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Realizing she still loved triathlon even after so much time away from it, Kasturi thought there must be other new moms out there who also miss competitive sports. Although Kasturi had tried forms of exercise geared toward moms with babies, such as strollercize classes, she found neither she nor her son enjoyed it. “I would rather have had half an hour alone than more time with the baby that I was already spending 24 hours a day with,” she says. “So I thought I would start IronMama™ for that exact reason: moms who want to do the mom-and-baby jogging… people who want that something else. Not just a workout, but time for themselves. Time to set goals, maybe be a little bit competitive.” STORY: KRISTEN WAGNER // PHOTO: NATALIE SEMENIUK

Goal setting is an important part of being an IronMama™. Each Mama can set her own goals and achieve them at her own pace.

The transition to motherhood is dramatic, and for many young

“Not to say that all moms in the group want to race a triathlon

moms, it can be difficult.

as their goal,” Kasturi explains, “but even ‘I want to learn how

Christine Kasturi is one such mom. Always a busy and energetic individual, Kasturi found herself in a different state of mind after the birth of her first son in 2008. “I had a hard time adjusting, going

to swim,’ or ‘I want to have a group to go bike riding with’— something other than all the mom-and-baby fitness things that are out there.”

from working and being active and doing things I wanted, to being

In this way, the purpose of IronMama™ is flexible. It caters to

a stay-at-home mom,” Kasturi says. “Then finally, after [my son]

moms who want to bring strollers and run with their babies, and

turned one, I thought, ‘Enough of this sitting around. Maybe I’ll

also to moms who want time for themselves; it allows moms to

race again.’”

socialize with other moms, and set goals and achieve them.

Kasturi had always been active, competing in running and

Giving moms time for themselves is important to Kasturi, as it is

swimming events. She began running triathlons with her sister

something she didn’t do after the birth of her first son. “That stress

almost a decade ago, and later began racing solo. But in 2003,

carried over to how I took care of the baby, and how I took care of

she developed Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a disorder that

myself,” she says. Helping others to avoid the same difficulties is

causes blood clots in the legs, and took the following six years

what IronMama™ is all about.

off from racing.

The IronMama™ brand is part of Kasturi’s company, called NEW Mama – an acronym for “nutrition, energy and wellness.” “I started

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doing some nutrition workshops under the name NEW Mama, but

IronMama™ 5K Run and Walk, a family-friendly event where

I found, again, it just blended in with everything that was already out

moms can run with their babies and benefit a worthy cause in the

there,” Kasturi explains.

process. The event will also include a 25-metre “Little Kids Run.”

She then began to focus more on the athletic side of wellness by developing IronMama™. “I found with IronMama™, so many different kinds of ladies would come. There would be ones that

Registration fees from the event go to Action Against Hunger, an organization that sends volunteers to developing countries to implement nutrition programs for children.

would be really into fitness, and they’ve run marathons, and they

IronMama™ will be hosting another event, a peak season review

just want a women’s outlet to be with other women who want

for triathlon participants, on July 16. “A lot of people start [in May]

to train the same way. And there would be other moms that just

and they know where their weaknesses are, but I thought to hold

wanted it for ‘Hey, I want to try this new sport.’ So I found now,

something in the middle of summer then they can really set goals

branching into the IronMama™ side of it is something different

for the fall, or see that their training is actually paying off,” Kasturi

and something that isn’t out there already.”

explains. “At that point, you’ve probably picked one or two races.

In order to help participants achieve their fitness goals, IronMama™ hosted a triathlon camp in March. Kasturi says the turnout was

You’re halfway through, and people always want to know, ‘Am I getting better? Am I losing weight? Am I getting faster?’”

eclectic, including moms with teenage or university-age children, as

For this event Kasturi is partnering with a personal trainer

well as young women with no children. But participants were able

from Acacia Fitness, who also helped with the training camp.

to find common ground in their shared interest in multi-sport—not

Participants will complete a fitness component as well as a

just triathlon, but any combination of running, biking and swimming.

nutrition component, in which participants will learn to calculate

“I find it’s a lot of whatever the individual wants it to be,” Kasturi

what their nutritional requirements are.

says. “If the mom just wants to socialize with other moms, that’s great, but they find things out about themselves from a fitness perspective as well—‘Hey, I was missing this,’ or ‘I can’t believe I haven’t done this before.”

Nutrition is an important part of IronMama™ for Kasturi, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition. “After I had my son I was doing the grab-a-handful-of-crackers because it’s fast and easy, or I would miss lunch because I was too tired,” she

The triathlon camp helped hoist participants out of their winter

says. “That was a big realization for me—that if I, someone with

fitness slumps. It also helped them become more self-sufficient

the knowledge [of nutrition], was doing these things, there’s got to

athletes. Part of the camp saw participants head to United Cycle

be other moms who are doing the same.”

where they had a running shoe fitting, and learned how to put a bike together and fix a flat tire.

// www.ironmama.ca

More events will be held this summer. On Aug. 14, moms can enjoy friendly competition by participating in the second annual

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Do you have what it takes to be an Iron Mama?