I can’t wrap up another season without some huge thanks going out to the folks that make HFP Racing run so smooth, along with mentioning many other folks that make our job/lifestyle so much more enjoyable. God has truly blessed us with an amazingly talented crew.
First off; the incredible HFP Racing staff & team that works so hard with so much passion each & every weekend. The heart and soul of HFP’s race weekend customer service, registration and volunteers…my amazing wife Jennifer (aka super mom). Her attention to detail and ability to articulate race scenarios to the staff and volunteers is unrivaled. This is the lady that USAT Hall of Famer, Jim Curl, called the smartest woman he’s ever worked with during the relaunch of the U.S. Triathlon Series in 1996. I am blessed to have Jennifer as my wife and co-worker.
You can’t pull off 16 race weekends with each weekend hosting up to 8 events without a great operations team that can multi-task to the max!! HFP operations team is one of the best with veterans like Sandy Donald, HFP’s official swim course starter (and occasional race announcer) and John Sachs, HFP’s run course coordinator (along with myself) are cool cucumbers when the heat is on & always wear their many hats with pride.
A great enhancement to our logistics team this year was Jason Sadler, HFP’s new bike course coordinator. Jason single handedly upgraded our bike courses with “OCD” attention to detail and course marking consistency.
I can’t say enough about this next young man, Josh Dwire, who started the year off training HFP’s new timing coordinator. Josh ended up taking on the position himself after it was obvious the new person was not going to make the grade. Josh took our timing to another level when he took over in late June with virtual live timing flowing wirelessly to our timing monitors and managing all this on some pretty “worn” timing equipment. What makes Josh so amazing is his personal story of dedication to HFP and his “other” full time job. Josh would get off at his night shift at a Tool & Die factory in Derry, PA on Friday morning each week and forgo sleep that day so he could drive to the event and adjust to the HFP work schedule. After a hard weekend of timing responsibilities he would again forgo sleep so he could make it back to the start of his work week in Derry, PA on Sunday at 11:00pm. We’re working with Josh to hopefully get him to the Buckeye state for 2014 so he can sleep 7 nights like the rest of us 🙂
And lastly, the official voice of HFP Racing…Rich Fowler. Rich is hands down the most attentive person with regards to reaching out to our racers and finding out “just a little bit more about them” and then announcing it to the world when they cross the finish line. A lot of race announcers want the attention to be on them and for them to be the focal point in the race. Rich is the exact opposite and takes great pride in making YOU the focal point at the finish line. Traveling from his home in Findlay, Ohio to join us nearly every weekend, Rich usually arrives at the 11th hour after getting very little sleep as his priorities are his kids and their long list of activities. But Rich will be the first to tell you that HFP is also part of his extended family and he values you all very much. Read more about Rich’s story here.
There are so many more of you, like Staicey Scholtz or Karen Mueller and her family, the Washburn family, the Phillips family, Dublin Boy Scout Troop 185 and many more that play equally important roles in making HFP Racing run smooth throughout the season….too many to properly acknowledge in this blog post. Please know that we thank you and appreciate you very much.
Someone “really” famous once said “It takes a village”…well I always thought it should be “It takes a team”. Since the inception of our company, HFP Racing has sponsored a team. These are the guys and gals that are amazing stewards of the sport and are a joy to see toeing the starting line each weekend. Founding members, Curt Haywood and Mark Lemmon, not only provide the Team with class but are incredible personalities along with being my dear friends. These are guys that are great sounding boards when HFP is pursuing a new event or looking at new ideas.
Longtime teammates, Todd Ricketts and Ross Hartley, are a real inspiration to see how far they have come in their life and sporting careers (and how FAST they both are). I had the good fortune to travel with them to Milwaukee this year for USAT Triathlon National Championships…one of the best trips of my life.
Then there are the likes of Randy Lehrer, Brian Barker, Don Cain, John Menzies, Roy Youngman, Fred Strong, Michael Boone, Michael Willetts, Ed Wheeler, Jimmy Little and Ray Schoomer (just to mention a few…there are many more) who are true gentlemen and statesman for the sport of multisport. Along with these gentlemen are some amazing ladies like Deb Wheeler, Holly Fiora, Georgetta Schoomer (battled breast cancer this year and became a SURVIVOR!!), Cheryl Chaney & Deanna Kiesel that represent HFP with pride and class at every race.
A great crop of new teammates brought in some much needed new blood to the team in 2013. Guys like Craig Richardson, Neil Erst, Casey Kist, Paul Gigliotti, Dr. Thomas Carter added some great personality to the team. Thank you all for being part of Team HFP!
The HFP Racing season closed with a record turnout of nearly 700 participants at the September 29 Deer Creek Fall Challenge. It was quite obvious that there was a feeling of gratitude in the air for getting one more chance to race before the 2013 season ended. It was magnified by the near perfect weather conditions on race day which lead to many personal PR’s and course records in almost every race distance. With the mini distance featured for the first time at the Deer Creek Fall Challenge, standards were set by Andrew Puckett (44:15) and Jackie Pfeiffer (4(03) in the triathlon and Matt Miller (1:00:32) and Haven Lochow (1:07:36) in the duathlon. Haven is just 13 years old and a daughter of our long time athletes, Steve and Amy Lochow!
In the sprint race, course records fell with Ross Hartley (1:01:35) and Kat Briggs (1:12:34) winning the triathlon. In the sprint duathlon, Evan Bayles (1:11:48) bested the 2012 mark by just 5 seconds.
Fort Wayne’s, Zach Ruble set a new mark in the Olympic Triathlon of 2:02:26 and veteran Robyn Willams (2:23:25) set a new mark for the ladies. In the Olympic Duathlon, Nick Baker used the days best run splits to set a course record of 2:10:44.
In the half iron triathlon, US Pro Tri member, Jim LaMastra put on a clinic and destroyed the course record by nearly 20 minutes in 4:08:53 to wrap up the weekend of course records.
In closing; in 2013 HFP Racing did a major overhaul of our company brand and company structure. We made every effort to address or upgrade the commitments we made to you back in January. Some of those being:
- A gold standard in customer service (check!)
- Celebration experience throughout the race (check!)
- Awesome post race atmosphere (check!)
- Finisher medals at ALL races for ALL participants (check!)
- Top notch staffing (specifically for timing, customer service and race day operations) (check!)
- The best race results presentation online and at the event, along with making results more interactive on the website. (check!)
- Better bike racks.(check!)
AND look forward to even more enhancements in 2014!
We hope and pray for everyone to have a great off-season and look forward to an even more exciting 2014 race season!