Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What To Do This Weekend: Races, Sailing and Volleyball

Match Cup racing after a workout? Yes, please!
Whether you’re still recovering from Lollapalooza last weekend or you’re gearing up for the Air and Water Show next weekend, you still have to face this weekend, the one that’s in between those summer highlights. And if you’re like me, you're probably trying to have as active a weekend as possible this weekend since you know you'll have to flee town to run and bike when the Lakefront Path virtually shuts down to those of us who like to play on it. It's not about how to survive those outdoor entertainments—it's figuring out where you can race and train when you can't hit those regular spots, or fight pedestrian traffic to get there.

Lucky for us, this weekend holds plenty of activities to keep us from sleeping through it or feeling like we’re missing out on summer's finest activities. And that's just Chicago, where my one-track mind is focused at the moment. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about sports this weekend:

Terrapin 5K. Summer weekends start Thursday night, right? If you live by that philosophy, you’ll want to start that weekend with some running at the annual Terrapin 5K on Thursday, Aug. 8. The race starts at Soldier Field at 7 p.m. and features a music festival that starts at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.

Chicago Match Cup. After you swim at Ohio Street Beach, wander over to Navy Pier where there’s more going on than just the Tall Ships Chicago attraction. Some of the world’s top sailing teams converge on Lake Michigan for the Chicago Match Cup, a sailing competition that’s the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Sailing races unfold right before your eyes at the east end of Navy Pier with teams competing for their share of $100,000 and points toward the World Championship. Speaking from personal experience, it's fun to watch--and it runs August 7 to 11 so it offers more than just a day of entertainment.

Zooma Half Marathon and 10K. Whether you’re training for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon or you simply want to lace up your running shoes and race, you can log 6.2 miles or 13.1 miles at this Saturday race. The all women Zooma series lands at Montrose Harbor for its only stop in the Midwest. Ladies, get ready to run and pamper yourself at the finish line festival complete with spa treatments, massages and cocktails.

The Big Dig Beach Volleyball Tournament and Party. Maybe you’re running, biking and swimming to start off your Saturday. Or maybe you’ll be spending your morning in bed. Either way, North Avenue Beach is the place to be Saturday afternoon where you’ll find a beach volleyball tournament and concert. If you’re looking to play, The Big Dig offers beach volleyball, dodgeball and cornhole. If you’re looking to hang out, come to listen to Coolio perform. North Avenue’s no gangster’s paradise, but it is a sun soaker’s haven.

Chicago 10K. You couldn’t run in Grant Park last weekend and good luck finding a race next weekend when the lakefront is flooding with Air Show traffic. Here’s a Sunday 6.2-miler that’s just enough to hold you over until the next race.

USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. More than 4,300 triathletes will be competing in Milwaukee, Wis., at sprint and Olympic distance races this weekend. These triathletes are some of the nation's top amateurs and they'll be seeing what it's like to compete in the Midwest and swim in Lake Michigan. With Chicago being so close, the Windy City will be well represented at this respected race.

As for me, I'll be up in Milwaukee, hopefully returning early enough to make it back for the final hours of the sailing competition (I didn't get to watch enough of it today). How are you keeping busy and active this weekend?

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