For our triathlon club feature we looked closer at the Columbia Multisport Club in Mid-Missouri. They earned the USA Triathlon National Club title in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007 and their president Mark Livesay talked to us.
ST: How old is the Columbia Multisport Club?
CMC: The Columbia Multisport Club was formed in 2002 and has now grown to a club of over 650 members.
ST: We have heard that CMC is involved in a race that has raised money for cancer research. Can you tell us more?
CMC: CMC produces the Jay Dix Challenge to Cure 5k/10k. In the past five years, this event has raised over $75,000 for cancer research. Our club members volunteer at many local races and are heavily involved in volunteering for the Columbia portion of the Tour of Missouri. It seems there is not a weekend in the summer our Club is not helping somewhere. We strongly believe in giving back to the sport we all love.
ST: What are some of activities offered to CMC members?
CMC: CMC races together and trains together. Every week during the season we have several scheduled runs, rides, swims etc. But we’re much more than training and racing. We have a committee dedicated to just social functions. We’ve had cookouts, parties; we’ve even been known to throw together games of kickball. CMC is a lifestyle for many of our members and our members are very dedicated to the growth and expansion of the Club. We are definitely not racing and training all the time!
In 2007 we hosted a Biggest Loser competition to help our members get motivated to drop some of those extra pounds so many of us are carrying around. That competition alone was more serious among our members than most of our races.
ST: Can you tell our readers what do you do to grow your membership?
CMC: Our membership committee has displays and representatives at local races, health fairs, and other events around Columbia. We have brochures and poster stands at local cycling and running stores. Word of mouth plays a huge part in attracting our new members. The Club routinely hosts new member orientation programs. Honestly, our enthusiastic members are our primary and best form of encouragement. CMC is all about the new-to-the-sport member. We are squarely focused on that aspect. CMC is in the business of making new athletes.
ST: Who are some of speakers/guests you had at the Columbia Multisport Club?
CMC: Most recently Will Kelsay, Mr. Xterra 2007 was a guest speaker at our monthly club meeting. We’ve had a representative from the Postal Service Bike Team. We plan to have an Iditarod racer at one of our upcoming meetings.
ST: Is there anything else that makes CMC unique?
CMC: I still think our focus on newbie athletes and our social connections with each other is the most amazing and unique part of CMC. Many of our members, including myself, have made lifelong friends in this Club. The Club is basically 50/50 men and women.
The Club does hosts a 5:30 am Tuesday & Thursday group run each week. The average attendance is about 80. The record attendance is over 170. I think that is pretty unique and this attract many members to the Club. This is a great way to get introduced to CMC.
ST: The oldest member is apparently 71, how old is the youngest member?
CMC: The club has an active kids program, known as CMC Kidz, who meets throughout the summer for kid specific training sessions. Over the summer Ultramax produces a kids triathlon with competitors as young as 5 years old. Our membership is intensely family focused. Virtually the day a member family brings a new child into the world they are part of the CMC family.
ST: Do Columbia Multisport Club athletes race all over the world?
CMC: CMC athletes can count race finishes in Brazil, Europe, South America, Canada, including multiple finishes at the Ironman World Championships at Kona, HI. CMC has had over 175 Ironman finishes worldwide since 2002.
ST: In addition to being president of CMC, you also run and organize the Ultramax race series. Can you tell us more about these events?
CMC: Actually, most people have a hard time telling the two apart. I do own the Ultramax and Halfmax brands. I also helped get the Club started in 2002 and was the charter president. Obviously, the two organizations are perfectly situated to help each other. Over the years it has been an amazing relationship. Ultramax is really two components. We produce and direct six to eight Ultramax brand events each year. One of those national events is the Trisports.com Halfmax National Championship. In 2008 that Championship will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, there is an Ultramax Event Services side of my operations. We provide AMB Chip timing, equipment rentals and event consulting services. We contract with dozens of events each year.
ST: Anything else we should know about CMC?
CMC: We’ve traveled as an organized Club to the last five USA Triathlon Club National Championships. The smallest number we’ve traveled with was 55 members. Our biggest effort was almost 200 members at the 2007 Championship! No other Club in the nation has even come close to those efforts. We have won four of those five national titles. Our only second place came in Houston to the Houston Triathlon Club. Even that was extremely close! As you can see CMC is clearly committed to expanding and promoting the USAT Club effort. Those trips are the most anticipated CMC function of the year and we raise a lot of money to reduce the cost to each member.