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Straight answers to some common questions…


As a veteran triathlete, is this the right team for me?

If you appreciate the camaraderie of a team, deals on premium tri gear and race day hospitality, it certainly can be. The majority of our initial registrants signed up to leverage their physical and financial resources to support Renew Chicago and its partner programs. Renew Chicago Tri team members swept the top podium spots of the 2017 Charity Wave and reached it every year since, so there is some serious talent within the group, and terrific opportunities to help you develop yours whether you are focused on setting a PR, beating your buddy or simply finishing safely.

What if I already signed up for the 2024 Chicago Triathlon?

Then you should NOT choose one of the standard registration options on this site. Instead, select one with the "No Race Entry" option, either for adults or kids. Other than an entry to the Chicago Tri, you will receive all the other benefits our team members do, and if you would like, we can move your race start to the charity wave, and both the pre-race and post-race parties are on!

Why do I have to pay to join a fundraising charity team?

The team entry fees provide the operations budget that enables the Renew Tri Team to function. What the Steering Committee invests into managing the team, producing the events and providing fundraising incentives will not cover the costs of this season's projected budget, and private donors (plus Renew Chicago) have historically covered that difference. If you really want to join the team and support our charity partners but cannot afford it, please email, as we can make scholarships available.

What if I want to participate in a different event than the Chicago Triathlon?

Select the "Other Race" registration option.

What other expenses will I incur?

Triathletes are known to invest significantly in the sport once they get hooked. However, at a base level, what you are required to bring to the race is a helmet and a bike. Renew’s executive director Mike Rolfes “raced” on a fold-up bike a few years ago. 250 participants are competing in the Divvy wave. Nothing fancy needed. If you want to rent a fast bike and have $150-400 to spare, the option that Life Time promotes is through Unlimited Biking. Click here to review that company's inventory and offerings, and please note that this company is not endorsed by or affiliated with the Renew Tri Team.

How do I get one of those fancy uniforms?

In the triathlon world, we call them tri kits. And if you are referring to the tight-fitting, red, white and blue Renew Tri Kits, you will be able to order them on this web site beginning in April. You'll want to get your orders in sooner-rather-than-later, as you'll only have until June to do so. More to come on the availability.

What about a wet suit?

You DO NOT need a wetsuit to participate in the Chicago Triathlon. However, the majority of athletes do wear them. The best place to rent a wetsuit on a trial basis is at the Open Water Swim sessions produced by The Nudge Mill. There are four of these sessions (awesome for beginner swimmers!) listed on the Connect & Train section of our site. If you are in the market to purchase a new wet suit, goggles, tri backpack or other accessories, be sure to access the 30% discount code available to all team members by clicking the Resources tab atop this page (must be logged in as a team member to access).

I’ve never fundraised before. How challenging is it?

You wouldn’t be aware of this opportunity if you weren’t engaged in some type of social community. If you put in a decent effort and take advantage of the fundraising coaching and tools our team will provide, your fundraising should be a piece of cake. Last season, team members raised an average of more than $1,000, which is why we pre-populated the suggested fundraising goal with that figure. Dozens of team members have eclipsed the $3,000 fundraising mark and our record is $5,500 for a single athlete.

Are there age or other requirements to join the team?

Not anymore. The kids race is open to young triathletes starting at age 7, meaning they need to turn 7 by the end of this calendar year to be eligible.

Team membership is available to anyone who wants to join us. Last season’s team ranged in age from 7 to 72, half the squad had never competed in a triathlon before and a couple members even lived out of state. 

Is my registration tax deductible? Any can an employer match donations?

No and yes. Your registration is not because you are receiving significantly more actual retail value in your package than the cost itself. Renew Chicago attained its 501c status in January, 2018. All team members will receive tax forms for any donations they make themselves and we will enable matching gifts functionality on the team site.

What’s the registration deadline?

We will cut off registrations around July 1. However, in order to take advantage of the full training and fundraising season events, incentives and opportunities to order team gear, the sooner the better makes the most sense. We anticipate the majority of registrations occurring in April and May.

What if the race gets cancelled?

Depends on why, as this has been a unique past several years. Most race organizers have either refunded entry fees or provided deferrals to the following year for Covid-related cancellations. So we would expect each Renew Chicago team member to receive a deferral if that were the case. When weather or other factors infringe on the race experience, refunds typically are not issued. Team registrations are not refundable.

Any other questions…please ask!