Posted by: Heart of America News | August 6, 2014

Bluff Creek Preview – Racing for Tim

By Ron Adkins

Heart of America Triathlon News


Everything is set for the Sunday, August 10 running of the 2014 Bluff Creek Triathlon. Competitors will meet at Don Williams County Park near Ogden, Iowa for the 8:00am start time. The race features both Spring and Olympic distances.

2013-08-11 09.18.28This year’s Bluff Creek race is especially poignant, as triathletes race in honor of Timothy Jenks. Timothy was killed recently when he was hit by a car during a youth training bike ride. Timothy, his sister, Olivia, and his father, William, have competed at Bluff Creek and Hickory Grove many times. To honor his memory, said Race Director Alex Syhlman has included the initials TRJ on the front of the official t-shirts. There will also be a memorial during the pre-race meeting.

Despite what will be a bittersweet day, Syhlman is optimistic about upcoming race. “We’ll see what the day brings, but everything looks good. We’re ready to go,” he said.

Because of the logistics involved with the swim course, Syhlman recommends that everyone arrive a little early and have gear racked and  ready promptly. Transition will close earlier than other tri’s so racers have time to board shuttles for the 2-mile ride to the park’s only beach.

Once there, Sprint contestants will swim a point-to-point 500 meters across the lake to transition. The 15-mile bike course is classified flat with a 180-degree turn at midpoint. Sprint and Olympic cyclists share the course for the first 3.7 miles. The Sprint’s 5k run is on roads within the park, all paved but for less than half a mile on short grass or gravel. There are no major hills.

Olympic competitors will swim a 1,500-meter dog-leg course around the lake to the boat ramp. The 24.8-mile out-and-back bike course is considered mostly flat, with a couple of challenges. Bikers will enjoy a 640-feet elevation change as they descend and ascend the Des Moines River valley. The 6.2 Olympic run course is all on roads within the park. The entire course is all on pavement, except the first and last quarter miles across grass. There are no major hills to contend with.

Syhlman is pleased that Bluff Creek Tri is part of the Midwest Collegiate Triathlon Conference this year and is hosting collegiate athletes from Iowa State University, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, and University of Nebraska.

About 40 first-time triathletes are competing in this year’s Bluff Creek. There is still time to sign up. Log on to to register for one of the remaining open slots.


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