Posted by: Heart of America News | July 10, 2017

Accel 2017: It Just Keeps Getting Better

by Ron Adkins

Heart of America Triathlon News


DSCN4283.jpgRace Director Tony Pollastrini was thrilled by the success of the 5th annual Accel Triathlon.

As if on cue, the week’s oppressive humidity dissipated, leaving behind a mild, sunny, and dry morning.

It was a vast improvement, Tony noted, from last year, when thunderstorms forced the race’s cancellation.

“We were just getting ready to get things going on the swim when on the horizon was a huge wall cloud.”

Water temperature at George Wyth State Park in Waterloo was a wetsuit-restricted 80 degrees, meaning those who choose to wear a wetsuit could still race but were disqualified from prizes or USAT points.

“Every race just keeps getting better,” he added. “We’re seeing solid growth every year.”

First female across the finish in the Sprint was Janet McCullough of Waverly, coming in with a 1:18:53. First-place male in the Sprint was Adam Campbell of Cedar Falls with a 1:10:41.

Across the line first for the female Olympians was Amanda Johnson of Waterloo, in at 2:29:35. Adam Kassem of Cedar Rapids was the first place Olympic male with a 2:07:51.

Find full results at


290 triathletes from 14 states hit the course on Saturday, July 8. Tony was excited by the strong numbers. “We have runners from as far away as New Mexico and Massachusetts competing today. And 290 is the most yet to register.”

Tony attributes part of the registration spike to Accel’s inclusion in the Heart of America Series. 2017 marks the first running of the Accel Sprint and Olympic on the HOA calendar. Tony sees this new partnership with Heart of America as the ultimate win-win-win for all parties involved. “Series athletes benefit from competing on a new course with racers they may never have encountered before, and Accel veterans get to compete against new blood.”

As the numbers show, Tony pointed out, the Accel can only get stronger as part of the Heart of America Series, with its resources and deep roster of talented triathletes. And the Series itself benefits from having such a well-executed race on its schedule.

Tony compliments his staff and legions of volunteers for 2017’s Accel coming off with nary a hitch. The race is put on by the Accel Group – an insurance and financial planning institution based out of Waverly and Cedar Falls. Tony himself is a triathlete, and a great many of the staff, who helped with the race, are runners or compete in other sports.

Tina Miller, Accel director of operations, thinks athletes organizing the race is nothing but a good thing.

“We’ve been on courses or have had to compete, so we have a good idea about what kind of problems might come up,” she said. “We can see through the eyes of those who are going to compete in the Accel and make it a great experience for them.”

That kind of expertise obviously pays off. Several runners crossed the finish line, turned in their timing chip, and sought out an Accel staffer to compliment the condition and speed of the course.

Tony pointed out that, “It was great to see about 30 people who are first-timers to triathlons. I think this is a very positive sign of growth for the sport.”

“Things just keep getting better.”





  1. Very happy the Accel was included in the Heart. It is a very well run triathlon!

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