Participants within these divisions are primarily focused on speed, each of whom are eligible for competitive awards within their specific group. Competitive categories include:
All individuals are automatically placed in this category, unless choosing a different division during the registration process. Age groups are subdivided by gender and five-year age increments (e.g. 20-24, 24-29, 30-34, etc.). It is important to note that Age Groups are assigned based on athlete age as of December 31 of race year (thus no changes during the calendar year).
Formerly known as the “Elite Amateur” division, these are extremely fast, non-professional athletes competing in the International distance. Premier athletes start early in the wave order, and are subdivided by gender, each of whom must meet (and submit proof of) qualifying times for eligibility:
- Premier Female: 2:30:00 or better
- Premier Male: 2:15:00 or better
At the Chicago Triathlon, Premier competitors will compete against other Premier Amateur athletes in their respective Group, not within the general Age Group competition. Premier Amateur participants will be seeded into the opening waves of the international distance event, competing head-to-head with other top amateur triathletes. Awards will be presented to the top 3 in each gender.
For multi-sport zealots looking for the ultimate experience, we offer the Triple Challenge. This special competition combines three events into a single weekend — a total of 59 miles that includes 1.63 miles in the water, 46.3 miles on the bike and 10.85 miles on the run. Click here to learn more about the Triple Challenge, guaranteed to sell-out quickly.
Current college and university students. Collegiate athletes must present current student IDs at Packet Pick Up to earn the student discount. Collegiate athletes are subdivided by gender.
First Responders (100 Club Challenge)
This division is open to all active duty safety personnel (Fire, Police, EMS, Military, Government Agencies, etc.). Proof of status must be presented at Packet Pick Up. First Responders are subdivided by gender.
Originally known as the First Responders’ Competition, the program began in 2007 as a friendly wager among seven members of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Office of the FBI. Since then, the competition has hosted more than 1,000 participants from more than 24 agencies across the country.
In 2016, this special competition was been renamed on behalf of a new partnership with The 100 Club of Chicago. The purpose of this organization is to provide for the surviving spouses and dependents of law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics who lose their lives in the line of duty. This includes federal, state, county and local officers, firefighters and paramedics stationed in both Cook and Lake Counties.
Through both public donations and private fundraising efforts, the program plans to generate more than $25,000 in direct contributions to the 100 Club of Chicago during the 2017 season. There are two ways to participate in the 100 Club Challenge: as a First Responder, or as a civilian fundraiser. Click here to learn more about the program.
Clydesdale / Athena
Generally heavier participants may opt-into this division. These athletes are subdivided by gender, each of whom must meet these minimum weight requirements, and will be required to weigh-in prior to competition:
- Athena: 165 lbs
- Clydesdale: 220 lbs
Athletes with physical disabilities. Para Triathletes are subdivided by gender, and can be classified by a variety of standards. Typically, Life Time Tri classifies Para athletes into these categories:
- Visually Impaired
Athletes using bikes with tires at least 1.75 inches in width may enroll in this competitive division, also subdivided by gender. Typically this division is comprised of mountain, hybrid and cruiser bikes (all with thicker tires vs. a typical road bike). Although athletes in either international or sprint races may elect to ride thick wheeled bikes, only participants who register specifically for the Mountain Bike Division will have the opportunity to compete for Mountain Bike Division awards.
Participants have the option to enter varying distances as a relay team, consisting of 2–3 individuals. Teams may elect which person will complete each specific discipline. Team members share a single timing chip, which is passed from one team member to another in transition. While not all relay teams are competitive by nature, all teams are eligible for competitive awards. Relay teams are subdivided into these groups:
- Co-Ed (mixed gender teams)