The DeWitt, Iowa Crossroads Triathlon has been part of my annual “to do list” for more than a decade. The event is beginner friendly with lots of community spirit and always a challenge no matter how many triathlons you have completed.
For me the idea of having a physical challenge bucket list is a must. I have learned since I was 10 years old that saying yes by signing up is a good way to motivate the mind and body. I have been picking out annual endurance sporting challenges for about as long as I can remember. Triathlons first captured my attention when I was in high school. What has been important to me is that the events I pick be achievable but also challenging. How far can I go and what might I get to experience? How fast can I complete the event relative to my current fitness?
My first triathlon was the Quad City Triathlon in the late 1980s. I had read about and saw pictures of pro triathletes that were very inspiring. I was working as a lifeguard at Scott County Park Pool and enjoyed running and biking. Swimming competitively was far different than the fitness and skill necessary to lifeguard. My weakness would definitely be the open water swim. What helped me say yes to the challenge and sign up for the event was a new life guarding friend. He was a competitive swimmer and strong biker. His worry was the run which I convinced him was no big deal. My friend and I both finished despite struggling so much on our weaknesses during the event. We were filled with a sense of accomplishment and a sense of euphoria that can’t be purchased. We both were hooked and continued to pursue rewarding experiences through endurance sports.
30 years later there are many more triathlons to pick from in Eastern Iowa. Jeff and Amy Castro started the Crossroads Triathlon and it is now continued by the DeWitt community with the support of DeWitt Parks and Rec and First Central State Bank. The triathlon has a less crowded time trial start with self seeding and a challenging yet accessible course. My goals each year have changed. I was able to be part of a team with my wife and oldest son in 2017 which was a lot of fun. I also get excited to encourage new participants to complete their first triathlon; whether as leg for a team or individual. 2018 will also offer a youth triathlon which has my 3 kids excited to see if they can complete the swim, bike, run challenge.
The first step to experiencing the sense of accomplishment and triathlete euphoria is to sign up. Regardless of your current fitness level, registering will motivate you to physically prepare and feel great doing so. Check out this great event and I am sure you too can make endurance sports part of your yearly experiences!
Ron Zimmer, DeWitt Resident and Triathlete