Grandman Reflections: 12 Years in the Books!
by Casi (kc) Callaway, Mobile Baykeeper Executive Director and Grandman Triathlon Race Director
* video created by Ryan Flynn, a rising Senior at Spring Hill College studying Public Relations *
The 2016 Publix Grandman Triathlon is officially in the books - with a grand total of 725 racers and nearly 150 volunteers. We had an incredible event with great weather (luckily!), lots of joy, delicious food and beer, and an easy clean up after the race (THANK YOU!). Click here to check out the race results if you haven't done so yet.
In case you are unfamiliar with this event, the Grandman Triathlon is Mobile Baykeeper’s largest fundraiser, raising nearly $100,000 for our efforts. We support myTeam Triumph: Southern Alabama and Gulf Coast Area Triathletes as they help support us in pulling off a safe and well organized race. Mobile Baykeeper chooses to host this annual event because we want to see our entire community outside, safely enjoying Mobile Bay, breathing clean air and swimming in clean water. Outdoor sports are the key to healthy communities and that’s exactly our mission – clean water, clean air and healthy communities.
There were some behind the scenes challenges I want to share with you. Six out of eight Mobile Baykeeper staff members had either never seen the Grandman before, or had only volunteered for the event before this year. They each brought a new energy, excitement and enthusiasm for their jobs and made all the hard work seem effortless. We also had four incredible interns join the team and last all the way through to the bitter end. The Mobile Baykeeper Staff, Board, Young Advisory Council, friends, families and volunteers are tired, but love putting on this event for our community year after year and we are so grateful for all of your support.
Many of you have likely heard about the major hardship that occurred the week leading up to the Grandman. We were all extremely saddened to hear the devastating news that Chris Miller passed away after a training session for the Grandman. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this up and coming first time racer. If you missed it, his family, friends and trainer Michelle Smith helped organize a memorial prior to the race and many wore his initials as part of their body marking. We have lost too many, too young and our prayers go to all of the families who have lost loved ones participating in the sport.
We offer our thanks to the core team who have been helping pull this race off for the last 12 years – Terry and Jennifer Hartley, Brad Burton, Linda Gavaletz, Gus Fontenot, Chuck Hollingsworth, Scott Christmas, John Bartels, Nick Matranga, Debbie McGowin, Tammy Herrington, and many others. We are also so grateful to those who have stepped in over the last couple of years, including Clint Martin, Katie and Joseph Bolton, who all have helped with the race immensely.
We couldn't do it without all of our wonderful bike and tri shops as well - Pro Cycle & Tri (finisher medal sponsor), Cadence 120, Run-N-Tri, Eastern Shore Cycles, Infinity Bicycles, Running Wild, Gulf Coast Cycle & Tri and the list goes on.
Special thanks to J. Vestal Photo for once again being the official event photographer. 15% of all proceeds from race photos will be donated to Mobile Baykeeper. Click here to view photos and order yours today!
Thank you again for another successful Grandman Triathlon in the books. It's never too early to start preparing for #Grandman2017 - it will be right around the corner before we know it!