Hy-Vee Eliminating Triathlon, Planning Events for Child Wellness

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Hy-Vee has announced it is ending its triathlon events in 2015.

"This was a difficult decision for Hy-Vee.  It`s something that we had given a lot of thought to and we know it`s going to be disappointing for the triathletes who have been supportive of the event for many years now," says Tara Deering-Hansen, Director of Corporate Communications with Hy-Vee.

Hy-Vee said its evolving health and wellness priorities played a part in the choice. The company plans to create a new event series focused on youth.

"We were presented with a unique opportunity to launch a new event that`s aimed at children of all fitness levels. It won`t have a timed element but it will have a fundraising element and we`re really excited about announcing that in Mid-March," says Deering-Hansen.

Bill Lorenz of Des Moines, is sad to see the event leave the metro.

"Hy-Vee was the reason I got into triathlons.  I aspired to be a triathlete for 10 years.  I watched the first year of the triathlon and was so impressed with how well it was produced that I promised myself that day that I would be competing the following year," says Lorenz.

Lorenz went on to participate in four Hy-Vee Triathlon and will miss it being in Des Moines.

"I think it will leave a hole in the community there wasn't anything quite like it and I don`t think there will be it was a one of a kind event," says Lorenz.

However, the new venture focused on kids is appealing to Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny.

The business was the bike support sponsor for the kid's tri last year.

"I hope they jump in with both feet because the kids are the future of what we do.  Bike riding and being active I think we need to teach our kids to do that stuff," says owner Kyle Robinson.

Details on the new kids' events are still being worked out.

Hy-Vee's triathlon began in 2007 and the company said over the years it has raised more than $750,000 for charity.

Another company has already stepped in to announce they will hold a triathlon in Des Moines over Labor Day weekend, when the Hy-Vee Triathlon was traditionally held.

Premier Event Management, which organized the triathlon for Hy-Vee, released a statement Tuesday that it is creating the inaugural Des Moines Triathlon. It will be Olympic distance and Sprint distance.

Premier's Race Director Bill Burke said in the statement, "While this new event is in no way affiliated with Hy-Vee, we expect that many of the core components will remain similar and will be familiar to incoming athletes."

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