Let's Get Physical

The world's largest triathlon takes place this Sunday in Chicago

By Wendy Wollenberg
|  Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009  |  Updated 1:54 PM CDT
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2008 Chicago Marathon Rewind

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The ultimate test of physical stamina takes over Chicago's city streets, Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan this Sunday in the form of The Chicago Triathlon.

More than 8,700 triathletes, including Olympians, physically challenged athletes and first-timers will be among the toned ranks.

With the city buzzing about the impending 2016 Olympics decision, all eyes will be on this last major sporting event before the big announcement on Oct. 2.

Much of the city will be showcased through the Chicago Triathlon course, which starts with the 1.5-kilometer swim portion of the race at the Monroe Street Harbor south of the Chicago Yacht Club. The participants then proceed along the lakefront path to the transition spot south of Randolph Street and east of Lake Shore Drive to begin the 40-kilometer bike race, which heads north to Foster Avenue on LSD. The triathlon is completed by running the 10-kilometer course from Randolph Street to McCormick Place and back again on foot. (Note: There is also a sprint distance competition, with each leg of the race approximately half the length of the international/professional distance.)

If finding prime viewing areas are more your speed, some of the best vantage points are just east of Buckingham Fountain past Lake Shore Drive for the swim race, Ohio Street Beach for the biking portion and along the lakefront and at Shedd Aquarium to watch the runners.

The finish line is located at Columbus Drive south of Balbo Street, but this will inevitably be the most crowded spot, so plan to get there early. There will also be a post-race party from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. just north of the finish line for the racers to reconnect. 

Events will be held Friday through Sunday, including the Multisport & Fitness Expo at the Hilton Chicago on Friday and Saturday with more than 150 exhibitors, and the Fleet Feet Sports SuperSprint Beginners' Triathlon and the McDonald's Kids' Triathlon on Saturday.

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