City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Triathletes Dive Back In

From All Across the Area a Dedicated Cadre of Athletes Train Together Under the Guidance of a Barrington Triathlete.

Article by Stephen Neilson

Photography by Stephen Neilson

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

Early this Saturday morning, "Team Swanee", women and men from all walks of life, strip down to swimsuits and wade into the lake.

Above the beach, Barrington’s Brian Swanson carefully watches as swimmers start churning through the water.

For nearly 15 years, Swanson has donated his time and provided the shoreline of his Timberlake Estates home to train, coach and mentor triathletes from Barrington, Wauconda, Lake Zurich and Chicago.

Dozens of dedicated men and women—doctors, police officers, fire fighters, teachers, school board members, public officials, and business owners—gather at Swanson’s home to start with a jump in the lake for a long swim. Afterwards, they typically mount bikes for long group rides along the lanes and streets of Wauconda, North Barrington, and parts of Barrington Hills to train, nurture friendships and build endurance for the rigors of triathlon competitions. 

The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into the competitive circuit. “For training we follow CDC guidelines of no more than 10 people gathered at a time, and practice social distancing,” Swanson says. “We hope to start full training sessions later this summer.”

Swanson, an Ironman Triathlete who has competed all over, has helped all levels of athletes (whether weekend warriors or those more accomplished) to thrive in this taxing sport. The training sessions he conducts are well organized. There are lifeguards in canoes/kayaks (including his supportive wife Sue) for safety, and there's a leave-no-athlete-behind spirit in all their efforts as a group. They welcome newcomers and support their development at all levels. They celebrate big and small victories, and celebrate each season's end with an unforgettable party at the Swanson's home.

Most 2020 Triathalon events through July were cancelled, including the annual Wauconda Triathlon. “There are several late season races in August/September we're hoping will still happen,” Swanson says.

If interested, search "TEAM SWANEE Triathletes" on Facebook.

  • (L-R): Original 4 members Chris Reub, Brian Swanson, Mark Knigge, and Jeff Middleton socially distance as their Triathletes head to the water.
  • Sue Myslinski after her swim, in "Team Swanee" T-shirt.
  • Brian Swanson.