It was a cool and blustery Saturday morning by Lake Michigan, but that didn’t stop participants and spectators alike from coming out to take part in the 4th Annual City by the Lake Triathlon at Washington Park in Michigan City. This year there were 142 sprinters and 19 relay participants who took part in the race.
"It nearly doubled numbers from last year because we reached out to the Chicago market," Crystal Sands, Owner of Lighthouse Events and Marketing, said. "It’s a very fast course. Olympic and Ironman participants use this course as training. Part of the proceeds goes toward the sports programs of Marquette and Michigan City high schools."
According to Sands, sprinters are individuals who take part in the entire race. Relay participants are individuals who form groups of two or more and each complete in a different section of the triathlon.
Due to inclement weather, the swimming portion of the triathlon was cancelled and replaced with a second running portion, thus making the race start with a half mile run, followed by a ten mile bike ride and finish with a two and a half mile run. Matt Front who hails from Highland, was a first-time triathlon participant. He and two other men were a part of a relay team.
"I’m normally a marathon runner," Frost said. "We swam in college so we thought we’d have an advantage. It was a little windy but the course was good."
Libby Harmon of Granger, IN, who counted this as her second triathlon, was in great spirits after the race ended.
"I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t swim," Harmon admitted. "The run was surprisingly challenging and the bike ride was really pretty, riding by all the cottages. The community seemed to enjoy seeing everyone."
There were quite a few spectators there to watch the triathlon. There were also many individuals and businesses there donating their time and services in order to help out and enhance the whole triathlon experience.
"Great Lakes Catering donated a breakfast buffet," Sands said. "There is music, massages and Sauers here in Michigan City donated vehicles to block the wind."
After the race, participants happily dined on the breakfast buffet, chatted with family and friends or waited in line for their turn at a well-deserved massage. An awards ceremony concluded the event with medals given to the top three male and female finishers for each age division. Jeremy Kienitz, Recreation Director for the Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department, was very pleased with the outcome.
"It was very successful. No one was hurt and everyone finished," Kienitz said.
Kienitz went on to explain that this was actually the fifth triathlon held in Michigan City, but the fourth to be headed by the Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department, and the first that was done in collaboration with Lighthouse Events and Marketing.
"We started planning in November," Kienitz said. "There were about 250 people involved when all is said and done."
It was an excellent and well-executed event and everyone enjoyed themselves. The minor weather glitch didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Overall, the City by the Lake Triathlon was indeed a success.
To find out more information about the City By the Lake Triathlon or Lighthouse Events and Marketing, visit their website by following this link or check out their Facebook page!
For more information on the Michigan City Parks and Recreations Department, visit their website by clicking here or check them out on Facebook as well!
Sponsors for the City By the Lake Triathlon: Michigan Summerfest, Hicks Chiropractic Health Center, Sauers Ford Lincoln Inc., Blue Chip Casino Hotel and Spa, Weil McLain, Dolson Insurance, Allstate Wagner Agency, Northwest Athletic Club, City By the Lake Tri, Top Dog, Pepsi, AIM Water, Austin Masonry, Cadence Environmental, Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department