by Ron Adkins
That electric feeling in the air at the 2019 Bluff Creek Triathlon was due, in part, to the massive storm front that blew through Don Williams Park near Ogden before sunrise. An impressive lightning display kept crews off the lake, delaying the buoy deployment for the swim.
Thanks to Race Director Alex Sylhman and his crew of staff and volunteers, the course was ready and in great shape by the opening of transition. Swimmers hit the 77-degree, wetsuit-legal water a mere 23 minutes past the scheduled start time.
All racers were cautioned to keep alert on the bike and run. Wet brakes can prove dangerous, especially for the Olympic triathletes as they rode two laps up and down the Des Moines River valley. Wet pavement and grass are constant concerns for runners concentrating more on speed than terrain.
Whatever obstacles the weather placed in the racers’ way, they didn’t appear to affect either the triathletes’ times or their enthusiasm for Bluff Creek. Many in the day’s field exceeded their expectations. Smiles, high-five’s and belly-bump’s all around as many celebrated personal records.
Bobby Rehkemper took his second Bluff Creek sprint title in a row, crossing the finish line with a 1:07:32. Cory Jansen was hot on his heels, right behind Robert with a close 1:07:49. Laura Moeller took top sprint female honors, finishing with a 1:15:26. Kim Springer placed second at 1:18:11.
See Bobby and Laura’s comments on the race on the Heart of America Facebook page.
Olympic distance champ Tyson Wieland had the competition in the rearview the entire race, crossing the line with a 2:01:58. The same for Jess Smith, beating her nearest rival by seven minutes at 2:15:40.
Congratulations to Aquabike sprint winners Patrick O’Connell (57:54) and Nancy Fox (59:23). Olympic Aquabike champions Greg Moyle and Ashley Miller posted a 1:39:00 and 2:06:23 respectively.
Complete final race results can be found at www.truetimeracing.com.
The 2019 Heart of America season officially concludes at Bluff Creek. Throughout season, triathletes accrue points for each race they run, and for their time across the finish line. The more races they enter, and the faster they compete, the more points they collect.
Bluff Creek determines which racers collected enough points throughout the spring and summer to qualify for the Championship Wave at the Cy-Man Triathlon on September 23 near Bondurant. Championship Wave victors take home not only the crown and the glory, but they also earn precious free entries for the 2020 season races.
Ted Olson, finishing the sprint with a 1:25:40, and second place finisher Kim Springer were the only triathletes near the top of the Heart of America contender’s list to race Bluff Creek. Katie Cater and Todd Dalecky were the current points leaders at Bluff Creek’s start. But Olson’s and Springer’s strong finishes at Bluff Creek could easily shake up the mix.
A complete run-down of the Championship Wave qualifiers will be posted as soon as we crunch the numbers.