DES MOINES, Iowa — It was a “trying” day for some and a day of achievement for others at Water Works Park in Des Moines on Sunday for the first “The Nice Tri” triathlon.

The event gave everyone a chance to compete.

“It’s for people regardless of their motivation or mobility so we’re working with adaptive guests today but also the general public, people who might not be inclined to train for an elite event that requires a ton of athletic skills or motivation,” said Mindy Toyne, the event’s founder.

Toyne created this event in part to give her son, who has autism, a chance to compete.

Justin Putzier also competed in his first triathlon Sunday. The 30-year-old has cerebral palsy but that didn’t stop him from finishing the race.

“He always has the never give up attitude, and when I saw this on Facebook, I thought, why not try it,” Justin’s father Kirby Putzier said.

To put “The Nice Tri” together, Toyne partnered with Can Play. It’s an organization that gives people with special needs a chance to play sports.

“Everything our kids that are in our programs, including my own son, you know, they grow up being told everything they can’t do. Today’s a great day to show them what they can do and they can go back, and they’re going to get a medal today, and they’re going to say ‘I did a triathlon.’ And no matter what that looks like, they came here, they did it and they did it based on what they could do,” said Melissa Clarke-Wharff, Can Play’s co-founder.

Justin Putzier echoed Clarke-Wharff’s feelings. He was grateful for the chance to compete Sunday.

“It means the world to people like me,” he said. “I mean, there’s a lot of people out there that don’t get the opportunity to do this.”

In addition to the triathlon, there was also a live performance from the band, The Nadas.