by Ron Adkins
Heart of America Triathlon News
The 2013 Hickory Grove Triathlon scored a numbers of firsts, even by coming in second for the weekend.
Hickory Grove was the second of back-to-back tri’s. Many of the competitors did both the Quad Cities Triathlon in Davenport, then made the trek to Colo, Iowa for the race on Father’s Day. This was the first time
Heart of America tri’s were run on consequtive days.
This was also the first Hickory Grove Tri where athletes had such a choice of races. In recent years, lake water conditions made it impossible to do the swim portion. For this year’s race, director Alex Sylman added a scheduled dualthlon (.9-mile run, 15.5-mile bike, 3.1-mile run). “That way,” said Sylman, “if the lake wasn’t viable, we could move everybody over to the duathlon.”
Water conditions, though, turned out to be excellent. Water temperature at start time was a balmy 71 degrees and the lake was deemed clean and good.
Also a first for this year’s Hickory Grove was the introduction of an aquabike race. This 500-yard swim, 15.5-mile bike is becoming increasingly popular within the racing community, said Sylman. “I’ve been getting a lot of really positive response for the aquabike,” he said, “especially from people who aren’t able or no longer want to compete in the run.”
What could have been a foggy, soggy day turned beautifully sunny and warm. Recent floodwaters in central Iowa have receded and course conditions were in proper shape to post some fast times.
Men’s overall winner for the triathlon was Brian Sames of Shakopee, Minnesota, with a 1:04:58. Women’s overall tri winner was Elaina Mertens with a 1:16:15.
First across the line for the men in the duathlon was Josh Cowman of Pella, Iowa with a 1:10:56. Debby Birchmier of Ankeny, Iowa, crossed first for the dualathlon women with a 1:37:31.
In the inaugural aquabike race, Nathaniel Wade of Ames, Iowa, finished first for the men with a 58:05.00. Jennifer Harman of Johnston, Iowa, was the first place female with a 1:24:45.
For complete race results, visit http://www.truetimeracing.com.