The Hy-Vee Ironkids U.S. Championship kicked off in West Des Moines Saturday.

Only the best of the best could compete. Each triathlete had to qualify for race earlier this summer.

The kids at the Hy-Vee Ironkids U.S. Championship Sunday trained all summer to swim, bike and run in this triathlon.

 

But the day`s cold weather took things a little off course.

“I`m going to run bike and run,” said Pasley Toles from Oklahoma.

Starting with a run and finishing with one is not something 12 year old Austin is used to, or even all that comfortable with.

“The run is kind of my weakness which is what I have to do the most of. But I am just going to do my best, said Austin Hindman.

But as it turns out, he didn`t really need to be worried.

“I guess it worked out pretty well. The first run I think I pushed it a little harder than I should of but it worked out pretty well,” said Austin.

One reason it worked out so well was due to his team mate, 13 year old Josh Rinderknecht.

“I just started to sprint and gave it my all,” Austin started as he pulled his teammate Josh over by him, “On the bike we were working together. We were side by side the whole way.”

“Handle bars, just hammering as hard as we could right next to each other,” Josh Rinderknecht finished.

Now triathlon is an individual sport, but many kids practice with a team.

It’s a strategy that can really pay off.

“We picked off like 40 people it was pretty awesome,” said Josh.

And even though there can only be one winner, Austin and his team mates don’t do it for the title.

“The look on these kids’ faces when they cross the finish line, the sense of accomplishment from these kids. It’s unbelievable. And I think we as parents don't realize they can accomplish what they`re accomplishing at such a young age,” said Austin’s dad Jeff Hindman.

And maybe the kids themselves don`t quite realize it either; it`s just something they love to be part of.

Boys and girls ages 6 through 15 competed in Saturday’s event.