Athlete's Guide

Pre-Race Day Activities

Pack pick-up begins on Thursday July 7th and Friday, July 8th at Runners High ‘n Tri in Arlington Heights from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.  Please remember to bring a picture ID and a USAT membership card if you have one.

On Saturday, July 9th, packet pick-up will be at the race site at Paulus Park in Lake Zurich (200 S. Rand Rd).  Packet pick-up begins at 9:30 am and will go until 3:00 pm (these times will be held to).  There will be three course talks throughout the day @ 10:00 am, Noon and 2:00 pm.  Each course talk is approximately 20 minutes and we will answer questions afterwards. Join Head Coach and Race Director, Joe LoPresto of Experience Triathlon Coaching Services for this very helpful clinic on preparing for a successful race day.  Topics such as how the race day will flow, what time to arrive, how  to set up your transition space, packing for the race, pre-race nutrition, what to wear, how to do a transition from swim-to-bike and bike-to-run, staying hydrated, mental strategies and an overview of the race course will be discussed.  

The beach area is a private/paid beach and is not accessible for general swimming other than on race day.  During packet pick-up, you are able to walk down to the beach area and view the lake overall.  The swim course will not be set until sometime after 4:30 pm on Saturday, July 9.  Based on recent temperatures the past week and what is expected the first week of July, we do not anticipate a wetsuit legal event.  However, a water temperature will be available on Saturday, July 9 and the official temperature will be taken on the morning of the event.

Race Day

On Sunday, July 10, transition area will open at 4:45 am.  Limited parking at the park will be available.  The best option for parking is directly across the street from the park.  Please plan accordingly for parking and walking across the street.

You must have a bib number to get into transition area.  No family/friends/pets will be allowed in transition.  You will also need your bib number to check your bike out of transition after the event.  If you picked up your race bag prior to Sunday, you only need to get body marked.  Do not forget your timing chip – no chip, no time. For athletes picking up their packet Sunday morning, timing chips will be in your packet and body marking will be available near the transition area entrance.  There will also be a bike tech directly outside of the transition area.  Bike racks will be in numbered ranges.  You can rack your bike in any position along the bike rack that includes your bib number.  Race officials will be inside transition area to ensure bikes are racked properly and any race gear is placed properly without impeding another athlete.  The transition area will be closed at 6:20 am.

For the swim, the beach will open at 5:45 am for open practice.  Please do not swim far out as all swimmers must be out of the water no later than 6:25 am.  Please adhere to this rule as failure to do so may impact the start of the event.  Race announcements and the national anthem will take place between 6:25 am and 6:40 am.

The Sprint distance will begin at 6:40 am.  It will be a rolling start sending off a few swimmers every few seconds.  You will self-seed yourself and is best to do by what you feel your estimated time will be.  Volunteers will be on the beach holding up signs with estimated swim times.  Begin to line up accordingly behind the proper time to self-seed.  The Sprint swim is a single counter clockwise loop that will follow the lime green buoys.  The Olympic distance will have similar rolling start and self-seeding that will begin by 6:55 am.  As with Sprint athletes, please look for volunteers holding up signs with estimated times and organize yourselves accordingly.  The Olympic swim is also a single counter clockwise loop which will have intermittent buoys and then large orange buoys signifying the two left turns.  Lifeguards in kayaks, as well as motor boats will line the outside of the course with the buoys on the inside. If you cannot complete the swim and are pulled from the water, you cannot continue the event per USAT rules. You must turn in your timing chip and leave the course.

As you exit the water there is roughly a 100 yd run to transition.  This run is included in your swim time as the timing mat is located at the entrance to transition.  In transition, find your bike, put on your helmet and walk your bike out of transition.  Failure to have a helmet for the event will result in disqualification from the event

The bike is a single loop for the Sprint and double loop for the Olympic.  The bike course is well patrolled with law enforcement official controlling traffic and shutting down lanes of traffic specifically for cyclists.  There are also volunteers at many points of entrance to subdivisions to help prohibit motor vehicles from getting on the course.  While we do our best to minimize the traffic, please always be alert as motorist may not always follow instructions provided by volunteers.  There are a few spots that will have signs to SLOW DOWN.  Please pay attention to the signs as they are there for a reason.  As you return to the park/transition, Sprint athletes will dismount their bikes and return their bike to the proper bike rack position.  Olympic athletes will continue through the parking lot of the park to begin a second identical loop of the course.  While the course is well marked and volunteers are throughout the course, it is the athlete’s responsibility to know the course.  As a note, there is no aid stations along the bike course for fluid replacement.  There will be three to four SAG vehicles roaming the course.  While they may have supplies (tubes, pumps). It is the athlete’s responsibility to ensure they have any extra supplies necessary and are able to repair their own bike if necessary.  Four to five USAT race officials will also be traveling the course to enforce all USAT rules and assess penalties where necessary.

Once returning to transition to begin the run, athletes will exit transition where the originally came into transition from the swim.  An aid station will available as you start the run to get water and Gatorade.  Athletes will exit the park and run a clockwise loop around the lake.  There will be a second aid station approximately 1.75 into the run with water only.  We will also plan to have a port-a-potty available here.  Soon after this aid station runners will share the road with cyclists who will be near the end of the looped course.  As runners return to the park, they will enter the park area and complete a loop on a paved path.  For Sprint athletes, you will then make a looping left turn to the finish line in the middle of the park.  For Olympic athletes, you will continue straight to exit the park and begin a second identical loop.  While there will be volunteers to help shout instructions, it is again the athlete’s responsibility to know if they are to start a second 5k loop as part of the Olympic course.  When Olympic athletes exit the park on their second loop, there again will be water and Gatorade at an aid station.  Then, just before the 5 mile mark, you will again see the aid station with water only.  As Olympic athletes finish, they will make a loop inside the park and finish with a looping left turn to the finish.

At the finish, all participants will be handed a finisher award and volunteers will be there to assist with removing your timing chip.  There will be a food tent and a first aid tent with a misting station.  As of now, Sprint athletes should not plan to be available to retrieve their bikes from transition until all Olympic athletes have returned from the bike course.  If we are able to accommodate sooner, we will, but do not plan on it at this time.  The bike course has a projected closing time of approximately 10:15 am.  This has typically not been an issue.  If a cyclist is still out on the course after this time, they will most likely be able to complete the rest of the bike, but may not be able to start the run portion of the event.  The run course close time is 11:30 am.  Again, this has typically not been an issue and it will be a decision at 11:30 if any remaining runners are able to go ahead and complete the course based on where they are on the run course.

If for any reason you need to abandon the race at any point, please be sure to return your timing chip to the finish line and be sure an official race representative is aware of your race number as we want to account for all participants.  Per USAT regulations, there are no listening devices allowed on the course at any time.  Race officials will be paying attention to this.

For spectators, the Park itself is the best viewing area for this event as it is a single transition area and the run course loops through the park.  On the bike course, since Olympic athletes loop past the park to start their second loop, this is also a good place to see the cyclists.  Another good spot to watch is from the Lake Zurich High School parking lot.

Based on weather conditions, there is always the potential the race may be shortened due to inclement or dangerous weather conditions.  We do have officials and a meteorologist onsite that will help in these decisions.  In regard to lightening, there is a lightening detection system at the race site and this will be adhered to without exception.  We understand all athletes put a lot of time and energy (not to mention money) into preparing for an event, but safety, above all else, is the primary factor in any decisions regarding the alteration or cancellation of this event.

Thank you!