The Triple Challenge

For the handful of multi-sport zealots looking for the ultimate Chicago Triathlon experience, we offer the Triple Challenge — one of race weekend’s most in-demand special competitions.

Officially launched in 2007, the Triple Challenge offers a small number of triathletes the opportunity to register and compete in three events in a single weekend — for a total of 59 miles that includes:

  • Swim: 1.63 miles
  • Bike: 46.3 miles
  • Run: 10.85 miles

Participants race three separate event distances during the weekend, starting with the Chicago Triathlon SuperSprint on Saturday at Foster Beach. On Sunday, Triple participants will start in the first International distance wave (6:00 a.m. estimated start time, subject to change), followed by the final Sprint distance wave (9:45 a.m. estimated start time, subject to change).

NOTE: it is strongly recommended that athletes can comfortably finish the International distance race within 3 hours, ensuring adequate time to exit the Finish Line, return to the Swim Start and prepare for their final (Sprint) race.

Program Details

  • The Triple Challenge sells out year after year, limited to the first 175 participants.
  • Participants who attempt to register for all three races separately WILL NOT be eligible for the Triple Challenge competition. Further, those who attempt to register for both the Sprint and International races (separately) will be unable to race both events, as wave start times are specially set for this group. Only registered Triple Challenge athletes are able to complete this event.
  • Triple Challenge participants will utilize one race number for the entire weekend, yet receive multiple race bibs and helmet/bike stickers (all with the same number).
  • Triple Challenge participants begin in the same waves both Saturday and Sunday. Triple challenge athletes rack together in transition (and utilize the same transition rack for both races on Sunday).
  • Each Triple Challenge participant will receive:
    • A Chicago Triathlon T-shirt, two swim caps, race bib number, helmet number, bike number, color-coded wrist band, and timing envelope/chip/strap and race bag.
    • Those who officially start and finish all three events will earn a commemorative “Triple Challenge” finisher’s jacket.
  • Awards will be given to the overall fastest three Triple Challenge participants (male and female).
  • Triple Challenge participants are not eligible for individual age group awards within the SuperSprint, Sprint, or International events.
  • Be sure you affix the correct chip/strap to your ankle for the appropriate event, or you may not receive the correct times for one or more of the three events.
  • Cumulative time is tabulated from all three events, with the top three females and males earning Triple Challenge awards.

Weekend Logistics

In order to successfully complete the Triple Challenge, participants must abide by several NEW special logistical requirements, including:

Friday, August 27, 2021

  • Packet Pick Up: Triple Challenge participants must retrieve their race packets on Friday at the Multisport & Fitness Expo. Triple athletes have a private kiosk at the Expo, supported by a dedicated weekend concierge team!
  • Friday – Mandatory Athlete Briefing: Like all Sunday participants, all Triple Challenge participants must first attend a mandatory Athlete Briefing (on Friday) at the Expo prior to picking up their packets.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

  • SuperSprint Race: Please be aware the first race is Saturday’s SuperSprint Tri, located at Foster Beach, approximately 7 miles north of downtown Chicago. There is no early racking (Friday) option for this event. Plan your travel accordingly.
  • Optional bike racking: Like all Sunday participants, Triple Challenge athletes have the option (and are strongly encouraged) to rack their bikes in the Chicago Triathlon’s downtown Transition area on Saturday, between 2-7:00 p.m.). All Triples are racked in the same area. Otherwise, Transition opens at 4:00 a.m. Sunday.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

  • Pre Race Transition Setup: Similar to 2017, Triple Challenge participants will NOT BE ALLOWED back into Transition between International and Sprint races. Instead, a special Triple Challenge concierge tent will be set up at the Swim Exit area, providing a variety of services that alleviate the historic need to re-enter Transition between races. Triples are able to use this Triple Challenge Tent as their race day basecamp, leaving snacks/gear/fluids there in the early morning for later use.
  • International Swim: Upon completing the International distance swim, Triple Challenge athletes will visit the Triple Challenge Tent located at Swim Exit. Triple Challenge athletes should leave behind their wet-suits, goggles, swim caps (extra will be provided), and anything else they plan to use for the forthcoming Sprint swim. Upon dropping their swim gear, Triples proceed through their International race as usual.
  • Post International Finish: Once finishing their International race, Triples will exit through the runner refresh area and proceed back to the Triple Challenge Tent at the Swim Start area. Triples will retrieve their swim equipment, pack their run gear (shoes, socks, glasses, cap, race bib, etc.) in a separate gear check bag and proceed to the Swim Start to begin their final race.
  • Post-Sprint Swim: Upon exiting the water for the last time, Triples will again proceed to the Triple Challenge Tent, grab their running gear bags and proceed into Transition as usual.
  • Post-Sprint Finish: Done! As the Triples successfully complete their final race, they will congregate at a new Triple Challenge Tent set up in the Finish Area. Any gear left at the Swim Exit area will be transported here for easy pickup. Additionally, those who successfully complete the challenge will be issued their exclusive amenities! Plenty of snacks and beverages will be on hand as well.
*Times and details subject to change pending city approval