Colonel Yvonne Spencer, Marathoner And Ironman Triathlete Explains The Importance Of Empowerment

by | Nov 2, 2022 | Podcast

⁠Colonel Yvonne Spencer is an eight time full distance Ironman finisher. She is a 2020 long course triathlon team member, and multi-year all world athlete. In addition to the numerous triathlon finishes in all distances, she’s an avid runner. She has completed 16 marathons and completed the Boston Marathon in 2021. She has also been coaching since 2017.  Colonel Yvonne Spencer has a 28-year military career serving in a variety of leadership positions and has commanded organizations ranging from 300 to 1,200 personnel.

Building on her leadership talents, in 2015, Yvonne created a women empowerment and support network called Fast Chix. It is a national women’s triathlon group, primarily women of color that strive to remove barriers by empowering and educating women in the sport of triathlon.

Recently Colonel Yvoone Spencer was appointed as a General Director of the USA Triathlon Board of Directors. Her term will end Dec. 31, 2025. “On behalf of my fellow triathletes, I am absolutely thrilled for this opportunity to serve as a General Director of the USA Triathlon Board of Directors. I  look forward to helping USA Triathlon fortify its commitment to building a more inclusive and supportive triathlon community.” Colonel Spencer stated.

Episode Highlights:

  • Yvonne starts endurance sports.
  • Some memorable marathons, the good and the bad.
  • From marathons to triathlons
  • Fast Chix is born and grows into a beautiful movement
  • Yvonne’s journey into coaching
  • Yvonne reminisces on her favorite triathlons
  • Why are women of color not taking up triathlons?
  • Some honors and awards Yvonne has gotten for being an outspoken triathlete
  • Yvonne shares some obstacles and wisdom in overcoming

Guest Bio

Colonel Yvonne Spencer is an 8-time Ironman and long course FINISHER. She is a 2020 USA Long Course Triathlon Team Member and multiple year All-World Athlete. In addition to numerous triathlon finishes in all distances, she’s an avid runner who has completed 14 marathons and completed the 2021 Boston Marathon qualifier. She has been coaching since 2017 and is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach and RRCA Certified Coach.

In a 28-year military career, Yvonne has served in a variety of leadership positions and has commanded organizations ranging from 300 to 1,200 personnel. Despite living in 5 countries and relocating 14 times, triathlon has been a constant in her life. It has been key to her resiliency and work/life balance. In 2015, Yvonne translated her leadership talents into building a supportive, and empowering network of women known as the Fast Chix. It is a National Women’s Triathlon Group, primarily women of color, that strives to Remove Barriers by Empowering and Educating women in the sport of triathlon. Fast Chix provides a safe environment for positive engagement, shared experiences, and support for athletes at all levels. Fast Chix efforts include annual race meetups, educational clinics, fitness panels, book clubs and monthly challenges. To date, Fast Chix has nearly 1,200 online members!

Yvonne’s story has been featured in multiple social mediums to include Triathlete Magazine, Run TriBike Magazine and Mid Strike Magazine. In recognition of her efforts to “Be the Change”, she received the 2020 Outspoken Women In Triathlon Social Media Impact Award and the 2021 USAT Women’s Committee Diversity and Inclusion Award.
Yvonne still serves in the U.S. Air Force and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.


DISCLAIMER: These are the speaker’s/author’s personal views and not necessarily those of the DoD or the United States Air Force.

Connect with Yvonne Spencer

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