Straight answers to some common questions…


How much training am I committing to by joining the team?

None, as it’s all optional and depends individually on your level of experience and comfort swimming, biking and running. Now if you’ve never participated in a triathlon before, training is highly recommended, and much of the content we will be providing is geared toward the first-timer and novice triathlete. Live Grit will also be producing training clinics, and we will be tapping into the multitude of resources provided by the Life Time Fitness staff that manages the Chicago Triathlon itself.


As a veteran triathlete, is this the right team for me?

If you appreciate the camaraderie of a team, great deals on premium tri gear and race day hospitality, it certainly can be. The majority of our initial registrants signed up to leverage their physical and financial resources to support Renew Chicago and its partner programs. Renew Chicago Tri team members swept the top podium spots of the 2017 Charity Wave, so there is some serious talent within the group, and terrific opportunities (like the Park Peleton cycling group) to help you develop yours whether you are focused on setting a PR, beating your buddy or simply finishing safely.


What if I already signed up for the 2019 Chicago Triathlon?

Again this season (a dozen team members took advantage of this option last year), we have a great option for you! Select the registration option that does not require an entry into the race. Your $150 entry fee will enable you to train, fundraise and celebrate with the team, and we will work with the race to move you into the Charity Wave if you would like. Your registration fee essentially covers the social events, administrative and swag production costs, which is significantly more costly than the fee itself, not to mention the best looking full tri kit uniform in Chicago.


What if I want to participate in a different event than the Chicago Triathlon?

Similar answer to the one above. Select the "Other Event" option, pay the $100 registration fee and customize your fundraiser platform accordingly. We are excited to add this new option to the 2019 program.


What other expenses will I incur?

Triathletes are known to invest significantly in the sport once they get hooked. However, at a base level, what you are required to bring to the race is a helmet and a bike. Renew’s executive director Mike Rolfes “competed” on a fold-up bike a few years ago. 250 participants are competing in the Divvy wave. Nothing fancy needed, though we will be providing a series of sponsor deals for those interested in getting awesome deals on quality bikes and gear, including special seasonal and race weekend deals from Lakeshore Bike. 


You DO NOT need a wetsuit to participate in the Chicago Triathlon. Some prefer wearing one, others don't. If you are in the market for one, Live Grit is here to help. Live Grit offers rentals every Saturday morning for $10 down at the open water swims on Ohio Street Beach, where we train. Additionally, they do race week rentals for $50. Reservations open for that on August 1st. Renew Chicago Tri Team Members receive 10% off wetsuits. We recommend that the athletes schedule a time for a wetsuit fitting. Times can be scheduled at https://livegrit.com/pages/wetsuit-fitting

I’ve never fundraised before. How challenging is it?

You wouldn’t be aware of this opportunity if you weren’t engaged in some type of social community. If you put in a decent effort and take advantage of the fundraising coaching and tools our team will provide, your fundraising should be a piece of cake. Last season, team members raised an average of more than $750.


Are there age or other requirements to join the team?

Not anymore. The kids race is open to young triathletes starting at age 7.

Team membership is available to anyone who wants to join us. Last season’s team ranged in age from 21 to 63, half the squad had never competed in a triathlon before and a couple members even lived out of state. While most team members attend Park, our intention is to aggressively recruit outside of that faith-based community, too.


Is my registration tax deductible? Any can an employer match donations?

No and yes. Your registration is not because you are receiving significantly more actual retail value in your package than the cost itself. Renew Chicago attained its 501c status in January, 2018. All team members will receive tax forms for any donations they make themselves and we will enable matching gifts functionality on the team site.


What’s the registration deadline?

We will cut off registrations in late July. However, in order to take advantage of the full training and fundraising season events, incentives and opportunities to order team gear, the sooner the better makes the most sense. We anticipate the majority of registrations occurring from February through May.


Any other questions…please ask!