This past Sunday (September 2) Aaron Kelly, Chris Huseman, and I had the opportunity to complete the Hy-Vee Triathlon. The Hy-Vee Triathlon is an Olympic-distance race that has been held in Des Moines the past six years. It is a three sport event that consists of: swimming 1.5 Kilometers (approximately 1 mile) at Grey’s Lake; bicycling 40 Kilometers (24.8 miles) around the streets of Des Moines, and; running 10 Kilometers (6.2 miles) in downtown Des Moines with the finish line at the Iowa State Capitol.
The Hy-Vee Triathlon serves as the World Triathlon Corporation’s 5150 Series U.S. Championships and attracts many of the top professional triathletes in the world, due, in part, to having the largest prize purse awarded in the sport. This year over $1,000,000.00 in prize money was paid out to the top professional triathletes. In addition to these professional triathletes, the triathlon event features amateur athletes as well. This year approximately 3,000 amateur athletes (including Aaron, Chris, and myself) participated in the age group race.
For Aaron, this is his first year of participating in triathlons. The Hy-Vee Triathlon was his second triathlon and he absolutely loved it! Aaron did extremely well and finished the race in 2:32:10, Aaron says, “It is such a well organized event. I think I did the best in the run and was extremely happy with the improvements I have made on my swimming this summer.” Aaron will now focus on training for the IMT Des Moines Marathon (26.2 mile run) that will be held on October 17. Next year Aaron hopes to continue participating in triathlons and his goal is to complete a Half Iron Man distance race that consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run.
Chris is both a newcomer to Webster City and the sport of triathlon, Chris and his wife have four children (ranging in age from 10 months to 10 years old) and moved to Webster City recently form Quincy, Illinois. The Hy-Vee Triathlon was his second triathlon and absolutely enjoyed the experience. Chris completed the race in 3:30:06. Chris says, “the race organizers made everybody feel important and it was truly a world class event. Being new to Webster City, I realize how lucky this community is to have the outdoor swimming pool and the Fuller Hall Recreation Center. This summer I spent a lot of time at the outdoor pool and was able to improve my swimming. This has been such a positive experience for my family and I am hoping to be a role model to motivate them to exercise on a regular basis.” Chris says he is hooked on triathlons and hopes to participate in a few triathlons next summer as well.
It is extremely exciting for me to speak with Aaron and Chris about their enthusiasm on training and being able to finish a triathlon. At the Hy-Vee Triathlon this past Sunday this was the 100th triathlon I have completed. My first triathlon was in 1984 and I have been fortunate enough to continue each summer. As I reflect back I had a lot of great experiences with both the training and actual events. Some of these experiences include: participating in a few triathlons with my twin brother and father; finishing an Iron Man distance triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run) at Cape Cod, Massachusetts; completing a triathlon in 1986 with Lance Armstrong in Houston, Texas; swimming in Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago with 3,500 other persons, and; finishing a Half Iron Man triathlon in Springfield, Illinois in 95 degree weather.
Perhaps my greatest feeling is the sense of accomplishment in finishing a triathlon. The time it takes or my place in my age division is not important to me. It is the satisfaction knowing I did the best I can.
Please let me know if you have an accomplishment you would like to share in this blog. See you next week.