Great course, timing of the race is very convenient for people training for the Chicago Marathon which comes 4 weeks later
I just finished the 2012 race. The only problem with this race in my mind is the timing of it, it was a very hot day in Chicago even though it started at 6:30 AM in the morning.
I just got done with this race (version '10) and would highly recommend it for others for a few reasons: (1) Chicago - any race here will be bigger (in both runner and spectator parcticipation) than most any other races you could find. While bigger is not necessarily always better, it is almost always more fun. I would rather be surrounded by 1,000s (running and watching) in downtown Chicago then running on the flatest, fastest course by myself in a suburb; (2) Corrals - All races should have them, some don't. Starting with people who run the same speed makes the start smoother and the race better overall because you are able to pace yourself off of your peers. This race did a great job with staggering small corrals; and (3) Course - The course is flat and fast (too bad I wasn't on this particular day). If it weren't for being a little hot in August, this would be a go-to race for a PR; and (4) Marathon training - if you are training for the Chicago Marathon, this half fits nicely into any schedule no matter how beginner or advanced. If it fits into my schedule, I will definitely be doing it next year.
I agree with all the points outlined by pkrause. It is indeed a great course, (I mean it is Chicago!!) the corrals are nice, the spectators are out cheering on runners. The only problem I have with the Rock n' Roll Series is that it is sponsored by Cytomax. I drink Gatorade when I train, which may just be a personal preference for me, however I do feel that Gatorade is much more common and more people train with Gatorade. Not that I believe Gatorade should sponsor ALL races, but just the races that I register for... I'm Kidding, however we all know the cardinal rule that you should never try something new on race day, something that you haven't trained with before, well if you have not trained with Cytomax, this race might surprise you. I ran it last year and spit out the Cytomax at the first Aid Station and had to run the rest of the race with just water which I was not prepared for. This year I did it with just water knowing that I did not like the Cytomax beverage. If you are running another Rock n' Roll series event this year or the Chicago Rock n' Roll next year buy Cytomax before the race and test it out, or else you might have to do it on water alone.
So I did this racein 2012 again and it is still a small race and organized even better. I am not sure how long Mark can keep this hidden gem as a "secret" from the triathletes in Chicago area. It is a very short drive from Chicago, beautiful course, organization is top notch. The only thing I'd change this year would be better marking at the turnaround points on the bike and run courses.
This was my first triathlon and I have to agree that it was very well organized. After training in chilly Lake Michigan, I was extremely surprised to jump into the 80+ degree Lake Zurich. Even swimming without a wetsuit, I was still pretty hot. Lots of people all over helping direct throughout the race.
I really liked the fact this was not a hugely popular race, not as much pressure and I definitely finished a lot higher than normal.
A surprisingly well organized race. I would recommend Lake Zurich Area Triathlon to both newbies and experienced athletes as it is small in size and the course is somewhat challenging. In 2010, the water temp was 81F and I felt very hot in the wetsuit, should I have swum without it. The bike course has some rolling hills and I would say run is a bit hilly. The race organizers have done a great job. I will do this race again next year.
I agree, it is a great race. I have done twice. Course is great, very well organized. I had timing chip issues this year though (2012), I hope they will fix the error. The clock time and the chip time are the same for me, which is virtually impossible.
This is one of my favorite races! Well organized and so much fun! This year the head wind of 25 miles per hour was tough, but still glad I was out there. My nephew did the Kids Blitz for the first time and it was very fun--Fleet Feet volunteers are great with the kids! Also, the kids do get medals when they finish, which is very fun for them!
This is a small marathon field (about 500 runners) however, I feel it is a great race for families because there is also a 1/2 marathon, 10k, 5k, and a walk. Plenty of water, gatorade, and GU on the race course (this is the first race where I did not carry anything with me). Also, the race started at 6am so we beat the heat!
I really enjoyed the first half of the marathon running in the downtown area. I was glad to have music for the second half, as the weather was a little cold and you run in the neighborhoods--so not many spectators. Loved that there were big orange balloons on every mile marker--I could see the miles from a good distance. Great finish on the field and another race with a distance for everyone to participate!
Love this race! The course is hilly and scenic. Also, there is a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 8k, and 2 mile walk. Something for every member of the family and we make a great weekend out of the event!
Just finished the 2012 race. They had to change the course a little due to construction on the lakefront, but I loved the addition of that hill on mile 6 or so. The course can be muddy at times and narrow, but it is a well organized race in my opinion.
A very well organized race. The course can be tight on certain areas, but the lakefront runners are usually polite enough to share the road with you. I am planning to do this race again in 2011.
My first Ironman ever and what a great venue to this. I wrote a blog about it. Check out our blogs section
I did this race again in 2011 and 2012, it is a great way to gauge your fitness level after "hibernating" during winter. World's largest 8K race, there is something about that fact too.
Excellent race - very well organized this year. Overall a great race that I would recommend to anyone!
I really love the Shamrock Shuffle. It's a race that means not only running with thousands of other and supporters, but also breaking out of the winter hibernation. I liked the adjustments to the course this year, there were more turns, less straight-aways, making it more interesting. Also, running a PR always helps matters.
This was my first time running the Shamrock Shuffle but it is definitely a 'must-do' race in Chicago as the 'unofficial/official' running season opener. A great way to kick off spring even though it can be snowing and cold the day of the race (as it has been the last two years!) Love that fact that the start and finish are the same as the Chicago Marathon, It helps me imagine turning the corner on Columbus Dr. and charging toward that finish line on 10-10-10!
A great season opener! This is my 3rd year doing this race and I enjoyed it more and more every year irregardless of the weather; the weather can be 60s sometimes or 30s like it was this year (2010). Shamrock Shuffle is a signature race for Chicago.
This was my first international marathon experience. Tokyo Marathon is a very well organized marathon, every detail has been well thought of. The course has a total 7000 feet elevation according to my Garmin, especially towards the end there are plenty of over bridges that take a toll on the tired legs. Not my best time, but definetely my best marathon experience
This race should be shut down until the roads are repaired and more people are available to organize the race. It is very unsafe and dangerous for nearly 200 road bikes to race on a substandard highway with massive pot holes, washouts and long gravel stretches. Bikers had to find what little smooth road existed and line up single file which almost resulted in several crashes and wipe outs... not to mention a large number of drafting penalties. I have ridden down totally gravel roads that were more structurally sound than that highway! For a race of this size it is ridiculous that at least 5 people had DNF's because of tire damage. The race info said the roads were not great but not that bad by Louisiana standards...incredibly misleading- they were terrible. Traffic was only controlled at turning points and although the speed limit was low, most of the traffic flew around bikers. At some point race organizers will have to take some responsibility for the road condition, even if that means canceling racing at this location. There were no officials or aid stations at the turn around on the bike OR the run. Major hazards had NO markings; the only paint on the road was blue writing that said "turn here". Several large road kill critters were not removed from the roadway. I wonder if race organizers even DROVE the course!!! Minor irritation - race info also said there would be water, gels and gatorade on the run...water only. And THREE porta potties for nearly 200 very hydrated racers and spectators? I have raced at this venue many times before and it has never been so poorly run. I won't do this race again and don't recommend it to anyone!
This race has my favorite running shirt, maybe of all time. The logo of a cop with a night stick in a running pose is awesome! I ran the race this morning and was happy with the event.
This was a pretty good race overall. I thought that it was well organized and safe for the participants. There was some difficulty to keeping cars in their lane during the roundabouts, but nothing too bad. There were only 2 aid stations, but one covered both sides of the road a little over 1 mile into the run. This gave you another chance at about 1.5 miles to get a drink or another one. Bike and running courses were fairly flat and the roads were in pretty good condition. Very good for newbies or those wanting to work on their transitions.
Hilly course, but I was a minute off my PR, so if you train on hills, this is a good race to partake in.
This was my 3rd marathon in 6 months. Compared to Chicago and Vegas this marathon is more "rural", but the course is flat. Only 2 short climbs which are in the first half of the marathon. The section on the boardwalk can be windy at times. The support throughout the course is great, great pace teams. Overall a well orginazed race.
This is my 3rd Marathon as with the previous 2 at Chicago. Vegas was a great run! The weather was great, the first half was awesome as you run up and down the strip! I do like Chicago better because there seems to be spectators through out the course and it is MUCH flatter. That second half was tough! One hard part is making it to Vegas and not partying to hard before the race!
I have done 4 marathons so far and previous 3 were in Chicago. Vegas is a better marathon than Chicago because it is in December and the weather is more predictable and colder. The first half is a loop in the strip and pretty flat overall. Second half can get lonely as 75% of the runners are in the half marathon group and the race continues on the west side of the strip which is not a very nice scenery and there are 4-5 pretty hilly cross overs. The gear check, family meeting points and the finish line are easily accessible for everyone and the concert afterwards is awesome!
Overall, fun and challenging course. I agree with JackHammer that the swim seemed a bit short. Bike course was well marked and had some nice rollers. My only complaint is that there were a few miles of really rough roads. Be ready for a steep descent coming back into the transition, then a monster hill when you start your run. A few other notes- the transition was not well-secured, spectators were coming in and out. Packet pickup was also not well organized - the line went down the street a block and I couldn't find my wave assignment.
Now that SORT has been taken over by 70.3 Series, this would be a good opportunity of HFP Racing to improve the LG event. Great location and course layout.
A ho-hum, fairly flat course, much of which is on paths. Lots of aid stations with a varitey of nurtrition options. Definitely wear a costume - I wish I had worn one!
This was my first race this past year. Very well organized with lots of helpful volunteers and local sponsors- the race has been held for the past ~28 years. The course is very flat and easy to navigate/well-marked. It is crowded, there were close to 1,600 finishers last August. But, it was so well organized that with the exception of the swim start (you start 4 at a time) I wasn't aware of the number of competitors. Naperville is a nice area too. I did some quality pre-race eating at the Flat Top Grill and the Pita Pit. Good post race food and nice finisher medals.
I had completed my first tri just a few weeks prior so I opted to volunteer at the Chicago Triathlon instead. I worked at the bike in-and-out area. I have to say I have no desire to ever do the race, regardless of the ~$150 entry fee. For starters there was blatant and rampant cheating. I can't tell you how many people biked into the transition area, biked off the course, or started/ended the bike portion without their helmet even though volunteers were yelling at them to follow the rules. I know it sounds like I'm a goody-goody but biking through transition is dangerous, and a few of the people I yelled it was clear that they had no idea what a triathlon was and simply didn't know (although that's not an excuse) but there were several 'seasoned' racers that just ignored me because they knew I wasn't an official that could penalize them and/or they were listening to their iPod. I spoke to other volunteers but at no point did I ever see an official. I emailed my complaint to USAT saying that the $$$ cost of the race should more than justify an adequate number of officials to not only enfore the rules, but more importantly to establish safety on the course. I never got a response.
Any triathlete has to experience the Chicago Tri at least once. Personally, I don't think its worth the $155 for a sprint/olympic. There are others half that price which are better. My last time was '08 and will never go back. I found that the water and road conditions are awful. I would agree with joshua.markou's comments that this is not the race for an inexperienced swimmer for a sprint/olympic. It's a fast course with a lot of people. There's a big difference between 2K entrants and 6K.
But, for me its not worth it swimming in a lake which is a health risk and trashing a pair of nice wheels on LSD.
This was my first time competing in the Chicago Triathlon and most likely my last. I think I have a long list of complaints, but the major ones are the quarter mile from when you exit the swim to the transition area coupling with having to run on rough cement. Transition area was a mess, people are completely disrespectful, you will be lucky to find your stuff in one place - or at all for that matter. The bike was super crowded, I witnessed several people riding outside the boundaries, with angry Chicago traffic. With such a large race, of course, there are many slow riders, making it dangerous. As a swimmer, I can say I was extremely disappointed with the other athletes. Please don't enter a triathlon if you can't swim. Doing the backstroke in open water or hanging onto the wall is not the way to go. Also, sprinting 200 meters and then getting to your regular pace which is slow as molasses should not be your technique.
2010 was the inaugural race and as you would expect it has a few kinks to work out, which is the only reason why I am recommending the race- it should get better. Heard not so great things about D3's event planning, and they planned it the same weekend as a Notre Dame home football game! Someone flunked event planning 101. The park is gorgeous. Very flat, easy trail. The run portion should change a fair amount in 2011 as the trails were poorly marked and unknowledgeable volunteers were giving racers wrong directions. In addition some idiot from D3 was riding his bike on the narrow run paths through competitors which made no sense. Crap post-race food.
For those who want to get away from the rain/cold weather of Chicago or the boredom of training indoors for the past 5 months, head to Florida for St. Anthony's Triathlon in April. It is the kick off race for the triathlon season and you will definitely see the top names in the triathlon world at this venue. For a Chicago native, this race challenged me in every element but plan on going back next year.
A few things that I under estimated, the heat, wind and salt water. Normally, training in Chicago we do not have the heat play a role in our training until June/July. We slowly build up our endurance to get acclimated to the heat come July/August. This played a huge role in my first Olympic in several years (throwing out the window the past three years of half ironmans) and my first race in 7 months. Also, this was first open "salt" water race. I have never been sea sick until this race. Not a good thing going into T1. The bike course is flat but can be very windy from the spring storms to the north. The run course wraps around the city through the historic district and is very flat but the heat is the key factor.
The city and neighborhoods love this race and are out there supporting the participants. A well organized race from start to finish. The expo and post race festivities were great. The drawback is that it is expensive, $150 for race and airfare. I stayed with a friend to save on the hotel costs and rented a descent tri bike for $50 to save on shipping expenses of my bike.
My 2nd year also and despite the weather not cooperating the race went off very well. Agree with the swim being short and the muddy run was a pain. great way to see where you are early in the year. And love the Lake Geneva area. Great place to spend the weekend! Very well run by RAM Racing!
Also the calculator here was handy in planning times and seeing where i need to work.
This is my second year doing this race and 2010 was even better than 2009. The race organizers seems to have a good handle on what the athletes need. (e.g. instead of bunch of junk in the race package a nice bike jersey and a high quality swim car). Although this year, I believe the swim was a bit short. Loved the muddy trail run. Will do it again next year.
Just finished this race for 2010 (did it once before in 2008) and will definitely put it back on my calendar for 2011. Swim is a swim. Bike is is excellent rolling hills, with a few short climbs and a few flats on which you can open up. One of my favorite bike courses of the races I have done in the Midwest. If you don't save a little bit for the run, you could be in trouble. 98% of the course is a challenging up and down trail/grass run that prevents you from getting into a groove. Good early season challenge to let you know how much work you have to do for the rest of the season.
Incredible race experience. This is one of the toughest races I have done even compared to IM. Over 15,000 feet of climbing in southern Ohio's beautiful foothills. 140+ miles. Spectacular training weekend and awesome to meet new people.
Great race in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, IL. The Community really supports the event as they come out to cheer. This is actually the first race I ever ran as a child, I still have the race bib!
This was my first year doing Galena, (first ever Triathlon actually) and I absolutely loved it! Great thing about your first Triathlon is you always PR! The hills are very tough, however once you are up, you get to fly down on the bike.
As a supportive family member of a triathlete, this is my least favorite course ever, although the town is nice. Swim to bike transition is about 17 miles from the course finish. Basically you just have to wait at the finish line or if you choose to see the swim start, good luck getting back to the finish line.
Fun race. Nice way to start the season. Great location, well organized and family friendly.
It is a fun 5K. Whether you want to test your speed limits or trying to finish your first 5K, this race is a great one to try.
Come out and race with the biggest and the best...and the shortest and the slowest. There is something for everyone. Great prizes, fabulous food and a great after party.
A well organized event hosted by Multisport Madness. The course starts/ends in downtown Batavia on the banks of the Fox River. There are hills that challenge the course around the river but for the most part, it is relatively flat. Parts of the course are along the Fox River which adds to the scenery. Great post race festivities. Due to the success of this race in '09, MSM added the 10K.
I have done this race 3 times. Everytime I stand at the start of the race waiting for my wave to go off swearing I will never do it again but I always come back. The course is well marked and it is a perfect distance for an early tri. The swim is short, the bike is 25 miles on a relatively flat course, and the run is an 8K on a trail. This is a really casual race -- I don't even think they have chip timing. Every year there is a threat of thunderstorms and every year the weather has ended up perfect. Maybe this year I will take home an AG award.
I did the inaugural Illinois Half Marathon last year. I have done inaugural races in the past so I wasn't expecting much from this race. I was pleasantly surprised by this race starting with packet pick-up. When I went to get my shirt, they were out of my size. Instead of having me take a Men's XL, they offered to mail me a women's small. That was refreshing! Day of the race it was cold. They let us stand in Assembly Hall and use the WARM bathrooms. The race course was well marked, scenic, and had ample water stations. Volunteers were great, there were spectators, and finishing on the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium was very memorable. I can't wait to do it again this year.