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Seventh Annual Hy-Vee Triathlon focuses on Safety for Athletes and Spectators

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WEST DES MOINES, IA – Hy-Vee officials anticipate a strong turnout, and in some cases record participation, for the seventh annual Hy-Vee Triathlon weekend events. Registration numbers for this year have jumped for the Hy-Vee IronKids National Championship, from around 1,000 to 1,400, and remain strong for the Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150.

With record temperatures continuing into the weekend, Hy-Vee officials are taking additional steps to ensure a safe event for athletes and spectators alike. “Safety is our number one priority for our athletes and guests,” said Darin Hirl, Director of Event Marketing for Hy-Vee. “We have increased the amount of water and ice available and we are setting up shade-areas to ensure that people have the tools they need to stay cool and safe.”

The record heat will likely not surprise the Elite or professional athletes; however the Hy-Vee Triathlon is a two-day inclusive event. Children will be participating in the Hy-Vee IronKids National Championship on Saturday with adult-athletes running on Sunday. “We have added sprinkler stations throughout the course so athletes can cool-off during the race,” said Bill Burke, Race director. “As always there will be water stations, volunteers and medical personnel for any athletes who need additional assistance.”

Over the seven years Hy-Vee has been holding the Triathlon, organizers have had to manage flooding conditions, drought and low water levels, and now record heat. “At Hy-Vee we are used to being flexible and responsive,” Hirl said. “Then again it is August in Iowa so there are always surprises.”

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 234 retail stores in eight Midwestern states. For 2012 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. To learn more, visit the company’s Web site at www.hy-vee.com.

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Fact Sheet & By the Numbers

Hy-Vee’s main focus is the safety of everyone involved with the Triathlon event. In order to properly prepare for the heat, Hy-Vee has implemented precautions for those coming to the Triathlon event, including hosting a full host of medical personnel on-site, and providing more opportunities for spectators, volunteers and athletes to hydrate, cool down and seek shade, including:

  • Additional shade tents and canopies around the course and spectator areas;
  • Water available at centralized locations, as well as along the course;
  • Recovery baths, sprinklers and cool sponges for athletes; and
  • Heat warnings during mandatory briefing sessions.

In addition, Hy-Vee is asking event attendees to follow a few key guidelines:

  • Wear light, loose clothing;
  • Stay hydrated by bringing liquids or utilizing the free-water stations and beverage purchase stations at the event;
  • Wear sunscreen, and seek shade when appropriate; and
  • Be alert for heat warning signs, including dizziness, nausea or fatigue.

2013 interesting Triathlon figures:

  • 2,517 Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 participants as of 8/28/13—anticipated that an additional 100 participants will sign up over the next two days
  • 1,377 Hy-Vee IronKids National Championship participants, up from 1,000 in 2012 as of 8/28/13—anticipated that an additional 100 participants will sign up over the next two days
  • 24,080 pounds of ice
  • 3,906 gallons of water on the course just for the athletes on Sunday
  • Double the amount of water and Gatorade on the run course and at the finish line for all races
  • 3,000 sponges at the water stations for cooling purposes
  • 22,080 bottles of Hy-Vee water free to spectators
  • 10 Hydration stations for spectators around Gray’s Lake Saturday and Sunday
  • Nine recovery pools added at the finish line of each race
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