By Ron Adkins
Heart of America Triathlon News
The threat of rain couldn’t stop triathletes from lacing up for the 2015 running of the Hickory Grove Triathlon Sprint, Duathlon, and Aquabike on Sunday, May 17.
200 competitors hit the course at Hickory Grove State Park near Colo, Iowa, on what threatened to be a chilly, soggy day. The persistent rains of the past week were the only concern going into race day, said co-director Alex Sylhman. Those concerns evaporated, however, when the first racers crossed the lines. All had positive reports on the condition of the bike and run courses.
“It was beautiful out there,” said Brita Loynachan. “The trail was in great shape and the roads were nice and dry.” Loynachan posted a 1:27:01 in the triathlon and came in first in her age group.
Racers of all ages, however, posted some great times. Overall winners of the triathlon were Patrick Davis with a 1:03:44 and Jessica Rossing with a 1:15:18. First across the finish line in the duathlon were Jonathan Estabrook, posting a 1:09:00 and Tonya Armstrong, coming in at 1:24:07. Aquabike winners were John Neer with a 48:39 and Zoe Sirotiak with a 59:20.
Complete race results can be found at http://www.truetime.tecresults.com/results.
As the gray clouds passed, giving way to blue skies and sunshine, the main topic of discussion turned from weather to stories of athletes’ personal triumphs.
2014 Heart of America Series champion Guy Olson raced against his doctor’s advice. He won his age group, finishing with a 1:24:20 despite a persistent knee injury. “The doctor strongly suggested I stay away from racing until this thing heals up properly.” Olson added with a grin, “Yeah, I just couldn’t do that.”
The story of the race was, without a doubt, that of 91-year-old Robert Powers. Robert completed the duathlon in great form, crossing the line to the cheers of his fellow athletes.
While the 2014 Cy-Man is officially the first race of the 2015 season, Hickory Grove launches the Heart of America Series calendar. If all the races of the season run as smooth as Hickory Grove, said Sylhman, it’s going to be a great season of triathlons.