About Lakeshore Athletic Services
Lakeshore Athletic Services provides professional race management, logistics, timing services and race equipment to road races and multi-sport events throughout the United States. Lakeshore Athletic Services is headquartered just outside of Chicago in Skokie, Illinois and has warehouse facilities in Phoenix, Arizona; Palmetto, Florida; and Madison, Wisconsin.
LAS has an extensive and varied inventory of race related equipment that includes the largest inventory of visual clocks and crowd control barricades in the country in addition to a unique variety of event equipment such as custom start/finish line structures, stages, sound systems, tents, table, chairs, traffic materials and signage. LAS owns and operates a large fleet of vehicles and trailers.
Lakeshore Athletic Services History
Lakeshore Athletic Services (LAS) was founded in 1977 by Tom Cooney who was then Head Coach of the track and cross country teams at Loyola University of Chicago. The 1970’s were the formative years of road racing and triathlons. In these early years events were produced by clubs and volunteers. As races matured, the need for professional services arose to assist the volunteer organizers. Lakeshore Athletic Services grew out of this need for equipment and services at these young events.
LAS became involved in local events in and around Chicago, including the National Restaurant Association’s Main Course 10K and the Chicago Triathlon. Early involvement included consultation in areas such as course design and measurement and finish line management. LAS also began timing and scoring events during this period. The physical set of these early events was quite simple and stark: a clock at the finish line, some pennant line and a couple of cones. The equipment for an event could fit inside a station wagon.
Road races and triathlons matured during the 1980’s and the number of participants and the complexity of the events grew dramatically during this decade. The types of services and equipment changed as the races grew. As the number of spectators grew so did the need for crowd control. LAS purchased its first crowd control fence (aka French barricades) in the mid 1980’s. The amount and the type of equipment grew from that point on. LAS began to offer a “One Stop Shop” approach to race directors.
In the late 1980’s, LAS began to direct and manage events in Chicago and around the world. In 1989, LAS became the director of the America’s Paradise Triathlon in the US Virgin Islands. In 1991, LAS became the director of the Powerman Duathlon in Zofingen, Switzerland and in 1992 LAS served as the Operations Director of the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.
During the mid 1990’s, LAS began to focus less on event direction and more on providing services and equipment to events in the United States. LAS has been involved in the Chicago Marathon since 1988 and in the late 1990’s began providing services to Ironman events around the United Statesand Canada. LAS has a long history with many events, several going back over 20 years. LAS is currently involved with over 350 small and large events a year.
LAS purchased its first warehouse in 1993 and two moves later now occupies a 75,000 square foot facility in Skokie, Illinois and has office and warehouse facilities in Palmetto, Florida, Phoenix, AZ, and Madison, Wisconsin.
LAS employs 20 full time and permanent part time employees in its five facilities. LAS also employs a large number of seasonal and event staff.