While this is the week that many are participating in the virtual Chicago Marathon, with many races canceled or providing virtual options, it was great to find a social distance, COVID-protocol planned in-person race. The “Why Not Tri”, was a fun indoor/outdoor triathlon held in Oak Brook, IL, on Sunday, October 11th.
Like many indoor triathlon events, it had limited spots because of the assigned lane pool swim (1 athlete per lane), and even more so because of the pandemic. With masks required of all, except for racers from the start of their swim wave thru their run finish, the race was planned with consideration of current safety protocols. The bike and run took place outdoors, with assault bikes spread out over 6 feet apart next to the transition area where each participant had their own mat also spread out over 6 feet apart. The run course went around the wooded-area surrounding the Oak Brook Recreation Center.
Most indoor triathlons are based on the distance participants cover in the span of 1 hour with typically a 10 minute swim, 10 minute transition, 20 minute bike, 5 minute transition, and 15 minute run. One of the unique aspects of the “Why Not Tri” event is that it was like most outdoor or general triathlons, as it was based on how fast participants cover a specific distance. This 400 yard swim, 2.5 mile bike, 1.25 mile run event for most seasoned triathletes is typically shorter in distance allowing for a more sprint pace and includes transitions in one’s time. This also made for a perfect event for beginner triathletes.
With a 7am start at approximately 52 degrees, upon walking to the outdoor area for check-in, I thought it may prove to be a chilly transition coming from the nice warm indoor pool area. However, upon exiting the swim to the outdoor transition and bike, the weather proved to be nice. The fresh air and the well positioned and set up areas made for a smoothly ran event.
The event was jovial and embraced a comradery among participants, spectators, volunteers and event staff. There were family members racing together, as well as swimmers taking on their first triathlon. Since many aren’t officially “racing” this year, there was less a sense of competition, but more of racers either seeking to assess where they are, stay active and motivated, and/or enjoy a fun event.
By noon the results were sent out to the participants and a special congrats to Brigid Wagner, the overall female winner and Parker Kerth, the overall male winner.
Michael Delgado, Race Director and Oak Brook Park District Fitness Supervisor, seeks to continue to provide opportunities for people to participate and enjoy events like this. Their next triathlon event, “Dri Tri” is next month and will involve rowing, biking and running: https://apm.activecommunities.com/obparks/Activity_Search/turkey-dri-tri/8516.