What a time to tri..or du…a race…lol!!! At the top of 2022, the rise of Omicron caused a lot of people to go back in isolation, facilities to take increased cautionary protocols, and events in some cases to pause. That, in addition to our typical midwest gritty weather of lower temperatures and the heightened snow this month, it was this weekend’s sunshine that ushered in a glimmer of Spring coming and the racing season, as well.
So, this Sunday’s FitRec Indoor Triathlon & Duathlon was a welcome race event to get participants out of the hibernation season of winter and back in the groove of being active, including myself. The event kicked off at the Health, Fitness and Recreation Center on the campus of Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hill, Illinois.
The facility layout is great with everything from a reserved section in the locker rooms for participants of the event, to detailed explanations prior to start of the swim, multiple timers in the gym to separate the bikers from the runners to know how much time they have left, and awesome volunteers that are helpful for those new to racing.
The first wave at 8am included a mix of racers in the pool doing the triathlon, as well as some running the lane outlined in the gym to race the duathlon. First time duathlete, Felicia Houston, dared to try something new and did it with a smile while on the bike. This event has slowly grown in popularity, with an increase of people new to racing a duathlon or triathlon.
Having raced this event previously, it has become one I definitely would recommend with highlights including a nice swag bag of goodies, great water temperature in the pool, the bike spacing with the runners racing laps on the outer lane of the gym (I personally loathe events with treadmill runs).
Ellen Papan, who serves as lead for this race expressed how great it is to see the growing number of interest and participation in the event and hopes for more to come. Needless to say, as director of an event, a lot goes into the logistics, and the continuation of this race was a definite success. In between checking on various details, you saw her checking on participants and cheering them on.
Along with seeing newbies to the sport, it is refreshing to also see seasoned athletes that have done this race and other events in the past. I often run into triathlete, Julie Mescher, who I jokingly told her makes it look easy, and also took 1st place female in the Triathlon Masters Division. Go Julie! A few of the others who hook top honors include:
David Maher: 1st Place Male – Triathlon Masters Division;
Joelle Beranek: 1st Place Female – Triathlon Open Division;
Gerardo Valencia-Trujillo: 1st Place Male – Duathlon Masters Division;
Ahlam Al-Kodmany: 1st Place Female – Duathlon Masters Division;
Tom Gilmartin: 1st Place Male – Duathlon Open Division;
Alyssa Zimmerman: 1st Place Female – Duathlon Open Division