Swim, bike, run

Published 10:04 am Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cara Gillespie participated in the Sister Lakes Triathlon last year and intends to do so this year, too. (Submitted photo)

Cara Gillespie participated in the Sister Lakes Triathlon last year and intends to do so this year, too. (Submitted photo)

Sister Lakes Triathlon returns for fourth year

SISTER LAKES — Back for its fourth year, the Sister Lakes Triathlon will be drawing both athletes and spectators to the area on July 19.

“About 50 percent of the participants come from the Chicagoland area, and the other 50 percent come from Indiana and Michigan,” said Mike Spain, president of the Crooked Lakes Homeowners Association. “This is our fourth year, and it’s been really a nice event, averaging about 400 athletes and about 1,500 people total.”

Race-day registration for the event will take place at the Sister Lakes Lions Clubhouse, located at 6

6991 95th Ave., and that will also be where the post-race festivities are held.

“Athletes start arriving at about 5:30 a.m., and the races start at 8 a.m. We allow same-day registration. We usually get about 100 more people that way,” Spain said, noting that the cost for participation rises as the date of the event gets closer.

Participants will swim Round Lake, bike the country roads and run a course that takes them around Big Crooked and Dewey lakes as well as some of the many residential areas of the summertime resort area.

“There is a transition area where the athletes come out of Round Lake by the Driftwood Inn. Then, they cross the road and transition to their bikes there. They ride the bikes, drop the bikes at Lion’s Park, and then do the run,” Spain said of the two-transition race.

“It’s nice because you can watch the transition from the swim to the bike event from a knoll near the Driftwood,” Spain said. “It’s almost like a natural amphitheater right there.”

Organizers have planned the event so that there are a number of options for athletes of varying capabilities.

“The Olympic event is a 1000-meter swim, a 21.6-mile bike ride and a 10K run,” Spain said. “There is also the Sprint. It’s a shorter event with a 500-meter swim, a 13-mile bike ride and 5K run.”

Organizers have also taken into account those participants who may be nursing injuries sustained from participating in previous triathlons this summer.

“We’re also offering the Aquabike event since some folks have injuries due to running,” Spain said. “There are two versions of that. The Sprint event is just a 500-meter swim and a 13-mile bike ride with no run for athletes who may have issues with running. We also have an Aquabike Olympic event, which is a 1000-meter swim and a 21.6-mile bike ride.”

The event will end at noon, and awards and a meal will then take place at the Sister Lakes Lions Clubhouse.

“We’ll have the awards and meal in afternoon for the triathletes and their guests,” Spain said. “The meal is included in the registration fee for the triathletes, but the guests will have to pay.”

Official awards will be presented in a variety of age classes by gender.

“We’ll have awards for the winners of first through third places,” Spain said. “We even have an award for the Clydesdales, which are men over 200 pounds.”

Sponsored by Charter Fitness, the event will be managed by 3 Disciplines, and proceeds will benefit the Corridor Improvement Association of Keeler Township. Funds raised will be used to make improvements in the Sister Lakes area.

“Three Disciplines are the professional managers of the event. They bring all of the equipment for chip timing, as well as a sound system and an announcing system,” Spain said. “You can sign up for the race on their website at www.3disciplines.com.”