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After 30 years, two of the longest running triathlons in the country, Life Time Tri Chicago (formerly the Chicago Triathlon) and Leon’s Tri, have teamed up to form Chicago’s first ever triathlon series, the Chicagoland Tri Series. The series was created to better engage and reward the greater Chicago triathlon community, one of the largest and oldest triathlon markets in the country.
Leon’s Triathlon, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year on Sunday, June 2, is hosted at Wolf Lake Park in Hammond, Ind. (about a half-hour drive south of Chicago). Athletes will swim, bike and run on a closed course in Northwest Indiana. The international-distance race has been marketed as the “world’s fastest triathlon,” and will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet (premiering in July). Last year’s race drew more than 750 athletes from around the country.
Life Time Tri Chicago has been around for more than 30 years, and will take place this year on Aug. 25 at Grant Park in Chicago. The sprint- and Olympic-distance race, part of the Life Time Tri portfolio of races, is one of the largest triathlons in the world and includes more than 10,000 athletes racing on its urban course through the streets of one of America’s signature metropolises. The races start at Monroe Harbor, loop along Lake Shore Drive and end with a run down Columbus Drive.
The way it works is any triathletes who participate in both Leon’s Triathlon and the Life Time Tri Chicago during the 2013 season can be enrolled in the series competition by simply opting in through a registration portal on the site. Individual’s finish times from the two races will be combined and tabulated to create an overall series score, and top performing athletes in all men’s and women’s age groups will earn special awards. Anyone who races Leon’s Tri can opt in to the series by August 25 (the date of Life Time Tri Chicago).
For those athletes who don’t win age-group awards, the series also aims to appreciate those who simply enroll in both events. Anyone who opts into the program and participates will be invited to a season-ending Chicagoland Tri Series Athlete party (event date and details are forthcoming).
While both events will continue to be produced independently, there will be some cross-promotion at each race. In addition to the end-of-season party, Life Time will host a branded “speed trap” activation area at both races (a one-mile, chip-timed straightaway where athletes will compete for prizes for fastest speed along the mile-long stretch), and Leon’s Team Challenge concept will be adopted at the 2013 Life Time Tri Chicago. Individual award winners will earn a variety of prizes including complimentary 2014 race entries, wetsuits, shoes and tri apparel. Teams will vie for the Chicagoland Tri Series Champioship Cup and bragging rights-esque prizes.
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