Posted by: Dennis Green | May 7, 2012

Bluff Creek 2012 – Warm Water!

by Dennis Green
Heart of America Racing News

Many midwest racers will start their season May 20 in Don Williams State Park near Boone at the Bluff Creek Triathlon.

The first Iowa race of the season, 2012 marks the fourth year of Bluff Creek. Race co-directors Alex Syhlman and Steve Karsjens are excited to lead off 2012.

Bluff Creek features both a Sprint and Olympic race, and registration is still open for both distances.

As far as course layouts go, the swims are point-to-point, so participants will be bused from the transition area to the swim start.  This means that the transition area closes earlier than in a lot of races, so figure your arrival and setup time accordingly.  Start time is 8:00 am.

Water temperature in May is always an important matter in Iowa races.  In fact, last year, frigid water forced a shortened swim.  However, Alex says the mild spring will make 2012 a much different experience. In fact, as of the first week of May, water temperature was already at 70 degrees!

The bike course for the Sprint is a flat, out and back that heads north out of the park.  The Olympic bike leaves north, then turns east and follows the Des Moines River valley.  The course has its share of fairly steep hills, with some grades over 10%.  One of these is “Twister Hill,” so named because the location was featured in the 1996 movie, filmed in Central Iowa.

The run stays in the park, a loop that Sprint racers will take once, Olympic twice.

However, Bluff Creek newbies beware: Just when you think you’re finished, the race shows you one final trick.

Coming out of the woods, you have to make a pretty sharp left turn to finish.  More than one racer overshoots the turn and has to make a quick double-back to claim their souvenir Bluff Creek water bottle at the finish line.

Bluff Creek is one of just ten regional qualifying races for USA Triathlon Championships this year, which means the top 1/3 of each age group qualify for USAT Nationals.

The race is also a member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference, which will take on added significance this year, as in 2013, collegiate triathletes who want to compete at Collegiate Nationals will need to qualify at a regional race such as Bluff Creek.

Who’s racing this year? 2011 Sprint champ Jenny Saylor is back, but is stepping up to the Olympic distance.  And the race is popular with collegiate racers, particularly those from nearby Iowa State.

Overall, the race is about halfway to capacity, so, there is plenty of room for last minute entries, and we anticipate the warm water will lead to quite a few racers registering in these final days prior to the race.

Go to to get signed up.



  1. […] Dennis Green/KCCK Updated: 7 May 2012 | 8:28 pm in RunningBluff Creek 2012 – Warm Water!0 Comments Tweet (function(){var […]

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