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About the Race Director Century Club

On April 25, 2013, USA Triathlon announced the launch of the USA Triathlon Century Club for race directors, a program that will honor multisport race directors who have sanctioned more than 100 triathlon, duathlon, aquabike, aquathlon and youth events over the course of their careers.

Race directors who have sanctioned 100-plus events are asked to submit a year-by-year breakdown listing the number of events to USA Triathlon.

USA Triathlon will honor Race Director Century Club members based on 100-event increments — the 100 Event Club, 200 Event Club, 300 Event Club, 400 Event Club, 500 Event Club and beyond.

Race directors will receive commemorative items of increasing value as they progress to higher levels. Additionally, all Race Director Century Club members will be recognized on the USA Triathlon website.

After the initial Race Director Century Club listing, USA Triathlon will add new additions to this page once per quarter.  USA Triathlon may perform random audits of submitted lists at any time.

To be recognized in the USA Triathlon Race Director Century Club, please email your name and list all sanctioned events to eventservices@usatriathlon.org.

Join the Race Director Century Club

To be recognized in the USA Triathlon Race Director Century Club, please email your name and list of events to eventservices@usatriathlon.org.


 

300 Event Club

Jack Weiss
  Tom Ziebart
Jack Weiss

Jack is one of the first pioneers in creating triathlons. He first started producing triathlons for the Air Force in 1984. After retiring from the service he and his wife Ester produced their first professional triathlon, the Wool Capital Tri in 1988, which is now one of the 20th oldest events in the USA and the oldest Olympic-distance triathlon in Texas. Jack has served on the Texas Triathlon Association, where he served as its treasurer, vice president and president for three years. While on the board he was part of a team that produced the present ranking system and wrote the first regional handbook, that USA Triathlon still uses today. In 1997 Jack was elected to the USA Triathlon National Board of Directors where he would start the first of three consecutive terms as treasurer. In 2006 he developed the first lesson plan for the USA Triathlon Race Director Certification program and became USA Triathlon's first Certified Race Director. He and his wife Ester have produced over 300 triathlon races and have no plans to quit anytime soon.

How did you get started producing triathlons?

“In 1984 there weren't many triathletes around, being in the military there were even less. My Commander found out I did triathlons and therefore I could: produce a triathlon. My first three were for the Air Force in San Vito Air Station, Italy. When I retired from the Air Force, I went to work for the San Angelo YMCA and produced my first of 26 Wool Capital Triathlons. Thus I produced my first of 300 plus USA Triathlon events.”

What advice do you have for first-time race directors?

“Go watch a few events, participate as a volunteer or an athlete and don't be too ambitious the first time. Produce an event you can control and align yourself with the best possible help. Then get certified!”
 
Tom Ziebart

What started out as a hobby and a great passion for triathlons, turned Tom into one of the most renowned and respected race producers in the country. He started producing multisport events while he was part-owner of Exclusive Sports Marketing, an event management group based in Boca Raton, Florida, that produced 150 events while he was there from 1986-1997. After his time with ESM he made the move to Director of Sponsorship Development for USA Triathlon where he designed the NGB’s first sports marketing initiative from which USA Triathlon now collects over $2 million in support from sponsors. He was also instrumental in USA Triathlon’s decision to own and operate various national events and programs that bring in over $4 million in economic impact for local communities. This decision led him to become the Executive Event Director for USA Triathlon in charge of the USA Triathlon’s National Championships.

After leaving USA Triathlon he has continued to produce some of the largest triathlon events in the world like the Chicago Triathlon, IRONMAN 70.3 Steelhead and the IRONMAN 70.3 Florida triathlon. Despite producing over 300 triathlons in his career he still stays active and regularly competes in local multisport events competing in over 200 triathlons including four IRONMAN triathlons.

How did you get started in producing triathlons
?
“I participated in triathlons in the early '80s and it became a hobby. I started putting on races in 1986.”

What advice do you have for first-time race directors?

"Be prepared for long hard days of work!"

                                

Neil Semmel

Neil is the founder and CEO of Piranha Sports, LLC. Neil has managed over 300 races in the Northeast Region since starting Piranha Sports in 2001. Piranha Sports is known across the region for introducing innovative programs such as the Greater Atlantic Multisport Series, the Greater Atlantic Club Challenge and the Escape from School Youth Series.

With 12+ events to choose from, the Piranha Sports calendar includes a variety of distances from sprint to half iron as well as flat, fast courses to highly technical courses in a variety of locations in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In addition to being a USA Triathlon Certified Race Director, Neil has been a teacher for the Visually Impaired and Blind in Delaware for 26 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Low Vision Rehabilitation and has won the Governor's Award for Excellence and Commitment in State Service for developing innovative programs for Delaware's visually impaired and blind community. Neil also was selected as one of the 5,000 Community Leaders in the country for having coached and worked with Blind Athletes and in 1996 had the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch.

How did you get started in producing triathlons?
"After competing in track, cross country, running events, triathlon and duathlons for over 20 years, I wanted to give back to the triathlon community. As a participant, I had always paid close attention to the details of a race, what worked, what didn't work. I used this race experience, along with support from other local triathletes to produce my first event, Escape from Fort Delaware."

What advice do you have for first-time race directors?
"Participating in a triathlon is very different than producing an event. Experienced race directors can make the job look easy. Consider working with an experienced race director first to understand what is involved in producing well-run events.

   

100 Event Club

Jack Caress
  Chuck Sellers
Jack Caress

For over 30 years, Jack Caress has been producing and marketing participant sports events. He is the founder and president of Pacific Sports LLC and a founding member and chairman of the Board of Directors of Triathlon Business International, Inc. Jack serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Sports Council and Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games.

Since the firm's inception Pacific Sports has produced over 430 multisport events throughout the world. Caress has actively served as a professor at Chapman University in the School of Business and Economics for 10 years, and currently is an adjunct faculty member at the University of San Francisco in the graduate program in Sports Management.

Pacific Sports owned and produced the Olympic-Distance Triathlon World Championships in 1996 in addition to producing 12 United States Championship races. Currently the firm operates the Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles Torrance, Rose Bowl Half Marathon, Newport Beach Triathlon (oldest triathlon in the United States), Triathlon Eugene (the Oregon Challenge), Long Beach Triathlon, Amgen Tour of California L'Etape du California and the Dow Run for Water, which took place in over 100 cities worldwide, including events directly produced by the firm in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

Caress has competed in over 400 participant sporting events including the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona on four occasions. He was a member of the 1975 NCAA Championship golf team at UC Irvine where he now serves on the Athletic Director's Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Council. Jack has three sons, Nathan, Jake and Luke and has residences in Tustin, California, and Shaker Heights, Ohio.

How did you get started in producing triathlons?

"I started in 1978 when classmates of mine from UC Irvine developed what was then called the "'Ancient Mariner & Rusty Pelican Human Race Triathlon.' It is now the Newport Beach Triathlon, which we sill produce. We all would both compete and put the race on together. In the '80s they became so busy with their restaurants that I was asked to take over in leading the race. Since I was a college professor, working on a doctorate, owned a triathlon shop (Sportech), and was avidly competing in triathlons — I added it to the list. I then was fortunate to start doing work for IMG in Cleveland, where we developed several events including the Cleveland Triathlon which is where we hosted and produced the 1996 ITU World Triathlon Championship. It was the first world championship after triathlon was named an Olympic sport making it all the more exciting. We still produce that event today along with several other events around the United States."

What advice do you have for first-time race directors?

"Always put safety first. Your planning, organization and execution will follow when you never compromise principles."
 
Chuck Sellers

Chuck's event organizing and timing company DQ Events currently promotes and directs 13 triathlon/duathlons and times another 40 events a year. All his events generate a sizable sum of money for local charities. Up until 2013 all this was done while working a full-time job.

His main focus for triathlons is the sprint distance: 1/4-mile swim, 10- to 15-mile bike, and 5-kilometer run. These accommodate the highly trained and competitive athlete, your competitive age-groupers, as well as your average and novice competitors who just want to finish and stay healthy. Their motto is 'compete, complete, eat, and still be home by 12 noon." Recently they expanded into larger Olympic- and half-distance races.

Chuck has been a competitive triathlete, duathlete and runner for over 30 years. He has won many age-group awards over this period of time.

Chuck is a USA Triathlon Certified Race Director and has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Rutgers University and a Masters of Business Administration from Rutgers University. He has been a programmer and system developer for the past 15 years. He was owner/operator of CS Running Center, a retail sporting goods establishment, and was owner of Race Management Inc., directing the Cooper River Biathlon series in the 1980s among other multi-event races.

How did you get started in producing triathlons?

"Back in the '80s I owned a running store and was an avid runner. I got injured and took up swimming and decided to do a triathlon. Once I did a few triathlons I thought our area could use a triathlon and didn't think packet pickup would hurt my running store. Most people in the area trained at Cooper River, and at the time the water was very clean, so I organized a biathlon (duathlon) there. Eventually the water was cleaned up enough so I could organize a triathlon there."

What advice do you have for first-time race directors?

"Try to stay organized. Use checklists and remember you won't please everyone."
Matth  

Tri the Parks

Matthew Brown

I participated in my first triathlon in 1980, called the Rivercities Triathlon. I am not so sure what the distance was because there was no real distance established for a sprint triathlon back then. I think it may have been a 1-mile swim, 30-mile bike and 6-mile run, but I knew I was hooked from that point on with the whole idea of multisport events.

Two years later I was looking at producing my own triathlon to help drive traffic into Sportspectrum, a specialty sporting goods that I opened in 1980. The bike shop that had started Rivercities was having financial issues and gladly handed over the race to me. Thirty years later, I am still race director of the oldest, largest triathlon in the south. We fill all 1,200 spots within days of opening online registration, and participants keep coming back because it's a great, fun hometown event. Sportspectrum Race Management produces over 100 races each year from multisport events to 5k road races. It’s a great business, and a great way to still stay connected even though I do not race much anymore. Runners and triathletes are a different breed, and I just love to be around all their energy!

What advice do you have for first time race directors?
"Make sure going into an event you understand how much time and work is involved. There is no better satisfaction than watching your production unfold race am, and if you did all your homework, it will be quite a production!"

 
Tri the Parks

Blue Sky Sports is a multi-event production group located in Smyrna, Georgia. We have backgrounds of multisport participation and competition and enjoy the atmosphere that multisport events bring. There is something very special about people we admire who set athletic goals an through much hard work and many trials ultimately reach out for their goals in the field of sport as in life.

Our primary goal is to direct and produce world class, multisport athletic events that are safe and exciting for all involved. We endeavor to generate an outstanding environment for superb athletic competition by: producing exciting, challenging and safe multisport events; selecting the finest locations to conduct our events; maintaining a level of attention to detail that is unmatched in our sport; handling all of our business in a fair and positive manner with all of our participants, sponsors, hosts, volunteers and local community; creating win-win situations for our participants, sponsors and associates. And having a little fun along the way.


 

Dan Carroll

Kevin Mahan

Kevin is a USA Triathlon Level 2 Event Director and has directed more than 250 events in his long and established career. He is an avid triathlete, competing in seven ultra-IRONMAN triathlons and is a four-time XTERRA World Championship finisher. He first started producing triathlons in 1982 and has gradually increased the amount of events over the years as triathlons became more and more popular. Kevin is still competing in on and off-road events and has no plans of stopping either.

How did you get started in producing triathlons?

"After my first triathlon in 1984, I raced the few triathlons available each year through the '80s and early '90s. I began to help with portions of local races through the area triathlon club and began directing races in the mid-1990s. Managing races for the local triathlon club was a part-time venture until the early 2000s. The event managing has been full time for a few years with 12 multi-race (tri/du, short/long, etc) owned USA Triathlon Sanctioned Events annually, other owned cycling and running events and about 35-40 Partner events, where services are provided."

What advice do you have for first-time race directors?

"Build a good team of coordinators who will take ownership in their specific area of race coordination — share plans with all involved so everyone knows basics (police, EMS, volunteers, lifeguards, etc.); keep the venue happy (over-deliver) — no venue equals no race; pre-event communication to athletes is key to manage expectations and allow athletes to be ready for your venue, courses, weather conditions, etc.; learn from each event — what went well/what needs improvement; plan for things to go wrong and you'll be ready when they do and they will!"

 
Dan Carroll

Dan Carroll is the founder and CEO of High Five Events. He has more than 10 years of experience in endurance event production and has been the certified race director for hundreds of triathlons, road races and bike rides. Dan is USA Triathlon Level 2 Certified Race Director — the highest certification level that USA Triathlon offers, and he was one of the first race directors in the country to achieve that certification.

Located in the South Midwest, High Five Events created and operates the Texas Tri Series, which includes award-winning and nationally acclaimed events such as the Rookie Triathlon, the Kerrville Triathlon and TriRock Austin. Their events are known for their outstanding customer services, organization, safety and for the enjoyment they bring the participants.

How did you get started in producing triathlons?

"I got started with producing triathlons because my good friends Jack Murray and Stacy Keese owned a bike shop, Jack & Adam's Bicycles, which also produced two small triathlons. I raced on the Jack & Adam's triathlon team, and I would volunteer before and after each event. The bike shop was growing so they asked if I would like to help with events. Together we turned those two small triathlons into High Five events."

What advice do you have for first-time race directors?

"My advice to first-time race directors is as follows: Start with permitting, safety and logistics. These make up the backbone of an event. It's easy to turn a permitted, safe and well-planned race into something that is also a lot of fun and a great event in just a few weeks. It is impossible to make a fun idea into a great event if permits and safety aren't well planned far in advance."


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