Posted by: Heart of America News | May 5, 2019

TriByKnight 2019 – A Great Way to Start

by Ron Adkins

The Heart of America series kicked off the 2019 slate May 4thin Waverly with Wartburg College’s TriByKnight Triathlon. Conditions couldn’t have been much better. The weather was clear with a decent breeze. Racers seemed in great spirits – excited, even – to begin the HOA season.

Race co-director Carrie Tysdahl was delighted. TriByKnight, now in its 8thrunning (and its 2ndas part of the Heart of America Triathlon series), has quickly become one of the more popular early-season events. This sprint race, Carrie says, is ideal for newcomers. And participants seem to agree. Registrations reached max capacity of 300, and a full third of racers were first-timers of all ages.

Opinions were divided as to what, specifically, makes TriByKnight so attractive in the early stages of the season. Many cite the time-trial pool start in Wartburg’s Schuldt Natatorium. This state-of-the-art facility is quite a draw for those shy about diving headlong into a newly-thawed Iowa lake.

The bike and run courses keep hills to a minimum (the only complaint from finishers seemed to be a headwind in the home stretch), and runners finish inside the college stadium. Wartburg facilities, many said, were downright luxurious, with real restrooms and post-race showers.

All this, plus an enthusiastic staff of volunteers, make for a pleasurable event. The fast, competitive race seems almost like dessert after a gourmet meal.

Triathlon veterans seemed impressed, as well. Midwest Extreme Tri Club member Brita Loynachen complimented TriByKnight as a good race to find the groove again and to stretch winter-heavy muscles.

Heart of America vet Adam Kassem of Iowa City had no trouble finding his groove. He was, once again, the man with the plan for victory. Luke Anderson and Mark Ostbloom offered serious competition in the swim, but Adam’s greatest strengths are on land. He posted excellent times in both the bike and run. Adam finished with an impressive 1:01:07.


Elaina Biechler trailed Cayla Bellamy in the pool and on the bike. But when she hit the ground running, she left everyone else in the rearview mirror. She returned to Dubuque with TriByKnight bragging rights and a 1:10:16 overall time.

For complete race results, visit

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