After a promising start with a sun cresting the horizon, clouds rolled in but didn’t dampen the spirits (or the gear) of triathletes competing in the inaugural Yankton’s Best Tri Saturday. Experience and age won over youth and strength in this event that showcased some of of South Dakota’s best features to out-of-staters who traveled to take on southeast South Dakota’s best triathletes.
Local ironman Gregory Taylor proved his mettle stretches down to the sprints with his 26 second win over Jefferson’s Jeremy Reimer. On a side note, Taylor not only won his age group at Ironman Boulder, but the next weekend he went on to win his age group at USAT age-group nationals in Milwaukee just a few weeks ago. This hometown win certainly tops off a perfect season for him. Vermillion’s Randall Rasmussen, a veteran himself, finished out the overall men’s podium with a solid third place finish.
Texan Cristina Thibodeaux won the women’s field in a commanding fashion. Hartford’s Teresa Van Hyfte placed second with her speedy swim and strong overall showing, and Julie Roos (another outsider, this time from Orange City, Iowa) squeaked her way into third place (by a mere four seconds over South Dakota triathlon regular Laura Zumhofe).
Interested parties can locate the rest of the results at the All Sport Central site.
For their first try at running a triathlon, the Yankton Sertoma Club pulled out all the stops and proved they wanted to content in quality with the other races in the state. Athletes recognized some thoughtful touches like a path of carpet leading from the beach to the carpeted transition area (triathletes like to keep those tender dogs safe on potentially sharp asphalt). The organizers also gave participants a pool of water to wash off unwanted sand before transitioning from the beach to the carpet. Furthermore, this particular event offered something that no other triathlon in the state offers post race: pizza–among a variety of other replenishing possibilities.
Many triathletes commented on the beauty of the course with the bike route that led over the Gavins Point Dam, into Nebraska, and then back on the new Discovery Bridge, and with a safe run route that led athletes down the bike trail along the river and back to the designated finish line. Mother Nature also complied to help make this a fantastic event with an unseasonably cool morning for late August in Yankton and a minimal breeze–nothing the average South Dakotan hasn’t experienced on about 90 percent of his or her training rides.
Most notably, though, this particular event had a boatload of spectators. The campground venue allowed for a handful of people to wake up and cheer on athletes stomping around their domiciles. Additionally, the triathlon greeted an already active community, with several bikers and runners meeting triathletes on or near the course. Yankton’s Best Tri thus proved to be a great ambassador for a growing sport in our fine state.
SDTriNews managed to snap a picture of every triathlete in at least one discipline if not all three. Athletes, friends, family, and anyone who enjoys gawking at people in spandex can find them at our Facebook page here.