Posted by: Heart of America News | June 3, 2013

Pigman Sprint 2013 – Come Heck or High Water

by Ron Adkins

Heart of America Triathlon News

The Midwest Xtreme Tri Club poses at the 2013 Pigman Sprint with member Ron Ottaway.

The Midwest Xtreme Tri Club poses at the 2013 Pigman Sprint with member Ron Ottaway.

Not even the rain-swelled banks of the Cedar River could drown out the enthusiasm for the 22nd Annual Pigman Sprint.

Nearly 800 triathletes braved the overcast, windy, and decidedly chilly June 2nd morning in Pleasant Creek Park near Palo, Iowa. Water temperature at race time was a brisk 64 degrees (wetsuits were not only allowed, but highly recommended).

Because of recent flooding in and around Palo, the traditional bike and run course through town was adjusted. Racers took all the changes in stride, though, continuing the Pigman Sprint tradition of posting impressive times.

2013’s overall male winner was Dan Hedgecock of Minneapolis, Minnesota with a time of 1:02:06. Top female was Sunny Gilbert of St. Louis, Missouri, crossing the finish line at 1:12:17. Complete race results can be found at

Race co-director Jill Snitko was pleased by how many past Pigman champions — and winners of other Heart of America series tri’s — were in the line-up for this first race of the season. A good indicator for any race, Jill added, is the number of first-time competitors. This year’s roster boasted an impressive number of triathletes who made the 2013 Pigman Sprint their inaugural race. Many mentioned that they were competing as personal challenge or as a ‘bucket list’ goal.

Also new this year was JMS Racing Services software that included a mobile app to allow friends to follow their favorite athlete live throughout the race.

Of all those in attendance at the race, however, it was Ron Ottoway’s presence that was the most anticipated. A fixture at Heart of America triathlons, Ron is a past Kona champion in the 70+ age bgroups. He was recently diagnosed with lymphoma and is unable to compete. But to the delight of all his friends, he came to the course to cheer on his fellow triathletes.

Ron has been a long-time anchor of the Midwest Extreme Triathlon Club. His teammates honored him by wearing specially-made “Fight Like A Triathlete” t-shirts. Other friends wore green ribbons to celebrate his life, career, and on-going fight against cancer. He was greeted by thunderous applause when he addressed the crowd at the race awards ceremony.

All those associated with the Heart of America Triathlon series offer up hopes and prayers that his treatment is just another challenge that Ron will conquer, and that he will soon be racing again like the champion he is.

Despite Mother Nature’s attempts to throw a monkey wrench into the day, Jill Snitko was extremely pleased with this year’s Pigman Sprint. “We had to make some last-minute changes we weren’t expecting, but it all worked out. If all the races go so well, it is going to be strong season.”



  1. […] Continue reading […]

    • Thanks for the nice mention of our beloved MWX Tri Club member Ron Ottaway….seeing him yesterday and having him in our group photo was priceless! Rosie Jones-Midwest Xtreme Tri Club

  2. […] Pigman Sprint 2013 – Come Heck or High Water | Heart of America … […]

  3. Great race, thank you to all those who helped put on the race and an extra big Thank You to Jill! It sounds like she put in a lot of hours to make the race a success!

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