Big Changes For The 2014 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon

This year’s race will highlight a new single-loop International bike course.

Photo: Paul Phillips

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The Transamerica Chicago Triathlon is one of the biggest triathlons in the world and has been attracting athletes to the shores of Lake Michigan for over 30 years. Previously known for its signature route through downtown Chicago, this year’s race will highlight a new single-loop International bike course. The route begins along Lake Shore Drive with scenic lakefront views, then heads to Lower Wacker Drive, the financial district, then the Lower Randolph Busway before turning around to head back to transition. Race directors decided to change the course to “provide athletes with the ultimate tour of Chicago, utilizing flat and fast roadways that are both well-known and not-so-familiar.”

A new swim start has also been adopted for the 2014 event.  Elite athletes will enter the water first, followed by the International race participants then sprint athletes. The new single-loop bike course allows for more open space along Lake Shore Drive for finishing swimmers.

For the more organized triathlete, event organizers will allow competitors to check their bikes into the DuSable Harbor Transition area on Saturday afternoon, with overnight security monitoring the bikes. Another race-day perk—athletes with later start times will be allowed to check in even if other races are in progress, and athletes who finish early will be permitted to grab their gear even if other competitors are on the course.

Although most participants come for Sunday’s Transamerica Chicago Triathlon, Saturday will feature the Life Time Kids Tri Chicago presented by CLIF KID, and the Chicago Triathlon SuperSprint races. New for 2014 is the Divvy Wave SuperSprint race. Participants will swim the 375 meters, bike 10K on Chicago’s famous Divvy bikes and then run 2.5K. If you’re unsure about triathlon, or aren’t ready to spend money on a new bike just yet, this may be the event for you.

This year’s event will also offer two team-based competitions. Each of the weekend’s race distances will be used as the 2014 USA Triathlon Club National Championships. These events are only for official USA Triathlon Clubs and teams will compete, based on membership size class, for the national title.  The second competition, the Chicago Triathlon Team Challenge, is open to participants registered under the Chicago Triathlon’s Team Incentive Program. Sprint and international distance teams can be up to 10 participants—male, female and co-ed.

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