Friday, June 15, 2012

Wetsuit Dash

Let's go wetsuits. Credit: brentzooka
The Jim Gibbons 5K was last night (I love that race and the fun festival afterward!)--the run. The Bike to Work Rally at Daley Plaza was this morning--the bike. Now what about triathlon, or mainly swimming? Life Time Fitness has an answer for that: a wetsuit dash. News of the event landed in my inbox last night. And, well, I couldn't help but get excited for a kick-off to the 30th anniversary celebration surrounding the Life Time Fitness Chicago Triathlon, whose Olympic-distance event closed to general entry earlier in the week.

If you're a triathlete who needed a reason to call off work for the day, or skip out early, this is it. If you pass by Millennium Park this afternoon and see several wetsuits, this is it. If you're at Ohio Street Beach and watch a throng of wetsuit-clad runners march onto the sand, shed their shoes and take a swim, this is it. If you see trolleys full of triathletes, this is it. It's the Life Time Fitness Chicago Triathlon kick-off complete with wetsuit dash getting underway at noon and ending around 5 p.m. at Park Grill Plaza, 11 N. Michigan Ave.

Registration opens for this sporty celebration at 12 p.m. and closes at 12:45 p.m. at Park Grill Plaza. After participants register, they'll get body-marked, get a swim cap and gear bag, and don their wetsuits and running shoes (organizers beg that you don't run barefoot as much as it might be the perfect race-day simulation for the Chicago Tri's 0.25-mile sprint after exiting the water). At 12:50 p.m., there will be a briefing about what's about to happen, and then the Wetsuit Dash will take off for Ohio Street Beach at 1 p.m. You don't have to push and shove your way through the city streets--it's more of a parade to the Lakefront.

Now here's where the fun starts. At the beach there will be an open water clinic and a long distance swim available for participants starting at 1:30 p.m. About an hour later, swimmers will leave the beach and return on trolleys back to Park Grill Plaza to talk triathlon, drink Goose Island beer and socialize.

It's warm outside. The sun's out. The water's warmer than it often is this time of year (last check on my end read 65-ish). It's Friday. And after I read that this triathlete wished she could practice her wetsuit runs more often, I knew I could too, even if I'd be running and then swimming and not the reverse. Good things often happen in multiples, right? 

Photo grabbed from brentzooka at

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