Posted by: Dennis Green | July 17, 2011

Lake Geode 2011 – Rising To The Challenge

July 16 was a typical, hot and humid Iowa day and the 2011 edition of the Lake Geode Challenge was typical as well.  A little warm, and challenging as always.  Race director Lori Rudy, giving final race instructions before the swim, wished for the sun to stay behind the clouds for the race and for much of the race, that was the case.

Race day water temperature was 84 degrees, so the swim was a non-wetsuit competition.  Then, racers faced a big hill headed out of the park first thing on the bike, and got to enjoy it again on the run. But participants were buoyed by the cheering of a boisterous crowd of fans, led by energetic announcer Toby Evans,

The hills didn’t bother men’s winner Dan Hedgecock, a member of the Gear West team.  “I loved ’em. I’m originally from Missouri, which is really hilly.  In fact, I miss hills. But running up that first big hill right after flying down it on the bike… I can see why they call it the Lake Geode Challenge.

This was Dan’s first time at Lake Geode, and his second Heart of America win this season, after taking the Pigman Sprint crown.  The women’s race was won by fellow Minnesotan Claire Bootsma.  Click here for full results.

Guy Olson, the 2010 Heart of America champ for his age group, said conditions were better than last year. “There was a pretty good breeze and and the haze kept it a little cooler, at least till the very end, when it started to get hot.”

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