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Hy-Vee Teams up With Hunter Kemper as Official Hy-Vee IronKids Ambassador

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The decorated triathlete will appear at three different Hy-Vee IronKids Midwest series races, and conduct clinics the day prior to each competition

WEST DES MOINES, IA—Hy-Vee has partnered with four-time U.S. Olympian Hunter Kemper to promote and encourage kids across the Midwest to compete in the sport of triathlon.

Kemper has been named the Official Ambassador of the Hy-Vee IronKids Midwest Series, which includes 20 youth triathlons being held this summer in communities throughout the Midwest. Top finishers in each age division at these events will qualify to compete in the Hy-Vee IronKids U.S. Championships, to be held August 31 in Des Moines, IA.

Kemper, who has won a total of seven USA Triathlon Elite National Championships, will make appearances at the IronKids competitions in Sioux Falls, SD on June 15, Cedar Rapids, IA on July 27 and the Quad Cities on August 10, and will be in Des Moines for the IronKids U.S. Championships on August 31. In addition to handing out awards and signing autographs during each race day’s festivities, Kemper will host a free triathlon information clinic the Friday prior to each of the races. He has filmed a series of training videos that will be posted on the Hy-Vee IronKids website (www.hy-veeironkids.com) to help young people prepare for the races, and will be Tweeting and blogging about his experiences as IronKids ambassador.

The Hy-Vee IronKids events are open to youths ages 6 through 15. An IronKids race follows the same swim-bike-run format as an adult triathlon, with distances geared to the ages of the participants. The 20 races in the Hy-Vee IronKids Midwest Series are being held from May through August in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.

Kemper, a native of Charlotte, N.C., has a rich history with IronKids triathlons. He entered his first IronKids competition at age 10 and won the contest for his age group. Kemper went on to win five consecutive IronKids national championships before attending Wake Forest University where he excelled at cross country and track. He is also the only man to complete all four Olympic triathlons in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.

Kemper said participating in IronKids events at a young age helped him reach the success he has found throughout his career, and that the event provides unique and valuable opportunities to the children participating.

"Hy-Vee is truly making a difference in helping kids stay fit and active throughout the Midwest by putting on the largest kid's triathlon series in the world,” the four-time Olympian said. “I did my very first triathlon at the age of ten and it gave me the confidence to believe that I could accomplish anything.  The Hy-Vee IronKids triathlon series is giving kids the opportunity to do something they may never have dreamed of.”

His devotion and unprecedented success in the sport – he is pondering a bid for a record-breaking fifth U.S. Olympic Team berth in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 – has led Kemper to accept the role as the official ambassador for the 2013 Hy-Vee IronKids Midwest Series of 20 youth triathlons.

“I am thrilled to be an ambassador for Hy-Vee IronKids this summer and I look forward to sharing my excitement and experience with the kids as they compete in the sport that I love," Kemper said.

Following is a list of Hy-Vee IronKids dates and locations. For more information or to register for the events, visit the Hy-Vee IronKids website at www.hy-veeironkids.com.

  • May 18 - Kansas City, MO
  • June 8 - Peoria, IL, and Lawrence, KS
  • June 15 - Columbia, MO, and Sioux Falls, SD
  • June 22 - Omaha, NE, and Rochester, MN
  • July 13 - Waterloo, IA, and Des Moines, IA
  • July 20 - Manhattan, KS, and Ames, IA
  • July 27 - Lincoln NE, and Cedar Rapids, IA
  • August 3 - Mankato, MN, and Dubuque, IA
  • August 10 - Quad Cities, IA, and Springfield, MO
  • August 17 - Sioux City, IA
  • August 24 - Quincy, IL, and Madison, WI
  • August 31 - U.S. Championships in Des Moines, IA

The mission of IronKids is to inspire and motivate youth through sport to lead an active, positive and healthy lifestyle. World Triathlon Corporation acquired IronKids in 2007 from the Sara Lee Corporation, which had owned the event series since 1985. IronKids events have drawn more than 50,000 participants, including U.S. Olympians Hunter Kemper and Laura Bennett. In 2012, IronKids added a Running Series to its event calendar to encourage even more young people to train, compete and have fun.

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 233 retail stores in eight Midwestern states. For fiscal year 2011 the company recorded sales of $7.7 billion, ranking it among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Hy-Vee annually sponsors the Hy-Vee Triathlon, one of the sport’s premier events with the richest prize purse in triathlon history, as well as the Hy-Vee IronKids Midwest Series of youth triathlons. Learn more about Hy-Vee’s commitment to making lives easier, healthier and happier by visiting the company’s website at www.hy-vee.com.

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