By Ron Adkins
Heart of America’s Pigman Sprint Triathlon ranks up there with RAGBRAI and the Drake Relays as one of Iowa’s premier sports events. It’s a traditional favorite for triathletes of all skill levels – professionals, dedicated amateurs, and weekend racers – and is often picked by beginners as their first race.
Pigman 2019, June 2 at Pleasant Creek State Park near Palo, promises a highly competitive field. The race has again been selected by USA Triathlon to host the Iowa Age Group State Championships and the Iowa High School State Championships. Race Director Alex Syhlman believes that adding these divisions makes the race even stronger. “You’ve got young high schoolers racing with the best from across the state, and seeing how older veterans do things, and you’ve got those in the Age Group race seeing how the more seasoned pros get their race face on. It can only make the field that much stronger.”
Perhaps the best news for this year is that Pleasant Creek Lake is back! A 2-year dredging project, which caused the water level to be low and muddy the past two years, has ended. Alex reports that the lake is now back up to full strength. The run and bike courses, he adds, are in their usual excellent shape.
Early packet pickup and course talks will be held Saturday night, June 1, at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Cedar Rapids. Packets and other race information can also be picked up at the park before start time. Homewood Suites by Hilton and the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton are the host hotels for the Pigman Sprint Triathlon. When placing a reservation at either of these hotels, ask for the Pigman rate or use the group code PIG. Both hotels will open their continental breakfast time early for triathletes.
Excellent camping facilities at the state park are also available. Racers can book a space through the Iowa DNR website.
Gear West Bike and Triathlon is the official bike and triathlon sponsor. Triathletes have a chance at winning a Trek 3700 mountain bike, a Blue Seventy Swim Skin, a Gear West Pack of race goodies, and other door prizes. Gear West Bike and Triathlon offers free bike triage before the race.
The Pigman’s legendary recovery buffet will be fully stocked. Racers can refuel on pizza, watermelon, fruit, cookies and a variety of beverages. Licensed chiropractors and massage therapists will be also be available to aid in recovery.
For complete information on the Pigman Sprint Triathlon, log on to their website, www.pigmantri.com.