Preparations are underway for the 6th annual Hy-Vee Triathlon, including a big last-minute change.
Last year elite athletes completed the swim portion in the Des Moines River.
However, they’ll now swim at Gray’s Lake due to low river levels causing safety concerns.
“Unfortunately, this year drought conditions made the water levels at the river too low so we’ve gone to our contingency plan which was to swim at Grey’s Lake, and we’re really fortunate we have a beautiful facility here and it’s going to work just great,” says Ruth Comer from Hy-Vee.
The triathlon will host over 3,000 athletes this year, including Des Moines native Al Gross who looks forward to triathlon every year.
“It’s a great event, very professionally done, it’s great for the city, just well-organized and it’s fun,” says Al Gross of Des Moines.
Iowa’s extreme heat is also on the radar of organizers.
They’re making sure they have extra staff and resources to combat the hot weather.
“We will be prepared with a lot of medical people on staff, lots of water stations, stocked with water, and performance drinks for them, so we know to watch for those conditions,” says Comer.
For those training, the heat adds yet another element to deal with, but one Gross says he’s been preparing for.
“I don’t like the heat, so the run for my wave it will be pretty warm but we’ll get through it, we’ll survive,” says Gross.
Hy-Vee estimates the economic impact will be $4.5 million dollars to the city.
Hy-Vee says they’re happy to be able to give back and be able to showcase Des Moines to out-of-town guests.
“We’re really proud of being able to bring those dollars into the city and show people from all over the world how many terrific things Des Moines has to offer,” says Comer.
For more information on the event including maps of where to watch visit, http://www.hy-veetriathlon.com/