Established in 1983, this old school Chicago area triathlon is conveniently located less than 30 minutes from downtown Chicago via the Chicago Skyway. The Chicago Skyline provides a picturesque background for the Start and Finish lines, thus providing a great experience for Chicago land triathlon enthusiasts.
Leon has been using his events to celebrate and honor the U.S. Military, Veterans, and 1st Responders for 40 Years, which earned this race series the name “America’s Race” from NBC Sports Chicago. This race series is regarded as one of the most Patriotic triathlons events in America, with a prime-time National Broadcast viewed coast to coast on NBC Sports Chicago.
Please scroll down the page to view the national documentary broadcast to see the race coverage from last year!
This new event is for the 5k only, with a LIMITED field. If you would like to register, click the button below. Both patriotic civilian canine racers and service/comfort dogs may take part and use coupon code. On the race registration page, make sure that you choose the K-9 category. Plus, when you use the coupon code 23SERVICEDOG (in all caps and all one word) you will save $14 on your registration fee! With this $14 savings, your registration fee will be $85. Your registration includes Made in America military grade, high quality, union printed event apparel, plus a high quality branded finish towel, along with a high quality K-9 event velcro patch! There will also be food and beverages available. Please note that the race will be manually timed. (No timing chip will be used.)
Scholarships are available for Veterans and First Responders on an application basis. If you are interested, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are profoundly humbled and blessed to have the backing of both the United States Army and the United States Navy. Both of these arms of our military were founded in the year of 1775. The United States Army was established on June 14, 1775, and the United States Navy was established on October 13, 1775. We commemorate their 248 years of service to our great nation.
As we seek to honor our American Industrial Athletes, Leon’s has joined forces with Helmets to Hardhats and IKOCC (Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters) to create a special, one-of-a-kind event. We are humbled and honored to also team up with all the North American building trades. The Industrial Athlete Championship will be a component of America’s Race.
We are so humbled and excited to announce the premier broadcast of “Leon’s Heroes Obstacle Course Race.” This 30 minute, national documentary about America’s Race will give you a glimpse into the work we do to honor our military, veterans, and first responders.
Leon’s Heroes is an organization that is a new branch of Leon’s Triathlon. Leon’s Heroes aims to promote patriotism and honor the U.S. Military, Veterans, First Responders and Law Enforcement.
Leon’s Heroes are the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our nation and constitution. We aim to create a feel of patriotism anywhere we go.
The first Leon’s Triathlons were held in Leon’s hometown of Hobart IN, at the Isaac Walton, just off of I-65. The Wolek family attended many triathlons with Leon as a participant. While attending the events, they promoted Leon’s Triathlon. Leon’s Triathlon grew year after year until it outgrew the Isaac Walton. Fortunately, they were invited by Mayor Tom McDermott Sr. to host Leon’s Triathlon in Hammond at Wolf Lake to accommodate the continued growth. The family worked very closely with the Cities, Counties and State to set the standard in the sport.
Leon and his family noticed that all of the major events focused on the pros and not the amateurs. They thought the amateurs needed to be showcased, so they pioneered the First National Amateur Championship, which to this day continues in the sport. They also hosted one of the First Military Championships in the sport. Both were televised on ESPN worldwide and had Military flyovers after the singing of the National Anthem. Because of its completely closed course, the closing of a six lane freeway, and all three events starting and finishing at the same staging area, Leon’s Triathlon came to be known as the fastest triathlon in the world.
Because of economic development and political changes, there were some challenges that resulted in the racecourse logistics. The Wolek family felt it was time to retire the Leon’s Triathlon’s.
Throughout the next 15 years people wrote, called and emailed asking when Leon’s Triathlon would be back.
Leon finally decided to request a meeting with the current Mayor of Hammond, Tom McDermott Jr. Because of the support from his father, Mayor McDermott Sr., his son grew up knowing all about Leon’s Triathlon, known as America’s Race. Like his father he gave his support and after a 15-year hiatus, Leon’s is back.
In 2021 Leon added an obstacle course race to honor the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our country. With the addition of the obstacle course race, we have rebranded the triathlon to include the sister obstacle course race, and we are moving forward as Leon’s Heroes.
While growing up Leon didn’t have Superman or Batman as a hero, it was his father and military buddies at the American Legion Post 454 in New Chicago, IN who inspired him. Leon’s Heroes are the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our nation and constitution. We aim to create a feel of patriotism anywhere we go.
While working on promoting the first annual obstacle course race, Leon befriended Vern at Chesterton Brewery, Veteran’s Brewing for Veteran’s, and Leon’s Heroes American IPA was born.
Leon’s is grateful for our partnership with Hammer Nutrition. This partnership goes back many, many years. Hammer Nutrition is an endurance sports nutrition company founded in 1987 by Brian Frank.
Hammer Nutrition provides unparalleled products, knowledge, and service to health conscious athletes all over the world. Over the years, the product line has grown from fuels & supplements to now include clothing, body care products, EMS units, accessories, and more.
We are so excited to announce our new collaboration with Chesterton Brewery. They have created a new American IPA that was released on Friday, September 10, 2021 in honor of our heroes.
We would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to our friends at United Steelworkers Local 6787. We are grateful for your support in our work.
We are pleased to recognize our partnership with Honor Flight Chicago. Honor Flight Chicago (HFC) was founded in 2008 to recognize America’s senior war veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C. to tour the memorials built in their honor. The one-day, all-expense paid trip is filled with appreciation, tributes, memories and gratitude.
Dare2tri is committed to providing resources and paratriathlon training services to injured service members and veterans with physical disabilities and visual impairments. Dare2tri’s goal is to empower injured service members and veterans through active participation in sport, recreation, competition, and the greater community.
Dare2tri is proud to partner with Leon’s Triathlon to offer an official Dare2tri Race2Raise Team. When you join Dare2tri Race2Raise you get to achieve your own health and wellness goals and support Dare2tri athletes, many of whom are injured military, in achieving their goals. Dare2tri transforms the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them get active through the sport of triathlon.
Set a goal, challenge yourself and while doing so, you make a difference in the lives of injured veterans so they too can set and reach goals. Race alongside these amazing men and women and support one another on the journey to the finish line!
“I've raced in Marathons all over the United States in my racing chair, biked in competitions in Ohio and Michigan and swam short distance at wheelchair Games. Being able to compete in Leon's Triathlon fulfilled my bucket list to put all those events together in one competition. There is no other way to express how proud and happy I was to be able to train with fellow veterans at the Dare2tri Military Camp, then go on to complete an OPEN water swim, I was scared to even think about, then bike and push to a cheering crowd then to say - AWESOME. When I finished, my competition buddy's , Alisha, mom said "You are now a Triathlete "- I couldn't stop smiling and nodded in enthusiastic agreement.”
“As an individual living with a physical disability, my amputation presents challenges and opportunities every day. In 2018, I met the Dare2tri family by chance at Leon’s Triathlon, my second tri ever. That day changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined! I was welcomed with open arms full of love, patience, and hospitality. Something that I have never witnessed before at any race or event. This is just the beginning of an amazing story and I am still in chapter one! I will forever be grateful to Dare2tri and my family. I’m always looking for new ways to give back to such an inspirational and loving community!”
“Leon’s triathlon was my first ever triathlon and after that I became addicted. The feeling I got crossing that finish line changed my life and my perspective. It was the start of a whole new chapter in my life. It started me on a path that has opened more doors than I thought possible. Just this year, I became the men’s wheelchair National Champion in paratriathlon. No matter where I go in my racing career I will always be out there at Leon’s Tri.”
“Racing at Leon’s tri is like a triathlon dream come true. Everything from the pre race events, the fast and flat course, running along the lake with hundreds of American flags and having Leon himself congratulate you as you cross the finish line. It’s a race I hope to go back to year and year!”