I had a nice time completing the Chicago Triathlon this past August. It was hosted by Lifetime Fitness — I also did its South Beach Triathlon in April and both of them were well run. I’m not gonna lie, though – the swim was rough. Lake Michigan was very choppy that morning. I was very glad that I didn’t attempt to do the Olympic distance and only did the Sprint distance. That race had a .5 mile swim, around a 15 mi. bikeride and finished with a 5K run. Everytime I see sprint distances, I think: “Gee, that isn’t tough.” But trust me, when you string it all together, it is.
I plan on doing Chicago again next August but I will do things a bit differently. If you are an a beginner swimmer like me then I recommend swimming on the outside near the boats. I had to go to the boats a few times to catch my breath. I tried to swim in the middle at the beginning- this wasn’t a smart move.
The bike ride was fantastic – it was very smooth and I felt strong. Had a nice transition before the final 5K. The post-race party was very crowded – I didn’t stay long.
This was my 3rd triathlon. Very glad I did it. I don’t think this would be the best FIRST triathlon for people due to the choppy open water swim but the race itself was very well organized and I felt safe the whole time.