help people turn their challenges into opportunities.

Watch Chandra's vlog here where her story moved me to tears. 

Chandra's vlog is released February 4th 

Eileen Roberts and
Stephanie Dupree

Eileen is a wife, mother, administrative professional, postpartum personal trainer, and dedicated triathlete. Her journey into the world of triathlons commenced with signing up for a half Ironman as a grand endeavor for her 40th year around the sun. Despite a lengthy hiatus from cycling and struggling to swim even 25m, she embraced the challenge with humility and soon found herself captivated.

During her inaugural half-Ironman, the esteemed organization, Women for Tri, bestowed upon her a coveted spot at the 70.3 World Championships. Recognizing the rarity of such an opportunity, she resolved to seize it without hesitation.

Accepting the invitation to the world championships served as a lifeline during one of the most trying periods of her life, as she tragically lost her mother shortly after her debut race. Training provided solace, and through the camaraderie of her local triathlon team and the genuine support of her newfound Betty Squad, she discovered a sisterhood of women who deeply cared for each other. What initially began as a quest to set an example for her children and achieve something remarkable blossomed into a profound way of life.

As she embarks on her third triathlon season in 2024, armed with a qualification for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in New Zealand, she is reminded that one should never dismiss the possibility of extraordinary opportunities.

Stephanie: 

At 43 years old and a mother of five, ranging in age from 25 to 6, athleticism wasn't something I ever considered for myself. However, in 2016, I took on my first local sprint triathlon, more as a personal challenge than anything else. Fast forward to 2019, after having my last child, I decided to revisit the same race as a means to get back into shape. Little did I know, that decision would ignite a passion within me that continues to burn brightly. Since then, I've completed 15 sprints, 2 Olympics, 1 70.3, 2 Half Marathons, and 1 Full Marathon.

In 2022, I clinched the Athena Draft Legal sprint duathlon age group National title, and my journey has been filled with numerous podium finishes at both local and national races. Throughout my training for my first 70.3, I shed 25 pounds and found the confidence to set my sights on a full Ironman, with IM Texas 2025 as my goal.

Balancing family life, work commitments, and training has been one of my greatest challenges. Yet, I'm grateful to be part of supportive race communities and to have a loving family that cheers me on every step of the way.

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Follow these incredible mom athletes on socials: 

Eileen: IG @misseileen4

Stephanie IG: stephdupree44

Eileen & Stephanie's vlog is released February 5th.

Watch Eileen & Stephanie's vlog here

Janice Mason

Janice started her athletic journey as an 8-year-old; her mom wanted to ensure that her daughters knew how to swim since her own mother had kept her away from the water, out of fear. Being too young to take the next swim class, Janice and her sister joined a local swim club. It was through swimming that Janice met Ina, a national team rower. This encounter planted the seed for Janice’s rowing career that started 2 years later at the University of Victoria.

 

Many national championships later, Janice’s rowing years culminated as World Champion in 1987 in the lightweight double sculls event. Other rowing highlights include being a two-time Olympian, wins at Head of the Charles regatta, and winning at the prestigious Royal Henley Regatta in England.

After rowing, Janice had a daughter, completed her studies to become a Sports Medicine Physician, and spent several years living and working in the Southern Gulf Islands of BC. Other adventures have included completing the Race to Alaska on four separate occasions, in three different types of boats – sail, row, and kayak. Her rowing involvement continues as an umpire, board member with OARCA Coastal Rowing Club, and distributor of coastal rowboats.

Watch Janice's Vlog here 

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Follow Janice on socials: 

@Coastaloarca

@liteboatpacific

Janice's vlog is released February 6th 

Watch here 

Sara-Lise Harris

Sara Lise Harris, a  sassy coach in her 50s (her own words), takes a holistic approach to training, focusing on enhancing ability, agility, and strength. Specializing in menopausal women, her goal is to elevate performance, foster positive body relationships, and enhance overall well-being.

 

With over 20 years of experience as a Freediving and Scuba Diving Instructor, Sara sought new challenges in the last decade. She transitioned into becoming an Ironman® Coach and Oceanman Open Water Swimming Coach, seeking the ultimate empowerment and strength in her athletic journey. Holding certifications as a British Cycling Coach (Level 2 DSU Road Cycling) and a NESTA kettlebell coach, Sara has explored diverse movements and programs to fortify her own menopausal body, enabling her to continue excelling in endurance sports.

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Follow Sara:

Instagram @SaraHarrisCoaching

www.saraharriscoaching.com

Sara's vlog is released February 6th 

Watch it here 

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Follow Tenille: Instagram @TenilleHooglandaa 

www.tenillehoogland.com 

Jamaica: IG: @JamaicaInStGeorge 

Tenille and Jamaica's vlog is released February 7th 

Watch here

Tenille Hoogland and
Jamaica Hansen

Tenille Hoogland's mission is to transform how female athletes experience sport and reach life-long health and athletic excellence. Despite her stellar athletic career first as a synchronized swimmer then professional triathlete, representing Canada in various championships, the toll of training resulted in disordered eating, a five-year loss of her period, and a decline in mental well-being, prompting her retirement in 2013.

Professionally recognized for her leadership roles in the sports industry, Tenille now coaches female athletes in perimenopause and beyond through Tenille Hoogland Applied Athletics. She leads the Element Race Team, aiming to boost women's participation in cycling events. Tenille remains fit and strong, teaching online spin sessions, participating in races with her team, and running after her two young sons. Embracing curiosity, education, and trial and error, Tenille embodies a holistic approach to well-being and excellence in sports.

Website: https://www.tenillehoogland.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/athletesthriving

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tenillehooglandaa/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@tenillehoogland

Jamaica Hansen, originally from Wyoming, is deeply rooted in Southern Utah, where she and her husband run an Electrical contracting business. An avid sports enthusiast, Jamaica began her triathlon journey in 2006, eventually becoming a dedicated volunteer and receiving the Volunteer Captain of the Year award in 2012 

Despite declining the Race Director position for  St. George Ironman in 2023 to focus on her role as a stay-at-home mom, Jamaica spent eight years directing local races, including the Red Mountain 55K trail run and popular family 5k events. She also volunteered for a decade at the St. George Marathon.

Today, Jamaica enjoys outdoor activities with her daughters, exploring new places on their side-by-side, engaging in cowboy action shooting, playing pickleball, and participating in the Ironman event every May. Her diverse interests and contributions highlight her as a dedicated and well-rounded individual in the sports community.

Dr Karin Hugo

Dr. Karin Hugo is a certified South African Swimming Coach. She obtained a PhD in 2004  at Stellenbosch University in Sport Sciences. Karin has worked with many elite teams and individuals as a Sports Scientist for numerous years at Stellenbosch University at the start of her career.

She was the Sports Scientist for the National Women’s Hockey team between 2005- 2010, which included the Olympics in 2008 and the World Champs in 2007 and 2009. She was selected as a National Swim coach to the Paralympic Games in 2004 2012 and 2016 as well as the IPC World Champs in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

 

She and her coaching team have coached numerous swimmers to various Olympic Games and also Paralympic and IPC World Champ medals. Karin Hugo has been the Head Coach of the Olympian Emma Chelius since 2015. Karin has coached Emma to various International Events such as the World Champs, Commonwealth Games, Student World Games, and also a semi-final berth at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. 

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Follow Karin:

Instagram @dockarin80

Dr. Karin's vlog is released Feb 8

Watch it here

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Follow Kelly:

Instagram @kellydomara

@feisty_media

https://www.triathlonish.com/ 

Kelly's vlog is released Feb 8th

Watch it here

Kelly O'Mara

Kelly O'Mara is the former editor-in-chief of Triathlete Magazine. She writes a popular triathlon newsletter, Triathlonish, and serves as content director for Feisty Media, where she also hosts the If We Were Riding podcast. Her work has appeared in Outside, espnW, Competitor, NPR, and countless other publications. In her spare time, she also competes and races in whatever her friends are signed up for.

Illoana Smith and

Dr Jennifer Walinga

Dr. Jennifer Walinga is a distinguished educator with a remarkable career spanning three decades. Beyond her extensive contributions to education, she holds an illustrious history as a former member of Canada's Commonwealth, World, and Olympic gold medal rowing teams from 1983 to 1992. Drawing on her rich personal, professional, and educational experiences, Dr. Walinga channels her expertise into facilitating problem-solving and leadership processes within organizations.

As an award-winning researcher, Walinga focuses on optimal human performance, exploring areas such as organizational communication, team dynamics, and workplace health. Currently involved in culture-building projects, she actively contributes to sport, women in leadership, and workplace health initiatives. A dedicated mother of three, Dr. Walinga remains an integral part of Victoria's athletic and educational communities.

Illoana Smith is an Olympian rower, and community builder. She is an experienced Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the philanthropy, health, education, and sports industries. Strong professional, skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Event Management, Media Relations, Corporate Communications, and Management.

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Follow

Jen: IG @jwalinga jenniferwalinga@royalroads.ca

Illoana: IG @illoana 

illoanasmith@gmail.com

Dr. Jennifer's and Illoana's vlog is released February 9th 

Watch Dr. Jennifer and Illoana's interview here

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Follow Iris:

Instagram @izzy_busy14

Linkedin: Iris Nafshi 

Iris' vlog is released Feb 10th

Watch it here 

Iris Nafshi

Iris Nafshi is an experienced practitioner in leadership and executive development, having worked across various industries, including bio-pharma, technology, and packaged food. Her career includes significant roles, such as the VP of Talent & Learning at Campbell Soup, where she focused on building Talent Management and learning solutions to help employees and leaders reach their potential.

 

Before her time at Campbell Soup, Iris served as Microsoft's Global Head of Leadership and Executive Development. In this role, she shaped leadership development strategy for the entire organization, creating learning experiences for senior leaders and high-potential employees. Iris also oversaw executive onboarding, coaching, assessment, and development, collaborating on a tri-annual Strategy Conference with Microsoft's CEO and the Head of R&D.

 

Currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Human Development at Fielding University, Iris is researching mothers who train and compete in Ironman distance, showcasing her commitment to academic and athletic interests. She holds an MA in Human Resources Management from Rutgers University and another MA in Organizational Psychology from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.

 

Before moving to the U.S., Iris served as a Captain in the Israeli Army, working as an Organizational Development Consultant in the Field Artillery Division.

 

Outside of her professional pursuits, Iris is a wife and mother, living outside Philadelphia with her husband, four boys, and four dogs. She enjoys participating in triathlons and strength training, including completing Ironman Maryland in 2021 and several 70.3 distances. Iris’s journey reflects her dedication to leadership development, academic growth, and personal well-being.

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Follow Nina:

Instagram @nina_a_harmon 

www.ninaharmon.com

Nina's vlog is released Feb 10

Watch her interview here

Nina Harmon

Nina Harmon is a brand marketing manager, avid outdoor enthusiast, off road triathlete, cyclist, skier and a mom. She is a Whistler, BC resident by way of San Francisco - Thrilled about a found balance of the outdoors and the online world. She loves to create marketing strategies for resort, bike and outdoor industries. At the moment she works for Rocky Mountain Bikes. 
Her specialty lies in creating robust online communities for companies with high aspirations and even higher expectations for their marketing ROI.

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