Ames athletes participated in 15th annual triathlon

 “Vet Path”, Joseph Haynes (left), Mike Yaeger (middle) and Mark Ackerman (right)

“Vet Path”, Joseph Haynes (left), Mike Yaeger (middle) and Mark Ackerman (right)

Ada Hayden held the 15th annual Great Ames Adventure Race on Sunday morning. The chilly weather did not prevent the participants and the Ames Jaycees, the professional organization that put together the race, from delivering a welcoming event that drew in kayaking, biking and running enthusiasts and long-time veterans of the sports.

The triathlon started around 7:30 a.m and began with a 2.5-mile kayak course that circles the lake. Participants then transitioned to a 15-mile bicycle course of trails and Ames neighborhood areas. The last stretch of the event was a 5K run around the park.

“I think the best time we ever had was one hour and 28 minutes,” said Galen Wilke, one of the race coordinators. “Generally the 15-mile bike section takes the longest; however, having a lead on the kayak portion is always important for an overall good performance on the race.”

The race was divided into six waves with a total of 42 participants. Each competitor had their times logged into with the race ID 289739. Through the website, participants could view individual section times (kayak, bike, run) and their overall times for the relay.

“The triathlon can be completed as a relay with two or three people or as a solo race,” Wilke said.

Throughout the course, there were members from the radio club that reported where all the participants were, and the Ames Jaycees contacted the Ames Fire Department to ensure a safe event.

The competitors with the best relay time were a team known as the “Vet Path.” This team was composed of veterinary pathology professors with their combined ages adding up to 193. Mike Yaeger, an Iowa State professor, started the race gaining a considerable lead on the Kayak with a total time of 27 minutes and one second.

Mark Ackerman, director of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory at Oregon State University, maintained the lead on the bike completing the 15 miles in 44 minutes and 35 seconds.

The last stretch was completed by Joseph Haynes, a recently retired pathology professor from Iowa State University, with a time of 21 minutes and 44 seconds.

“Mike gave us a big lead on the kayak, Mark did the bike, and he held it or extended it, and I did the running in the end and didn’t lose it,” Haynes said moments after completing the race.

This is the second time Haynes participated in the Great Ames Adventure Race. He finds it a great way to stay healthy and active. In the past, he has completed other marathons in Boston, the Twin Cities and Chicago and has no plans of stopping yet.

“My first time I did the kayak, and that was a mistake,” Haynes said, who is a more experienced runner. “I probably run around 40 miles a week.”

After the event was over, the participants were gathered at the Moose Lodge for a pancake breakfast where the best solo and relay competitors were given awards.