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Brownlee in Des Moines? Field To Include Olympic Medalists


After winning Gold at the 2012 London Olympic Triathlon event, Alistair Brownlee, the new Men's Olympic triathlon champion mentioned something about crossing the pond and checking out some triathlon events in the U.S. Could that mean we might see him in Des Moines, IA next month? Maybe his brother Jonathan, the Bronze medal winner, might tag along, as well as Javier Gomez from Spain who was the Silver medal winner. Why not, the 1st place male and female athletes cash in on the sport's largest-ever prize purse, $151,500 for winning.

Alistair Brownlee has confirmed he will follow Olympic gold by having a crack at the richest prize in triathlon, he is racing the Hy-Vee Triathlon (story link via 220 Triathlon
Hy-Vee Triathlon has announced that the field of professional athletes vying for the richest prize purse in triathlon is expanding this year to include Olympic medalists.

Winners of the gold, silver and bronze medals in men's and women's triathlon at this summer's Olympic Games in London will receive special invitations to compete in the 2012 Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship Elite Cup on September 2 in Des Moines. Bill Burke, race director of the Hy-Vee Triathlon, said the addition of Olympic medalists will increase the field for each Elite Cup race from 30 to a maximum of 33 athletes.

Women's Olympic Gold Medal winner Nicola Spirig has already qualified for the prestigious event and should be there as well as London Olympic Silver medalist Lisa Norden, who has an automatic qualification for winning last year's triathlon event. This means that Erin Densham of Australia would also get an invite to Des Moines.

"Since its inception in 2007, the Hy-Vee Triathlon has seen very best triathletes in the world racing for a share of the biggest prize purse in the history of the sport," Burke said. "Obviously, in an Olympic year, any gathering of the best athletes at the 5150 distance would have to include the reigning Olympic medalists."

For the second year in a row, the Hy-Vee Triathlon will serve as the national championship event for the 5150 Series sponsored by World Triathlon Corporation, owners of the famous Ironman and Ironman 70.3 brands. A 5150 triathlon event - also known as international distance or Olympic distance - consists of a 1.5 kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run, for a total distance of 51.5 kilometers. WTC's 5150 Series is the world's largest triathlon series at this distance, offering 10 U.S. events and eight international races in 2012.

Professional triathletes earn points throughout the year by competing in 5150 Series events and selected Ironman 70.3 races. The top 25 men and women in the 5150 Point Rankings qualify for the Hy-Vee U.S. Championship 5150 Elite Cup field. In addition, the reigning Ironman and Ironman 70.3 champions will receive invitations to compete in the Hy-Vee event. The remainder of the field will be filled with special invitees, including this year's Olympic medalists, Burke said.

"The Hy-Vee Triathlon has truly revolutionized the sport," Burke said. "The caliber of event they put on in Des Moines, and the $1.1 million prize purse, attract top triathletes who don't normally compete at the 5150 distance. I have talked to Ironman and 70.3 champions who are adjusting their training schedules for the express purpose of being ready to compete at the Hy-Vee event, should that chance come along. This year's event is going to feature the most diverse, most competitive field of athletes we've ever had."