Frequently Asked Questions

Join athletes from across the Chicagoland area for this one-of-a-kind performance event.

Did you know this is the only aquathon offered in Illinois?!? An aquathon is a combination event made up of swimming and running. The swim portion is first, followed by the race. The distance options are the Sprint Distance (500m swim, 5k run), Olympic Distance (1500m swim, 10k) and an Iron Distance swim only option (2 miles). Relay teams are allowed. Follow these links for maps of the 2018 run courses and swim courses.

When you register, you will be asked to enter the information of both racers, including which of you is swimming and which is running. Whomever is swimming will start with the timing chip and pass the chip to the runner in the transition area. Both participants will recieve Crystal Lake Aquathon swag and awards will be given to both members of the top-finishing relay team.

Sand, concrete, grass, and dirt (and even a short bridge!) - those runners participating in the Olympic distance will complete the loop two times.

This is an open water swim. Those participating in the sprint swim will swim out 250m and then turn around at a buoy and return. The athletes who are participating in the Olympic distance will swim around the trio of islands. Those super ambitious swimmers that are doing the Iron Distance swim only, will be heading around the course two times. Follow these links for maps of the 2018 run courses and swim courses.

Yes! This year we are excited to offer a pre-race warm up under a guard's supervision in a designated area.

To ensure the safety of all our participants, wetsuits will only be allowed if the water temperature is below 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yes! The gear check area will be located by the main building. Please note, any items required during the run should be placed in the transition area. The gear check area will be closing at 7:30am. All items will be moved to the finish line, along with all transition area items by 8:30am. If you would like someone else to retrieve your items before they are transferred to the finish line, please do so by 8:15 am. Any unclaimed items will be donated to Home of the Sparrow.

The transition area will be on a grassy area immediately adjacent to the beach, before you begin your run portion. If you are a relay team, you will transfer your timing chip in the transition area. There will be feet washing stations.

Upon check in, you will receive your transition area number. Locate your number in the transition area and place any items you will need for the run portion of your race. You will be provided with a bag that is marked with your transition area number (which is also your bib number). We prefer that you place your swim items into your bag prior to your run. This area will be guarded at all times until 8:15 am. At that time, all transition area items will be moved to the finish line where they will again be guarded until your arrival.

If any items remain after 11:00am, they will be donated to the Home of the Sparrow.

Crystal Lake Aquathon Prizes
Yes! You will receive a bib with pins and be marked upon registration. This is to help us identify you during the run portion of the race (and help our announcer give you a shout-out during your finish!).

Yes. We are grateful to J3Timing for providing timing. Each participant will receive a chip when the register which will be placed on their ankle. There will be timing spots at the start of the race, in and out of the transition area, and at the completion of the race.

There will be 2 water stations along the running course: one will be at the 1-mile marker and one will be at the 2-mile marker. Please click here to see the approximate water station locations.

There will be a sectioned off areas at Three Oaks Recreational Area for racers and volunteers. We encourage you to carpool wherever possible. Your entry fee includes parking and parking for volunteers is free. Spectators that arrive separately and do not have a City of Crystal Lake sticker will be required to pay a $5.00 parking fee. All other additional (and mostly free!) parking will be located adjacent to Three Oaks and will require a short walk. Click here to see a parking map.

Yes! Though we recommend registering before the event, there will be onsite registration.

We do not offer refunds. But for a small fee you can transfer your bib to someone else. Refunds will not be given if the event is cancelled due to weather-related emergencies or some other unforeseen emergency.

Absolutely! You will be charged a $3.00 fee but it will be worth it for both of you!

We will only cancel the race in the event that there is an emergency. This includes severe weather, extreme cold or heat, or a mandate by the City of Crystal Lake or Three Oaks Recreational Area.

Please log in to the account you created on Race Roster to see if your registration went through. Otherwise, please call Race Roster for any questions.

Yes! We have set up a special referral rate. For every friend that registers, you will receive 3% of the registration.

2018 Swag included:

Finisher's Medal (that also doubles as a bottle opener and who doesn't need one of those?!) 

20-oz tumbler - Kitchen-grade stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation that will protect your drink at all costs 

A free ticket for a chance to win raffle prizes (additional tickets can be purchased $20 for 25 tickets, $5 for 6 tickets, $1 for 1 ticket)

Yoga on the beach provided by Workplace Wellness Yoga
Post-race massage provided by McHenry Natural Therapy and Wellness
Complimentary Running Evaluation + Video Analysis provided by Smith Physical Therapy + Running Academy

Top Finishers will receive awards courtesy of Crystal Lake Brewing (those under 21 years of age have special prizes too!)

We even had prizes for the final 3 participants to cross the finish line!

Ooh – this is so fun! The after party will take place at The Quarry Cable Park, right next to the finish line. There will be food and drink options here. Awards and special sponsor recognition will take place here too. Stay and play at the Quarry after the party!

Crystal Lake Aquathon Prizes
In 2018, first, second, and third place finishers in each age group received a growler, howler, or pint respectively from Crystal Lake Brewing, with a coupon for a free fill (over 21 only; under 21 received alternative prizes). Overall male and female winners received a $50 gift certificate from The Running Depot & a free massage from Natural Therapy Wellness Center (not be eligible to win their age group).

Under 21
75 and older

We love love love our volunteers and are so appreciative of your willingness to help out! Please check back for 2019 volunteer sign up or email Denise Smith at to discuss opportunities.

Race day shirt
Drink ticket for the after party (valid Photo ID required for alcholic beverages)
Our never-ending gratitude for your help!

Click here to learn more about the sponsorship opportunities available. We are also looking for raffle items.

All proceeds go to support Girls on the Run. To inquire about sponsoring the 2019 Crystal Lake Aquathon, call Denise at 815.893.9075 to brainstorm sponsorship options. 

Because Three Oaks is a public area, there are many options for viewing. We recommend the areas indicated here and here. There will be barricades at certain areas and volunteers will be available to help direct spectators in transition areas.

There is an amazing splash park area and playground area for kids. Though the beach area will be closed during the race, there are still options to walk around and see the beautiful areas of Three Oaks.

Check out the splash park for kids, rentals at The Boat House (paddle boards, sailboats, fishing supplies, scuba gear, kayaks), play at The Quarry Cable Park, stay for lunch at the new Duke’s on the Water, hike the trails... Heck – you can even run the course again!

Check out some of favorite things to do in Crystal Lake/McHenry County:
EatingRichard Walkers Pancake House, Benedict's La Strada, Duke’s Alehouse & Kitchen, Jameson’s Charhouse
ShoppingThe Running Depot, Epic Cycle and Fitness, Too Cute Consignment, and various stores within Downtown Crystal Lake & the Algonquin Commons
RecreationalCrystal Lake Main Beach, Sterns Woods, Veteran’s Acres, or stay and play at Three Oaks!

We recommend calling The Comfort Inn located less than one mile from Three Oaks Recreation Area. Additional lodging may also be available at The Country Inn and Suites less than one mile from Three Oaks.

Parking at Three Oaks is $5.00 without a City of Crystal Lake sticker, so we encourage you to carpool wherever possible. All other additional (and mostly free!) parking will be located adjacent to Three Oaks and will require a short walk. Volunteers - please check your email for parking instructions. Click here to see a parking map.

Want to learn to run faster, longer or without injury? Schedule an appoitment for running technique training at Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy.
Or "Become A Better Runner" with Pose Method Running on YouTube and use promo code BVZ54NX7AWJF for 1-month FREE access.

Take advantage of Open Water Swim (OWS) at Three Oaks Recreational Area!

This race offers a swim only option that is close to the Ironman Distance (2 miles). This swim can help prepare for an open water swim with a competitive edge.

Register now!

Join athletes from across the midwest at Illinois' only aquathon. Train for the ironman, get your sweat on, or just come to have fun!

Check back for 2019 Registration