Spectator Information

If you’re not participating or volunteering, come watch and cheer on thousands of amazing athletes taking on the ultimate test of will and perseverance.

The Chicago Triathlon is one of the largest multisport events in the world. Just as all athletes should properly prepare for the enormity of race day, so should spectators. It’s not uncommon for many to show-up to the lakefront without a plan, quickly growing frustrated and overwhelmed.

A few tips to help the Sunday race viewing experience:

  • Know exactly what time your athlete starts the swim, and set a meeting point and time to say your goodbyes!
  • Plan your logistics, both into Grant Park and throughout the race venue. Public transit, parking garages, cabs and/or Divvy bikes are all great options – assuming you know which roads remain open to the public. Don’t forget about the free Chicago Trolleys that circle Grant Park.
  • Learn your athlete’s estimated time to be reach specific parts of the course, especially at spectator-friendly spots.
  • Know what your athlete will be wearing, to easily spot them on the fly.
  • Bring a snack, money for coffee, apply sunscreen and wear comfy shoes!

Where To Watch

Regardless of the event’s size, the Chicago Triathlon happens to be one of the most spectator friendly races on earth, starting with the swim course in Monroe Harbor.

The Swim Course spans the entire lakefront path. Families and friends can high-five their athletes before they jump in the water, then be no further than 25 yards from them through the duration of the Swim Course.

The Bike Course is a bit tougher to spectate, considering the inaccessibility of Lake Shore Drive. Sprint athletes can easily be spotted at the Bike In/Out area at the Randolph Circle Drive, and on the North Avenue pedestrian bridge.

For International athletes, the best vantage point is atop the 11th Street Pedestrian bridge, overlooking the McCormick Place Busway. Athletes will fly underneath twice, within 5-10 minutes, before venturing on the lakefront Run Course.

The best spot to view all runners is in the Museum Campus, specifically in back of the Field Museum. This is a great spot to photograph your athletes, capturing both the skyline and converging groups of runners in the background. This crazy area is eloquently referred to as the “spaghetti bowl.” This is also an easy walk back to the Finish Line, only a few hundred yards away on Columbus. Crosswalks will be setup at various points.

As a reminder, spectators are prohibited from assisting athletes in any way. Triathlon is an individual sport. Those who receive outside assistance (of any type) have an unfair advantage over the competition. Athletes who are seen accepting assistance are subject to penalties or disqualification. Families and spectators must stay off the course, and may not enter Transition or the Finish Line chute.

Spectators can sign-up for athlete text up-dates through Athlinks using the following links:

SuperSprint & Kids Triathlon

Sprint & International