Lake Zurich Triathlon Race ReportPosted: July 14, 2014
It has been quite some time since my last post, but it’s only because life has been so great and busy. I have race reports I still need to finish from earlier in the season but knew I needed to write this report right away because this past weekend was a new, MORE meaningful kind of race success thanks to the generosity of so many people coming together for a common goal.
Back in 2010 The Lake Zurich Area Triathlon was my first attempt into the sport. At the time it was a way to challenge myself to get back in shape after letting myself go, so I was more than happy to just cross the finish line with a “blistering” time of 3:15:27. Yes that is for an Olympic distance race, not a 70.3, but like I said I was happy to just finish the race and not die… things have changed just a tiny bit since then.
Fast forward to this past weekend where I have now raced this event for 5 consecutive years, it feels like my home race. I am friends with all of the race directors, and on course officials. I know and talk with many of the athletes participating and the race day jitters are now gone. I am comfortable and happy to be there, ready to go out, have fun and do my best.
The race starts out in the water, like all triathlons and I manage to swim the .9 miles (1.07 according to my watch) in 31:49, in my defense that also includes taking off my Roka Maverick wetsuit right out of the water and running .25 miles to transition. I hop on my Specialized Shiv and ride the 19.66 mile shortened course in 54:39. Rush through transition, throw on my On-Running Clouds and complete the 6.2 mile run in a painful 49:04. For a grand total of 2:17:35. So that’s my race report, but its not what excites me about this race, it just happened to be the icing on the cake. (On a side note: Skipping lunch the day before and having a zero carb camp out dinner is not the best pre-race nutrition plan.)
As a member of More Than Sport, we strive to inspire, transform and redeem the world that we live, work and play in. I reached out to the race promoter at ChampionChip 24/7, about finding a way that we could partner together in order to give back to the community. They were very excited about the idea and trusted me to put together a plan that I thought would work best. I did some research and contacted the Emmaus House of Hospitality in Lake Zurich informed them about the event and explained how we would like to use it as a platform to collect donations of food, shoes, clothing and school supplies for the people in need who come to them on a regular basis. They were thrilled to hear that and we now had our partner. You can read a Daily Herald article about the Emmaus House here.
Friday I spent the better part of the day assisting packet-pick up at Runners High N’ Tri in Arlington Heights, where we collected donations. At this location we collected many pairs of shoes and clothing, while also meeting many of the athletes who would be racing on Sunday, and sharing the vision of More Than Sport. Saturday I was back at packet-pick up once again telling people how they can make a difference through sport, as we collected more food, clothing and school supplies. Race morning food continued to come in, and it seemed like we would have a car full of items to donate, which I felt was a great result for a first time effort. However, when the race ended and all of the people had crossed the line and gone home, I noticed the remanding food from the race and asked the promoter what they were going to do with it? He responded that he would be happy if we could add it to our donations.
Through the generosity of the athletes involved, ChampionChip 24/7, 321 Go Promotions and More Than Sport, we were able to donate:
• 432 pounds of food
• 11 bags of clothing and shoes
• 4 complete back packs of school supplies
• 1 Large bag full of misc school supplies
• 175 litters of bottled water.
After another solid year of training and preparing for my favorite race of the season, these were the only race numbers that mattered to me in 2014.
The Emmaus House of Hospitality is a non-profit group in Lake Zurich, Illinois who are working hard to help those around us who are hungry and struggling to stay in their homes. We began in 2000 feeding 12 people on a Sunday night and have grown so much that we fed more than 9,000 people in 2013. In response to God’s call, Emmaus House is a ministry of hospitality dedicated to our neighbors who are struggling with poverty and its uncertainties. We provide food, clothing and funding for shelter to families in need, helping them move from crisis to stability. We strive to eliminate the social causes of poverty that affect the people we serve by raising awareness and advocating for change. If you would like to do more for the Emmaus House they are always looking for groups to host Sunday dinners. Simply contact them and let them know you would like to DO MORE!