Since 2010 we have been an “informal” group of ladies from Wilmington, NC and the surrounding areas dedicated to empowering each other through athletic adventures while giving back to local charitable causes. 2012 was our inaugural year becoming a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. Together with over 40+ of our very generous corporate sponsorships and hundreds of club memberships we have been able to provide over $51,000 to 5 New Hanover local charities to date.
What defines us is our love to move, motivate each other, to try new things all while giving back and making a difference in our local community together. We are volunteers, tennis players, walkers, triathletes, runners, paddlers, yogis, cheerleaders, bikers, swimmers, boot-campers, Pilates lovers, surfers, and more.
We are active in our community, serving on numerous committees that promote the health of women, children, and everyone in the surrounding area. Most importantly, we support all women and strive to empower each other through our healthy goals. We are friends, mothers, wives, sisters, athletes and so much more! We are thrilled to begin our 6th year together and make it the biggest one yet in 2017. We are the Pink Ladies! Come join us!
THE PINK LADIES is a tax-exempt, publicly supported, charitable organization as described in section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, all contributions or gifts to THE PINK LADIES are tax-deductible. Tax ID 45-3836971
Eliza Blackwell, President and Founder
It started out as a dare from her brother-in-law to do an Olympic Triathlon relay. All Eliza had to do was bike 28 miles, her sister would do the 10k run and her brother-in-law the 1 mile ocean swim. With 3 weeks until the race, she went out bought a bike and rode beach loops in preparation. The length seemed doable, but then the winds came, the swim was cancelled and she was biking those 28 miles in 20 mile an hour winds and she could barely get off her bike to pass the relay chip. Two weeks later the Beach to Battleship 1/2 and full ironman came roaring past her house. Cheering those athletes on with her 3 kids she became inspired and motivated to accomplish a triathlon on her own. So as in most things she does she went for it – big time. Within the year she completed 6 triathlons and in November 2009 did the Beach to Battleship 1/2 Ironman! She hasn’t looked back since. She continued to race and started the unofficial “the pink ladies” in July 2010 at Little Washington NC. It was here where she encouraged, trained with and coordinated 12 Wilmington NC women to compete together. She surprised the group the night before the race with t-shirts and visors declaring the name of our newly formed club. Today the club is over 120+ members, 45+ sponsors and given over $51,000 to 5 very deserving local charities. When she’s not racing, training or motivating others, Eliza is devoted to her 3 kids and husband John. She is very involved volunteering in the kids schools, serves on the local Good Friends board, lives to cheer on the UNC Tarheels, enjoys cooking and entertaining and loves to be anywhere on the water!
“Life is like riding a bike. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein
Jane Ellison, VP & Treasurer
2016 makes Jane’s 7th year as a triathlete and she has no plans to quit. She feels there’s no better way to be a Wilmingtonian than to swim the channel, bike past her own neighborhood, then run the loop! But it all started one chilly morning in November 2009, when Pink Ladies Charity Liason Jane Ellison and her family went out to cheer on one of her favorite friends, Eliza Blackwell, as she raced the Beach to Battleship 1/2 Iron Distance Triathlon. Standing there in T1 amidst all of the fitness, excitement, and competence, Jane was awed at the athletes’ determination, their HAPPINESS, and the wide range of competitors! Always a moderate exerciser and NEVER a runner, she realized that the only thing standing in her way of becoming a triathlete was her personal decision to do so.
Jane and her husband Lucien are the proud parents of 3 active boys, Jack (11), Archie (9), and Baines (7.) After school and on the weekends, Jane can be found with her family! Having worked for years as a Registered Nurse before her children were born, Jane now fills that gap by volunteering in her children’s classrooms and volunteering for the Pink Ladies and our chosen charity. Jane is a member of the YWCA Tri Club, and when not exercising (yoga and tennis are also favorites!), Jane spends her time working with Lucien at Ellison Building Company. Jane’s other passions are gardening, cooking, paddleboarding, reading, playing house, and spending time with her friends! There is no shortage of hobbies in Jane’s life, only a shortage of time! Life is so good!
Favorite guilty pleasures: drinking wine, “Survivor,” & watching “The Bachelor” with her husband
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Elizabeth Hinshaw, Charitable Liaison & Secretary
Having grown up in Whiteville, NC, Elizabeth discovered her passion for running as a young girl, daily running the small town streets with her Dad. She was active in sports throughout high school, with tennis, track and cheerleading and she continued to run throughout her college days at UNC-CH. It wasn’t until she entered grad school that Elizabeth decided to tackle her first marathon. She ran the Chicago Marathon and was hooked! She has run 6 marathons since and is looking forward her 40th birthday while running her 3rd Boston marathon this April. Her triathlon career began in 2008 when she ran the marathon leg of the inaugural Beach to Battleship Ironman. The next year she completed her first individual triathlon, the YMCA Wrightsville Beach. Since then, she has completed numerous sprint and olympic distance tri’s and is looking forward to completing her 5th 1/2 ironman (her favorite distance) race at B2B this fall.
Though Elizabeth enjoys racing, her real love is training with family and friends and encouraging others to maximize their God-given gifts in order to reach their goals. Elizabeth’s focus is on her family – raising her two sons, Will (10) and Davis (8) with her wonderful husband, Todd. She loves to volunteer at her son’s schools, is very active in her church and community bible studies, and currently works 20 hours/week as a physical therapist.
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”