Race Time: 8:00am
Wolf Lake Park, Hammond, IN
Article ©2012 TRIJUICE
Are you up for a challenge? Here is something new, exciting and something to consider when choosing a triathlon event for your schedule.
For the most part, triathlon is an individual sport where you swim, bike and run the entire event yourself. To entice new athletes, introduce them to the sport or even make it more of a social thing some organizers have a relay team division at their event. This is great for those who might not be comfortable in one of the particular disciplines but want to participate with their friends, family or tri club in one form or another.
The concept of Team Racing is not that common here in the U.S. unlike in other countries where Triathlon Club / Team competition is more prevalent. Yes, a few events here have Triathlon Club competitions, but it’s not that big or anything like what Leon's has in store. Now that triathlon has made it to the collegiate level, we are seeing Team competition when it comes to these athletes. They race individually yet for their team, just like one would do if they were a high school or collegiate swimmer.
There is a triathlon event that is out to change this. The man behind it is Leon Wolek from Leon’s World’s Fastest Triathlon in Hammond, IN. His goal is to make that individual effort even more valuable and enjoyable as part of a team.
It’s not about getting the best swimmer, biker and runner to for a team, that would be called a relay team. Team Challenge here is a bit different. A team here is a group of triathletes that go to a race together and do the entire race individually. At the end of the race, they take a subset of the individual times and use that to score the team against the other teams racing. That way everyone has to chance to participate in the whole event while trying to help the team win the competition. A great opportunity to share in the post race award festivities even if one faces stiff competition in their age group.
Camaraderie, fun, inspiring, rivalries, sharing in the highs and lows is what Wolek see’s when people race as part of a team. These aren’t your ordinary teams explained Wolek. “Imagine the NASCAR pit areas, where you have all the team members, the team tents in their team colors. Now imagine an area like that in a triathlon transition area, except no car, only triathlon bikes, maybe a mechanic and/or coach while everyone in team colors.”
“Each team gets their own area with a custom made wooden bike rack to decorate as they please. They will also be able to put up and decorate a team tent adjacent to the transition area as part of the Team Challenge.”
Introduced last year at Leon’s Triathlon, Wolek hopes to inspire and attract more teams this year. To do so he has been talking to triathlon shops and coaches recruiting teams for this year’s race in June.
“Each team has to choose a captain, just like any sports team has to do,” Wolek says.
Wolek’s Leon’s World’s Fastest Triathlon is rich in history. Now in its third year after a 15 year hiatus Wolek wants to add to the history with this concept and have this race remembered for something new.Back to top