** Yes, I realize that there is a more formal name to the event. For reasons that you’ll see later on, I am referring to it just as the Lake Zurich Triathalon. **
As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, the Lake Zurich Triathalon is one of my favorite races. And that’s with having to wake up at 4AM to do packet pickup and the first part of transition set up in the dark. It’s a great setting, and is typically a great course. It’s also an opportunity to get some massive speed on the downhills that are on the backside of the bike loop.
During the 1:1 portion of the Injured Military Camp, Lee had fallen and injured his wrist. So a few weeks out, there was a concern that he wouldn’t be able to race. Thankfully, it wasn’t as serious as originally thought, and he was all set to go. And while we were ready to go, the reace apparently was not.
About 9 days prior to the race, an e-mail was sent out that essentially said ‘IDOT didn’t finish as we thought they would, we don’t have an alternative, so it’s now an Aquathon. Oh, and there are no refunds.’ Less than 24 hours later, a second e-mail was sent out offering more reasonable options, including deferrals to 2022.
While I realize that part of triathalon is adapting to changes, I have a huge issue with the ‘it’s now an Aquathon, no refunds’ from the intial e-mail. IMO, the first e-mail shouldn’t have ever come out. If it had just been the second e-mail, I would be feeling a lot different. However, there was an initial thought of ‘let’s make OUR lack of contingencies YOUR problem.’ I also believe that it was a HUGE slap in the face to their sponsors, as things like this can drive people away.
It would have taken almost 2 hours in transit to race an Aquathon. So I did not race; I also did not take the deferral. The main reason for that is that I wanted the swag. The Tri backpack that I have is slowly wearing out, and I would be receiving a new one for being one of the first 500 to register for 2020 in late 2019.
While I have truly loved doing this race, I am done with it until it’s under new management. I won’t go into everything publicly, but just re-read the last few paragraphs and you’ll get a sense of why. I truly, truly, truly hope that someone buys this race from the current RO. I would gladly come back under different management.
**UPDATE: After about 2 months, I did finally receive the backpack and additional swag.