Past and potential Olympic athletes are in Iowa this weekend for the only World Cup Triathlon in America this year.
The competitors are in Des Moines for Sunday’s event, that features a 15-hundred meter swim, a 25 mile cycling course, and a 6.2 mile run. The finish line is in front of Iowa’s State Capitol Building.
USA Triathlon CEO Skip Gilbert says it’s the biggest race yet this year. Nineteen of the top 20 ranked females and all 20 of the top males in the world are entered. "It is the who’s who of triathlon globally," Gilbert says.
Iowa will get some national television exposure from the event. NBC-TV is providing coverage. NBC will present the full race on air in a month or two, but will provide live "break ins" on Sunday during their coverage of the US Open Golf Tournament.
America’s highest-ranked male athlete in the field is Andy Potts, a former collegiant swimmer at Michigan. Potts admits he’d like to win the $200,000 first prize, but Potts says he’s just glad his wife and newborn son will be there to watch. "The money is always nice," Potts says. "But for me, the opportunity to race in front of my wife and son is a very unique opportunity and something I’m really going to cherish."
The elite athletes will be racing on Father’s Day. Potts just became a father for the first time five weeks ago. "His name is Boston Thomas and he gives me something else to race for" Potts says. "Not that I didn’t have enough to race for already, but it’s that extra inspiration that can help me dig a little deeper into the reserves and challenge myself to give him another reason to be proud of his father on Father’s Day."
There are kids triathlons on Saturday, an Amateur Triathlon Sunday morning, and then the women’s and men’s World Cup events are held Sunday afternoon.
All of the events are sponsored by Hy-Vee. More information about all of the weekend’s activities can be found online at www.hy-veetriathlon.com .