Getting to the race site was a short 15 minute bike ride over to Montrose Beach. I ate a mini Larabar and had an EBoost before. I arrived around 6:15am and set up my transition area.
I then walked down to the beach to check out what the swim course was going to look like and feel the temperature of the water. The water wasn't too bad about 74 degrees I think. I decided not to rent a wet suit since it was short distance swim and I think that was good decision.
I headed back to transition to grab my swim cap and goggles and then made my way with the 700 other participants back down to the beach. There was a course talk which was helpful in navigating the buoys in the water and then we were lined up in waves for the start.
I was happy I was placed in wave five because I didn't have a long wait before I got in the water. It was running start into the water where we then went left and swam in a big loop. The water was shallow, about five feet, so you could easily put your feet down if you freaked out or something. Thankfully that didn't happen to me though. Some people were walking which I didn't think was right -it is a swim! Anyway I did a combination of freestyle with a few sections of breaststroke to help sight. The water was relatively calm with a few waves. It was different experience swimming in open water, but it wasn't bad. Once out of the water we had to run a good distance up the beach back to the transition area to get our bikes.
The transition times were not recorded separately and were instead included in the swim, bike, and run times, so I don't know how long my first transition took. I felt like it was faster than the one in Naperville a few weeks ago though.
The bike course was a 10K which had us do three loops. Again, biking is my weakest sport. I can ride a bike and enjoy it as a form of transportation, but I don't really train on my bike. I have a comfort/hybrid kind of bike with regular push pedals, not clips and am just not very fast, which is a little discouraging but it's my own fault for not practicing it enough. The course included about three small overpasses which weren't that fun, except for the downhills where I picked up some speed. I had about a third of a Clif bar and most of my water bottle during the bike.
Once I dismounted I ran my bike back to my transition area, threw on my hat and a little sunscreen before running off.
I grabbed a cup of Gatorade at aid station heading out. The course was mostly shaded and was done on some of the inner lakefront trails. It wasn't very crowded either which was nice. I checked my Garmin and noticed I was keeping a pretty awesome pace for me about 10:40! There is something about running after swimming and biking that gives me a little pep in my step. I was definitely racing, but it wasn't extremely hard to maintain that pace which is a really awesome feeling. The run was 2.5K and before I knew it the finish line was approaching. I pushed myself just a bit more so I could make every second count. There was good group of supporters by the finish line and the announcer said my name as I crossed the line, which put a big smile on face! I didn't know we got a medal and was pleasantly surprised when a volunteer handed me one. I grabbed a cinnamon raisin bagel, water, and Gatorade post race.
375 m swim 15:33
10K bike 30:27
2.5K run 17:47
My total race time was 1:03:48. Not the best, but I had a good time participating and that's what matters most to me! There is plenty of time to work on all three sports. I will definitely be training and signing up for more triathlons next year!
I hung out a little to cheer on some of the other finishers and to watch the Kids Tri. They were rockstars out there! It was really neat to see how involved and committed they were to the sport.
I had to work that afternoon so after a little spectating I made my way back home to shower and change. My body was craving some food on the train to work and thankfully I had just enough time to grab a turkey burger from Epic Burger which hit the spot.
Congrats to everyone else who completed one of the Chicago Triathlon's last weekend!