|Australian Triathlon. Source: AP|
Starting June 27-29, 2014, Chicago will welcome top triathletes from all over the world, as it becomes the third-ever U.S. city to host a WTS race – joining San Diego (2013 and 2012) and Washington D.C. (2009). It will join other stops such as Auckland, New Zealand; Stockholm, Sweden; Hamburg, Germany; London, England; and Edmonton, Canada. One-hundred and fifty of the world’s fastest triathletes – 75 elite men and 75 elite women – will compete in the Olympic-distance race, a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run. Amateurs can get in on the action, too, as sprint- and Olympic-distance age-group races will be among the divisions offered.
Chicago will also be the first U.S. city to ever host the WTS Grand Final, where overall champions will be crowned based on points earned throughout the season. The race course will include such famous landmarks as Navy Pier, Soldier Field and Millennium Park.
Chicago already hosts an annual triathlon that draws thousands of competitors to the city. But this kind of international sports event is not only a great platform to promote triathlons, but also a smart way to put Chicago on the map as a top athletic and leisure destination. Race participants, their families and friends, and thousands of spectators, will descend on Chicago, where they will discover everything the city has to offer. Not only that, the elite women’s and men’s races will be broadcast live to an international audience and streamed online, so millions of people around the world will witness the wonder of the Windy City.
I am excited to have such a prestigious event come to Chicago, and hopefully I'll be able to catch some of the athletes racing toward the finish line.