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TMCNet:  Bringing women together

[February 01, 2013]

Bringing women together

Feb 01, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Run hard. Train harder. And, when the roadblock called "ovarian cancer" gets in the way, there is but one choice.

Run harder. Train even harder.

Kristin "KC" Carlberg approached her diagnosis much as she had approached starting lines of triathlons and distance runs for more than 21 years. The 49-year-old founder and president of Try Fitness Hawaii knew her path to healing and recovery would be by living healthy and staying active.

"Two of my clients had passed away from ovarian cancer but I was not expecting to be diagnosed with it," the longtime personal trainer said. "I was very frightened at first. Most women don't survive that particular cancer.

"But after getting over the shock and talking to doctors about what to do, I kept what has been my life vision. Being active affects your quality of life. I wanted to serve as an example to all the women I've trained and be a role model for children as well." To that end, Carlberg organized the inaugural Try Fitness Women's 5K last year. The 3.1-mile run was designed with her business' model in mind: "We put the fun in fitness." Last year's race drew about 200 women and Carlberg hopes for 300 Sunday, which would allow the event to break even. New this year is a 1-mile keiki run with the idea that women will bring their children as a family fitness activity.

Putting a new race on the local calendar is not easy but Carlberg knew what she was doing. The certified USA Triathlon race director founded the Na Wahine Sprint Triathlon in 1999 and was the race director for the Straub/Kapiolani Women's 10K from 2002-2011.

"When I wanted to start the 5K, I had a reputation as a good race director," she said. "Insurance is the biggest cost but you don't want to make the entry fee too high.

"For this year, the goal is to grow, continue to get sponsors, A solid 300 would allow us to break about even but the more the merrier. It's a beautiful location." Try Fitness offers various programs for running, cycling, swimming, triathlons and endurance races as well as boot camps and a 12-week fun and fitness course. The latter started early last month and was designed to prepare women for Sunday's event and the Hawaii Pacific Health Women's 10K on March 3.

"I've been training with KC for five years, started right after I had stopped smoking after 30 years," said Donna Brock, part of the group that worked out Thursday at Kakaako Waterfront Park. "I love her energy, how she inspires us. We're all here to support each other at all levels of fitness." "She is a great motivator," Heather Trumble added. "I don't race often but I will (Sunday)." Sunday's event will promote ovarian cancer awareness. It's a way of giving back, Carlberg said.

"I'm trying to hook up with the national organization so that it will eventually be all about (ovarian cancer)," she said. "I received so much support when I was going through my treatment. I am taking my experience and sharing it.

"The 5K is one of the fastest growing distances for races. It's long but not too long. What we're doing Sunday is bringing women together in a healthy way. I don't care how old you are. It will never get easier but you can be strong and be well, no matter how old." ___ (c)2013 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Visit The Honolulu Star-Advertiser at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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