HITS Doubling Down

The HITS triathlon series is not going away into that good night. Rather, it has miles to go before it sleeps. Specifically, 3.1 miles, 6.2 miles, 13.1 or 26.2 miles. Or one free mile—HITS running will offer a free 1-mile race just as its triathlon weekends offer a no-charge sprint.

Rather than cutting back or throttling down, HITS is hiring up. It’s brought on board Barry Siff, ex of 5430 triathlon (now Boulder 70.3), who’s served his time in WTC’s non-compete jail and will captain the HITS footracing series (Siff is pictured adjacent). HITS will roll out at least 6 weekend running festivals starting in April/May, 2012.

This is no part-time consulting agreement. “I work for HITS,” Siff said to Slowtwitch. “It’s my [full time] job. I’m the face of the events.”

Siff is the first nuts and bolts race execution man that HITS has hired who’s recognizable to the race director community. Existing RD for triathlon events Mark Wilson hit the ground running, but it was rocky ground during the first couple of HITS triathlon events. Not so since, according to reports from our readers. Wilson took his lumps, learned fast, and has been putting on efficient, well run events.

In fact, although it's had setbacks, such as the need to make a couple of quick venue changes this year, HITS has made some choices that seem wise in retrospect. New York City triathletes came away from the recent Ironman there with an equivocal response when asked if they would race the course again. The logistics were just too tough when trying to finish inside the Great While Whale that is New York City. But just north a patch is Saugerties, New York, close enough to metro NYC to appeal to that population mass, but rural enough to provide a logistically easier experience, and hence a more pleasurable course.

HITS has also revamped its pricing, keeping the somewhat steep prices for those who register late, but offering early registrants as much as 75 percent off. That’s a clear winner among Slowtwitchers who’ve discussed this on the reader forum.

The HITS footraces will not be staged in the same locations at which the triathlons take place. The triathlons are often staged at sites that have existing HITS infrastructure, such as Saugerties and Palm Desert, California. HITS is better know for being to the equestrian world what Ironman is to triathletes, and the 20-acre HITS-owned equestrian facilities often double as its triathlon finish areas.

It is not known yet where the footraces in the new HITS series will take place, however it's likely they'll be situated in more densely populated settings than are its triathlons.