Abe’s Olympic Triathlon – Updated July 2021



Race Day Information

2021 Results Link

Regeneration Magazine Article

A retrospective look at my Triathlon years and how they have helped Tri Harder/Tri Smarter make Triathlons better and safer for you by learning from the Best and actually competing unlike most Race Directors.


COVID 19 News

We have received permission from the City and IDPH so the Stoneman Sprint, Abe’s Olympic and Route 66 Half Distance Triathlons will take place on July 31st at Lake Springfield.

We will be adhering to the Safe Return to Multi-sport Plan developed by the USAT, WTC, the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

You can view the plan at usatriathlon.org/safe-return

The information under that link is considered MANDATORY Reading, please read:

USA Triathlon Safe Return to Multisport Guidelines

Return to Racing Recommendations for Athletes

Return to Racing Recommendations for Race Directors

There are many changes to the events and how they must be held to keep everyone safe.

We will keep the site updated as things develop so please keep checking the site.

Stay well and Train Smart

Please note New Start Time of 7:45am to allow for Social Distancing


Active Refund

Please visit this link to read about a new program that will Refund Your entry fee if You choose to Cancel your race 48 hours before planned Race Start. It is not a Race Cancellation Program, it is a Racer Cancellation Program.

Refund Info

This Question is getting asked often enough to post this ANSWER

Tri Harder will not cancel your race unless the Governor moves us out of Phase 4 therefore giving us no choice but to adhere to his guidelines.

Under the Refund Program if you cancel 48 before the event for any reason you get your money back.  Tri Harder will know if the event will be cancelled 48 hours out and will notify all racers so you can review your options under the Refund Program.

Updates to Friends and Family attending

Friends and Family can attend the races and share in your accomplishment.

We are still bound by the 6 feet of Social Distancing and All Visitors not vaccinated must PROVIDE and WEAR a Mask, (no exceptions and you will be asked to leave the private property if you do not wear a mask)   This is not a political statement it is a statement to the Safety of all racers, spectators and volunteers and will not be debated or discussed.

In order for this to work you must keep your Friends and Family together while maintaining less than 50 persons in group and keeping 30 feet between each group.

With an entire bridge and huge parking lot to watch the swim from and over 70 miles of courses from which to watch the bike and run there will not be an issue with Social Distancing nor Group Sizes.


Covid Screening Questions asked of all racers before racing on Saturday

Attached is the Springfield Clinic Triage Protocol.

The most important questions:

  • Have you been tested for COVID-19?

o   If “yes”, was it positive or negative?

  • Have you had any cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days?

o   Fever, if above 100.5 racer cannot race

o   Loss of taste or smell

o   Cough

o   Shortness of Breath

o   Headache

o   Fatigue

  • Have you been exposed to someone with confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19?
  • If yes to any of these, these racers should be flagged and not allowed to participate. A number of people have been tested by this point so if they have a negative test, they can still race if they can document the negative test result



Saturday July 31, 2021

Abe’s Olympic race will start at 7:45am on July 31, 2021 at Lake Springfield.

Abe’s Olympic Triathlon Participants will swim 9/10 of a mile in the lake parallel to shore and thru the arches of Lindsay Bridge and then bike 24.8 miles on rolling prairie roads. Runners then embark on a 6.2 mile run.

All racers receive a Custom race shirt, Swim Cap, Bib, Finisher Medal and lunch.


New for 2021 is the opportunity to participate in an AquaBike Category in Abe’s Olympic Triathlon.

The Abe’s Olympic AquaBike offers a .9 mile swim under the arches of Lindsey Bridge and a 24.8 mile bike on rolling roads from lake to lake

In recent years AquaBike has become popular for those athletes wanting to Tri but have issues with the Run.  Athletes swim and bike the regular distances then cross the Finish line, no Run needed.

The event offers all the SWAG as it’s Triathlon cousin with Age Group Awards to the Top 3 Male and Females.



Please read below for all the registration details.

ON LINE REGISTRATION CLOSES at 11:00 pm on July 29th.   You can still register in person at the Friday and Saturday packet pickup but no shirt is guaranteed.  We have ordered extras but they go fast so we have some new swag if we run out of shirts so you will get a race day commemoration item to memorialize your accomplishment.


Registration Fees and Dates

Abe’s Olympic (7/31/2021)
Individuals: $91 early, $101 late, walk ups Friday & Race Day $110
Relays: $177 early, $197 late, walk ups Friday & Race Day $203
Price increase date: 3/01/2021


Below is a breakdown of all membership fees for 2021:
· Adult Annual Membership – $50
· Adult One-day Membership – $15
· Youth (age 17 and under) Annual Membership – $10

Athletes may pick up their own packets and new for 2021 you can pick up other racers packets but racer must have registered on line and signed waivers.

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

Please note the scheduled packet pickup times to allow for Social Distancing.  You will not be allowed to pickup your packet/register before your posted time.  The posted times are reserved for a specific race but after those times anyone can pickup/register for any race.


July 30th – 4 pm until 7 pm Packet pickup and race registration at Lake Springfield Beach House

Half Distance – 4pm – 4:45pm

Abe’s Olympic – 4:45pm – 5:30pm

Stoneman – 5:30pm – 6:15pm

All Races 6:15pm – 7:00pm


July 31st – 5:30am until 8:00am Packet pickup and race registration at Lake Springfield Beach House

Half Distance – 5:30am – 6:15am

Abe’s Olympic – 6:15am – 7:00am

Stoneman – 7:00am – 7:45am

All Races 7:30am – 8:00am


July 31, 2021

5:30 am to 8:00am Packet pickup at Lake Springfield Beach House, 100 or 101 Long Bay Lane Springfield IL, 62712; Body Marking is to be done by the racer following posted guidelines.

7:30am TRANSITION CLOSES to allow Half racers to get bikes and proceed. Will reopen when majority have cleared the area.

7:30 am Pre-race line up. – No Pre Race talk this year.  All done virtually. 

7:45 am Swim starts – Rolling Time Trial Start with 6 seconds between racers. 

Awards for top three overall Male & Female

Top 3 Age Group Awards in each category and top three Clydesdales, Athenas and Top Three Teams.

There will be a modified Awards ceremony in 2021. 

Since we must still Social Distance we cannot post the results on site. They will be available at the Results Link at the top of the page.  Please check the link and if you placed in the Top 3 proceed to the Awards table and collect your award.

We will not be able to tell you your time at the table so please check the link and know if you placed before coming to the awards table.

Overall winners will pick up their award immediately after race as will Age Group Winners 

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.



You must provide a valid photo ID at pickup. No Exceptions. NO ID = NO RACE

The races are color coded by swim cap, bib, frame sticker, helmet sticker and all course marking are tied to a specific race. It  is imperative for success that you read all the information below, and remember your color is Orange.

Registrations will be accepted for race, however no SWAG is guaranteed. You can check back after the race and any available shirt or socks will be distributed on a first come basis.  No SWAG or awards will be mailed.

All bikes and gear must be in transition by 7:00 am.  TRANSITIONS CLOSES AT 7:30 am.   This is for the safety of all racers.  Please arrive early to secure your spot in transition.

  • All USAT members must show their valid membership cards at packet pickup.
  • All non-USAT members must pay $15 in addition to the entry fee. Youth fee is $10 for a year
  • Clydesdale (220lbs.) and Athena (165 lbs.) racers must weigh-in at packet pickup.
  • This event is sanctioned by the USAT. Consequently, all USAT rules apply. Visit rules tab on this website.
  • The transition area is restricted to racers only.
  • Swim is .9 miles in Lake Springfield at the Lindsay Bridge Boat Ramp
  • Bike is 24.8 miles on gently rolling and flat prairie roads.
  • Run is 6.2 miles on gently rolling, shaded and flat prairie roads.
  • Very unique awards.
  • Race director is Steve O’Connor, 217-341-1309
  • Photo ID required for packet pickup, no exceptions can be made. NO ID, NO RACE
  • No listening devices of any type maybe used during race, disqualification is probable.
  • You must know your course.  Read the materials, review the maps and attend the pre-race breifing.

Course Information

Race registration and packet pickup take place at Lake Springfield Beach House located near Lindsay Bridge, on the south side of Springfield Illinois. The finish line is in front of the Beach House. The race is chip timed.


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.


Transition closes at 7:30am but will open once the majority of Half Racers have left the area. You must be racked and all equipment in place by 7:00am.

The transition area is located at the Lindsay Bridge Boat ramp (100 or 101 Long Bay Lane, Spfld. 62712.  Only racers are permitted in the transition area.

Transition opens at 5:30 am and you must rack your bike in the area reserved for the Iron Abe Olympic Triathlon. Orange 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 Orange color coded signs. Please be mindful of the space you use and of others around you.

New for 2021 is only 4 bikes per rack.

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

You will be issued a ORANGE swim cap for your swim.  You will also be issued a bib with an ORANGE background that must be worn on the run and suggested for the bike.

You must also place the ORANGE sticker on your helmet. ORANGE course markings, signs and balloons will guide you along the courses.  Remember and follow the color ORANGE.

For 2021 – Body Marking is to be done by the racer following posted guidelines, no on site body marking

Racer is to self Body Mark according to supplied guidelines. Please do not apply any sunscreen or lotions until you have been marked.

For 2021 timing chips need returned at Finish Line. 

Timing chips will be distributed near transition prior to your race.

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 disposal/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 you 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.


Swim Start – 7:45am

All athletes are required to read, understand and adhere to the Open Water Swim Best Practices on the information tab located on the above tool bar.

Prior to Start

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.

You can get wet at your pace under the watchful eye of a lifeguard in the Swim Practice Area.   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 unique 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.

No 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.

For 2021 it will be a rolling start with self seeding and 6 seconds between racers to assure social distancing. 

Pursuant to current best practices we will be discontinuing wave starts while now using a Racer Self Seeded Rolling Swim Start.  You will have 15 minutes to enter the water at your estimated pace regardless of gender.  Meaning within the 15 minute window the male or female racer chooses their start time by crossing the timing mat and entering the water for your swim.

7:45am – 8:00am Rolling Start

Since 3 separate races will be taking place on the swim course you must be aware of all the buoy colors and REMEMBER you only turn at the last Large ORANGE Buoys through arch #2 and most South Large ORANGE buoy through arch #3. Large Orange buoys will be on the course for sighting, you only turn left at the most North and most South Large ORANGE buoys.

All racers are provided a space on the bike racks according to their race with only 4 bikes per rack.  NO BIKE RIDING IN THE TRANSITION AREA. The bike exit and run exit will be marked with signs. Bike numbers will be matched with run numbers as they exit the transition area. Water and HEED are available outside of the transition area. Bike support is available at the transition area.

Transition security will be provided from 7:00 am until noon. Racers are encouraged to remove their bikes and equipment to their vehicles after finishing but must cross the road at the designated crossing areas or use the tunnel. You can then enjoy lunch and the post awards party.

No bike or belongings can be removed from Transition without the body marking matching the bike frame sticker. If body marking is washed off then the racers bib must be provided to remove equipment. NO EXCEPTIONS and all complaints should be directed to Race Director on race day, not event staff.

The Transition Area will be taken down at noon and security will be dismissed. You are responsible for all belongings after noon.

SWIM COURSE (.9 miles)

The swim takes place in Lake Springfield. Orange swim caps are mandatory and are given at packet pickup.

Since 3 separate races will be taking place on the swim course you must be aware of all the buoy colors and REMEMBER you only turn at the Large ORANGE Buoys.  Small Orange buoys will be on the course for sighting.

You will swim past Yellow buoys as you head both out and back. Ignore the Yellow buoys except for sighting and course direction.

Each swimmer swims .9 miles total on a counter-clockwise linear course keeping the buoys on your left. Large Orange buoys mark your turns on the course.

You will pass the first Large Yellow buoy on the North side of the bridge through arch #2 and keep swimming since that is the turn around buoy for Stoneman racers.

Proceed further out past small Orange buoys keeping them on your left.  At the First Large Orange Buoys turn left to head back under the bridge through arch #3.

As you pass through the bridge you will now proceed on the course passing a series of Small and Large Yellow buoys.  You will be using these for direction only, keep swimming straight.

At the Large Orange buoy turn left here and follow the Orange buoys back to the swim exit.

The swim exit will be marked. Keeping the Orange buoys on your left proceed to the boat ramp exit.

Helpers will be present to assist your exit from the water onto the carpet.  Use the helpers.

Swimmers exit the Lake and proceed 40 yards east to the transition area.

Athletes may rest on boats during the swim without disqualification as long as no forward progress is made. You may hang onto a watercraft while catching your breath but not moving forward.

Wet suits will only be allowed per USA Triathlon rules. Lake water temperature will be posted on the web site. Lifeguards will positioned in boats along the swim course.


The bike course is flat and fast with limited turns on rolling prairie roads which go from Lake Springfield to Lake Sangchris and back to transition. All athletes must have the frame sticker on their bike and bibs should be worn.  You must also have the Orange helmet sticker on your helmet for race identification and directions.

Although police and volunteers will be on the course and at intersections the roads are open and all laws must be respected. Police will make all efforts to allow you to pass through intersections but this is not to be assumed or guaranteed.

Helmets must be fastened before leaving Transition under the Bike Out Banner and all bikes must be walked to the mount/dismount line. Bikes can then be mounted at the line. An unfastened helmet is immediate grounds for disqualification.

Iron Abe course signs are orange and are found on the pavement as well as on signs on the road course. Mile markers are posted at mile 5, 10, 15 and 20.

The course is out and back and starts with a right turn onto Long Bay Lane heading East. Bikers turn right on East Lake Drive heading South and then turn left heading on Pawnee Road. You will then turn left onto New City Road and continue straight on it until the turnaround at Lake Sangchris Access Area #3.

It is very important to remember you will be passing the Stoneman Turn Around at mile 6 marked with an traffic cone, a 9′ foot tall Yellow balloon, signs, markings on the road and a volunteer.  YOU PROCEED WITH CAUTION AND GO STRAIGHT AT THIS TURN AROUND.  DO NOT TURNAROUND HERE.

The Abe’s Olympic turnaround is at Lake Sangchris Access Area #3 at mile 12.4 and is counter clockwise around the cone in the center of the road. There will be a orange cone, a 9′ foot tall Orange balloon, signs, markings on the road and a volunteer marking down numbers as they pass and head back on the course.

You turn around at mile 12.4 and you are responsible to know this fact.  If you turn around at mile 6 incorrectly the timer and race team will catch this and you will be disqualified.

Pursuant to USAT rules, this written advance warning is to know your course and race color, and the verbal explanations given at the pre-race meeting, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO KNOW YOUR COURSE.

Athletes return on the same route. Pursuant to USAT rules, there will be no Aid stations located on the course; each biker is expected to carry their own nutrition and hydration for 24.8 miles.  Bathrooms are located at Access Areas 2 & 3 and the medical tents/areas.

The bike course is open to the public so riders must stay on their right. Volunteers and police will be monitoring the course. Drafting is not allowed. Bikers complete their ride and enter the transition to return their bike their position in the bike racks. NO BIKE RIDING IN THE TRANSITION AREA. The racer exits the transition area to start the run portion of the race.

There is no water stop on the bike course. You are expected to carry your own water/fluids for this race distance.

RUN COURSE (6.2 miles)

The run course will have aid stations with water bottles, HEED, ice, gels and Endurolytes approximately every 1 – 1.5 miles, topography permitting. Misters will be on the run course at several spots.

Due to Safe Race Guidelines there will be no cups of water at the water stops.  Each stop will offer a chilled 8 oz. bottle that you can drink from and deposit in a trash can or carry with you and deposit in a trash can.

It is imperative that you place your water bottle in the trash cans at the stations and along the course.  If you litter you will be penalized 2 minutes the 1st time and DQ’d the 2nd time. NO excuses, NO exceptions.

USAT Officials will be looking for racers littering as will race staff and all volunteers.  If you are reported to have littered you will be penalized, so be vigilant about using trash cans and you will have no problems.

With over 2,000 bottles of water on the course you cannot expect volunteers to pick up after you and you are required to throw away your own bottle, cup or wrappers. 

A major theme of the Return to Safe Racing Plan is Racer Self Reliance.  You cannot rely on anyone but you for your safety and needs in this Covid environment.  Volunteers cannot be exposed to the virus from your litter so please be reliant and use the trash cans.

There will be pre mixed HEED in cups at the aid stations only handled by one volunteer gloved and masked.  Please throw cups in trash and don’t litter.

Run aid stations are located at approximately  1 – 1.5 miles and are hit several times.  A Restroom is located at transitions and the grass triangle.

Run number must be worn at all times on the course. Run number must be placed on the front of the runner either on race belt or safety pinned to shirt.

Iron Abe course signs are orange and are found on the pavement as well as on signs posted on the road course. Mile markers are posted at each mile.

Remember to run on the Left as if running into traffic.   This is a USAT rule for your safety.

The run starts as the racer exits transition under the Run Out Banner at the West corner of the area. Bibs must be worn in front. Runners leave the Transition Area and go left over Lindsey Bridge and follow the closed course Iron Abe signage on West Lake Dr. This is a 6.2 mile loop course with 2 turnarounds marked with orange cones, orange pavement arrows, 9′ foot tall Orange Balloons, signs and volunteers. Several aid stations will be located on the course.

A misting station will be located on the side of the course to cool you off if needed. Be aware of runner traffic if you enter the misting area.

Direction staff and police will be located on this course for traffic control. Several aid stations and medical staff will also be located on this course.

Be aware of local traffic.

Aid stations will be located at the Transition exit, at the Finish Line on your way out, and at several points on the course. Many of these stations have been placed to access them twice on your run. They will have HEED, Water, Ice, Wet/Cold Cloths and Medical Staff. A misting station will be on West Lake Dr. and accessed twice if desired.

Restrooms are located in the Beach House at packet pickup, porta pots are in the transition area and a permanent restroom is also in transition. The bike course provides a restroom at Access Area #2 near Lake Sangchris. A restroom is on the grass triangle at the Medical Tent and can be accessed twice on the run.


Athletes may not be allowed on the run course if they finish the bike ride after 11:00 am. The police will be released at 12:00 pm so the course may or may not be closed to anyone after noon but still on the course.


The start time may vary based on water/weather conditions. It is our intent to start on time. The Event director may alter or cancel the swim course at any time based on safety, weather or unforeseen circumstances.


Directions from I-55

You must arrive to the site from Exit #94 off Interstate 55. Unless you know the area around Lake Springfield please take exit #94 (Stevenson Drive/East Lake Drive). At the light turn left onto East Lake Drive and proceed 3.6 miles to Lake Park Road. Turn right on this road just before the Zoo and proceed to the Beach House. Parking signs and directions will be in place.

Lodging Information

Wyndham Springfield at City Centre

About the Wyndham Springfield at City Centre:

Enjoy first class amenities in the heart of Illinois’ capital city when you stay at our Wyndham Springfield City Centre hotel. Our prime location just three miles from Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (SPI), a few blocks from the State Capital Complex and adjacent to the Prairie Capital Convention Center makes our non-smoking pet friendly downtown Springfield hotel your best bet for hotels in Springfield, IL.

Bursting with upscale services and amenities that include leisure facilities, one-of-a-kind on-site dining and the only Starbucks in downtown, our Springfield, IL hotel is perfect for any traveler. Our 369 guestrooms have been designed with comfort in mind, featuring upscale amenities like down pillows, hypoallergenic beds, ergonomic workspace and HDTV.

With pet-friendly services, garage and valet parking, a premiere location and our always helpful team members at your service, our city center hotel is the best choice for convenience among hotels in Springfield Illinois. Book your room at our Wyndham Springfield City Centre hotel today; we can’t wait to greet you with a smile.

Hilton Garden Inn 

The following hotel is a race sponsor and is located within 10 mins from the race venue. The Hilton Garden Inn is a sponsor located on Dirksen Parkway about 10 minutes from transition. They offer a discounted room rate, pool, restaurant, fitness center and have a block of rooms reserved for the triathlons.

Thank you for confirming your Group block at Hilton Garden Inn Springfield.

The HiltonLink is now ready for use. Simply click on the highlighted Booking Link below or copy and paste the URL below into your browser to access the exclusive rates available for this group:

Booking Link:    

Your HiltonLink is: http://hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en/gi/groups/personalized/S/SPIGIGI-A05-20210730/index.jhtml

Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Springfield

Group Name: TriHarder

Arrival Date: 30-Jul-2021

Departure Date: 31-Jul-2021

Please note, the entire URL must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.

Hotel Address: 3100 S. Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, Illinois

Phone Number: 217-529-7171

Hotels closer to I-55, the lake and the race site are located along Dirksen Parkway and Stevenson Drive but they do not offer a special rate.