Residents of Glenview and surrounding communities came together in support of Together We Tri and its biannual indoor triathlon, held on Sunday, March 6, at the Glenview Park District.
Libby Hurley, the founder of Together We Tri, started the triathlon training company about 18 years ago and for the last 10 years, they’ve come together to host an indoor triathlon.
This year’s competition helped in supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation, as well as programming and services offered by Together We Tri.
Julie Schultz, vice president of marketing, said hosting this year’s triathlon in honor of those living with Diabetes made sense on a number of levels.
“We support JDRF in honor of founder Libby Hurley’s daughter, who was diagnosed last March with Type 1 Diabetes,” she said. “It hits close to home and, obviously, a very important cause for many people.”
Entry into the triathlon sold out ahead of the event, allowing more than 100 people to take part in the festivities. Historically, the triathlon tends to see a packed house.
Schultz said the event remains fresh and innovative from year to year based on its ability to draw in both new and returning participants.
“The triathlon is obviously a very popular sport,” she said. “It’s really wonderful because we start our season with an indoor triathlon. People are training indoors and it really gets them ready for their outside-training season. It’s also a wonderful introduction to beginners, to be able to do a triathlon without the intimidation.”
The way the competition is set up allows participants to engage in a 10-minute swim, followed by a 20-minute round of cycling on spin bikes and a 15-minute run.
Schultz said the competitive spirit the triathletes bring adds to the hype surrounding the event, as well.
“We also have advanced and elite (athletes) that come out here and kind of race against each other,” she said. “It’s great way to kickoff their season because we’re going to start being able to go outdoors and then it’s a great way to kind of end your season in November, when you’re starting to head indoors.”
Currency Kerndt, of Des Plaines, has been a triathlete for 35 years. She said she attends the Together We Tri indoor triathlon regularly, so it made sense for her to come back.
She said she recalls having participated in the first-ever Chicago Marathon, when they allowed athletes to swim in the lake instead of the harbor, adding how that experience was not a lot of fun to her. That’s not the case for her when it comes to the Together We Tri indoor triathlon.
“It’s probably the best place that I do indoor triathlons,” she said. “They have a lot of good equipment and the staff is terrific.”
Kerndt said she prepares four days a week all-year round to stay fit to compete.
In the end, she said she hopes a massage will be waiting for her when she completes the triathlon.
“That’s my favorite part,” she said. “A lot of triathlons don’t do that, so that’s one of my favorites.”
Isabelle Hedrich, 14, of Glenview, was waiting poolside for the triathlon to commence. She said it was her second time participating in a triathlon organized by Together We Tri, but she has also completed several others.
She said being on a swim team gives her the practice she needs, adding how she also includes some running in her training regime.
“I have a lot of friends who are doing this, or at least we did last time, that I want to do better than,” she said.
Jon Leiter, of Northbrook, was one of many triathletes preparing to enter the water that day. He said it was his first time competing in the Together We Tri indoor triathlon, but he has competed in many others, including the Iron Man.
He said in general, challenges do arise in preparing but it’s all about taking care of any issues that come up, to make sure that he’ll be ready to participate in more lengthy triathlons.
“I’m always training, so I’m always swimming and running and biking,” he said. “It’s one of those faults of being a triathlete. When something like this in a shorter distance comes up, you know it’s pretty much just going in and having a good time.”
Donations were being accepted at the time of the fundraising event, with 10 percent of proceeds and raffle monies benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The Together We Tri indoor triathlon was sponsored, in part, by Illinois Bone and Joint Institute.