By Dennis Green
Heart of America News
Athletes arriving for the second running of Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon in Coralville found a windy morning awaiting them early on Sept. 8. Sustained gusts averaging more then twenty miles an hour made the water choppy and the first few miles of the hilly bike ride extra challenging.
After training and racing for a couple of weeks in a late-summer heat wave, very few people complained, enjoying the breeze and lower humidity.
In 2012, The Best Dam Tri added an Olympic-distance race, which has quickly become popular among collegiate triathletes from all over the region. In addition to expected large showings from the UI TriHawks and Iowa State Triathlon team, large groups of racers from colleges like Marquette, Minnesota and Wisconsin all showed up.
Not surprisingly, collegiate athletes dominated the Olympic distance. TriHawk Justin Metzler won the men’s race in 1:59:16. Summer Ohlendorff from the Wisconsin Badgers garnered the women’s crown with a time of 2:18:18.
Full Results here.
Race director Jackson Parr added a unique spin to the race, asking participants to bring old race t-shirts to be donated to charity. He got the idea after traveling in Ghana and meeting a man wearing a race t-shirt from Northern Wisconsin.
“I asked the man how he did,” Jackson says, “and he looked at me perplexed. He had received the shirt through a charity program and it got me thinking, how many race shirts do I have pouring out of my dresser back home? Too many to wear.”
A special raffle was offered this year, encouraging participants to bring old t-shirts, which were donated to Vietnam Veterans of America, a charity that sells donated clothing to support those who have served in the armed forces.