The start of any triathlon is always the swim. In this case, these guys were swimming in the Des Moines River for about 1.5k. That was 3 laps around a circle course made from yellow bouys.
The 5150 US Championships is held annually in Des Moines. This is an absolute blast to watch. The 5150 is a world-wide triathlon series that is essentially the "major league" of olympic distance triathlons. These are world-class athletes competing for a lot of money. First place won $151,000.
The 5150 races consist of: 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run. It will be the largest international distance triathlon series in the world and will be the first non-drafting international race series of its kind, offering a competitive platform for professional and age group athletes. The 2011 event schedule will offer 12 domestic events as well as a handful of international races. The Hy-Vee Triathlon will host the 5150 U.S. Championship, offering professional athletes the opportunity to compete for $1 million in prize money.
Coincidentally "5150" is slang for crazy person on the loose. Don't believe me? Check out urban dictionary's link below.
2011 Prize Purse
1st Place: New car* + $5,150 in product/prizes
2nd Place: $4,000 in product/prizes
3rd Place: $3,000 in product/prizes
4th Place: $2,000 in product/prizes
5th Place: $1,000 in product/prizes
2011 Race Results:
Canon 7d and 100-400L