Miss Ohio to sing National Anthem at American Triple-T

Cambridge, OH – Matti-Lynn Chrisman, originally from Cambridge, Ohio and the current reigning Miss Ohio will be on site on Sunday, June 2 to sing the National Anthem at the American Triple-T before the participants take on the challenging final event.

The official voice of HFP Racing, Rich Fowler with the newly crowed Miss Ohio

About the American Triple-T
The American Triple-T in Ohio has an almost cult like following that continues to attract athletes from more than 40 states and 5 countries each year. The Salt Fork State Park event is scheduled for the first weekend of June.

The American Triple-T is played out in the Ohio’s largest state park in southeastern, Ohio, just a little over 1 hour by car from the Columbus, 2 hours from Cleveland and Pittsburgh and just 6 hours from Chicago.

The Salt Fork State Park is in Cambridge, Ohio in the rugged, unglaciated hill region of southeastern Ohio region and is known for its vast forest wilderness, containing a blend of rich woodlands and rolling meadows. Participants will be treated to a spectacular venue with panoramic views of Salt Fork State Park, conveniently located within steps of the Lakeside Cabins and the Salt Fork Lodge providing participants a private retreat between the demanding races.

VENUE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Strong cell phone service coverage for most carriers all around the venue
  • Participants can stay plugged into their social media before, during and after the race
  • More on-site (and lower cost) lodging at a family friendly lodge with 53 cabins next to the transition area and 148 guest rooms just a brief walk away.
  • Easy driving access from major Midwest cities via major interstates (I-70 or I-77) and located within 2 hours of 3 major international airports (Columbus, Cleveland and Pittsburgh).
  • Clean easy to access lake with nice egress into the water via carpeted boat ramp
  • Unique run course featuring the Shadbush trail system
  • Super supportive park, lodge and visitors bureau will be on hand to deliver a red carpet experience
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It’s Race Week – Official American Triple-T Participant Guide Released

What IS the American Triple-T?  Well, it’s everything you’ve heard it to be, and more. The event is so much more than your typical “triathlon weekend” — it’s a triathlon achievement of epic proportions for all who partake. It is 3 consecutive days of racing, gelling together 4 races covering a total of more than 70 or 140 miles for the weekend. You will find yourself swimming in the chilly spring-fed lakes, riding the most technically challenging hills in Ohio, and finishing with out-and-back runs along the trail systems climbing and descending those same hillsides.

The American Triple-T is not for the weak or faint of spirit. It has humbled many triathletes who didn’t take it seriously, and it validates a host of others who test their “tri-mettle” at the “T” every year. Athletes from all 50 states, and 4 continents have all sought the privilege of earning their American Triple-T finisher T-shirt. Competitors, volunteers and spectators all come away with a new appreciation of the sport and of the athletes who train and tame mind and body to complete this legendary event.

You’ll also come away with newfound friendships, and you’ll solidify those bonds every year you come together to face this demon. There are even a special few who turned their initial shared experiences at the American Triple-T into a union of souls, and they came back the next year to compete as husband and wife! While we cannot guarantee that you’ll find your soul mate at the “T”, we will guarantee an incredible, unforgettable experience unique in the triathlon world.

We’re READY – Are you?

Rich Fowler – Race Announcer

CLICK HERE FOR 2018 AMERICAN TRIPLE-T EVENT GUIDE

AMERICAN TRIPLE-T RANKINGS

AMERICAN TRIPLE-T PARTICIPANT LIST

Team RWB – Eagle in Need

Team RWB – Eagle in Need

Anyone who has ever been to an HFP Racing event knows of our fondness for Team RWB and the awesome work they do with Veterans. Eagles Rock, and we love seeing them carrying the colors before and during the races!  One of our Ohio Eagles just had his “snowglobe shaken” badly, and is in need of our help.  As always, Team RWB convenes a congress of Eagles, and our injured Eagle isn’t flying solo.  Here’s how you can help too.

The Details:
Matt and Callie Kelley appear to be what everyone strives to be when we wish we were better people.  Matt is a US Army veteran who served honorably for years, including combat deployments.  Callie is a social worker in the Cincinnati area, and together they serve as foster parents for at risk kids in the Cincinnati area, with as many as 10 kids in their home at a time, waiting for a forever family.  Heart,  service, and love are all words that can accurately paint the Kelley picture.  Matt hasn’t been a regular at HFR Races in the past few years because of his commitment to his every growing family, but he’s still “one of us”.

One day last month, Matt came home to find his wife Callie lifeless in bed.  She had passed away overnight, and he was left to continue on without her.  I personally can’t image many worse days.

Over the last few weeks Matt has been reshaping his world, while still managing to help shape the worlds of his 6 kids.  The mission continues.

Our chance to be of assistance comes this weekend (and longer) as their friends and family are hosting a benefit to support the family of Callie Marie Kelley.  Held at the 50 West Brewery in Cincinnati, it will feature auction items, raffles, and more in an effort to help Matt with continuing on.  HFP Racing has donated a “race for a year” certificate – good for all races in the 2018 season.  Other folks have also donated some great items, and there is a GoFundMe page set up in her honor at

https://www.gofundme.com/callie-marie-kelley.  If you are so inclined in this “week of giving”, please consider helping out by donating, adding items of value to the raffle or auction, or by joining us in the festivities Noon – 5pm at 50 West Brewery, 7605 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati.  Call Jesse at 895-250-9815 or email at jesse.neack@teamrwb.org to lend other assistance.

Thanks for your consideration for a fellow Eagle and we hope to see you at 50 West Brewery on Sunday.

Eagle up!

fowler pic head shot

Why I love this sport so much!

If you have ever wondered why I love my triathlon crew so much, or why I (and many others) think that triathlons and triathletes are the best people in the world, let me share just a few things that occurred over the weekend to confirm that proclamation.  We will visit a few different sites, all over North America in the next few minutes, so – hold on….

In Calgary, AL (Canada, eh) – in the IM 70.3 Alberta, two female Pro’s turned a race of over 70 miles into a sprint of 50 yards at the finish.  Ohio triathlete and great lady Jennifer Speildenner Whitacre won that  epic battle with Rachel McBride, and after the race they hugged, and spent the next few hours laughing and congratulating EACH OTHER on a fantastic effort, and praising the others ability, and continuing that attitude on social media.  Can you think of another sport where two professional athletes would exhibit that level of sportsmanship and humanity to each other?  Maybe, but there aren’t many, and there should be.  Congratulations to Rachel McBride and Jen Speildenner Whitacre for showing the world how true professionals act, publicly and privately.

In Birmingham AL (Y’all) a group of people were watching internet results intently as first time triathlete Dennis Gossard completed his first race after retiring from a 32 year career in the Army.  All reports say that he had fun, and is now officially hooked on the tri-ddiction.  Congrats Dennis, and welcome to the tri-family.

In Springfield, OH (where we drink “pop”) – The Great Buckeye Challenge saw a record field of folks turn out to compete in Mini, Sprint, Olympic, and Half distance races in what turned out to be record weather conditions.  A high pressure system has been hanging over the Midwest all week, and Sunday it decided to turn up the heat.  Record high temps, a blazing sun, and stifling air made a challenging race even more difficult, to the point that the Medical and Safety teams made the decision to reduce the final 13.1 mile run portion to a 10K for the safety of the racers.  Thanks to race management (HFP Racing) and the Safety and Medical teams for putting racer safety over everything.  Racers rule.

The Great Buckeye Challenge had other memorable moments for many racers.  More than a dozen racers did the GBC as an “Anniversary Race” since they did the GBC as their first race anywhere from 1, 5, 10, even 15 years ago.  Deanna Kiesel of Findlay, OH used it to record her 1005th race (Yes, one thousand and five) race, and Gary Rhoades of State College PA recorded his 800th finish.  Wow.  We will talk about each of these great people in detail later…

Finally, somewhere between the “we love our volunteers” and “tri-people rock” columns, a story from a racer at the GBC shows the character of both tri racers, and tri volunteers.  A half-distance racer finished and went straight to race management to sing the praises of the volunteers.

As the athlete slogged through his final run, his new shoes and lack of socks put blisters that turned to open, bleeding wounds on his feet, to the point that he removed his shoes to run in bare feet on the 115 degree pavement.  To say he was in pain was an understatement.  At an aid station, a volunteer we’ll call “Tammi” (cause that’s her name) saw his predicament, and literally gave him the socks from her feet!  She removed her own socks, helped him sit down, and proceeded to get him situated to finish the race in HER socks.  She saved his race, and he knew it.  He did finish the race, and when he finished, he made sure everyone knew how much he appreciated the volunteers.  (Yes, he kept the socks, and we replaced Tammi’s).

We all know that our volunteers make the race possible, as they get up before we do, they work while we play, and they continue to work after we go home.  Thanks again to Tammi and to everyone who has ever volunteered at a race.  We don’t always show our appreciation, but we do appreciate you greatly.

Until next time, we’ll see you at the finish line!
Rich-At-HFP-Race

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rich Fowler
The Official Voice of HFP Racing

 

A celebrated participant at the Great Buckeye Challenge

Gossard2-PhotoAs some of you know, I have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for our HFP Racers with a military background. Team RWB and active duty military get shout outs at every race, and they add a lot to our experience as well. We love having them race with us. With that in mind, we will have a special guest with us at the Great Buckeye Challenge on Saturday July 24 in Springfield. But that starts us too far forward – let’s back up a bit. About 35 years ago I had a friend who I also called “brother”, who was my inward and outward opposite. He was a skinny, calm little guy – I’ve never been accused of that; he was rather quiet and reserved, while I – well, you know me. We were flip sides of the same coin, and it worked. After HS I went off to college, and he said he was going to give the military a try. Fast forward 32 years, and he will be joining us at The Great Buckeye Challenge – but he isn’t the same skinny little kid I used to know.

Army Master Sergeant Dennis Gossard retired last week after 32 years of serving our country, just a week prior to The Great Buckeye Challenge, and he has chosen his first “civilian” activity to be the GBC – and to race with us!! We are honored to have him with us. Dennis is a lifelong Ohio resident (when he hasn’t been out working for Uncle Sam), and has always been a Buckeye. Before all else though, Dennis is a lifelong soldier.

His resume includes the 82 nd Airborne Division, the 108 th Divisional HQ, and Special Gossard1-PhotoOperations Command. Dennis has served as and supported operators and operations at forward bases all over the world, and has had sand in places we civilians never, ever want to consider finding sand.

We are thrilled that Master Sergeant Gossard has chosen to compete in his first triathlon with us at The Great Buckeye Challenge, and I am even happier that we can congratulate and honor my little brother Denny for his 3 decades of service to our country. Denny will be conspicuous in transition (I will see to that), and he will also do us the honor of posting colors for the pre-race National Anthem. If you can find the time in your race prep, please take a moment to step over and congratulate him on his retirement, and welcome Denny to the HFP family. It’s nice to finally have him home!

Bringing it from the mic!
Rich-At-HFP-Race

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rich Fowler
The Official Voice of HFP Racing

Miami University Triathlon & Duathlon – a great story…

MU-Finisher-Buddies-2015Anyone that knows me knows that spend a good bit of my weekends standing behind a microphone announcing at HFP Racing events all over the Midwest.  People ask me why I do all of these events, knowing that I leave the house at 3am for some of them, spend my weekends volunteering my sweat and energy, and not racing.  For the most part, I love doing it, and that is a big reason.  I was reminded this weekend of one of the other reasons.

Saturday started out with a thunderstorm at a beautiful Miami University course in southern Ohio.   The storm rolled through, and as we started to get racers in the water, it morphed into a warm sunny day for 350 or so triathletes to do their thing.  In the field of racers was John “Bo”, who was easily identifiable as he only had one leg.  He swam well, had no trouble getting on/off the bike, and started his 5K run in a small group of other racers.  I had the pleasure of talking with his family while they waited and watched for him at the finish line.

Born with a birth defect, Bo has spent all of his life with one leg severely misshapen, painful, and not quite but nearly useless; and he has endured that pain for years.  He had never been a runner, an athlete, or done much exercise of any sort because of the leg.  Finally in 2012, doctors said the leg needed to be amputated, and it was.

That decision changed his life.  Since the amputation, he has run a 5k, been incredibly active, and now, with us at HFP Racing, is attempting his first triathlon.  You could see and hear the pride and love from his family just ooze out as they told his story.

Bo rounded the bend walking and entered the chute for the last 100 yards to the finish line, and I jumped on the mic to let the crowd that had gathered to welcome him in know his story.  I also chided him a little about the unwritten rule that “If people are watching, there is no walking for a real triathlete”, but also let him know that we’d cut him a little slack on that gentleman’s agreement this time.  He smiled, looked at his family that had gathered at the line to impatiently wait for him, threw his shoulders back and RAN the last 30 yards to cross the finish line.  He IS a triathlete, and the cheers of the people who had gathered at the line to encourage him drove home the point.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including his own.  It was one of those moments that some people wait a lifetime to accomplish, and others wait a lifetime to watch.

Thank you Bo for sharing your moment with us; we are honored and humbled that you chose an HFP Racing event to conquer your demon.  There is no stopping you now, and your children and grandchildren that watched your finish line sprint will know that too, and there will never be a better source of inspiration for them.  Congratulations, and we wish you all the success you could ever imagine.

To answer the question asked earlier – Why do I volunteer my weekends and get up at crazy hours to stand in the rain and sun and mud to simply watch a triathlon? – Take a look at Bo and his story, and know that every person that crosses a finish line has their own demon to conquer, and if I get to help tell just a few of their stories, then that’s good enough for me.  I consider it time well spent.

Got a demon to conquer?  Come share the load and the story with us.  The road behind is littered with vanquished demons, and the road ahead is waiting for you.

See you on race day!

Rich Fowler
richfowler

 

Wounded Warrior/Team RWB follow-up

Clifton2There are many great stories from the July 27-28 “10 TV Commit to be Fit Multisport Celebration” but very few of them are many years in the making.  If you’re watching the video, or if you were at the finish line with us, you saw many athletes from TEAM RWB finish the triathlon carrying a giant American flag as they crossed the finish line.  This is but one of the stories under that flag.

Meet Master Sgt. Sean Clifton: U.S. Army Green Beret, Special Forces soldier, and Team Leader who served tours in Afghanistan and other unfriendly places.  Sean has held a special place with us at the” 10 TV Commit to be Fit Multisport Festival” since last year, when he competed but didn’t complete the race.  A severe bike crash took him out of the race and out of action for more than a short while.  Of course this is not Sean’s first time dealing with something that takes him out of action for a while.

Clifton BMay 31, 2009 Sean was a number of Special Forces team in Afghanistan whose mission was to take out a Taliban stronghold.  As the “breecher” he was first to the door, and first in.  He was also the first to catch incoming Taliban fire.  From the Survive and Thrive website: “Two of the rounds were critical; one hit his left arm, shattering the wrist and rendering his left arm useless.  Another round hit just under his body armor, entering his left waistline, critically wounding 5 major organs.”  He was a mess, and they barely kept him alive on the battlefield. He has since endured more than 20 surgeries to repair his body, but his spirit was never broken.  After months at the US Army Walter Reed Medical Center, he returned to central Ohio and to his family, including his triathlon family.  A member of TEAM RWB, a veterans group dedicated to “transforming the way that America supports its veterans” Sean and his RWB teammates encouraged each other to train, and race, and never give up.  Fast forward a year, and more than a dozen members of TEAM RWB completed the “10 TV Commit to be Fit Multisport Celebration” Triathlon on Sunday, each one carrying that huge American flag the last 100 yards.  There was a definite cheer from the crowd as Sean rounded the corner to come under the arch and down the finish chute, and to anyone watching, it was just another very fit athlete completing another tough race.  That is, until we were reminded that just a few years ago he was bleeding out in a doorway halfway across the world, that he has earned a Purple Heart Medal, 3 Bronze Stars, 4 Army Commendation Medals, and 5 Army Achievement Medals, and he continues to serve his Country today as an advisor to the Department of Justice and Homeland Security operations.

Master Sergeant Clifton can now add one more medal to his collection, the finisher medal from the “10 TV Commit to be Fit Multisport Celebration”.  We only hope it means as much to him as his service and his efforts mean to us.  Great to see you at the finish line Sir, and we’ll try to say thank you for all that you did and continue to do, we just can’t find words that match the weight of your efforts.

See you on race day!

For more information on Sean, TEAM RWB, or the Wounded Warrior Project, see:

www.surviveandthrive.ws

www.teamrwb.org

www.woundedwarrior.com