This coming weekend I will be racing in my first Hy-Vee Elite Cup and I am pumped! While I was not born in Iowa, I’m about as close as it gets to being a native Iowan without actually being one. Confused? Read on! My family is full of Iowans... my parents and 3 of my grandparents were born in Iowa and 5 of my great grandparents were born and raised in Iowa. As a result, I was dressed in stylish Iowa Hawkeye gear and paraded around Iowa and Illinois at a very young age (I have the pics to prove it!). In addition, my Grandpa Don is a graduate of the University of Iowa and my Grandpa Bill was an avid fan of Iowa sports. My family made the trek via minivan from Gainesville, Florida to Iowa every Christmas and sometimes even in the summer months to visit family throughout Iowa. My Aunt Vonnie and Uncle Al farm about an hour north of Des Moines and I have many fond memories of visiting them and getting to play with the animals on their farm.
When Hy-Vee first created this race a couple years back, I asked my mom why the name “Hy-Vee” sounded so familiar. I was quickly reminded though – it was the cookies. On various occasions, my grandmothers and aunt would send Heidi (my sister) and I the Hy-Vee Letter Cookies and boy were they delicious! We’d always race to see who could make the most words out of the handful of cookies we grabbed from the bag before snarfing them down, of course!
Having the opportunity to compete in the Hy-Vee Triathlon Elite Cup race this weekend will make my triathlon aspirations come full circle. I started in triathlon at a very young age and road-tripped with my family to participate in some of the Iron Kids races. In 1996, my family supported Heidi and I when we raced Iron Kids Des Moines. Five years later, I raced in the Heart of American Triathlon Series race. And now, to be able to race in one of the largest triathlons where my family claims roots is continuing the triathlon loop.
So, there you have maybe more information than you probably wanted on what this upcoming Hy-Vee Elite Cup Triathlon means to me. While the jury may say that I am not a native daughter to Iowa, I would have to argue that I come pretty darn close… I am looking forward to mixing it up with some of the best in the world this weekend and hope that this is only the first of many Hy-Vee races to come in the future!