WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - The annual Flatland Triathlon attracted hundreds of competitors from around the country hoping to qualify for a national competition. However, many in attendance raced with an extra purpose.
The initials “TRJ” were drawn on the arms and legs of athletes to remember triathlete, Timothy Jenks. The 13–year–old was training for the triathlon when he died in a biking accident after colliding with a car last month in Story County.
Timothy’s twin sister, Olivia, was his training partner. The two planned to compete in the triathlon together, instead Olivia raced alone. Sunday’s race was the first time she has competed without her brother.
Coordinators of the event placed Timothy's tennis shoes along the course route and reserved the running number "#1" in his honor.
Cynthia Jenks, the twin’s mother, says the support from the racing community during this time has been overwhelming. As Olivia crossed the finish line, both she and her family broke down in tears.
Jenks finished 8th in her age group and qualified to compete at a national competition next month in Ohio.