ABOUT THE AQUATHLON
While we're best known for developing aspiring adult swimmers, OWS Chicago also serves experienced triathletes looking to refresh their skills and/or push themselves with fellow enthusiasts. Veteran swimmers, and those with fast-approaching races, often enroll in the competitive Aquathlon events.
Aquathlon are only held during our Tuesday swim sessions.
The Aquathlon is a swim + run multisport event hosted within each of the four seasonal OWS sessions. It begins at 6:00 PM sharp with a briefing on the beach. Aquathletes will swim a 750m or 1500m course (their choice) immediately followed by a 5K run along the lakefront. Finish times will be recorded by event staff. Awards will be presented to the fastest female and male finishers in both the 1500m and 750m swim courses.
Please review the Course Map prior to the event.
We recommend Aquathlon participants arrive 45 minutes prior to the start of the session. Participants will check-in, obtain a run bib, rent a wetsuit (if they prefer), use the Gear Check facility then gather on the beach for a briefing.
Due to the larger demand (usually 50+ participants), a private Aquathlon Transition area will be setup on the beach (between Gear Check and the public lockers) and adjacent to the lakefront trail -- making for an easy Run Out. A foot bath station will be placed in that area to wash sand from bare feet. Aquathletes should check their larger bag with event staff, and only place their Run items in the Transition area (including shoes, socks, sunglasses, race bibs, towel, etc).
As mentioned, participants have the option to swim 750m or 1500m. Event staff will offer two separate Aquathlon mass starts, with the 750m swimmers going first followed by the 1500m swimmers a few minutes later. This will separate the athletes and help with the timing process.
Following the swim portion, Aquathletes will use their Transition area to change into run gear, then head north along the lakefront path approximately 1.5 miles to a dedicated turnaround near North Avenue Beach. A Finish Line will be setup near the Transition area, with staff recording relevant splits.
It is assumed that anyone choosing the Aquathlon option is comfortable in the water, and a relatively proficient swimmer. This program is not intended to teach the fundamentals of swimming (although we're happy to recommend coaches for 1:1 instruction).
During the registration process, Aquathletes will initially declare their preferred swim distance (750m or 1.5k) to help us gauge distances and capacities. Participants may change their distance prior to starting.
All participants must be 18 years or older by the event date. Registration opens at $20 plus typical fees, then increase to $30 two weeks prior to each session. Aquathlon capacity is capped at 100 participants. The late season events will sell-out. Due to capacity restrictions, there are no refunds, deferrals or transfers allowed.
While we require all participants to have a general ability for self-sufficiency, Chicago Park District Life Guards will be on-hand throughout each session. Additionally, staff and coaches will monitor the swim course and support participants from the sea wall and via stand-up paddle board.
Previous Aquathlon results are posted here.