The 2015 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon will take place the weekend of August 28-30. Billed as the “World’s Largest Triathlon,” the race typically sells out months in advance. Based on feedback from the 2014 participants, race organizers are continuing some popular features and adding some neat new options for 2015.
Registration for the 2015 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon opens on Tuesday, November 4, at 10:00 a.m. CST.
New First Timers’ Program
The First Timers’ Program is a new athlete development program for 2015. Aimed at novice triathletes, the program provided education and training sessions to build confidence, provide a calmer race environment, and lessen the intimidation new triathletes always feel.
Limited to 300 participants, the First Timer’s Program will include:
- Private Triathlon 101 Webinars
- Written Training Plan
- Priority registration for Chicago Triathlon Open Water Swim Clinics
- Dedicated race weekend coaching
- Private course talks
- Special transition area
- First Timer-specific start wave in both the Sprint and International races
SuperSprint Divvy Wave
In 2014 the Divvy Wave program quickly sold out, and will return in 2015. One Hundred Divvy bikes will be available for athletes participating in the Chicago Triathlon SuperSprint race on August 29, 2015. Use of the bikes will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The SuperSprint takes place at Montrose Avenue Beach, and consists of a 375 meter swim, a 10K bike, and a 2.5K run.
Mandatory Course Talks
Because of races changes, all participants in the Sprint and International Triathlons, and the Triple Challenge (see below) are required to attend a course talk. These will be held at the Multisport & Fitness Expo at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave. The Expo hours are Friday, August 28 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday, August 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Twenty-five course talks are currently scheduled over the two days. Confirmation of course talk attendance is required for packet pickup. Triathletes can RSVP for specific sessions in advance, or obtain a ticket for the next available session at the Expo.
Improvements in the Swim Course
The swim course remains in Monroe Harbor, starting at Balbo Dr. and the lake, and exiting just south of the Chicago Yacht Club. However, race organizers have promised to work with the Monroe Harbor Master to improve course conditions. In 2014 wind and currents moved a good deal of seaweed and debris onto the course. In addition, organizers will try to limit outboard motor boats on the course; exhaust (and resulting oil in the water) is not conducive to swimming.
Flexibility in Transition Access
Sprint triathletes are the last group to start, at approximately 9:00 a.m. The Pros start at 6:00 a.m., with the International waves at 6:15 a.m. Rather than make the Sprint triathletes set up transition way early, they will have access to transition between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
In addition, race participants will have the option to rack bikes in transition on Saturday, between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 24-hour security will be provided. Bikes must have race numbers attached, and no bags or other gear may be left overnight.
Limited to 200 participants, the Triple Challenge is a test of weekend endurance and speed, encompassing three races: the SuperSprint on Saturday, then on Sunday, the International triathlon, followed immediately by the Sprint Triathlon. This gives a total weekend distance of 57.3 miles: 1.63 miles swimming, 44.67 miles biking, and 10.85 running.
Timing is critical to do the Triple Challenge’s two races on Sunday. Triple triathletes start in one of the first International waves, around 6:15 a.m. When finishing the International course, participants return to the swim start and a Sprint wave start around 10:15 a.m. A special valet service will bring swim gear back to the start after the International race swim, so a return to the transition area between race is not absolutely necessary.
Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers in the Triple Challenge. Participants are also eligible for age group awards in each of the three races.
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