Thursday, June 26, 2008

2008 Hy-Vee Triathlon

This past weekend, Family Fan Club traveled to Des Moines, Iowa for the 2008 Hy-Vee Triathlon, where the last members of the men's and women's US Olympic Triathlon team were selected. Hunter Kemper and Sarah Haskins secured the final spots on the men's and women's teams respectively. Prior to the Pro's race, there was an age group race with over 2,200 participants, which was a great opportunity to spread the word about Family Fan Club. We partnered with Rasmussen Bike Shop in Des Moines at the Hy-Vee Triathlon Expo to sell and spread the word about Family Fan Club. We met a lot of new and enthusisastic race day supporters, gobbling up rompers, t-shirts, stickers and magnets. The folks at Rasmussen Bike Shop did a great job presenting and promoting our triathlon gear!

The elite race was awesome, with basically the Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Montana of triathlon participating. The prize for the top male and female winner was $200k! That's a lot of cash to swim, bike, run! We caught the tail end of the Women's race, won by Emma Snowsill from Australia. The men quickly followed and it was quite interesting. The swim was about 5 miles from the central transition and finish. We got good position inside the stadium and waited for the athletes to arrive. I was really surprised how quick the swim leg was completed and how tight the cycling pack was. The first group of cyclists entered the stadium for the first of eight laps in a pack of about 25 riders. The action was tight, fast and furious. Each lap had a new leader, but no break aways until the 6th lap when Timothy O'Donnell from the USA broke away with a :30 to 1 minute lead, which seemed significant considering the pace/pack to this point. After the 8th and final lap it was like a NASCAR pitstop in front of the main grandstand with 25 elite cyclists basically finishing simultaneously and sprinting into transition. It was really exciting to watch and everyone was out in under a minute to start the 1st of 4 laps. We quickly discovered that elite Triathlon is all about the run, where to this point in the race all competitors were within a minute or less of each other, it was very close. The run separated the contenders from the pretenders. Rasmussen Henning eventually pulled away for his second consecutive win, again pocketing $200k for the win in 2008 (He won in 2007 also).

The race for the 3rd and final Men's Triathlon Olympic berth was a race between Andy Potts (the reigning 70.3 World Champion) and two time Olympian Hunter Kemper. Hunter pretty much had the lead the entire race and solidified it on the run, claiming the last spot on the 2008 Olympic team. Matt Reed was also at the race, but I suspect that with the win out of hand on the run, he shut it down to avoid injury. $200k is a pretty good incentive, but if the day is lost, no since in pushing it. That's not confirmed, but my guess. Hopefully he's not injured.

Anyway, we had a great time in Iowa, visiting college friends and triathlon. Doesn't get much better than that!

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Lynchmob said...

What a fantastic race under last minute conditions. Online coverage was great except for no audio.

Congrats to Sarah Haskins & Hunter Kemper who secured the remaining spots on the US Olympic team.

Dad, Sponsor, Athlete & Business Owner

knopfler said...

Emma Snowsill from Australia lives in Boulder. good trip.