5 Great Reasons to Race Pleasant Prairie Triathlon

5 Great Reasons to Race at the- Pleasant Prairie Triathlon

Pleasant Prairie Triathlon Olympic Distance

Swim: 1500 meters

Bike:   40 Kilometers

Run:   10 Kilometers

The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon has a Gorgeous Location

The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon is super close to  Lake Michigan and the Illinois’ northeastern border.  It’s pretty close to Chicago.  The entire course is in and around Lake Andrea.  It is a fairly small lake; covering about 100-acres. Lake Andrea is beautiful. Throughout the year there are loads of water sports that people do there when the weather is permitting.  There are also quite a few ducks, geese, fox, and deer in the area.  

The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon is actually comprised of six annual events between June and August.  The first race of the series is a Junior Triathlon that ranges from 5 to 14 years of age.  Second, is a sprint distance with a 750 meter swim, 20k bike, and a 5k run.  Third, there is the olympic distance race. On the same day as the olympic and sprint distances there is a duathlon.  And within the sprint and olympic distances there is a relay.  The sixth and final race of the series is another junior triathlon in mid August.  The highlight of this triathlon is certainly the paratriathletes. Many participants thoroughly enjoy watching these amazing athletes compete. They certainly are an inspiration for all athletes, but meeting them in person provides a much more rewarding interchange.

Great Local Triathlon

The summer months are by far the most pleasant times to be at this location due to warm balm days and mild nights.  Warmer race days are always a positive in my opinion.  Aside from the weather, the location is great for triathletes from all over the Chicago and southern Wisconsin region. Driving an hour or two from house to race is a lot more appealing, than extensive hours of travel to a remote area.  

Keeping things local and fun is what the race organizers seem to aim for at the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon.  These smaller events help younger athletes and amateurs enjoy competing without having to spend hundreds of dollars for an entry fee.  Local triathlons like this also help to provide a sense of community amongst all ages and skill levels of triathletes.

Triathlete Experiences

I had the privilege to interview a couple of competitors that have competed at the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon.  I asked each a series of four questions.

Here is nicely detailed experience from a triathlete named Julia.

Julia’s Experience

Tres: What was your favorite section of the course? And why?

Julia: My favorite part of the course was the bike.  I loved where it took place. The roads were good and it was a little challenging, but not too much.  I didn’t like that I was passed by a lot of cyclists tho! I learned after the fact that this race brings out some of the better athletes.  I don’t remember why this is the case.. if it’s that they can qualify for a slot somewhere or just the course itself, but I believe I found this to be true by how the course felt for me and how much I was passed!  I remember feeling out on the bike course that I was in the pastures.. cows. Dairy farms.. puffy white clouds kind of vision even tho the one year I did PP the swim was canceled due to a really bad storm rolling in!

Tres: Was there anything funny or noteworthy that happened during the race?

Julia: The storm that came in before the race started the first year I did PP.  I was TERRIFIED of the swim. I found the swim to be very challenging there.  It’s a small lake, but the way the wind comes across it and the way the course is set up, you have to swim into the chop on a slight angle for the longest length of the course.  For me being a new swimmer (only learning to swim 4 years ago) it’s a challenging swim. When I thought about the race this year and signing up again, the swim popped into my head!  I did not sign up this year.. but it was not for only that reason.

Tres: Did you meet anyone that you are thankful you met there?

Julia: I did meet someone, actually a few people there that I was thankful for.. that was the DaretoTri group.  Several of the athletes gave me courage in thinking if they can do this, then so can I. I am signed up for one more Ironman, IMLOU this year, and then my plan is to back down my distances and become involved with disabled triathletes.  I believe I can learn some things about racing, and life from people like them. I’m sure you know they have a strong presence at PP.. I believe they can qualify for Paralympics on that course or something big for them.

Tres: If you could give a friend advice about the race, what would it be?

Julia: Advice I would give about that race is that it’s a beautiful race.. the course is a little challenging and it’s very well organized.  Do the swim practice if you can, and just enjoy that you are out there.

I want to thank Julia so much for sharing her experience about the PP Tri.

Andy’s Experience

The second person whom I am happy to have respond to my request for his experience at the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon is Andy.

I asked him the same questions as Julia.


Tres: What was your favorite section of the course? And why?

Andy: The gravel trail section for the Olympic run. I was at the front of the race (13th I think) so it was fun to 1- see and face the people you’re racing, and 2- have a non-pavement section of the course.


Tres: Was there anything funny or noteworthy that happened during the race?

Andy: It was very windy and there were multiple times where other competitors and I were just laughing together about our lack of forward progress. People were very friendly and fun to enjoy the “suck” together.


Tres: Did you meet anyone that you are thankful you met there?

Andy: I didn’t specifically meet any of them, but the para-athletes are inspiring. I am thankful I got to see that kind of effort and determination.


Tres: If you could give a friend advice about the race, what would it be?

Andy: My advice would be to sign up! It’s a great local race, which is what is really keeping Triathlon alive….Race-wise advice- it is a pretty easy and flat course, so don’t be afraid to rip some watts on the bike. Don’t save too much for the run.

Again, Thank you so much Andy for your experience and your advice!!

Well Organized with Exuberant Volunteers

As with most events that we attend, its easy to pick out races that are not very well organised.  It’s often times less recognizable to know whether a triathlon is very well organized. Participants who have spoken about this event have mentioned nothing in regards to how organised this event is.  From this I deduce that it is very well organised.

The volunteers at the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon are definitely exuberant and helpful.  They are giving their time and energy for the good of everyone else there. There are for sure the friends and family that help out while they cheer on there loved ones.  But, most just like the excitement and energy that surrounds a local triathlon like this.

Smooth Transitions

The transitions at this tri are smooth and well signed.  There is plenty of space between competitors bikes in T1.  The changing area is large enough to get arranged without bumping into many folks. The area is generally free from loose stones and gravel. There are lots of volunteers to help with directing traffic in and out of the T1 transition.  

T2 is usually the simpler of the two transitions, but it is very smooth as well.  Amidst general confusion of triathletes trying to figure how to get in an out of transition areas, the exuberant and competent volunteers help everyone get around.  Once the running shoes are on and the chase begins, you get to see the beautiful lake again.

Beautiful Lake

This lake is slightly smaller than its sister lake, Lake Michigan, but it is much calmer and prettier in many participants opinion.  Swimming in the lake can be fun and challenging. Some feel that it is a spectacular swim course and others feel it is quite challenging.

Clean, clear and well-maintained are a few adjectives that fit many triathletes’ experiences at this event!

If you live in this region of the country, this triathlon is well worth giving a go!

If you would like to try another really fun triathlon, I highly recommend the CB&I Triathlon.

If you would like help meditating before your race you can try a little guided meditation I have created for triathletes of all levels.


Happy racing!


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