Nicole Cueno works as the Endurance Sports Coordinator and Women’s Triathlon Race Director at the YWCA of Minneapolis. The Women’s Triathlon is Minnesota’s only all-women’s triathlon. In 2012 the YWCA celebrated fifth year of the race and Nicole’s second year as Race Director. Over 1,000 women between the ages of 13 and 74 finished the triathlon this year, including almost 40 women in the 60+ age category. By comparison, Minnesota’s largest triathlon (Lifetime Triathlon which is over four times the size) had ten women in the 60+ age category.
Nicole believes the supportive environment, personal touch, and celebration of women’s strength make the YWCA Women’s Triathlon a race like no other. Those three components make the Women’s Triathlon appealing to many women of different ages, backgrounds, and skill-levels. Post-race coverage on a local triathlon website reported, “We urge you go to the YWCA Women’s Tri’s Facebook Page and click on the race’s Flickr Link. You’ll undoubtedly pick up on the joyful celebratory vibe that radiates from almost every pic… Arms are thrown skyward when they’re not being used for hugging. You can almost hear the laughter and other sounds of delight…” The entire event management, as well as the individual and class work Nicole leads for women training for the race, provides some of the most meaningful experiences in her career. She has always felt that watching others accomplish goals they were not entirely sure they could achieve is extremely gratifying. The Women’s Triathlon provides that ten-fold.
Nicole also trains as a local elite runner. She continued running after a successful collegiate career that included a National Championship in the 1500m and 4-time All American status. Eight of her school records still stand 10+ years since she graduated. Most recently, Nicole qualified for the Olympic Trials in the marathon for the second time. In 2008, she ran in the Trials and placed 55th out of 161 with a time of 2:44:54. In January of this year, 2012, she ran in the Trials and placed 58th out of 152 with a time of 2:42:33. She feels fortunate to have experienced so much success with her “hobby,” but also feels that she would run regardless. She said, “There is something magical about running. While it rarely feels “magical” mid-run, the times that is does are priceless. Even when it is a mediocre or a downright terrible run, following the run, life always seems a little more calm and manageable.”
Nicole regularly applies the lessons she learns through running to her career in helping others maximize their performance potential including passion and planning, commitment and connections, and expanding one’s personal and self-knowledge by engaging experts.