Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page -

a $ 500,000 prize purse for the pros and prizes val­ued at $ 5,150 for the elite age group ath­letes (and $750 for each of the age group win­ners), the Hy-Vee cham­pi­onship is the rich­est Olympic- dis­tance race in the sport for pros and age­groupers alike.

Set in Des Moines, Iowa, the Hy-Vee Triathlon put the small Mid­west­ern town squarely on the in­ter­na­tional mul­ti­sport map. Over the years it has rou­tinely at­tracted the sport’s top stars – Canada’s very own Si­mon Whit­field won a five-way lean across the line in 2009 to take home a $200,000 win­ner’s cheque. Last year’s Olympic run­ner-up, Swe­den’s Lisa Nor­den, capped her ex­cep­tional sea­son off with an im­pres­sive win, while Javier Gomez made it a sil­ver-medal sweep by win­ning the men’s race af­ter find­ing him­self sand­wiched on the podium by the two Brown­lees at the Olympics last year.

This year’s race prom­ises to be ev­ery bit as ex­cit­ing on the pro front, with Nor­den lead­ing the qual­i­fy­ing stand­ings head­ing into the cham­pi­onship. Nor­den will likely have some speedy com­pe­ti­tion, though, in the form of a bunch of other Olympic ath­letes who are now set­ting their sites on non- draft­ing events in­clud­ing Amer­i­can Laura Ben­nett, Aus­tralia’s Emma Mof­fatt and Chile’s Bar­bara Riveros. It would be fun to see Ali­cia Kaye, who is orig­i­nally from Canada but now lives in the U. S. with hus­band Jar­rod Shoe­maker, com­pete for the big prize money in Des Moines, too. As we go to print Kaye is sit­ting se­cond in the 5150 stand­ings.

While the women’s race could very well be Nor­den- dom­i­nated, the men’s race will likely be close-fought. Gomez, hav­ing re­cently won the 5150 race in Zurich, will no- doubt ar­rive as the pre-race favourite, but he’ll once again face some tough com­pe­ti­tion. For­mer Aus­tralian Olympian Greg Ben­nett won in Des Moines two years ago, help­ing pad his lead as the sport’s high­est prize money earner. He’s dream­ing of an his­toric dou­ble – the Hy-Vee ti­tle fol­lowed a week later with a win at the 70.3 worlds. That won’t be easy – Amer­i­can Tim O’Don­nell will likely have the same idea in mind. Add to the mix the Czech Re­pub­lic’s Filip Os­paly and Kiwi-turned-Amer­i­can Matt Reed and you know there will be some hard rac­ing for that $100,000 first-place cheque.

The pros aren’t the only ones ex­cited about the event ei­ther. Age group com­peti­tors from around the world have been qual­i­fy­ing to com­pete at the Hy-Vee Cham­pi­onship at 5150 races (Canada’s lone event takes place in Muskoka) for their chance at some of bigleague prizes.

Lisa Nor­den at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics above Ali­cia Kaye rac­ing the 2013 Muskoka 5150 Javier Gomez be­fore the 2013 itu World Triathlon San Diego

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