Archived – Illinois Half







Presented by Sloan Implement of Petersburg




Dear Triathletes and Friends of Tri Smarter/Tri Harder,

It is with sincere sadness and anger that we share the very disappointing news finalized today.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, but within the control of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Lake Petersburg Board, we are forced to cancel the June 15th Stovepipe Sprint,  Railsplitter Olympic and Illinois Half Distance Triathlons.

After 11 years of hosting these events without incident or stress on resources, both DNR and the Lake Board informed us we would be required for the first time to pay User Fees of thousands of dollars for the June 15 events.

Both entities informed us of the fees within weeks of the event and DNR on this past Monday re-confirmed their decision to ignore our IRS 501 C3 Non Profit Public Charity Status and State of Illinois Non Profit Status and charge the fees.

A status DNR staff has suggested we secure from the IRS, for the past 3 years which we did at a cost of $800, so we could be exempt from the 10% of Gross User Fee to use New Salem.

Of importance is the fact that for the past 11 years the Triathlons have donated thousands of dollars to the site through Menard County Trails and Greenways and last year to the fund specified by DNR staff.

Tri Smarter/Tri Harder also donated to the Town and Country Women’s Club Fund raiser and provided hundreds of volunteer hours on trail clean up and maintenance until last year when we were told we would be arrested if we volunteered/worked at the site.

Something MCT&G and we have done more than any employee or group in the past 10 years.

However, the current site staff has not spent the funds on hand due to myriad of reasons and the site is in the worst shape any local can remember for years.

So after a rejected Appeal to the Director, DNR is standing by the decision to ignore the Non Profit Status, which is within their rights except we were told the User Fees would be waived when we secured the Non Profit Status by the previous administration.

They have threatened us with legal action if we volunteer in the park, ignored 11 years of donation history totaling tens of thousand of dollars into the community and now wants to take money from the following groups and deposit in a General Fund that can be used at any site within the state not just New Salem.

PORTA Fitness Center


PORTA After Prom, Pom Pons, Cheer Squad, Music Boosters, Football Boosters, Science Team , etc.

Town & Country Women’s Club

Menard County Rescue Squad & Dive Team

Menard County Sheriff

Over the past 11 years the triathlons brought thousands of triathletes from over 32 states and 8 countries into the community spending cash on lodging, food, drinks and fuel while always donating to the site directly or indirectly and the groups above.

In addition to this late notice from DNR the Lake Petersburg Board informed us recently the current board took a vote and decided they would keep the $1,000 donation we historically provide to the pool.

A vote by a board with no plans for the money but feels a User Fee is required for lake use after 11 years of working with several boards who have supported, encouraged and donated to the pool without question and understood the value the pool brings to the PORTA community.

A community whose majority of residents do not have the luxury to swim in their own backyards.

While we understand each entities right to charge a User Fee it is the late notice surprise weeks from the annual event, the previous agreements about Non Profit Status, the pool donation for lake use and the events bottom line that creates the issue.

By giving to DNR and the Lake Board the event will be taking money from the local groups and charities above who after 11 years count on this funding stream for their local causes and deposit the money into an account that can be used anywhere DNR chooses and not just New Salem.

In addition these fees will leave the June Triathlons starting with a negative balance of $3,000 and leave no funds remaining to host again in 2020.

In Summary after 11 years of mutually beneficial relationships with IHPA/IDNR and Lake Petersburg Board, the current DNR Director and Lake Board will be taking money from the community and using wherever and however they choose.

While Tri Smarter agrees DNR has the choice to Require or Waive the User Fees, they chose at last minute to asses thousands of dollars on a local grass roots event that historically donates to the New Salem site and local causes knowing full well the negative economic impact on the PORTA Community.

Almost concurrently the Lake Petersburg Board decided by vote only they were aware of to charge $1,000 to use the lake for 3 hours on one day a year.

These unknown costs devastated the race budgets and left the events (1) unable to proceed, (2) hundreds of racers without an event they have counted on for 11 years and (3) left the numerous groups above without the historic funding stream they have known for years.

While we will do everything possible to make this right for our racers we strongly ask all racers and families, friends and state citizens to voice their opinions on this matter to DNR Director Callahan at

and the Lake Petersburg Board at, and maybe our collective voices can bring these events back into existence.

Sincerely and with a heavy heart,

Tri Smarter

Glass Half Full Tri Challenge

Tri Harder Promotions and Tri Smarter have partnered with Endurance Company to offer a fast track to completing your first 140.6 by completing both the Illinois Half and the Route 66 Half this season

Triathletes can now enter the June Illinois Half and July’s Route 66 Half at reduced rates with guidance and coaching from former Pro Triathlete Joe Company from Endurance Company.

For many adult athletes, the jump into a 140.6 triathlon may be unrealistic. The Glass Half Full Challenge provides you with an alternative.

The goal is to allow you to complete a “full” 140.6 distance over two half distances.

The Glass Half Full Challenge provides an optimistic spin on completing the 140.6 distance. Even though you didn’t do a full 140.6 (in one day), you finished the entire distance over two half’s, and you have a 140.6 time to show for it. Glass Half Full represents an opportunity to complete the 140.6 distance.

Inaugural Year – 2019

Illinois Half Distance Triathlon

June 15, 2019

Lake Petersburg
600 Peach Road
Petersburg Il.  62675

1.2 mile swim/56 mile bike/13.1 mile run = Half Distance or Long Course Triathlon

A Challenge for Every Triathlete

The Illinois Half Distance Triathlon includes a 1.2 mile swim in Lake Petersburg, a 56 mile bike through Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Park and a 13.1 mile run on rural roads, shaded campground roads and down the main-street of the 1800’s Pioneer Village Abe called home.

Highlights include an out and back private lake swim, a two-loop bike course that offers rollers, real hills, scenic vistas and fast straights. A two-loop run on rural prairie roads, under the ancient Oaks within the campground and a out and back down the Pioneer village of Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site.

Come be a part of this soon-to-be historic event taking place in Central Illinois but don’t be fooled and think flat courses. You will be challenged on the bike with speed, climbs, descents and bike handling skills on one of the areas more rural courses.

Whether you race in this challenging endeavor to compete or complete, you will fondly refer to this triathlon as Challenging.


  • ON LINE REGISTRATION CLOSES at 11:00pm on June 13th.   You can still register in person at the Friday and Saturday packet pickup but no shirt is guaranteed. 


  • Individuals
  • $175 through March 31st
  • $199 through April 30th
  • $215 through June 13th
  • $225 walk ups Friday & Race Day $255
  • Relays (min. 2 participants, max 3)
  • $350 through March 31st
  • $395 May 1 through June 13th, walk ups Friday & Race Day $410

We encourage anyone searching for a relay partner to use the Tri Harder Facebook page to list what you offer or what you need.  That is “I need a swimmer” or “I can swim if others bike or run”.  This should allow solo triathletes the chance to connect with other solo’s looking for a relay partner.

Registrations will be accepted at packet pickup both days but no SWAG is guaranteed.  After the event, shirts and other Stuff We All Get will be distributed to late entries on a first come, first serve basis until gone.  No SWAG will be mailed.

Personalized Race Shirts. We will be ordering gender specific technical shirts so please check out the website and sizing chart. In order to be guaranteed a race day shirt in your size and gender, you must be registered by 11:59pm on Sunday June 9th.   If you want your name on the shirt, and who doesn’t, you must register by 11:59pm on June 2nd. This is a very time consuming process and one of the reasons the BIG GUYS charge you $40 for the personalized shirt, which we provide at no extra cost.

We will accept registrations through race day but no shirt is guaranteed in your size or gender. We will have extras but they go fast. We want everyone to get a properly fitting shirt but we cannot guess your size or quantities so please register and help us help you. Thanks

Race Information


June 14, 2019  – Packet Pickup
4pm until 7pm at the New Salem Visitor Center

June 15th, 2019 (Race Day) – Packet Pickup
5:30am to 6:30am at Transition on Peach Road.

Photo ID is Required. You must provide a photo ID at pickup. No Exceptions, No ID, No Race.  You cannot pickup another racer’s packet.  If an athlete does not bring a photo ID to packet pickup there are two options:

  • Go home to get it
  • Have someone email/fax them a copy of their photo ID


You must provide your USAT card to show proof of current USAT membership or pay $15 to purchase a one-day license. If you are a USAT member and forget your card, you will be required to sign the USAT waiver and purchase a $15 USAT one-day license.

The youth fee is $10 for a year.

Below is a breakdown of all USAT membership fees for 2019:

  • Adult Annual Membership – $50
  • Adult One-day Membership – $15
  • Youth (age 17 and under) Annual Membership – $10
  • Athletes may only pick up their own packets. Under no circumstances may an athlete pick up a packet for another person. All relay members must be present to receive the packet, or split up the relay packet for each participant.

If an athlete does not bring a USAT membership card to packet pickup there are four options:

  • Find internet access where a temporary card can be printed
  • Go home to get it
  • Purchase a one-day membership which can later be applied to a membership renewal by submitting a receipt of purchase
  • Use the USAT Card App available for download through the App Store and Google Play store
  • Athletes that need to purchase a one-day license must sign the USAT waiver if it was not included with the event registration process. Annual members do not have to sign a waiver at packet pickup because they signed it when they applied to become an annual member.


5:30 a.m. – Transition Opens

6:00 a.m. – Body Marking in Transition

6:45 am Mandatory pre-race meeting at swim start

7:00 am Swim starts – First wave



Awards for top three overall in each category plus top three in each age group and top three Clydesdales, Athenas and top three Teams.

Teams/Relay Procedures. All team members will be body marked with same number assigned by timer.  The swimmer will be given the chip to be worn on left ankle.  After swim, the swimmer goes into Transition to the Relay bike racks, they hand the chip to the biker (who is waiting at rack) who straps it to left ankle then goes for bike. Biker returns to relay racks and hands chip to runner (who is waiting in relay at rack) who straps to left ankle. Runner is wearing bib and proceeds to run course then Finish Line.   ALL TEAM/RELAY MEMBERS MUST CHECK IN AT PACKET PICKUP and MUST SHOW PHOTO ID.  Per USAT there is no exceptions to this requirement.


Remember Green.  Transition opens at 5:30 am and you must rack your bike in the area reserved for the Illinois Half. Green color coded signs will designate where you can rack your bike.  The racks are open and on a first come, first take basis.  It is imperative that you rack between the green color coded signs. Please be mindful of the space you use and of others around you.

The Key to a successful race is to know and remember the color GREEN.  GREEN is your mantra for successful course completion.

You will be issued a GREEN swim cap for your swim.  You will also be issued a bib with a GREEN background that must be worn on the run and suggested for the bike. You must also place the GREEN sticker on your helmet. GREEN course markings, signs and balloons will guide you along the courses.  Remember and follow the color GREEN.

6:00am Body Marking at transition area – Peach Road. Please do not apply any sunscreen or lotions until you have been marked.

Timing Chips. Chips will be distributed race day morning at the boat ramp. Please wear it on your left ankle so it does not interfere with your chain rings. You are responsible for your chip’s use and return.  A lost chip fee of $25 will be charged to anyone not returning their chip either at the Finish Line, to a race official or medical staff. If choose to stop racing for any reason please return your chip to the timing race staff at the Finish Line.  Failure to return your chip will result in calls to your emergency contacts, police, rescue staff and may result in your disqualification and total embarrassment in front of all other racers and spectators. It is essential that we know where you are on the course at all times for your safety and our peace of mind.

6:45am Mandatory Pre race meeting at swim start. All athletes are required to read, understand and adhere to the Open Water Swim Best Practices on the Information tab located on the above white tool bar. They are color coded for your race swim start.  It assumed you know your age and gender which will determine your wave.

Pursuant to current best practices we will be allowing 4 minutes between waves.  During this time you are strongly encouraged to get wet and get a feel for the start area and your swim plan. But you already know this since you read the Open Water Swim Best Practices on the Information tab.  However, you must be behind the small orange buoys located out from the ramps before the wave start.


Water Temperature. Water temperature is usually mid 80’s – we will post the temperature as the race nears.

Again this year, you can get wet at your pace under the watchful eye of a lifeguard.   Swim as much as you like but please stay within the Yellow Buoys.

If you are a nervous swimmer ask for a unique colored swim cap at packet pickup.  Your age still determines your wave but the different cap color tells the guards to keep an eye on you. If you need help in the swim raise an arm and wave it and the guards will come to assist.

Swim Waves

  • 7:00am First Wave –    Males 40 and over
  • 7:04am Second Wave –   Females 40 and over and Relays.
  • 7:08am Third Wave – Males 39 and under
  • 7:12am – Females 39 and under
  • Clydesdales and Athenas start with their age and gender wave.

Race Timing and Cut Offs

The race will officially end 8 hours and 30 minutes after the final swim wave. Aid station stops, transitions, etc. will be included in your total elapsed time. The following cut off times apply.

Swim Cut Off – 1 hour and 10 minutes after the final wave start.

Bike Cut Off – 5 hours and 30 minutes after the final wave start.

Run Cut Off – 8 hours and 30 minutes after the final wave start.

Your chip will capture your splits (swim, T1, bike, T2, run) and overall finish time.

Race management reserves the right to remove an athlete from the course and DNF the athlete if course officials determine there is no possibility of an athlete finishing the given discipline (swim, bike, run) before the posted cut off times based on an athlete’s location, time and average speed up to that point.

A USAT Official will be at the event and will be enforcing all USAT rules.  It is strongly suggested you visit the USAT website for the complete list of rules and review the Rules section under the Information tab on our website.

The awards ceremony will be determined on race day by the number of triathletes who have finished versus the number still on the course.   We try to allow the majority of racers to complete before we start the awards ceremony.

Aid Stations & Medical Staff

Water and HEED will be available at Transition and at the Finish Line.

Medical staff will be on the courses and in the SAG vehicles. Medical staff will be on site for the race duration.

Lifeguards will be lined along all swim courses on rescue boards and stand up paddle boards and kayaks.  Two dive teams will be on the swim course and many other watercrafts will be present to outline course and provide rest stops for swimmers.  It is to be utilized if a swimmer needs a place to hang onto and rest.  They cannot move forward but can rest as needed. Life jackets will also be available if needed.   Two police boats will be on the swim courses for all races.

An ambulance will be on site all race long.

Bike course aid stations will be located at approximately every 10 miles.  They are designed to be accessed out and back.  They will have water, sport water bottles for exchanges, HEED, gels, and bananas. Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes will also be at most aid stations.

There will be a restroom on the run course.

The run course will have aid stations with water, HEED, ice, cold/wet towels, cola, gels, oranges, pretzels, chips, and Endurolytes approximately every 1 – 1.5 miles, topography permitting. Misters will be on the run course at several spots.

Run aid stations are located at approximately   miles and at miles TBD.  Restrooms are located in the campground.

Race Maps






Road Hazards on the Bike Course

While we have driven the bike course several times with several team members in the weeks and days before the event, hazards may still exist on the course.

In order to provide a safe and enjoyable bike ride we have swept roads, mitigated or removed obstacles, installed directional signs and color-coded course tape arrows, briefed volunteers, posted maps, explained courses, provided safety personnel; in short, done our best to provide you a safe ride.

Existing hazards that were out of our control have been marked with temporary pink paint. Be aware of the PINK paint and avoid the hazard

However, there still may be hazards on the course due to the dynamic nature of triathlons and ever changing road conditions.

Your safety and success depends on knowing the course and your riding abilities. Ride fit, smart and be aware of the terrain, other racers and traffic.

It is your responsibility to know your course. It is highly suggested that you drive the bike course before the event.

Although all attempts have been made to make your event safe and successful, giving your attention to this issue will ensure that you are prepared for conditions.


Race Day Information

June 15, 2019

Refund Policy

There are no refunds. At the Race Director’s discretion a transfer may be possible however, this must be timely and arranged before race day.


Mandatory Reading 

Please take the time to read, understand and practice everything contained under the Information Tab on the homepage.  This info will answer most of your questions and generate some you had not thought of yet.

It really is valuable info and is required reading so all athletes compete or complete under the same rules and guidelines and maximize their triathlon experience.

Packet Pick-Up

Below is a breakdown of all membership fees for 2019:
· Adult Annual Membership – $50
· Adult One-day Membership – $15
· Youth (age 17 and under) Annual Membership – $10

Athletes may only pick up their own packets. Under no circumstances may an athlete pick up a packet for another person. All relay members must be present to receive the packet, or split up the relay packet for each participant.

If an athlete does not bring a photo ID to packet pickup there are two options:
· Go home to get it
· Have someone email/fax them a copy of their photo ID

. If an athlete does not bring a USAT membership card to packet pickup there are four options:
· Find internet access where a temporary card can be printed
· Go home to get it
· Purchase a one-day membership which can later be applied to a membership renewal by submitting a receipt of purchase
· Use the USAT Card App available for download through the App Store and Google Play store

Athletes that need to purchase a one-day license must sign the USAT waiver if it was not included with the event registration process. Annual members do not have to sign a waiver at packet pickup because they signed it when they applied to become an annual member.


Packet Pickup Times

Friday, June 14, 2019

4:30 – 6:30 pm @ Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site

15588 History Lane.

Race day packet pickup is from 6:00am – 7:30am @ the Start/Transition Site on Peach Road and State Park Road. 600 Peach Road, Petersburg, Illinois 62675.

Racers must show their valid USAT card or pay the one-day fee of $15. You must also have and present a photo ID to register in person and to pick up your packet. NO ID, NO RACE, NO PACKET, NO EXCEPTIONS. This is USAT Policy.

The youth fee is $10 for a year.

No one can pick up a packet for anyone else. You must pick up your own packet.  This is USAT Policy.

A Mandatory Pre-Race meeting is scheduled 15 minutes before the start of each race at the boat ramp,  Railsplitter – 7:15am Stovepipe – 7:45am

Both races are USAT sanctioned, therefore, all USAT rules apply.

Open water swim starts, with waves by group every 5 minutes.  Waves and times will be posted race day morning as will the water temperature.

Wetsuits are legal up to 78 degrees, they may be worn between 78 and 84 degrees but you will not be eligible for awards

Helmets must be secured at all times in transition and on bike

Bikes must be racked in side of transition designated for Illinois Half.  There will be signs indicating Illinois Half, you need to rack between the signs. Rack spots are open and on a first come, first take basis.

All bikes must have bar end plugs.

No listening devices of any type permitted on course. Disqualification for sneaking device on course. It’s a safety issue for you and your competitors. You need to hear the race.

Race Identification

Railsplitter racers will follow GREEN text pavement markings and GREEN mileage markings on the courses.  White arrows indicate direction, GREEN text indicates race. There will be a 9″ tall GREEN balloon at the turn arounds.

Packets will contain 1 race number sticker for your bike frame or seat tube.  The sticker on the bike and matching your bib and body marking is the only way you can remove the bike from transition.

The sticker number is to be attached to the bike frame or seat tube.

The bib number can be attached to your shirt with the enclosed pins or may be worn on a number belt during the bike and run portion.

To remove your bike, your body marking and bib and stickers must match. You will not be permitted to leave and don’t confront staff. Call Race Director at 217-341-1309. Police are on site.

Body Marking will take place Saturday morning between 6:30am and 7:45am at the Transition Area. Plan for your races start time.  Illinois Half 7:00am, Railsplitter 7:30am, Stovepipe 8:00am.

Timing Chips

Timing Chips will be distributed beginning Saturday at 6:30am

Volunteers will remove Timing Chips immediately after you cross the finish line.  If your chip is not returned you will be charged for it.

Race Day Street Closures

All roads will be open for the races, however, sheriff deputies and volunteers will be located at key intersections.  All rules of the road must be observed. Stay on the right and follow the deputy and volunteer commands.

On race day morning the main entrance off Route 97 to Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site will be closed and all entrants and spectators will proceed a quarter mile to the State Park Road entrance which will have signs to direct traffic to parking.


On race day there will be two parking areas to eliminate traffic congestion while still permitting racers access to the start and finish.  Both are located on State Park Road and are approximately 1 mile between the Start and Finish Lines.

The first Parking Lot on State Park Road is labeled Parking – Finish and located in the Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site overflow lot.  It is a few hundred yards from the Finish Line and Awards Luncheon.   Restrooms and showers are located in this area.

The second Parking Lot is farther southwest and is located next to the starting line. It is labeled Parking – Start.

You can park at either lot and either ride your bike, or take Stier’s Old Tyme Trolley.  The trolley will be continuously shuttling racers and spectators between both lots during the events. It will begin at 9:30am and run until event completion.

We encourage all visitors to take the shuttles to minimize traffic and keep the racers safe.

Race Day Traffic Control

Most vehicles will turn west off of Route 97 onto State Park Road and proceed to Papaya Ave. Then proceed left (south) for 100 yards onto State Park Road where you can park at the Parking – Finish and ride the shuttles.

This is the closest access to the Finish Line, Awards Luncheon, State Historic Site, Pioneer Village, Ice Cream, Gift and Souvenir shops.

Please take the time to visit all the area has to offer.

To access Parking – Start, continue southwest on State Park Road until Peach Road and follow the signs and volunteers.

This is located across the street from the Peach Road Transition and the swim start is a few yards away.  Swim practice can begin at 6:30 am.

Packet pickup and Information will be located around the Peach Road Transition Area.  Restrooms and water/HEED will be available.

If you choose to park here you will not be able to exit until the Stovepipe racers are in the State Site.

The shuttles will be operating continuously between both lots and feel free to use them to site see and see your racers.

Both the Stovepipe and Railsplitter Triathlon’s are largely open to traffic. All key intersections will have traffic control with race marshals and/or police, but racers should pay attention to their surroundings and race accordingly. All traffic laws apply.


Water and Hammer Nutrition’s HEED will be available at the Start, in Transition, at the Finish and at the hydration stations approx. every mile on the run courses.

A Hammer Gel is available at packet pick-up. Additional gels will be available for the Railsplitter Bike Course.

Restrooms are located at the Start and Finish and showers are located in the Historic site.

First Aid/Medical

Medical personnel will be on course and the Menard County Ambulance and Police departments can be reached at 911.

All racers must wear an approved helmet.  Helmets must be fastened before leaving transition & during the bike.  Not having a helmet is cause for disqualification.

Food & Refreshments

Fruit, cookies, and fluids will be available to all racers after they finish.

Racers will receive a Sandwich with sides luncheon after their race, pizza will also be available.  Please show bib for lunch.  All volunteers will receive a lunch but must wear the volunteer shirt to receive.

Fluids will be available at several locations on site but we request that only racers and volunteers consume these drinks.

Spectators can purchase soda, drinks, ice cream, sandwiches, gifts and souvenirs from the shops inside the State Site.

Beginner Information and Site Maps

Please check out our information table for tri/swim tips, course maps and upcoming races.

Please review the SITE MAPS located around the Peach Road Transition area for racer and spectator movement patterns and site orientation

For swimmers nervous in the open water there will be boats following within close proximity for support if needed. You may hold onto the boats but not move forward.

We strongly encourage all racers to read the Open Water Swim Best Practices on the website under the Information tab.  There will be 5 minutes between waves so you can get wet, get comfortable and pick your path for the swim.

If you need help in the water, raise your hand and assistance will respond. You may hold onto a craft but cannot move forward. Any forward motion is cause for dis-qualification.

Pursuant to USAT Policy you must bike on the right and pass on the left.  No drafting is allowed.  Stay back 4 bike lengths from other riders.

You must run on the left as if facing traffic.

Course Marking

Illinois Half swimmers will follow GREEN pyramid course buoys keeping the buoys to their left, swimming counter-clockwise.  The Turn Around Buoy will be a 5″ Tall GREEN buoy.

The Bike course will have Orange directional signs, GREEN Turn Around signs with a 9′ ORANGE balloon. There will also be an Orange Cone in center of road, volunteers and pavement markings.

The Run course will be marked with yellow and red 2’ x 2’ directional signs and pavement markings.

Both races will have directional signs when course changes occur.

Pink paint on street means rough spot.  Pay attention for the Pink paint.

Transition & Finish Area

Please utilize the shuttles to go between the Peach Road Transition and finish line.  We ask that no cars leave the parking lots until all the Stovepipe racers are in the State Site.