Pioneer Sprint Triathlon




May 8th, 2021 – SATURDAY RACE DAY

300 yard swim/13 mile bike/3.1 mile run

First Outdoor Tri of the Season, with an indoor swim

2019 Results

2020 Results

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.


It’s with great pleasure that we can announce On Line Registration is back open for the Abe’s Mini, Pioneer Sprint and Abe’s Tri Challenge.

Therefore Tri Harder will host the events in May with a new start time for Abe’s Mini of 9am and Pioneer Sprint 10am.   Abe’s Tri Challenge racers compete in both events with a start time of 9am.

Register today with the links below or Registration Buttons.

Abe’s Mini Triathlon


Pioneer Sprint


Thanks you and stay healthy and see you soon.

Tri Harder


COVID 19 News

We have received permission from the City and County to host the Abe’s Mini and Pioneer Sprint Triathlons.

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

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


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 amy 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 are encouraged to wear a mask outside and required to wear a mask to use the bathrooms in the school.

Friends and family with masks will only be permitted inside the school to use the bathrooms otherwise they must stay outside and social distance.

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 the entire school grounds art our disposal it should be no problem to social distance and keep everyone safe.

Covid Screening Questions asked of all racers before racing on Saturday

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



Abe’s Tri Challenge

Hello Endurance Athletes,

After years of several hardy souls (crazy triathletes) racing in both the Abe’s Mini & Pioneer Sprint Triathlons on the same day, we have now launched Abe’s Triathlon Challenge.

The challenge consists of a 100 yard indoor pool swim, 5 mile bike and 1 mile run followed by a 300 yard indoor pool swim, 13 mile bike and 3.1 mile run, back to back.

Abe’s Challenge will take place on May 8th at PORTA High School with the Mini starting at 9:00am and the Sprint starting at 10:00am.

Since both events are chip timed you can start the Mini based on your estimated swim time and then start the Sprint with time to make it all work.

The challenge offers a $12 discount code that will be sent to you when you register for the Sprint and can then be used for Abe’s Mini registration at the lower rate.

You get all SWAG from both events and all entrants get a Triathlon Specific gift at packet pickup, and Overall Award winners for the fastest males and females completing both events.

You have spoke and we have listened and now offer the area’s first outdoor tri’s with a New Twist.  Back to back races on the same day.  This will test your mettle while providing a gauge of your fitness for the upcoming Triathlon Season.

Come be part of a New Tri Harder Tradition and one of the hard core triathletes willing to Tri Them Both.

See you soon.


Pioneer Sprint

The Pioneer Sprint Triathlon will begin May 8, 2021 at 9:45 for paratriathletes and 10:00am for age groupers and offers a 300 yard swim in the heated indoor PORTA pool, a beautiful 13 mile bike ride on a rolling and flat prairie road and the chance to run 3.1 miles through picturesque Petersburg. The run will take you past century old architectural gems, up and down the streets of Petersburg and through an historic cemetery. All ages are welcome and Clydesdales, Athenas and teams are encouraged to enter. An awards ceremony will follow after the last runner crosses the finish line. Steve is the race director and can be reached by email at

As a USAT Parafriendly Triathlon we will now  be hosting male and female paratriathletes in both wheelchair and ambulatory divisions starting at 9:45am.

When you finish the swim you can step into the  locker rooms to dry off and change into bike and run clothes, if you wish.

Post race lunch of drinks, pulled pork, and fruit will be provided to all racers.

Post race showers will be available at the PORTA pool.

Pioneer 2017 Results

Pioneer 2016 Results

2014 Abe’s Mini and Pioneer Sprint Results


The final shirt order will be placed by Monday a.m. of race week. If you want a shirt register early.

We will order some extras but they are on a first come basis.  You can still register thru and on race day but no shirt is guaranteed.  The on line registration option will be turned off Thursday at midnight.

Participant Search Link


  • Individuals: $58 early thru 11:00pm on 2/28/2021, $68 late from 3/01 thru 5/5/21. $75 on race day.
  • Relays: $116 early, $126 late.  $140 on race day.




Beginner’s Sprint Training Plan

Monday – 15 to 30 minute swim

Tuesday – Spin class or bike for 15 to 45 minutes, then immediately 15-30 minute run. This is a Brick.

Wednesday – 15 to 30 minute swim

Thursday – 15 – 30 minute run

Friday – rest

Saturday – 30 to 90 minute bike

Sunday – 20 to 60 minute run

Check out the latest triathlon commercial for the April and June events. Many thanks to CASSCOM and the brave soles who came out to help that day.

2013 Triathlon Commercial


Race Day Information

May 8, 2021

Both Races

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.



With the late start time there is no Friday packet pickup.  All packets can be picked up Race day morning.

Race day packet pickup is from 7:00am – 9:30am @ the PORTA High School, 17651 Blue Jay Rd. Petersburg, IL. 62675

 Racers must show their PHOTO ID and if applicable their USAT card or pay the one-day fee of $15. The youth fee is $10 for a year. 


All Bikes must have bar end plugs, no exceptions. 

Park in the main lot, west of the school – follow the triathlon parking signs

Exit behind the school. You will not be exiting the way you entered the parking lot. The main entrance road will still have runners and bikers on it when you might be leaving. Exit behind school and keep straight until Rte. 97, Take a right and you will be back in Petersburg.A Mandatory Pre-Race meeting is scheduled 15 minutes before the start of each race (poolside 10:45am & 11:45)

Race Identification

Packets will contain 2 separate race numbers.

The sticker number is to be attached to the bike frame.

This number will be utilized for race identification and to allow the removal of your bike from the transition area

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.  The bib must be worn at all times on the run.


Listening Devices

Based on USAT rules no listening devices will be permitted on the courses. While these may aid your training, they make you and others around you unsafe on race day. You will be disqualified if you choose to ignore this rule. Safety of everyone on the course is our #1 goal. Keep your tunes for training. NO EXCEPTIONS, NO DEBATES, NO REFUNDS.

FYI, if you are injured during the event, a listening device cancels any insurance claim.

Body Marking

For 2021 Body Marking is done by the racer following posted guidelines, no on site body marking.  Please do not apply any sunscreen or lotions until you have been marked.

Timing Chips

Chips will be included in your packet with Bib, Shirt and Hammer Nutrition Products. Please wear the timing chip on your left ankle so it does not interfere with your chain rings. You are responsible for your chip’s disposal.

After you cross the Finish Line and grab a bottle of water rest a moment on the chairs and remove your timing chip and place in correctly numbered bucket.  The chips will be repeatedly sanitized by volunteers so please get them in the correct buckets to minimize contact.

A lost chip fee of $25 will be charged to anyone not disposing/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 Swim Start or 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.

Timing Chips will be distributed poolside beginning Saturday at 9:30 am


Race Day Street Closures

Sheridan will be closed at 13th Street and Blue Jay Road at 9:00am until 2:00pm.

To get to the High School after 10:30am, all triathletes will turn south onto 12th Street (north of the stoplight) from Route 97. Take 12th to PORTA High School & follow the signs for parking.

Newmansville Road will be closed from Blue Jay Road to the bike turn-around for the mini during Abe’s Mini-Triathlon

Race Day Traffic Control

The Abe’s Mini-Triathlon is a closed course. Exceptions will be local traffic and farm machinery.

The Abe’s Bike turn-around is approximately 2.5 miles from the transition area and will consist of a 10’ tall ORANGE balloon and an ORANGE barricade.  The road will be marked in advance of the turn-around.

Abe’s Mini racers will follow the ORANGE arrows, signs and balloons.

The Pioneer Sprint Triathlon is largely open to traffic. All intersections will have traffic control with race marshals and/or police, but racers should pay attention to their surroundings and race accordingly.

The Pioneer Bike turn-around is approximately 6.5 miles from the transition area and will consist of a 10’ tall YELLOW balloon and an YELLOW barricade. The road will be marked in advance of the turn-around.

Pioneer Sprint racers will follow the YELLOW arrows, signs and balloons.

 Run Courses

Please review the run course routes on the website map. The Pioneer course is challenging with many unique features. You will enjoy it and we kept the hills in to test your pre-season fitness.

Pioneer Sprint racers will follow the YELLOW arrows, signs and balloons.

2021 Run Course

New for 2021 on the Run Course.

Due to Safe Race Guidelines there will be no cups of water at the water stops.  Each stop will offer a chilled 16 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 1,000 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 gloved, masked volunteer.  Please throw cups in trash and don’t litter.


Water and Hammer Nutrition’s HEED will be available at the Start, in Transition, at the Finish and at the hydration station approx. 1 mile in on the Pioneer run course and at the cemetery entrance.

A Hammer Gel is available at the 1st water stop.

Restrooms are located in the Pool area and in two places within the school commons area.  Signs are posted.  There are no on-course facilities due to the relatively short distances.

First Aid/Medical

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

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

Food & Refreshments

Subway Sandwich’s and other snacks will be available after you Finish. They will be located either outside or inside weather permitting.  If inside you must wear a mask to enter the school.

In keeping with current Covid guidelines we cannot congregate inside or outside the school so please get your lunch and award if applicable and head home.

 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.


To avoid congregating the there will be no awards ceremony this year.

The Top 3 Men and Women will be handed their award at the Finish Line.

If you Finished within the Top 3 in your USAT Age Group please visit the Awards table after checking this Results Link  and confirming your placement.

We cannot congregate so we cannot display the results.  Use the Results Link above to check your time.  Please do not approach the Awards table looking for your time or your finish placement. It will not be known and/or shared at the table.

Abe’s Tri Challenge Awards will follow the same protocol as above .


Please review the SITE MAPS located around the commons area for racer and spectator movement patterns and site orientation. Maps are also available on the website.

It is your responsibility to know your course.  Follow the white arrows on the roads, look for signs and volunteers.

Course Marking

The course will be marked with YELLOW paint directional arrows on the road and with white and red 2’ x 2’ directional signs in the cemetery where paint is not possible.

Both races will have directional arrows and/or signs when course changes occur. Pioneer follows YELLOW arrows, signs and balloons.

Volunteers are on the course for guidance.

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

Finish & Transition Area

All Abe’s Mini racers will need to remove their bikes from the transition area immediately after race completion/no later than 12:50pm so you’re not in the way of the 1:00pm racers.

We suggest removing your bike and gear and then coming in for the dinner.

Any bikes that need to be removed after the start of the Pioneer Sprint (11:45-12:00pm) will be allowed at the discretion of the Transition Captain.


Security will be provided from 9:00 am until 3:30pm.

All racers are required to read and understand the USAT and equipment waivers.  Both must be signed, NO EXCEPTIONS.


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.

Donations & Your Racing

As you know, all Tri Harder and Tri Smarter events are fund raisers for local groups, teams, clubs, sites and authorities.  While these groups benefit from the races, we would like to extend the endurance athlete’s generosity to a few charities that we support that have a much bigger scope and need.

As we strive to change lives for our racers and their loved ones through endurance sports, let’s help change the lives of those with challenges much greater than ours;  please give to any/all of our charities listed below with a few extra key strokes while you’re registering for your event!  Any amount (over $5) is appreciated and badly needed.

Thank you!  Your concern and generosity is appreciated.

Alzheimer’s Association of Chicago (Springfield Walk to End Alzheimer’s)

Can DO Multiple Sclerosis

Zero: The End of Prostate Cancer

Research Foundation of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

USAT Triathlon of Colorado

Your concern and generosity is appreciated.

Upcoming Events

July 31st Stoneman Sprint, Abe’s Oly and Route 66 Half Distance


Refund Policy

No refunds will be provided. At the discretion of the Race Director a timely Transfer arrangement may be possible.  No last minute requests will be considered.

Get Registration Protector from on line for an additional $7 per registration. If you can’t attend this event for any number of covered reasons, including injury, illness, traffic accidents and more, you’ll be reimbursed for your registration cost, fees and other related costs. This charge is in addition to the cost of your registration and will be billed separately by Allianz Global Assistance. You may cancel Registration Protector within 10 days of the purchase date and receive a full refund of insurance fees paid. Limitations apply


The information contained on the Home Page Information Tab includes Race Policies and is required reading.

This information will answer many questions you may have and even generate questions you had not considered. Please take the time to read the information and understand it’s contents and intent.

It will make your experience better, you a better racer and keep you safe during your day.

A Message from the Head Referee to all age-group competitors…

Welcome to this USA Triathlon sanctioned event. You are racing under the USAT Competitive Rules. In order to minimize misunderstandings on race day, I hope you will take the time to read the following summary of the Position Violations, which you know as the drafting rules.

I have reduced the Position Rules to the following concepts, which everyone can remember:

Ride on the right side of your lane.
Keep three bike lengths between yourself and the cyclist in front of you. Pass on the left of the cyclist in front, never on the right.
Complete your pass within 15 seconds.

If passed, you must drop completely out of the zone, to the rear, before attempting to re-pass.
Remember you are racing in a USA Triathlon sanctioned event and there are USAT certified referees on the course to ensure fairness in the competition. There will be NO WARNINGS if you commit a foul during competition. Triathlon is an individual event and you must take personal responsibility to understand the rules and avoid penalties. At the end of the race all citations by the marshals are reviewed by the Head Referee who then decides if a penalty should be assessed. The Head Referee’s ruling is final in the case of Position Violations and there are no protests or appeals of Position penalties. Marshals commonly cite the following violations:

Position– riding on the left side of the lane without passing.
Blocking – left side riding and impeding the forward progress of another competitor
Illegal Pass – passing on the right.
Overtaken – failing to drop back three bike lengths before re-passing
Drafting – following a leading cyclist closer than three bike lengths and failing to pass within 15 seconds.

Though Position Violations carry a time penalty for first offense, two citations will result in an additional penalty and if you are cited for three violations, you will be disqualified. Be sure to check the penalty sheet before you leave the race site and have a chat with the Head Referee if you have any questions.

Make sure your helmet is a CPSC approved model. All helmets legally sold in the US are CPSC approved but if you purchased your helmet in a different country it might be illegal for use in sanctioned events.

While on your bike, always have your chinstrap securely fastened – before, during and after the event! The chin strap rule is easy to follow, so don’t forget – that’s a DQ!

Wear your race numbers, don’t leave your trash on the course, and don’t carry or use any portable audio devices.

Remember to treat other athletes, volunteers, and officials with courtesy and consideration. Failure to do so is called Unsportsmanlike Conduct and you will be disqualified.

All that being said, I hope you have a great race, lots of fun, and achieve all your goals.


Abe’s Mini-Triathlon

Start Time

8:45 Paratriathletes


Pre-race meeting 8:30 am for paratriathletes & 8:45 poolside for age groupers

Closed Course.


Pioneer Sprint Triathlon

Start Time

9:45pm paratriathletes


Pre-race meeting 9:30 for paratriathletes & 9:45 poolside for age groupers

Largely open course with road marshals and police.

Pay attention to the vehicles and road marshals.


Riverbank Lodge – Petersburg  1-3 miles from event start

Participants in your events will get a 10% discount on room rates.  However, in order to get the discount, they need to call directly to the Lodge and identify themselves as racers.  There is no way to know if they are racers over the internet.  Is there a way to let the runners know on your website to call directly in order to get the discount.  They can call at 217-632-0202 or toll free at 866-459-3040.


Take a moment to thank all the people and businesses that made these events possible.


Sloan Implement


RiverBank Lodge

Miles Ahead

Springfield Triathlon Club

And on behalf of the Race Staff, Thank You.  See you in July and keep Tri’ing


No One Ever Says, “Let’s Play Triathlon”


Keep Calm and Triathl-On