Hy-Vee said this week that it would discontinue its support of its namesake triathlon event, saying it would shift efforts behind a new event series promoting health and wellness in children.
The West Des Moines, Iowa, chain had been the founding and title sponsor of the Hy-Vee Triathlon for eight years, an event that drew world-class athletes as well as local amateurs to Des Moines and became one of the sport’s major events. The company said it founded the annual event to support the chain’s long-term focus on employee and customer health.
“It has been an honor to watch the Hy-Vee Triathlon grow into a world-class event, introducing new athletes, spectators and our customers to the sport,” Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee, said in a statement. “We remain committed to the sport of triathlon, and to providing opportunities for health and wellness — both in and out of our aisles. I am excited about this new event series and what we’ll be able to accomplish with the help of our customers and communities in this next chapter.”
Premier Event Management, which operates the triathlon, intends to run the event this summer in Des Moines, local reports said.
Hy-Vee said it expected to provide additional details of the new series in March. It will be aimed at increasing accessibility to children at all fitness levels with a focus on non-competitive participation and helping others, the company said.
“We are extremely proud to have put a spotlight on the sport of triathlon, through the world-class Hy-Vee Triathlon,” Andy McCann, EVP and chief health officer of Hy-Vee. “These events will continue to hold a special place in the history of our company, and we thank those athletes and volunteers who allowed us to be successful for so many years.”
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