DES MOINES, Iowa — After coming in second for the last three years running, an elite Hy-Vee triathlete finally crossed the finish line first at Gray’s Lake.
“To be the first one to lift up that tape, very , very special. I lost last year by 11 seconds and I got confetti rained down on me. Yeah, that’s how close it,” says Hunter Kemper of Colorado Springs, CO.
The Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Champion completed a one mile swim, nearly 25 mile bike ride and just over six mile run in 1:44:43. Kemper says his entire family was here to cheer him on this year.
“Maybe that was the difference,” he says.
The father of four plans to use his winnings to buy diapers and pay for his kids’ education.
“Today’s prize purse was $500,000 – the largest prize purse in the world for an Olympic distance race. Believe me, it’s second to none,” says race director Bill Burke.
Three thousand people participated in the Hy-Vee triathlon this weekend. After the professionals completed the course, the age group races began. The triathletes range in age from five all the way to the oldest, an 85-year-old man.