The Columbia Threadneedle Investments Boston Triathlon, contested this weekend, was not a big money race. It was not one of the 7 or 8 races we report on, every weekend, during the Northern Hemisphere triathlon season.
It's an example of Smart Triathlon. We all have a Smart Phone and some of us have Smart Watches. America exerts Smart Power, and we're moving to a Smart Grid. What if we gathered up everything we know, all the best practices, and brought them to bear when producing a triathlon?
Who are this generation's RDs, looking at triathlon from a business, but not from a quick-buck, perspective. I've seen the Carl Icahns of race production. Who are the Warren Buffetts? On the West Coast Ryan Coelho comes to mind. On the East Coast, Michael O'Neil produces this Boston race.
All photos by Kevin Morris.
There were 1500 people in this race, which is still growing (when so many other races are not).
I had beers during the Slowtwitch Road Show in Boston this year with the team that produces this race. We swapped stories of how we got things done in citified, downtown races. These guys had great stories!
Creativity, people skills, strategic alliances, are what you need if you want a race like this to pay when it's still a 1500-person race on its way to being a 3000-person race.
There were 80 relay teams. Relays are the forgotten gems. Relay members are how new triathletes are born.
If you ask both Ryan Coelho (USA Productions in North-Central California) and Michael O'Neil (Active-ethos) about corporate triathlon, you have their attention. They light up. Triathlon checks both the charitable giving and human resource initiative boxes for corporations.
The enterprising RD doesn't apply for permits at the special events window. Smart race production is politics. You find champions who have hands on the levers of power. What do police, city councilmen, mayors, emergency services, large local employers and CVBs value? Can you help them solve their problems, and how?
The folks who put on this race, Active-ethos, also produce the Lobsterman Tri up in Maine.
Angela Naeth emerged from the water in her Roka wetsuit, pedaled off aboard her Scott Plasma, and ran home in her Hoka running shoes (send the check to my P.O. Box, Angela).
Dick Hoyt has retired from the sport. But not Rick! His new partner is Bryan Lyons.
This race finished with the John Hancock building in the background. No less than longtime legend and Boston Marathon RD Dave McGillivray has struggled with how to produce a downtown tri in Boston. These Active-ethos guys have pulled it off.
John Korff did it in NY City. Jan Caille did it in Chicago (more on that in a future installment). Michael O'Neil and his crew did it here in Boston.
And, in other news, Angela Naeth won the women's race!
Participation is great! But nothing replaces breaking the tape. First year pro Lucas Pozzetta broke the tape at this race.
Triathlon is for lovers.
Camaraderie isn't wholly owned by obstacle races.