Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fit-Pic: A Tri-ing Inspiration

Chicago's Monroe Harbor really looks like that come race weekend for the Life Time Chicago Triathlon. Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself on Sunday, August 28, when the triathletes hit the water starting at 6 a.m. (sprint wave) and running until about 11:30 a.m. when the pros take off.

Nearly 10,000 people from every state and from a few countries around the world will jump into Lake Michigan, colorful swim caps and all. They'll swim about a mile in Monroe Harbor, take a quarter-mile barefoot jog up the path to their bikes (seriously, it's the most painful part of the entire day) and then spin onto Lake Shore Drive for a scenic cycling tour that only happens on two other occasions during the year (and you're usually going far slower than you get to at this race). After two loops on Lake Shore Drive between Harbor Point and Foster Avenue, competitors enter the final leg of their journey: running, jogging, shuffling or walking south on the lakefront and through the Museum Campus, winding back to Grant Park to hear the cheers of hundreds of spectators as they cross the finish line on Columbus. To think that this race is 29 years in the running--and one of the world's largest. Spectators and triathlon fans can watch amateur, elite and professional triathletes from around the world competing in this fifth race of the Toyota Cup series.

And who knows? You just might get so energized that you'll be fueled to do it next year. I know that's how I felt when I watched my first one, shuffling between the swim start and exit and the finish line, hauling a heavy bag and carrying my arm in a sling. I needed that broken collarbone to heal first, but I knew I'd be out there the next year--and sure enough, I was. The funny thing though is that for many it's the last race of the season. For me, it'll be my first. Gotta dust off the cobwebs at some point, right? I'll be doing that tonight when I dig for my aero bottle.

Photo courtesy of Life Time Chicago Triathlon.

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