Posted by: Dennis Green | June 10, 2018

The Music… and Fun Live On

by Jon Weih

Heart of America Triathlon News


Clear Lake, Iowa may be where the Music Died back in 1959, but it lives on for the triathletes who competed in the TRI Clear Lake Sprint Triathlon 2018.  59 years after that after a stormy winter night when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper chartered that fateful flight, it was a pretty typical Iowa summer morning. A little humid, cloudy and about 71 degrees at race time.

This is not the first time triathlons have been contested in Clear Lake.  According to Race Director Carrie Tysdahl, “There used to be a triathlon this same weekend (20+ years ago) and we are happy to bring it back bigger and stronger!”

Click here for more pictures.


Team Hot Rod & Flash Rausch

And stronger it was as over 230 triathletes braved a short pre-race rain shower and dipped into the wet suit legal 72.9 degree waters of Clear Lake. In the field was Tysdahl’s father Rod Johnson, sister Heather Rausch and nephew Reid Rausch who comprised team Hot Rod and Flash Rausch!  This 3 generation team would see Rod compete in his first triathlon completing the bike portion, grandson Reid would contest the run.  Heather had a special day and would go on to complete the rest of the 12.4 mile bike and 3.1 mile run (after the 750 meter swim) and finish second overall in the women’s division.

Course records were set by both the mens and women’s champs. Wes Anderson of Decorah shattered the previous record of 1:07.40 with a blazing 57:47.

“The course was a nice flat course.” said Anderson.  The elite triathlete hinted that his main goal this season is to spend time with his two children while enjoying the racing season. Watch Wes’s comments on video.

Eamonn McCullough, recent Waverly Shell Rock HS graduate finished a distant second to Anderson but had a good day.  The former high school swim and track standout will compete in those two sports for Gustavus Adolphus College next year.

On the women’s side, Esmie Holderman of Des Moines broke her own course record set in last year’s initial race in 1:13.18. Holderman loved the course and even enjoyed the breeze which picked up as the athletes were on the course. Esmie breaks down her race for Jon.

“The wind didn’t bother me, but cooled me down.” said Holderman.  Heather Rausch would finish in second with a time of 1:14.47. also eclipsing last year’s course record.

Full results at True Time Racing.


Jon can’t resist a Surf Selfie

Many stayed around as the music came back to life as the Take Me Back Reunion band festival played through the weekend.

The 5k turned right in front of the famous Surf Ballroom.  I couldn’t resist the selfie!

Great race, great community, great time! A tentative date of June 8th, 2019 has been set aside for TRI Clear Lake 2019.  Be sure to visit their website and learn more so you can be here next year.

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