Renee Makimaa - A SOAS Brand Ambassador's take on training through injury.

I am an endurance junky. I love racing the 70.3 distance. Although training for it can sometimes be a challenge. I work full time and have two young daughters, so every minute of my day is put to use. Up for the first workout before the sun comes up and back for the second workout after work. I never considered racing a 140.6. I didn’t know how I could possibly find more time to train. Well, this was the year. After coming home from the NYC Marathon last year, I decided to sign up for Ironman Florida. During my training for New York, I struggled with Achilles issues. It took me a while to feel good again after that race. In January, I raced HITS Naples 70.3. I struggled through the run. My left shin gave me terrible trouble. A few weeks later, I knew I was in trouble when my gate changed in an effort to avoid the pain. So I spent the next two months swimming and biking and doing therapy on my leg in hopes to be back on the road soon.


After taking the directed time off from running, I slowly started back on the road. Three weeks into it, I had another crippling run. Beyond frustrated, I went for an MRI which confirmed a Tibia stress fracture. Into the boot I went for the next 7 weeks.
As I often do when I am struggling, I thought of my amazing SOAS teammates. These are some of the strongest women I know. They inspire me every day with their amazing accomplishments. A group of women who have become my family. We share our journeys with each other. The training, the racing, the struggles, the injuries, the magical moments of exceeding our goals. We support each other in sport and in life. We share our triumphs and our struggles, from work stress, to being a single parent, to difficulties starting a family, to divorce, to devastating life threatening diagnosis. And we are reminded that it is the struggles that pull us closer together and make us stronger as a team and an individual. It is in these moments that I find gratitude.

I am now 11 weeks out from Ironman Florida. I have spent a lot of time focused on my swim and my bike, but have much room for improvement. I worry about how I will hold up on the run. But I am listening to my coach. I believe in him. Knowing that whatever race day has in store for me, I know I will have done everything I possibly could have to be prepared.

I chose this. I am enjoying the journey; because it is not just about race day, but all of the moments that bring you to the start line. And those are the moments that I will take with me on race day.

So when the alarm goes off at 4am for my first workout, the question I ask myself is, “How bad do you want it?”…and the answer is my feet hitting the floor.

- Renee Makimaa

San Diego, CA – SOAS Racing proudly announces In The Gym, a collection of workout wear and fitness-inspired lifestyle apparel designed to answer every woman’s need for functional, fashionable, fabulous-fitting basics for spin class, weight training, Pilates or casual coffee shop comfort.
“In The Gym has something for every woman,” says SOAS Racing founder Steph Swanson. “Whether fitness classes are your main focus, or you’re a hard-core cyclist or triathlete looking for subtle yet sophisticated gear when you take your training inside, In The Gym satisfies your needs with the same attention to design and detail as all our SOAS Racing gear. Plus, the lifestyle pieces provide fantastic casual kick around or travel options, when the desire for comfort and style go hand in hand.”
The original women’s specific triathlon apparel brand founded in 2010, SOAS Racing added cycling and running apparel and accessories to the mix in 2012. Recently, SOAS launched the company’s first comprehensive line for discerning female cyclists. With the addition of the In The Gym collection, the brand expands its reach to embrace women interested in a broader range of fitness and healthy lifestyle activities.

“SOAS is known around the world for our bright, bold, unique designs,” says
Swanson. “While that is certainly our signature style, we know there are times
when women simply want a solid black short. With In The Gym, you have basics that go above and beyond in terms of unbeatable function and flattering fit.”
The SOAS Racing In The Gym collection includes a tri/spin tank and short, a flowy tech fabric tank, a cross-back bra, a tech fabric board short and a casual jogger pant. As with all SOAS Racing apparel, In The Gym is designed and developed in-house in San Diego, with all items in stock now and available for international purchase at

Proudly made and designed in Southern California, SOAS Racing is women’s specific sports and lifestyle apparel at its best. Originally inspired by women triathletes in search of training and racing gear that ticks the boxes of fashion, fit and function, SOAS Racing has evolved to appeal to cyclists, runners, yoginis, wahines and any woman wanting to look and feel fine – whether on the race course or at the coffee shop. Learn more and explore the entire SOAS Racing line at

Media contact:
Holly Bennett

San Diego, CA – SOAS Racing, widely recognized as a pioneering brand in women’s athletic apparel, today rolls out the company’s first comprehensive cycling specific product line. The 2016 SOAS Cycling collection includes performance bib shorts, jerseys vests, baselayers and warmers.

“SOAS Cycling developed in direct response to customer demand,” says SOAS Racing founder Steph Swanson. “We have a loyal following of women athletes who have been begging for bib shorts and more bike-specific apparel that delivers on the ‘fashion, fit, function’ mission of our brand. We’ve had countless requests from female cyclists to expand further into that market.”

While SOAS Racing was originally established in 2010 in order to fill the void in the women’s triathlon market, Swanson says she quickly realized that the call for apparel designed to satisfy savvy, stylish sportswomen went beyond the swim-bike-run racing niche. “There was a whole lot of ‘pink it and shrink it’ – but not a whole lot else – available to women cyclists, runners and even gym-goers,” says Swanson.

In 2012, the company added a variety of cycling and running apparel to the SOAS product mix. “We’ve offered certain core bike and run specific items for several years, but this is our first foray into a full product line with a design focus targeted to the unique demands of cycling,” says Swanson. “Our ultimate goal is to create a comprehensive line specific to each of these markets and more, so that athletic women will feel comfortable and catered to, both performance and style-wise, while working out and hanging out.”

The SOAS Cycling line offers numerous features key to spending quality time in the saddle, while simultaneously embracing the brand’s distinctive aesthetic style. The bib short features premium fully lined compression fabric, designed to withstand rigorous wear and which is fully sublimated from strap to hem. Additional details include a custom Italian-made chamois, No-Need Grip leg openings, two secret side stash pockets and chafe-resistant merrow seaming.

The jersey combines aerodynamic R.P. FLEK and MICRO FLESHFLEK fabrics, Sleek Sleeve design, a full-length locking zipper with smooth single-hand operation, a rear no-rise hem gripper and three back storage pockets. The cycling vest features MICRO WOVENFLEK fabric and ventilating mesh panels, a full-length locking zipper and a bias-cut hem to prevent riding up. Rounding out the cycling line are highly breathable, body-contoured baselayers and cozy arm and knee warmers, with THERMAFLEK fabric and three-panel anatomic construction.

SOAS Cycling apparel is designed, developed and fully-sublimated in-house in San Diego and available in each of the brand’s bold new 2016 graphic collections: Aquarius, Byron Bay, Red Geo and Ultramarine. The bib shorts, jerseys, vests and warmers are in stock now, with baselayers coming soon. All items are available for international purchase at

Proudly made and designed in Southern California, SOAS Racing is women’s specific sports and lifestyle apparel at its best. Originally inspired by women triathletes in search of training and racing gear that ticks the boxes of fashion, fit and function, SOAS Racing has evolved to appeal to cyclists, runners, yoginis, wahines and any woman wanting to look and feel fine – whether on the race course or at the coffee shop. Learn more and explore the entire SOAS Racing line at


Media contact:
Holly Bennett

San Diego, CA – At the forefront of innovation in women’s specific endurance apparel, SOAS Racing wows again with the introduction of four fresh new 2016 designs: Aquarius, Byron Bay, Red Geo and Ultramarine. The core of the brand’s 2016 collection, the new designs will integrate across the full range of SOAS Racing triathlon, cycling and running styles.

“Our design language reflects the vibe of our brand,” says Steph Swanson, owner and founder of SOAS Racing. “Our products project confidence and outside-the-box style. They’re created to help women achieve their personal performance goals in comfortable, functional apparel that’s infused with a unique sense of fashion and fun. We’re thrilled to introduce our 2016 collection and to start seeing these vibrant new designs in action on women around the world.”

The vanguard brand in performance apparel crafted by and for women, SOAS Racing’s popularity has grown ceaselessly since the company was established in 2010. Originally developed as a sophisticated and sassy style solution for women triathletes seeking more than a simple “shrink it and pink it” approach to training and racing apparel, the brand has evolved in response to consumer demand and an ever-increasing number of discerning female athletes.

Today, SOAS product offerings include triathlon, cycling and running performance apparel and accessories, along with a flourishing lifestyle line with pieces geared toward casual comfort coupled with fitness-inspired fashion.

Fundamental to the brand’s success and deep-seated sense of female-focused community is the SOAS Racing Ambassador Team, a global group of 100-plus women representing a wide variety of athletic backgrounds and abilities, united in their passion for sport and style. Highly active and always eager to support the efforts of their SOAS sisters as well as aspiring women athletes everywhere, SOAS ambassadors are easily identifiable in their standout custom team kits. The 2016 SOAS Racing Ambassador Team welcome packages shipped last week and the exclusive blue stripe team design will debut soon on race courses worldwide.

All four in-line 2016 SOAS Racing designs are in stock now and available for international purchase in tri tank, tri short, run tight and sports bra styles at Watch for run shorts, run tanks, cycling jerseys and arm warmers to follow in the weeks ahead.

Proudly made and designed in Southern California, SOAS Racing is women’s specific sports and lifestyle apparel at its best. Originally inspired by women triathletes in search of training and racing gear that ticks the boxes of fashion, fit and function, SOAS Racing has evolved to appeal to cyclists, runners, yoginis, wahines and any woman wanting to look and feel fine – whether on the race course or at the coffee shop. Learn more and explore the entire SOAS Racing line at

Media contact:
Holly Bennett

2015: That’s A Wrap

January 20, 2016

Actually, this is a wrap:

Our Wrap Hoodie is a new piece in our growing line of lifestyle apparel. Because let’s face it, as much as we thrive on exercise, not every moment is spent running, riding or downward dogging. We aim to provide women with same unparalleled design and comfort in everyday wear that that we offer in our training and racing gear – and we’re just getting started down this fun, fashionable path. Watch for more style-savvy SOAS lifestyle pieces in the year ahead.

But first, back to 2015. It was a busy (and we mean BUSY) year for us, with lots of happenings in-house at SOAS’ San Diego HQ and at events around the world and among our ambassador team.

One of the biggest moves for us this year was a literal one – our move to a brand new building. The hard labor of lugging boxes, office equipment and sewing and sublimation machines is done, while settling in and decorating properly is an ongoing (and fun) project. It's the perfect space to fit our rapidly growing business. We promise proper pics soon, but here’s a teaser of the move in progress:

The ink was barely dry on our new building deal when it was time to pack for a week in Kona at the Ironman World Championship. In addition to glowing tans, Kona gives us a chance to meet up with a number of our ambassadors from around the globe, to cheer our hearts out for those racing and to make many new friends. This year, Kona was also a launchpad for our first kit for men. We introduced the premier design under the HANSYM label, SOAS’ brother brand. We were thrilled to see this guy race in his brand new kit, a mobile showcase up and down the lava fields:


Another highlight of 2015 was our ambassador team. This group of ladies – over 100 strong, from all corners of the globe – are impressive ambassadors in the public eye, proudly sporting SOAS and spreading their passion for and knowledge of the brand wherever they swim, bike, run and play. But something many of you are not privy to is the way in which they also share the love behind the scenes. The encouragement between our teammates is nothing short of inspirational. Many of these women have yet to meet in person, but they’ve formed bonds of friendship and sisterhood that transcend the miles, advising and counseling one another on training, nutrition, gear, body image issues, relationships – you name it! It’s an honor for us to provide a foundation for this team and to witness these friendships grow.

An adventurous team of SOAS Racing ambassadors and staff tackled a Ragnar Relay together in the fall. Oh, the things you learn about your friends and teammates after 24 hours together in a van! We all survived to tell about it, and plans are already in the works for another relay this year.

We spent the final month of 2015 culling through thousands of applications for our ambassador team. Now, with a mix of exuberant veterans and excited newbies in place, we’re hard at work on the many items that make up their team package. Here’s a sneak peek at the 2016 racing kit:

Stay tuned for more from both SOAS and HANSYM in the months to come. We're ready to rock out plenty of stylin’ surprises, and we can’t wait to hear what you think about all our latest and greatest gear. Happy New Year everyone!

- the SOAS crew

San Diego, CA – A trailblazing brand in endurance sport and lifestyle apparel, SOAS Racing announces the debut of brother brand HANSYM Racing, fashionable and functional triathlon gear designed specifically for men. HANSYM will debut to the public at this week’s Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
The launch of HANSYM marks the long-awaited response to demand from the male endurance athlete counterparts of SOAS Racing’s loyal female customer base. Husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, boyfriends and training buddies alike have been clamoring for equal footing in the fitness fashion realm, and HANSYM offers an original and edgy take on triathlon apparel to satisfy the most discerning male competitors.
“We’re thrilled to bring HANSYM to life and clothe our men in gear on par with SOAS’ unique style,” says Steph Swanson, owner and founder of SOAS and HANSYM. “In a sport where men’s kit are mostly limited to red, black and blue color palettes, we chose to amp up the fashion options while providing feel-good quality training and racing apparel in sync with the fun SOAS vibe. The guys deserve nothing less!”
The Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii will serve as HANSYM’s public launch, with an exclusive collection of the initial Island Lights design available for sale onsite at the SOAS/HANSYM pop-up boutique during race week, as well as online at post-Kona. Four additional designs will debut in early 2016.
Trendsetting style and sophisticated performance are the signature marks of HANSYM Racing, triathlon apparel designed specifically for men. The sibling brand to women’s endurance sport and lifestyle apparel brand SOAS Racing, HANSYM reflects the edgy style of men that want to look good from head to toe. Made entirely in Southern California, HANSYM is the brand for men who live life to the fullest, and also love to swim, bike and run. Learn more and explore the entire HANSYM Racing line at
Proudly made and designed in Southern California, SOAS Racing is women’s specific sports and lifestyle apparel at its best. Originally inspired by women triathletes in search of training and racing gear that ticks the boxes of fashion, fit and function, SOAS Racing has evolved to appeal to cyclists, runners, yoginis, wahines and any woman wanting to look and feel fine – whether on the race course or at the coffee shop. Learn more and explore the entire SOAS Racing line at


Three New Lifestyle Designs To Debut On The Big Island
San Diego, CA – SOAS Racing, a pioneering brand in women’s specific endurance and lifestyle apparel, announces the launch of the SOAS 2015 Kona Collection. The collection, which will follow a Kona-inspired design theme and serve to introduce three entirely new SOAS styles, pays homage to triathlon’s pinnacle event, the Ironman World Championship.


The SOAS Racing 2015 Kona Collection builds on the immense success of SOAS’ 2014 Kona activities, which included production of a limited edition race kit and accessories as well as a pop-up boutique on the Big Island. This year’s Kona-themed kit features the brand’s Speed Series style, a versatile three-piece ensemble comprised of Tri Shorts, an uber-lightweight racerback Tri Tank Shell and a separate supportive Sports Bra, designed to wear solo or paired with the shell. Accompanying the kit are a Speed Series Cycling Jersey and Kona Arm Koolers, all similarly designed to stand out from the pack and beat the extraordinary Kona heat and humidity.


In addition to performance pieces, the SOAS Racing 2015 Kona Collection incorporates several lifestyle selections, a nod to the brand’s continuous expansion and growing appeal as casual, comfortable, fitness-inspired apparel. Watch for the all-new SOAS Boardies, SOAS X Bra and SOAS Bikini to debut in the vibrant 2015 Kona Collection design. A selection of stylish oversized Biggie Tank Tops, Classic Trucker hats and Classic Visors round out the collection.


“We were thrilled with the sell-out popularity of last year’s Kona kit and the overwhelming support we received from everyone we encountered on the Big Island,” says Steph Swanson, owner and founder of SOAS Racing. “Following that experience we knew we wanted to go even bigger and better in our planning for Kona 2015.”


A key component to the SOAS Kona experience is the involvement of a number of SOAS Racing Ambassador Team athletes. The team members – more than 100 women located around the globe – are diehard devotees of the brand that serves to seamlessly merge fashion, fit and function. They are, in a word, “awesome!” says Swanson. “I certainly attribute a portion of our success to the loyalty, energy and creativity of this group of incredible women.” Five SOAS ambassador athletes will compete in the Ironman World Championship – Caroline Ashby, Caroline Lea, Jessica Richards, Lori Sherlock and Teri Cashmore – while several others will be on hand to share in the race week activities.


Included in those activities will be a party co-hosted with Triathlete Magazine. The event serves as a benefit for Women For Tri, a co-initiative by Ironman and Life Time Fitness to increase the participation of women in the sport at all levels. The invite-only festivities are scheduled for Thursday evening October 8th at the Triathlete Magazine Kona house. As in years past, SOAS will also once again proudly outfit the entire Triathlete Magazine staff on hand on the Big Island to document the Ironman World Championship.


“We have quite a lot going on in Kona this year, which is reflective of the sustained flurry of growth and activity we’re experiencing as a company,” says Swanson. “In fact, there’s even more coming down the pipeline from us in the near future. Stay tuned for more surprises, to be announced soon,” she teased.


The SOAS Racing 2015 Kona Collection will be available for purchase at the SOAS expo boutique, located at Uncle Billy’s Kona Bay Hotel as part of the Rudy Project Kona Village from October 5th-9th and 11th. A limited release pre-sale will also be available in the coming weeks online at, with pickup required in Kona.



April 29, 2015

April 2015 ›

We are super excited to share a new video campaign that we are working on. It is titled "We Are SOAS" and takes a look at some of the women who support and make our brand what it is. If you want to know who the faces of SOAS are... these amazing women are it.

Endurance athletes come in all shapes and sizes; have different backgrounds, educations, ethnicities, and beliefs. They have very different stories of what has brought them to where they are now. Yet at the end of the day these women share a very common bond. The love for health, happiness, and the desire to push themselves to be the best they can be... Not the best someone else can be, but the best that they can be, wherever it may take them. These women share the love for endurance.

First Video on deck is Amanda Balding:


Stay tuned for more videos to come over the next couple of months!


As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’re over the moon excited to announce a few new SOAS Racing partnerships that have our hearts all aflutter.


It’s no secret that SOAS ladies love wine. So what better sponsor to bring on board our ambassador team than one of the most unique winemakers we know–The Infinite Monkey Theorem ( TIMT is a self-professed “back alley winery” based in Denver, Colorado. This urban enclave of grapey goodness is all about crafting ridiculously good wine and fostering a cool community in which to enjoy it, minus the pretense of the typical vineyard tasting room or overblown connoisseur jargon.


We encourage all fans of SOAS to likewise become fans of TIMT. Visit the TIMT website to learn more about the brand; like and follow TIMT on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and Instagram; and subscribe to the newsletter to stay in the loop on the latest TIMT happenings. And most importantly, order up some 4-packs of cans (yes, wine in cans–perfect for picnics, parties or post-race) or traditional bottles. Your family, friends and taste buds will thank you!


Another new team sponsor for 2015 is Rudy Project, manufacturer of the finest technologically advanced helmets and eyewear on the planet! We had the pleasure of working in close proximity with the Rudy Project crew at the Ironman World Championship in Kona last year, and the positive connection between our brands was immediate. You’ll see many of our SOAS Racing ladies sporting the latest and greatest Rudy Project products at races around the globe. Want some great gear for yourself? Check out and shop to your heart’s content! Plus, be sure to like and follow our new friends on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


We’re also thrilled to have several long-term sponsors back on board for the 2015 season, including Reynolds Cycling, XTERRA Wetsuits and Oeno Beauty, plus a few soon-to-be-announced partnerships that are still in the works (ooh, how we love a secret!).


With this rock star roster of brands supporting our team, we’re certain of one thing–that regardless of where our ladies land on the podium, we’ll all be #WINNING.


Happy Valentine’s Day!



- The SOAS Crew

Hailing from Great Britain (by way of a six-year stint in Australia and currently residing in California), Laura Siddall is new to the SOAS Racing professional roster–and we’re absolutely thrilled to have her on board! Always athletic, Laura cut her triathlon teeth as an age grouper while living in Australia and soon found success. She moved up to the pro ranks after being the overall female amateur winner at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2013, leaving her full-time job as a mechanical engineer and relocating to San Francisco in 2014 to train with renowned coach Matt Dixon and his purplepatch squad. Laura’s professional Ironman debut came later that year in Arizona, where she scored an impressive eighth place and laid the groundwork for a promising career. Next up, Laura will head to New Zealand to tackle the tough-as-nails Challenge Wanaka iron-distance on February 22nd. “It's meant to be absolutely stunning, so I’m pretty excited to visit and race in that part of the world,” says Laura. “After that I'll settle back in the U.S. for the majority of the year, but I’m not sure what races are on the cards yet–apart from Matt wanting me to race a lot!”


We had a chance to “take 5” with Laura in the midst of her Wanaka build to get to know this talented Brit just a tad bit better. Five questions was all it took to quickly understand that she’s a fun (and funny) lady with an unwavering passion for all things swim, bike and run.


SOAS isn’t the first uniform you’ve worn. In fact, you served a year as an officer in the British Army–proving, without a shadow of a doubt, your total badassery! Can you tell us what role you served in the army and what that entailed, or is that double secret squirrel confidential intel?

Laura: Yes, if I tell you I'll have to kill you! Ha ha! I was a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). We were attached to a Royal Artillery Regiment, with High Velocity Missile weapons (basically big missiles that fire land to air, to take out enemy aircraft). My actual job wasn't all that snazzy as I was in charge of the Mechanical Workshop HQ, and a team of men and women, ensuring all the Artillery vehicles were maintained and in working order. But I had a great bunch of guys to work with and met some really fantastic people. It also involved a lot of sport, adventure training, socializing and a lot of fun! 

You relocated to San Francisco in summer 2014. What are a few of your favorite Bay Area training spots, and how does your deep-seated fear of sharks figure into open water training in the chilly NorCal waters?

Laura: My fear of sharks is so much that I haven't ventured into the open water here! Actually it's more that it's flippin’ cold and not quite the gorgeous ocean of Bondi Beach! However I love being by the water and the coast and the San Fran Bay is truly stunning. So many fab training spots. In fact I just came back from what I think was my best run–certainly in terms of location. I just followed the coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to Lands End and the Cliff House and back. It was simply amazing views all the way. I also love running in Golden Gate Park and I know I've only scratched the surface of the number of paths and trails to run there. Cycling wise, again we’re so lucky that we are spoilt for choice with some really great rides. I love riding over Highway 1 from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, or back. Again the road follows the coast so it's just awesome looking out over the ocean and it is a really solid gradient to work on. 

What’s one of the weirdest things you’ve ever done in the name of triathlon?

Laura: OK, I'm sure there are a lot of weird things! Driving in the car in my wetsuit perhaps (pre and post swim), or pulling an all-nighter before Melbourne Ironman as we drove the length of the marathon course, chalking the road and putting up signs literally every few miles of the course (a marathon is a flippin’ long way!), but probably–and again it was as spectator/cheer squad member at Ironman Melbourne that same year– that I was dressed as a zebra (on no sleep as well, after the above mentioned all-nighter), cheering friends all the way, start to finish. I was cycling up and down the run course, which I imagine could have been a pretty surreal experience for some of the athletes at that stage in the race, seeing a zebra on a bike! 

How would your best friends describe you? 

Laura: Loyal, determined, persistent, considerate, genuine and hard working. (I'm also adding in hilariously funny and smart–ha ha!)


What’s an embarrassing fact about yourself that you’re willing to share with the entire world, right here, right now?

Laura: I took part in the Spencer Tunick nude photograph on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. [Google it, people!] It's definitely not something I'd normally do, but for some reason it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was certainly very surreal, standing naked with a few thousand other people! 


Be sure to follow Laura as she trains and races around the world, via her website ( and on Twitter @lmsiddall. Watch for her on the racecourse and on the podium; aside from the occasional zebra suit, she’ll be proudly sporting SOAS!