By Dennis Green
Heart of America News
That was Joe McGrath’s one-word assessment of CyMan, held Sept. 21 at Kinney Park near Bondurant, Iowa.
The morning dawned cool and clear, but as race time neared, the breeze picked up, gusting a steady 20 mph through the entire race. The wind caused scenic but pocket-sized Lake Petocka to have something we don’t often see in Iowa’s small, land-locked lakes: Whitecaps.
“I made that first turn in the swim right into the wind,” said Ron Ottaway, “and it was like I was standing still. I couldn’t get a glide going at all.”
A windy swim can be difficult enough, but fighting a headwind on the bike really makes a triathlon challenging, and most participants agreed the wind amped things up considerably.
But the CyMan run course ends with a half-mile loop around the lake, one of the prettiest finishes in any midwest triathlon, so by the time people crossed the finish line, most were smiling again.
2014 was the first year CyMan offered an Olympic as well as a sprint distance, mainly to provide an opportunity for collegiate racers to gain points. Kris Spoth of White Bear Lake, Minnesota edged Best Dam Triathlon champ Joshua Madson of North Liberty for the men’s overall crown. Anne Hilleman from Huxley won the women’s race. Collegiate division winners were Samuel Kohll of Omaha, and Malorie Gaber from the host Iowa State team.
The Sprint race once again served as the Championship race for the Heart of America series, with 21 series points champs racing for series crown. Both the men’s and women’s winners raced in the Champions wave, David Roney from Ankeny and Elaina Mertens from Dubuque.
The Heart of America Series uses an age-equalization formula developed by USA Track and Field to weight the different ages, and once those weightings were applied, the Champions wave looked like this:
- Kim Sprenger
- Elaina Mertens
- Ann Vestle
- Kathryn Cater
- Pat Kenel
- Guy Olson
- Ron Ottaway
- David Roney
- Jason Rabe
- Dan Tucker