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Following are preliminary, pre-event details for anyone registered for the 2023 Open Water Swim CHICAGO event. A final confirmation, including the session type, experience level and exact start time, will be emailed to all registered participants on the Friday prior to the event day. Changes are allowed until Monday of the event (sorry, no refunds or deferrals to later sessions). No changes are allowed within 24 hours of the event start.
EVENT CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT
All participants are required to check-in with a photo ID upon arrival and present a custom QR code to expedite the process (emailed prior to each event). We recommend participants arrive to the beach 45 minutes prior to their dedicated start time, allowing adequate time to check-in, grab a wetsuit, check gear, etc. Participants will be assigned into specific groups relative to their registration option. Upon completing the swim portion, all participants are asked to check-out with event staff located on the beach, ensuring all swimmers are clear of the water.
Each session will follow this schedule:
Swimmers will participate in one of three event options, each with a precise start time which will be confirmed via email prior to the event:
1. Swim Clinic Option: These popular sessions are designed for new triathletes and open water swimmers. A collection of local coaches will offer basic swim education, then lead the small group through several swim drills with one-on-one feedback. Participants are encouraged to continue swimming on their own once the formal session concludes.
2. Swim-On-Your-Own Option: This option is for those who prefer to utilize the event services but swim independently. After a brief orientation on the beach, these swimmers may enter the water and swim as much as they please. Event staff will simulate the rolling start process for those who prefer a race simulation. Two turn buoys will be placed along the swim course: 375 meters (750m round trip) and 750 meters (1.5k round trip). Distance markers (in meters) will be posted at each exit ladder, allowing swimmers to know their exact distance from the start buoy. Review the course map here.
3. Aquathlon: The Aquathlon (swim + run) will begin at 6:00 PM 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 manually 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 here. Aquathlon results are posted here.
WATER CONDITIONS & WEATHER PLAN
Ohio Street Beach water temperatures will measure 55-75°F through the season. Accurate readings will be shared prior to each session. While temperatures are comfortable, we strongly advise participants to use a swim-specific wetsuit and bring warmer clothes for the post-swim.
While we hope for great conditions, we will monitor weather patterns along with local officials. Given the unpredictable nature of Chicagoland weather, we will not make any weather related decisions until event day. If necessary, weather advisories will be sent throughout the day and posted in the Discussions area on Open Water Swim CHICAGO’s Facebook page. In the case of unfavorable conditions, it will be up to the Event Manager, Chicago Park District and/or Chicago Fire Department to make weather-related event decisions.
WHAT TO BRING
· Swim suit (swim caps will be issued)
· Goggles *
· Water bottle (bring your own hydration, as the water fountain has been removed)
· Wetsuit (optional)
· Warm, post-swim clothing (it will get chilly on the beach)
· Extra money for post-event socializing at Caffé Oliva.
Urban Tri Gear will provide a small inventory of demo wetsuits for use during these sessions (excluding August 23). A $25 rental fee applies, which can be used as credit towards purchase of a new wetsuit. Urban Tri Gear also offers 5-day wetsuit rentals ($55 sleeveless, $65 full-sleeve) as part of these sessions. Please contact Urban Tri Gear to secure your rental in advance. They will coordinate all logistics. Due to anticipated demand from cold water temperatures, we strongly advise all swimmers obtain their own wetsuit prior to attending the session.
Parking can be tricky in the area, so we strongly recommend reserving a nearby garage spot using SpotHero. Click the link below to find garages as low as $13-15 within two blocks of Ohio Street Beach.
SPECIAL ATHLETE BRIEFING
The August 22 event will feature an early Chicago Triathlon Athlete Briefing exclusively for registrants of this OWS session, held on the beach (adjacent to Caffe' Oliva) at approximately 8:00 PM. Otherwise, Athlete Briefings are no longer mandatory for #ChiTri registrants but are highly encouraged. All Chicago Tri participants are required to attend the Expo to pick-up their race packets (we will not have them at the beach).
This event has a strict no-refund and no-transfer policy, especially due to the limited capacity. If you are unable to attend for any reason, you are not eligible for reimbursement. Should the session be cancelled, management will do its best to offer a make-good relevant to the situation but refunds will not be issued. Thank you for understanding.
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