|The Pro Women about the get their medals.. Go USA!|
ITU Chicago hosted the World Championship where the best of the best in the pro field and AG races raced in the season finale. It is a huge fanfare for Standard Distance (Oly) triathletes. ITU took advantage of the set up and in between waiting times to add an Open division for Standard and Sprint distance. Since i have never done an ITU race (and will never qualify), jumped on the chance.
Due to lots of wind, rain and lack of timing chips, they kept moving the time for packet pickup. I was planning on going down one work night but due to storms they cancelled, they then provided a same day packet pick up option.. SCORE! Wake up 45 minutes earlier vs taking a 3.5-4 hour trip mid-week. Will take this all day, any day! So, their fumble actually was a win for me.
Left me house around 450, presecured a parking spot and biked over to pick up. They had cotton unisex tees and they were out of my size.. meh! Got to transition and set up. It was a total random group of people. We had the complete newbie taking up 3 spots on the rack to the person that might have just missed qualifying. Got on my wetsuit and made our way to the swim start. Transition closed at 6:30 and my wave wasn't till 8 so i had some time to hang out and chill. Meet up with some Challenge Tri teammies and watching the Standard open go off and then it was my turn. Water was cold but manageable. The fact I hadn't swam in too long showed as I didn't enjoy myself the entire time I was in the water. Although it appeared smooth, got a little choppy towards the end. Finished to then run 800 meters back to T1. Gah! That took forever. Would have loved to watch the fast people do it. The slow boats with me slowly stripped our suits while we walked up to the start. Luckily, the path was pretty clean which made me happy.
Bike was 80% in lower and lower lower wacker. Even the bums cheered for us and it was a cool experience. I had my roadbike and not my tri bike which was kindof a bummer. The night before when i went to load my bike, i realized that my rear wheel was bent. Bent so much that when you spun it, it stuck to the break even after I loosened it... ummmm... how long was it like that? i crashed at Knox and wonder now if I have had it like that the entire summer. One would think I would be good and check everything often but this season it didn't happen.
Anyways, dealt with my caged road bike and had fun on the run. Saw tons of people on the course as there was a combo of sprints, standards and then some para triathletes. Knew some people from each group and thanks to the looped course, there was always people around which i enjoyed. You took 2 loops around the fountain and then to the finish. Was a perfect morning weather wise and enjoyed racing in the city! A great day!
Side note: Medals for sprint had standard distances on there which was a bummer.