Race: ITU World Triathlon Chicago
Location: Chicago, Illinois, 2014
Race Date: JUNE 27-29, 2014
Distances: Olympic Distance, Sprint Race Day
Weather: Hot, hot, hot
Race Report by Uli Porten
Para-Triathletes, Elite Men and Women as well as Age-Group Athletes from all over the US and the world competed in the inaugural ITU World Triathlon Chicago. A record first-year field of 4,000 athletes took over the heart of the city, swimming in Lake Michigan, cycling the streets around Grant Park and finished on the blue carpet at Buckingham Fountain.
It was absolutely amazing to see the Para-Triathletes perform. To see them race was a privilege. It sure makes your think – we have all our senses and limbs – there were blind athletes, paralyzed ones, with one arm or one leg only, never giving up!
Next was the Elite Women race. What a thriller! Seeing US Olympian Gwen Jorgensen fighting her way past Britain's Helen Jenkins and Japan’s Juri Ide, after being quite back on the bike, to claim victory was extraordinary!
Finally, race day for the Age-Groups Athletes was here! The Olympic Distance Athletes started the day with perfect race conditions. Our C3 Team led the way with Bob Knuckey claiming 1st place and Hans Porten 2nd in their respective age-groups. It was awesome to see Peggy & Jim Reid, Luis Lopez, the Gregoire family, Lucy, Caron & Barrie Shepley, and Trent Dilkie compete. I’m sure I’m missing some names here and apologize for that!
Now it was time for the Sprint. Starting at lunch time I was so happy to finally be in the water! The bike portion on closed roads on the streets and through the tunnel around Grant Park was great! The run proved to be very tough in the heat. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped us get through it! Running around Buckingham Fountain in front of the cheering crowds in the Grand Stands gave us the extra boost we needed to finish a great race!
But wait, there is more…. the Elite Men race! I’m sure you could hear the thunderous roar from our Canadian corner in the Grand Stands all the way up in Caledon, when our very own Andrew Yorke pulled the entire lead group around Buckingham Fountain! What a fantastic race! Well done Andrew Yorke!!!
Being able to enjoy this awesome weekend in Chicago with our C3 Team mates made it even better! Chicago proved to be a great host city!