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Hundreds swim, bike, run in Batavia triathlon

BATAVIA – Sunday morning, Carrie Homewood and her three children – 3-year-old Sophia and 6-year-old twins Owen and Lila – stood alongside the string of yellow and orange pennants that marked the final yards of the ET Batavia Triathlon and Duathlon, giving them a clear view of the participants.

They were clearly waiting for one particular participant, Ted Homewood, who slapped his wife's and children's hands as he sprinted by.

"It's important for them to see that people should be out moving," Carrie Homewood said of bringing her children to cheer.

Ted Homewood, of Geneva, was among hundreds of other athletes who spent the first few hours of daylight swimming 400 meters at the outdoor, unheated pool at Quarry Beach Park; biking a 14.7-mile loop; and running 4.1 miles along the Fox River.

The finish line was at the Batavia Riverwalk on North Island Avenue and Houston Street.

Ted Homewood was participating in the triathlon with Chicago-based bike company SRAM as a tribute to a coworker who was a big triathlete and died this year, Carrie Homewood said. She noted they were raising money for World Bicycle Relief.

Another family, Patty Esslinger and her three young children, stood closer to the pedestrian bridge, which was part of the course. They traveled from Plainfield to support husband and father Chad Esslinger.

"We love cheering him on," Patty Esslinger said. "My daughter wants to run in races now."

Her husband started doing triathlons to get in shape, she said, calling the events a great motivation for him. Sunday was his third triathlon in Batavia and 12th total triathlon, Chad Esslinger said.

He noted the cold water at Quarry Beach Park was quite a shock.

"All my technique just disappeared," he said.

While some participants joined their families after crossing the finish line, others, such as New Lenox resident Sean Phillips, became spectators. Drinking water in the shade near the pedestrian bridge, Phillips said he waiting for his sister Shannon Phillips finish her first triathlon.

"There she is," Phillips said, rising to run after her. "I've got to go."

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