By Matt Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
The series finale
The Flatland Multisport Series concludes Oct. 30 and 31 with Spooky ’Cross event
Iowa is blessed to have a rich tradition of athletic events that take place throughout the year. Competitions like RAGBRAI, the Hy-Vee Triathlon, Bix 7, Dam to Dam and the recently held Des Moines Marathon are just a few of the events that draw thousands of athletes on an annual basis. But Iowa has another event, the Flatland Multisport Series that attracts some of the most diehard competitors around Iowa and the Midwest. The series comprised of five events, concludes this month with the Spooky ’Cross event at Living History Farms.
“The Flatland Multisport Series is a great series that promotes individuals to try new things,” said Dave Mable, who will participate in all but the Red Flannel Run this year. “Competitiveness isn’t a big key to the success of the event. It’s more about getting people to get out of their comfort zone. For the upcoming Spooky ’Cross event, a lot of people will jump on a bike who have never done anything like this before.”
The upcoming Spooky ’Cross event, which takes place Oct. 30 and 31, is just one of five events that make up the Flatland Multisport Series. The series began three years ago and features the Red Flannel Run (3-mile or 5-mile road race), the Scheels Duathlon (2-mile run, 18-mile bike ride, followed by a 2.5-mile run), the Copper Creek Triathlon (750-meter swim, a 12.4-mile bike ride and a 5K run), and the Big Creek Triathlon (1.5K swim, 24.8-mile bike ride and 10K run). The Big Creek Triathlon served as the USAT Midwest Regional Championship. Athletes who placed in the top 33 percent or top five finishers in each age group qualified to compete in the 2010 Age Group Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The event took place on Sept. 25.
This month’s Spooky ’Cross is a cyclo-cross event, a form of bicycle racing where participants try to conquer a short course riddled with steep hills, wooded trails, pavement and other obstacles. The two-day event takes place on a short 1.5 to 2-mile course throughout Living History Farms. Cyclo-cross bicycles are similar to road racing bicycles, except cyclo-cross frames have wider clearances, lower gears and knobby tires. Mable says the key to doing well is being able to dismount, pick up the bicycle, put it back down and remount efficiently and to do so quickly.
“Throughout the race there are a lot of mounts and dismounts, but with enough practice you can get it down,” Mable said. “But the course can be quite challenging.”
While the course can be competitive for some and not for others, it’s always fun. With the event taking place on Halloween, there are plenty of competitors dressed up in costume. Riders come from across Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois and beyond.
“The series has grown over the past couple of years,” Mable said. “Craig Hanken, the race director, has done a great job promoting the event.”
As the series concludes with the Spooky ’Cross, awards will be given to the series top point earners.
“By the end of the year, it gets whittled down quite a bit,” Mable said. “It’s all about performance and consistency. The series is about being a good, well-rounded athlete.”
Locker Room note: Tickets are on sale for the 35th annual World Championship Ice Racing Series on Nov. 13 at Wells Fargo Arena. Tickets are $25 and $20 for adults and $8 for children. Tickets can be purchased through Wells Fargo Arena Ticket Office, all Dahl’s Food locations or at www.dahlstickets.com. For more information on the series, visit www.icespeedway.com. CV
Caption: The Spooky ‘Cross series features a number of obstacles throughout the short course. Photo courtesy of Dave Mable