by Ron Adkins
Yeah, it was a little chilly, a little cloudy, then a little rainy. The 70-degree water at West Park brought shivers to even intrepid racers. But the energy was palpable among nearly 400 triathletes gathered on the beach for the 20th running of the Quad Cities Triathlon.
Kirby Winn, stepping into the shoes of founding race director Eric Sarno, who was unable to attend, offered up a fast but competitive course. Lake and run conditions especially, were complimented by many of the racers.
The race was dedicated to the memory of Bev Wilson. “Miss B” was a loyal supporter and beloved fixture of the race for many years. Her husband, Jess, fired the air horn as honorary starter.
Ian Hoover-Grinde, a Cedar Rapids native now attending Iowa State, battled with 2018 champion Josh Madsen for the win, each trading views of the other’s back throughout the race. Josh was ahead coming off the bike, but the run course, partly on grass and trailbed, was perfectly suited to Ian’s cross country background, and he finished with a blistering 1:03:56.
“I was ahead for maybe the first half mile,” said Josh, “But then he passed me and it was all Ian after that.” Check out more of their comments in the video posted here.
Joanne Hall posted her third Quad Cities victory in a row, crossing the finish line with an impressive 1:13:46. She, too, felt great after her run and had nothing but good things to say about the course.
Seventy from the field were first-timers. Six triathletes — John Grove, Fred Hemsath, Jeff Kaczinski, Casey Kenney, Guy Olson, and Ann Vestle,— have raced all twenty Quad Cities. And Ann claimed the day’s most prestigious door prize, a pyramid sun hat in the same style as the one Eric Sarno has made a Quad Cities trademark.
And see all the race results at www.onlineraceresults.com.