Surprising women's winner in new Dubuque Duathlon - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Surprising women's winner in new Dubuque Duathlon

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12-year-old Stephanie Jenks won the Dubuque Duathlon women's division 12-year-old Stephanie Jenks won the Dubuque Duathlon women's division

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Saturday morning the city drew more than 140 athletes from across the country to the first Dubuque Duathlon.

Katie Simmons is the sports and events manager for Dubuque's Convention and Visitors Bureau. She headed up the new event and said the turnout exceeded her expectations.

Athletes came from six different states, including Iowa. Simmons said some from out of town showed interest in exploring the city.

"I have received a few phone calls. They want to bring their family in, they want to know where to stay, where the things are to do, where to eat," Simmons said. "We've been, you know, not only bringing people in from across the state, but also, you know, outskirts of Iowa and getting them into our hotels and restaurants."

The Dubuque Duathlon had an original first date of June 2009, but that was canceled. Simmons said she hopes to grow the event in future years.

"We're really looking forward to, you know, marketing it more next year and reaching out to further audiences," Simmons said.

Dubuque's own Matt Jasper, 29, won the men's division with a time of 1:08:17.

The winner of the women's division took some people by surprise. Her name is Stephanie Jenks, she's from Aurora, her time was 1:19:42 and she is just 12 years old.

"All these adults, you think they're way better than you because they're, like, 30s and they've been training for 20 years, maybe, but when you come out here and you win it, you're just shocked," Jenks said.

Jenks is by no means a beginner.

"This is my sixth year doing duathlons and triathlons, and I've done probably over 30," Jenks said.

Of the Dubuque Duathlon, Jenks said, "the bike course, well, it was really nice. It has nice hills and down hills that you can go pretty fast on. The run course, it was well set-up. It was marked completely. There is no way you could go wrong on this."

Jenks' sister, 11, also runs. The two train together in Des Moines.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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