by Ron Adkins
Heart of America Triathlon News
Geri Kachingwe stood near the finish line, ringing her cowbell. She was at the 2013 Pigman Long, ostensibly, to encourage her brother, Nik Rogers of New York City, but she cheered everyone who made their final push to the end.
A tri veteran herself, at the sprint distance, Geir is no stranger to seeing triathletes, her brother included, pour it on to clock an impressive time. Still, with such experience, she’s not jaded. She was impressed with the level of competition at this year’s Big Pig. “They ran real fast” she said with a smile.
It was indeed a great day for a race at Pleasant Creek State Park near Palo, Iowa. The perfect August weather, with non-existent humidity, made it easy for nearly 700 racers to stretch out and post some excellent numbers.
A highlight of the Olympic race was the inclusion of a true Olympian in the field. Radka Vodickova of Liberecky, Czech Republic, raced a 2:06:40 for a commanding first place. Radka placed 20th in the 2012 London Olympics. She was in the area prepping for the upcoming HyVee Triathlon in Des Moines.
Daniel Bretscher of Mt. Vernon, Iowa took first place in the Olympic for the men, with a 1:58:20.
Radka has spent part of the summer racing her way across the Midwest, from her training facility in Leadville, Colorado to Chicago, Illinois. The Pigman’s reputation for being a stellar event compelled her to add it to her race calendar. “I took this race because I heard it was a quality race and I could use it for good training,” Radka said. “It was a nice race,” she added. “I had a very good time.”
When asked if she was looking forward to competing in the 2016 Olympics, Radka grinned and with a twinkle in her eye, replied, “I certainly hope so.”
In the half-Iron, David Thompson of St. Paul, Minnesota continued his dominance of the Long Course Distance, winning his fifth straight Pigman in 3:54:17. 2009 Champ Kortney Haag of Maple Grove, Minnesota, won her second Pigman with a 4:39:20.
For complete race results, visit www.pigmantri.com.
Race director John Snitko was pleased with the 2013 running of what is arguably the signature event in the Heart of America Triathlon series. “Everything went according to plan,” he said, and the level of energy among the triathletes was contagious.
Many of racers crossed the finish line with smiles on their faces and hands in the air. Always a good sign that a race was a success.