The 3rd Annual Crystal Lake Aquathon took place on Sunday, August 4th at the Three Oaks Recreational Center in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The weather was beautiful, the water calm, and the after party made for a great day.
Aquathon is a unique multi-sport race format that features running and swimming. While popular in other states and countries, this race is the only aquathon in Illinois. Over 150 participants competed in multiple events including an Olympic and Sprint distance aquathon and a 2-mile swim. This year also featured a kids race, relays, and it’s rumored to add a paralympic option for next year.
This is the second year I’ve raced the Aquathon and Denise Smith is proving herself to be a great race director. The amenities, volunteer support, and after party were truly special. Participants received a hand-written note after registration. Volunteers were all over and helpful. The post-race food and music were entertaining. The number of sponsor booths offering massages and recovery tools were enjoyed thoroughly by many. Awards featured growlers and tumblers to a local brewery. The race also supported Girls on the Run, an organization that inspires girls to be strong, healthy, and active.
The course starts with a beach entry into the water. Sighting in the open water was made a little easier with large buoys and animal rafts. It’s tough to miss a giant duck in the water. After transition, athletes headed out for the run. The course is challenging with hills and varied terrain. But there was no greater feeling of accomplishment than conquering the grass sled hill.
If you’re looking for a new challenge next year, add this race to your list. It’s a great race for swimmers or runners looking to try a multi-sport event. See you next year Crystal Lake!