Posted by: Heart of America News | August 29, 2011

Hickory Grove 2011 – Run Like Heck

By Ron Adkins, Heart of America Racing News

The amazing trend of beautiful August weather in 2011 continued for the Hickory Grove Tri Sprint. Sunny skies and crisp (for late summer) air prevailed at Hickory Grove Park near Colo. Thankfully, a surprise rain shower held off until all racers had completed the course.

Despite the perfect conditions, the day was not without its gremlins. Several cyclists reported spills and wipeouts. 13-year-old Alexandra Westercamp blew a tire in the first mile. Never one to quit, she finished the remaining 14 miles by riding on the flat. Read more about Alexandra’s passion for racing tris here.

The park’s resident geese provided the major obstacle, though. Their recent luxuriating on the beach had spiked the lake water’s e coli levels, making the swim portion unadvisable.

Race co-director Alex Syhlman remained undaunted. Rather than risk the health of the participants, he modified the event into a duathlon, of sorts. Racers began with a 1.1 mile run, biked the normal 15.5 miles, then finished with another 2-mile run. Athletes took the change in stride, chalking it up to another challenge of triathlons.

Tara Krueger of Des Moines was the overall female winner, posting a combined time of 1:08:36.7. Matt Migonis of West Des Moines lead the males with a 55:20.5 finish.

Post-race spirits were high and the awards ceremony, despite the brief downpour, enjoyed a party-like atmosphere. Alex made it clear that, for next year’s race, migrant birds will not be on this party’s guest list.



  1. Geese?? Check this out!

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