Posted by: Dennis Green | August 21, 2018

Bluff Creek 2018-Great Day for Veterans & Newbies

By Ron Adkins

Heart of America Triathlon News

There’s always an abundance of nerves before a race. Some have first-timer’s jitters. Experienced racers get intense as they put on their game faces. This was especially so at 2018’s Bluff Creek Triathlon. Attendance soared this year, with over 100 more triathletes at Don Williams Park near Ogden than in 2017.

Click here for pics and videos from the race.

13-year-old Alyssa Melchert of Boone was a first-timer. Her mother, Lisa, raced by her side. While this is only Lisa’s second time racing at Bluff Creek, she is actually a veteran. Most years, she is on board a kayak as part of the swim support crew.

The day proved an ideal introduction for all Heart of America Triathlon Series newcomers. Early morning haze burned off by start time, but a nice breeze kept things relatively cool. It’s summer in Iowa, so humidity and warm lake water remained factors. Water temperature was a balmy, wetsuit-optional 80 degrees.

Bluff Creek marks the final official event of the 2018 season. Throughout spring and summer, triathletes running Heart of America races collect points. Points leaders after Bluff Creek qualify for the championship wave at the Cy-Man Triathlon on September 23 near Bondurant. Cy-Man not only crowns the 2018 Heart of America champions, but is also, technically, the start of the 2019 season. Check out the updated standings list on this page.

Conditions for the bike and run were optimal and fast. Cyclists accepted the challenge of the hilly course and runners enjoyed the abundance of shade for their last push to the finish. Once out of the water, Robert Rehkemper never look


Click to hear Micah’s comments on her race.

ed back. He took the Sprint lead coming out of transition on the bike 9and maintained that lead for the rest of the race. He crossed the finish line with a 1:08:13.

First female across in the Sprint was 15-year Linn-Mar High School sophomore Micah Poellet. Micah was first out of the water but lost time on the bike (she admits that the bike isn’t her strongest). One of the fastest high school cross-country runners in the state, she made up for lost time in a big way on the run, blazing past everyone in front of her. Micah first got into triathlons because her parents signed her up for a race. She’s quickly on her way to mastering the sport. It’s a good thing she’s involved in so much at school (swimming, cross country, swing choir); she thrives on challenge. Hear her talk briefly about herself and today’s race by clicking here.

Adam Kassem was the first Olympic-distance triathlete across the line. Fresh from an excellent performance at the Boulder 70.3, Kassem notched his first Heart of America championship of 2018.  Joy Carroll took top honors for the Olympic females. Joy was strong in both the swim and bike legs, but lost some ground during the run. Her overall performance, though, kept her in first place.

For complete race results, log on to

Heart of America triathletes now focus on 2018’s final standings and the Championship Wave at Cy-Man on September 23. Those results will be posted here soon.





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