Athletes of all ages and abilities closed the Heart of America Season Sept 18 in Lake Petocka Park in Bondurant for the Cyman Triathlon.
The ISU Triathlon Club worked extra hard on marketing the race this year, and it showed in increased participation. The race grew from fewer than 170 participants in 2015 to 250 plus this year. There were also a few changes to the swim and run course that were praised by participants.
Laura Moeller of Ankeny completed an outstanding season, winning her fourth Heart of America crown in the sprint division in 1:15:18. Sean Austin of Ames won his third in the series in 1:05:22.
Cyman is the championship race for the Heart of America series. Points winners race in a special championship wave to qualify for free race entries in 2017. Times are age-equalized to give all ages an equal chance.
On the women’s side, Brita Loynachan won with a time of 1:22:41. Jim Hagelie was first for the men with a 1:10:19.
The Cyman Olympic served as the collegiate conference championship. C
yclone Kristina Swenson won bragging rights for the home team, defeating the women’s field in 2:24:20. Winning the collegiate division for the men was Brad Woodford from the University of Minnesota in 1:54:03.
In the open division for the Olympic race, William Graham and Shelly Goodell won in 2:03:10 and 2:30:41, respectively.
Cyman marked milestones of note for several individuals as well. Ann Vestle of Cedar Rapids is a familiar sight in the Heart of America series. In addition to placing third in the Champions wave, she also completed her 250th triathlon. Ann stared her career at Heart & Sole in 1989, and has perfect attendance at the Quad Cities Traithlon, completing all seventeen races.
Ashley Eisenmenger of North Central College in Naperville, IL blazed a trail for para-athletes in Cyman, competing in a new paratriathlon division . Ashley, who is blind, completed the sprint in 1:34:49. The ISU Triathlon Club is working to get the Cyman course certified for paratriathlon to encourage more participation from athletes of all abilities.