Up next in the High Five Events summer schedule is Jack's Generic Triathlon. This is the event that started it all, and it has been an integral part of the success of both High Five Events and Jack & Adam's Bicycles.
A lot of people will tell you that they think the name "Jack's Generic Triathlon" is very clever or funny. You might even agree, but do you know why? Here's the story behind the name and the theme:
Jack's Generic Triathlon was founded by Jack Murray in 2003, at a time when he thought many triathlons had forgotten about the participants. Events had become so focused on getting big sponsors, accommodating pro athletes, and trying to look good that they sometimes neglected the actual product - the race. Athletes ended up paying more, but their racing experience was actually less. Jack had the idea to put on a race with very little pomp & circumstance, yet at the core be a great race. It would be well organized, safe, good value, and of course, fun. From the outside, it wouldn't look terrific, but the participant experience would be great. It reminded him of the generic isle at the supermarket: It's the same quality products, sometimes even better, but you don't have to pay for the fancy packaging. And hence, the name Jack's Generic Triathlon was born.
While today, more than 8 years after the first Jack's Generic Triathon (JGT as we call it), our events do have a lot more fancy packaging, but at their core they still try to preserve the values of Jack's Generic. Each race is designed, planned, and priced with you, the everyday triathlete in mind, and we never stop trying to find new ways to make it fun.
Of course, we'll never turn down a little help, so pass on your ideas to us, and fill out those post event surveys. We read every single one.
JGT, Splash-n-Dash, AVIA Austin Tri
Whether you are ready to try your first triathlon, or if you are finding yourself midway through your triathlon season, be sure to check out these upcoming events:
Aug 1st: Jack's Generic Triathlon - Rated "Best of Austin" by Competitor TX and "Favorite Sprint Distance Triathlon" by USA Triathlon, you don't want to miss the race where you're more than just a number, you're a barcode!
Aug 17th: Splash-n-Dash at Pure Austin Quarry lake. The August 17th date is filing fast. Only 2 Splash-n-Dash events remain for 2010! You must register online.
Sept 6th: AVIA Austin Triathlon This world class event is expected to fill up early, as it did last year. Don't miss out on participating in an olympic or sprint distance event in downtown Austin.
Thank you to all the volunteers who help make High Five Events' events a success! From the packet stuffing a few days before, to bodymarking on event morning, to post-event clean-up (and all the many other ways!) -- we could not do it without you.
If you know someone interested in getting started with triathlon, volunteering is a great way to see the "ins-and-outs" of the sport and can often be just the thing to get inspired to try it out for the first time!
Every month we like to highlight a special volunteer. Up this month, one of the best cheerleaders out on the course: Annette Kobus!
How many years have you volunteered with High Five Events? 6 years
What is your favorite part of volunteering at High Five Event races? The appreciation parties rank right up there, but also just being associated with these well-run events makes me proud, and I have the satisfaction of knowing I helped contribute to a successful event.
Why do you volunteer? Many reasons. Growing up, I tried out for cheerleading every year, but every year I was too fat or too poor, so now I get to be a cheerleader (and cowbell ringer). Also it is fabulous seeing first-timers cross the finish line.
What's the craziest thing you've witnessed while volunteering? At Dilloman a few years ago, a woman arrived at like 7:25am (when transition was supposed to be closed), totally clueless, with a borrowed bike, which of course had two flat tires. I helped her get all her numbers affixed, bodymarked her, pumped up her tires and basically gave her Triathlon 101 training. She did finish though.
What's your favorite part of the course to work? Probably the finish line because you get to see all the smiling faces as the athletes realize their accomplishments. Although, for sheer volume of work, transition is always a good choice if you want to keep busy/entertained!
Favorite sport besides triathlon? Before he retired from racing, I would go watch my Uncle Jim race stock and midget cars.
What is the earliest you've woken up to volunteer? Ha - being over 50 you don't sleep, so there is no setting alarm clocks anymore. But, when I DID sleep and set the alarm, it was for 3:30am.
Favorite volunteer perk? Sounds corny, but I'd have to say all the appreciation the athletes show. For material things, the perk for completing the Texas Tri Series can't be beat!
Best/Worst volunteer t-shirt color? As a volunteer or athlete -- white is no doubt the worst t-shirt color, unless you're using it as a tourniquet.
Sign-up to volunteer at the upcoming Jack's Generic Triathlon!
Event Tips: Making it a great day for you and your fellow athletes!
The staff and volunteers at High Five Events work tirelessly to make sure the event runs smoothly, but each participant also makes an impact as to how the event turns out, for themselves and those around them.
So, if you are new to triathlon or just haven't given it much thought in the past, we have shared some quick tips to help make event-day the best it can be for everyone:
Transition: This is one of the busiest areas of the race course. Here are 3 quick guidelines to follow when in transition area:
Swim: This is often the most overwhelming part of a triathlon for participants, and it's certainly the most crowded. Here's a few tips to keep it smooth:
- Keep your space organized and compact. 7 bikes should fit on a standard size bike rack.
- Be courteous to the other athletes in transition, especially if you are already finished. They deserve the same experience as you.
- At bike mount & dismount, pull to the right if you know it will take you a little longer to get on and off your bike.
Bike: Safety and fairness are two of the main goals for everyone on the bike course.
- Unless you are trying to win your age group, you should not start on the front row. Starting 5 to even 10 meters back is only a difference of a few seconds, but will result in a much less crowded swim start.
- Starting wide adds hardly any extra distance, but is always a clearer path.
- A little bumping is inevitable. Relax and swim on, nothing will be gained by try to retaliate.
Run: The run course seems like it is should be very straightforward and simple, but here are 2 small ways to make it that much better for everyone:
- Staying your line - keep control of your bike so as to avoid swerving from side-to-side.
- Drafting - Triathlon is meant to be an individual sport. Familarize yourself with the USAT rules and do not draft on the bike course.
- Trash - Littering is against USAT rules. If you brought something onto the bike course, bring it back to transition. This includes bike bottles, gels packets, used tubes, etc. You may only dispose of trash at aid stations.
- No littering - Do not dispose of anything outside of the designated trash spots at aid stations. Volunteers & staff are there for your safety, not to pick up your trash.
- Stay to the right & keep your line - this guideline will help with the flow of the run course. Also, if you are going to cut across the course to get to an aid station, for example, look behind you and if you see other participants be sure to communicate with words or gestures what you are planning to do.
Sure, these guidelines seem pretty simple and straightfoward, but it's amazing what a difference they can make on event-day!
Section 5.10: Position Fouls
Having hundreds of athletes out on a bike course requires certain rules to keep things safe, controlled, and fair. The bike course is the one area of the course with the most regulation - and all for good reason. Below is just one of the handful of bike course regulations from USA Triathlon and one that is also strictly enforced at all High Five Events' events:
USAT Rule - Section 5.10 Position Fouls. In accordance with the Rules as set forth in this section, a participant is not permitted to position his bicycle in the proximity of another moving vehicle so as to benefit from reduced air resistance. While on the cycling course, participants shall not work together to improve performance, efficiency, or position by teamwork or other joint conduct. A variable time penalty shall be imposed for any violation of this section. This section shall not apply to off-road triathlons and duathlons and shall be excluded from enforcement at those events.
Discussion: Below are the most common position fouls out on the triathlon bike course. To ensure a safe and fair event for everyone, please be sure to have a good understanding of these rules:
Drafting--keep at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move within 3 bike lengths you must pass within 15 seconds.
Position--keep to the right hand side of the lane of travel unless passing.
Blocking--riding on the left side of the lane without passing anyone and interfering with other cyclists attempting to pass.
Overtaken--once passed, you must immediately exit the draft zone from the rear, before attempting to pass again.
Penalty: Variable time penalties apply for positions fouls
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