Meet the Founders of the Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club

Our Founder Story

It was a blustery, cold day during the winter of 2009. The wind was howling outside … destination: Blue Plate restaurant on Main Street in Mullica Hill. Michelle wanted me to meet her neighbor “Lydia”, someone who reminded her of me, and I wanted Michelle to meet Maureen, my neighbor, friend and fellow triathlete.

The four of us settled down at Blue Plate, sipped our coffee and the non-stop chatter began. Lydia discussed her philanthropy and marketing experience. Michelle, who recently completed her first triathlon, emanated with newbie excitement. I brought my passion for triathlons laced with a need for control, and Maureen, the avid runner who also just completed her first tri, kept us all together with her voice of reason and sensibility. Our goal was to discuss the possibility of creating a triathlon club and raising money and awareness for a charity.

Our two topics of discussion that morning were the “Who” and the “What”.

Who? All female (this was determined within the first five minutes). Thinking back, I now realize we came to this decision because of our positive experiences competing in SheRox the previous year. It was so refreshing to be surround with estrogen vs testosterone. Women in. Men out. No offense. We needed a name, a slogan and a logo. NAME: Mullica Hill Women’s Triathlon Club (pretty simple, right?). SLOGAN: “No Nuts, Just Guts” (yes, we were concerned it was a edgy, but we also thought it was catchy). LOGO: A wave, a bike and a sneaker (the first draft we got from our graphic artist was actually a squirrel holding two nuts which almost made us rethink our slogan). With a name, a logo, a Facebook page and the aspiration of a website, we were ready to roll.

What? What did we want to accomplish? Lydia wanted to raise money and awareness for a charitable organization, while Michelle, Maureen and I simply wanted other women to participate in SheRox with us that year. We were flying by the seat of our pants. The first year was very bare bones. No tri suits, no road bikes, no open water swims, no money. What we lacked in resources, we made up in passion and drive. Our charity was Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Lydia generated a loyal following. Word about our tri club spread quickly. It was being discussed on the soccer fields, after church and at Carolina Blue. We started with four members, and by August, 120 women had officially joined the club. Most of the members did SheRox that year, and for almost everyone it was their first triathlon! It lit a fire in all of us. We were determined to come back stronger the next year. Our minds were flooded with ideas … we could have sponsors, a calendar, educational symposiums, spirit wear, brick work outs, blogs. We might (and it was a big might) – we might even be able to host our own triathlon!

This year marks the fourth year of the Mullica Hill Women’s Triathlon Club. In the past three years, we have accomplished much. We have raised a significant amount of money for Autism Spectrum Disorder, The Ovarian Cancer Foundation and The Melanoma International Foundation. In 2013, our focus is removing the stigma of Mental Illness supporting Change2mind. We will again host our own 5K and a triathlon, and we are adding a 10-mile race to the mix. Our outreach has expanded to young women with the addition of Girls on the Glow and Teen Tri, and we fully expect our club to grow to over 800 women. Many of these women will not have been on a bike since they were 12 years old or laced up their sneakers in years. You will see them. They will be riding down Tomlin Station Road, filling up the lanes during adult swim and spreading the tri love on Facebook. You will overhear them talking in Shoprite or at a Pampered Chef demonstration. They will talk you into joining. You may even see Lydia, Maureen, Michelle and me sitting in Blue Plate having a cup of coffee – still friends and proud founders!

Maureen Brigham

Favorite Bruce Song
“‘Jungleland.’”

Favorite MHWTC Event:
“Queen of the Hill.”

What Has Surprised You the Most About the Club?
“Seeing how women’s lives have improved physically and emotionally.”

Favorite Breakfast Spot
“I never go out for breakfast.”

Signature Drink
“Pumpkin pie martini.”

Favorite Quote
“If you want to arrange it, this world you can change it, by helping a neighbor or even a stranger, to know who needs help you need only just ask.”

Least Favorite Part of a triathlon
“Open water swimming.”

Favorite Race?
“The Bridge Run.”

Night Before a Race Meal
“2 Rodes crab cakes, baked potato and sauteed spinach and 2 glasses of white wine; to be exact.”

Most Surreal Moment Since Starting the Club
“Seeing the massive wave of pink at Lake Gilman for QOTH. Just amazing!!”

Best Down to Earth Advice for a Newbie
“Have Fun, keep it simple, don’t worry about your time, just finish.”

Best Running Song
“’Dog Days Are Over’ by Florence + The Machine.”

Lydia DelRosso

Favorite Bruce Song
“Of all time ‘Thunder Road’, right now ‘American Land.’”

Favorite MHWTC Event
“End of year bash!”

What Has Surprised You the Most About the Club?
“That is really is possible to have a huge group of women that encourage and support each other unconditionally.”

Favorite Breakfast Spot
“Blue Plate.”

Signature Drink
“Dry Rose from the Provence Region.”

Favorite Quote
“’Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim,’ Nora Ephron.”

Least Favorite Part of a Triathlon
“The swim…I have yet to conquer my open water swim anxiety.”

Favorite Race
“I loved SheRox…so sad to see it go.”

Night Before a Race Meal
“Shrimp scampi.”

Most Surreal Moment Since Starting the Club
“At our 2012 kick off meeting there were so many women lined up to get inside and to get a seat to listen to our presentation…I love that so many women appreciate what we are doing and want to be a part of it.”

Best Down to Earth Advice for a Newbie
“You must go commando when wearing biker and/or tri shorts.”

Best Running Song
“’Baba O’Riley’ by The Who.”

Colleen Fossett

Favorite Bruce Song
“‘Trapped.’”

Favorite MHWTC Event
“I love Ride the Farm because it helps the farming community in Mullica Hill. The farm stands truly appreciate the attention and we all get a bit of exercise.”

What has Surprised You the Most About the Club?
The power of women

Favorite Breakfast Spot
“What else… Blue Plate.”

Signature Drink
“Margarona at Rode’s followed closely by a Pain in de Ass at Seacrets, Ocean City, Maryland.”

Favorite Quote
“Just do it” Nike

Least Favorite Part of a Triathlon
“T1- the transition from swimming to bike….it is chaos”
Favorite Race
“Hands down, New York City Marathon.”

Night Before a Race Meal
“Pizza.”

Most Surreal Moment Since Starting the Club
“Seeing it double each year. 120, 240, 520- in three short years.”

Best Down to Earth Advice for a Newbie
“Strap in the boobies!”

Best Running Song
“‘Mr. Brightside’ by The Killers.”

Michelle Powell

Favorite Bruce Song
“Tough one … right now, I would have to say it is ‘Badlands.’”

Favorite MHWTC Event
“Queen of the Hill is my favorite club event. Putting together this triathlon is such a rewarding experience for me, and on race day I’m
filled with excitement for all of the women participating (especially the first timers!).”

What Has Surprised You the Most About the Club?
“I am always blown away by the camaraderie among the club members, and I believe it is one aspect of this club that makes it so special. The
women in this club truly encourage and support each other.”

Favorite Breakfast Spot
“Blue Plate, of course! Who can resist those amazing omelets and stuffed french toast?”

Signature Drink
“Red wine.”

Favorite Quote
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath away.”

Least Favorite Part of a Triathlon?
“The most difficult part of competing in triathlons for me is typically the anxiety I feel in the last few days leading up to the race. I
always question whether or not I have set appropriate goals, trained hard enough, and gotten enough rest.”

Favorite Race
“SheRox.”

Favorite Night Before a Race Meal
“Lydia’s pasta!”

Most Surreal Moment Since Starting the Club
“One of the most surreal moments for me had to be in 2011 during our year two kick-off meeting. We were hosting at Carolina Blue, and I remember looking around the standing-room only crowd of over 250 women and thinking, wow, this is truly amazing …”

Best down to earth advice for a newbie
“After all your training, ENJOY race day. It is normal to be nervous, but stay positive and have fun!”

Best Running Song
“Led Zeppelin’s ‘Fool in the Rain.’”

Amy Edwards

(Treasurer)

Amy has never been an athlete. She quit the track team in high school after one day because they ran too much. True story. Unfortunately, over the years, metabolism slows down and changes needed to be made so Amy joined the tri club after lots of encouragement from her good friend Dawn. She joined just to have a group of women with whom to exercise regularly and to get in shape. Upon joining, she was unable to even run for 60 seconds straight, had a mountain bike with a baby seat on the back and could not swim with her face in the water!! So yeah, not your typical “tri girl”. However, due to the encouragement and support she received from all of her new friends in the club, she has completed 3 triathlons and has participated in numerous 5Ks since joining the club in 2011.

Amy is a married mother of 2. She has been a stay at home mom since her son was born in 2004 and recently went back to work part time as a bookkeeper for an attorney. She has a degree in Business Administration with certificates in both Human Resources Management and Accounting. She and her family live in Woolwich Township.