At the end of June, my (Rachel's) family came to Des Moines for a visit and for Colin to participate in the 2nd annual Hy-Vee Triathlon. This has become a huge event in the world of triathlons in only a year. They give out the largest purse prize of any triathlon in the U.S.-and all here in little Des Moines, Iowa. Colin participated last year and took first in his age group (15-19), around 40th overall.
This year the Hy-Vee Triathlon had a little bit of drama associated with it-as you know the city of Des Moines was underwater for a good part of June. The original race was scheduled to take place starting at Gray's Lake, biking out to West Des Moines, and then heading back in to downtown for the run. Well Gray's Lake was underwater (or well had a lot more water in it...) and they had to make a decision about what to do. They went back and forth from making it a dri-tri (run-bike-run) to moving it out to West Des Moines and then finally deciding that there was a lake they could use and it was safe to swim in out in West Des Moines. We were all very excited that it was going to be a REAL Triathlon.
We all got up at 4am to get ready and head out to the triathlon. I haven't seen 4am in a very long time (maybe since last year's triathlon...) Colin took the athlete's shuttle from Valley West Mall and we took a shuttle from the Jordan Creek Mall out to the race site. Because they moved the tri, they had to change things up a little bit. Last year, the athletes swam, transitioned to the bike (Transition area), biked, came back to the Transition area and headed out for the run, finishing at the capital in downtown. This year, they swam, transitioned to the bike (Transition area 1, T1), biked to a new location and transitioned at Transition area 2, T2, went out for the run and came back to T2 which was also the finish line. Our shuttle only took us to T2/finish but we wanted to see Colin start and do the swim and get on his bike, so we walked the 2 mile hike over to T1 in order to see him start. We made it just in the knick of time. He was about 7th coming out of the swim....and then we made the 2 mile walk back to T2.
After our walk, we all split up to get some different camera shots and to be able to cheer him on from different locations. Jamie and I took the spot as he transitioned from the bike to the run and he was about 6th at that point, still looking strong. We knew we had about a half hour before he came back from his run so we walked around and picked up some SWAG (stuff we all get-reference from The Office) from all of the different vendors. He was aiming for a total time of under 2 hours so we staked out our place to sit at the 2 hour mark.
Colin ended up doing awesome with a time of 2:03:40! He came in 13th overall and 6th in his age group (20-24). He started getting a cramp near the beginning of the run which slowed him down a bit but in the middle of it poured some water over his head and felt revived.
We stayed later in the day for the elite race which was the professional triathletes, some of whom were vying for the final spot on the U.S. Olympic team. It was a great race but it came down to Hunter Kemper winning the final spot (he's a pretty great triathlete-also a Christian).
Overall it was a great day and who knows maybe someday we'll see Colin trying to get the last spot on the Olympic team... :)
5 days ago