Athletes in Motion

Athletes in Motion Podcast - EP 023 Faye Yates & Joe Fleenor

June 28, 2022 Tom Regal and Kenny Bailey Season 2 Episode 23
Athletes in Motion Podcast - EP 023 Faye Yates & Joe Fleenor
Athletes in Motion
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Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion Podcast - EP 023 Faye Yates & Joe Fleenor
Jun 28, 2022 Season 2 Episode 23
Tom Regal and Kenny Bailey

If you think competing in a triathlon event is difficult, try putting one on! 

Faye Yates and Joe Fleenor of Team Magic come back on the podcast to talk about life after lockdown, getting people back to racing, and the unique marketing challenges that triathlon has to overcome.  

A unique perspective on a sport that itself is unique. 

https://www.team-magic.com/
https://www.tritomrendurance.com/
https://therecoverylounge.co/

On the Web:
www.athletesinmotionpodcast.com

On YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/@AthletesinMotionPodcast

Episodes Sponsored by:
TriTomR Endurance LLC
www.tritomrendurance.com

Show Notes Transcript

If you think competing in a triathlon event is difficult, try putting one on! 

Faye Yates and Joe Fleenor of Team Magic come back on the podcast to talk about life after lockdown, getting people back to racing, and the unique marketing challenges that triathlon has to overcome.  

A unique perspective on a sport that itself is unique. 

https://www.team-magic.com/
https://www.tritomrendurance.com/
https://therecoverylounge.co/

On the Web:
www.athletesinmotionpodcast.com

On YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/@AthletesinMotionPodcast

Episodes Sponsored by:
TriTomR Endurance LLC
www.tritomrendurance.com

Narrator:

Welcome to the Athletes in Motion Podcast from Race to Recovery. With your hosts, Tom Regal and Kenny Bailey.

Tom Regal:

Hey, Kenny, how you doing today?

Kenny Bailey<br>:

I'm doing fantastic. Tom, how are you?

Tom Regal:

I am fantastic as well. We have a wonderful guests back from last year. First repeat guests on the podcast. Faye Yates and Joe Fleener. Yes, welcome back. awesome to have you on again. They are Team Magic, they put on a whole host of races in Middle Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, no Georgia yet. Okay. The tri state area, taking over the world eventually been to a couple of their events. Now, since we talked last time, our have to say that they're amazing. Probably some of the best events I've been to put on really, really well. So we're excited to have you back on again. I want to talk about a couple of things. So we talked about last year coming out of the pandemic and what we thought things were going to look like changes that you had to make on the race side of things on the race directing side of things. And we gave I think a pretty good insight onto what goes on behind the scenes to kind of get everybody caught up on that like the Think about all the things when races get canceled or changes may need to happen. So what happened? What did last year end up looking like, from from year end of it? I mean, we got excited. I know as athletes, we kind of went back into like, we got excited we got back racing again, things are happening. It was still kind of stilted travel all this stuff, close close downs. What happened?

Kenny Bailey<br>:

We were right at the Okay, we were gonna have people show up. But you had to look at social distancing, you had to look at maths, you had to look at that whole thing. So I think that was the last time we last left our story at that one. What has it been?

Faye Yates:

Yeah, so yeah, you want me to start?

Joe Fleenor:

Go for it. We're still here. So

Tom Regal:

that's good.

Faye Yates:

Yeah, he took he took my Yeah, my first comment as well. We're here. So that's a good sign. Yeah. So I would say last year, what people don't know is things things really actually ended up feeling like a normal season in terms of the races in terms of social distancing. It's like once things got lifted. After our April race, which was a modified race from the March race, that was a run. After that, all of our races got approved. You know, like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, it all happened at once. And that so for the racers, I feel like the experience was almost the same as before, we didn't really have the social distance that much we did, you know, a little bit different. You know, in terms of in the early races, we did some

Tom Regal:

because nobody's working. more bottled drinks than maybe cups and coolers, and no, no one was, you know, open, cooler touching. And so touch points were different. But in general, I would say if you ask a racer, they wouldn't see it as if it was a great deal different. We weren't having to mask anymore. We're gonna have to separate people at the start. You know, we had three triathlons in 2020. So that was totally different. But 2021, I think was I felt okay for the racers. For our staff, and for me, and Joe, it was crazy. Everything that people, I mean, other people, and depending on what business they're in, probably experienced what we experienced, you know, the whole supply chain, no one wants to hear that those two words ever again. But I mean, that's a real thing. And it really impacted us, I would say supply chain issues, and service, lack of people working in the service industry, affected us more than people might imagine. So, you know, we have a staff that's really solid, a part time staff that comes down on race weekends, that was not an issue for us. We have plenty of workers, and then some really great workers. But the things that impacted us the most that our staff ended up having to take over were, you know, typically it's not a problem getting to come crew, you know, or the portalets going to get there on time. I mean, everything that touched us, server service wise, delivery wise, was a big deal,

Faye Yates:

Nobody was working.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Yeah. And from a priority standpoint, it's portlets, and then portlets, and then water, portalets, and then water.

Faye Yates:

There really was nothing that we did that wasn't affected. And I think we were at the end of the season. We were exhausted, just absolutely exhausted. So we've put on these races. The numbers came back. The numbers were good. Our numbers were actually better last year than they are so far this year. So the numbers were good. People were ready to race we were we were dealing with deferrals we dealt with so financially, that was tough. But we managed it, it was fine. It was just pure exhaustion for us and our staff and the managing the last minute things like, like I said, people not showing up to do things. So then our staffs out there dropping cones, and they don't have to do double work. And I hope that the racers didn't see it. I don't feel like they did. I feel like we really did a good job of managing race day. But I think those are, those are my biggest walk away. What do you think Joe? And I miss,

Joe Fleenor:

I think it's also you, we condensed a race season into May, June, July, like five months, we planned and executed, you know, 10 events, essentially, when we normally have a year or more to kind of plan and execute those. So somehow we made that work, and produce good races with good numbers all safe. And we're able to survive and come out of that healthier. So it was wild. Like she said, come October when we were done, or actually the end of September, Faye and I didn't talk to each other for like a month.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

It's like a band at the end of the tour. Some solo work, working myself solos a lot.

Tom Regal:

I'm sure I'm sure are there.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Are there things that you know, obviously, supply chain is something so you're kind of so you're going into 2022 now and you're sort of leaning into that season? What are those things that you feel like you needed to continue to move to move forward that you learned from 2021? Or from the pandemic? Like you said, bottled water? Or other ways in which you kind of touch points? Are those things now a permanent thing? Or was it more, you know, temporary? Any of those processes or anything else things that you're like, hey,

Joe Fleenor:

keys, all that different? Because we because we were able to kind of execute races, not too different than what racers have experienced in the past. I think this year, it's it's continuing with the same now, last year was more so like participants had to kind of pick up their own water and run and go with it. Now. Usually, we have people handling water. So that's kind of a difference. But that's really the line and people might notice about a racist is just more like handoffs at aid stations. But I think that's kind of I think we're pretty much status quo as to where we were last year. Yeah, I think I think something we, you know, new, maybe not, that's new this year. Inflation and gas prices is becoming an issue. Yeah, yeah. And not just from a like a participant, and maybe their unwillingness to travel or whatever. But it's just in like Faye was mentioning earlier with the vendors we use with porta Potti, deliveries and cones, and all those things, they're incurring a lot more expense for their staff and gas. And they're just passing along those costs to us. And so our expenses have dramatically increased for executing races, just for standard things you have to have at an event. And so that's a challenge for us and figuring out, is that kind of the new normal? And if so, what does that do for our business? And that's probably the biggest challenge we face this year is just those built in costs and our vendors now passing along us.

Tom Regal:

Yeah, it's real. I mean, it's like Joe said, it's everything. Yeah, it's every it's shirts. And everybody starts with an apology in for every single person. I say, You know what, you know, yeah, we get it. It's got to be passed along. Yeah. And I think we're, you know, where we are is, you know, expenses are up. We feel very fortunate that our races, we do have, you know, our first races, we just had our first triathlon, right, Music City Tri. Yeah, a couple of weeks ago, less than two weeks ago, numbers were down from last year, which is unfortunate, and our expenses are up. And we're in downtown Nashville. So you can imagine that's not a good formula. And the same Chattanooga goes down, but you know, 100, folks, yeah, expenses are up. Yeah. And, you know, I think right now, Joe and I are just like, you know, we're still gonna have a 900 person race in Chattanooga. But you know, missing 100 people. Yeah. And expenses are up. That's a big deal. And it's, you know, I think right now, we're just saying, you know, what, people still want to come race and let's try to figure out how we can keep putting on races.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Yeah. Does that require you to kind of make choices on either increasing prices or lessening the things you bring? Like, I mean, at some point, it becomes a math problem, right? So you like, do we provide these I mean, do you have like a Pareto of like, the services are going to have to, you know, why not get my Voss water?

Tom Regal:

Now just Fiji......

Joe Fleenor:

I feel like the product that we deliver with all

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Desani and I quit! the that comes with it is well, it's the last touch. It's the we don't change anything like that. They're all going to get the same level of service. They're gonna we're gonna have the same level of staff that comes in and assist. We're gonna have the same number of safety people. We're gonna have the same level of medals and shirts and all that stuff that goes into it. Um, so we do, we have raised prices a little bit this year, not nearly enough to cover what we're dealing with, but we have had to raise some raise prices. We don't want to get too high on that, because then you weed out a whole demographic of people for a sport that's already kind of expensive. So we're trying to figure out, you know, I think last year on this podcast, we talked about basic racing. Remember that getting back to like, basic racing, we haven't quite done. We're still you know, Team Magic is we feel like we put on the best races around. And there's a lot that goes into that. But I think there is something to, you know, the simplicity of just producing a good quality race without a lot of bells and whistles is still appealing to people. We still like the bells and whistles and hadn't really cut that. But at some point, you know, who knows what has to come from that. But that's where we are right now, as we're not cutting anything, we might raise a little bit of our prices here and there. But we're still not accounting for all the right expenses we have to deal with. So you can possibly look at if you want to do that possibly look at marquee races, right your your A races are those places like, you know, doing the Nashville doing. Chattanooga would be you know, those ones where you can maybe have other races, that could be kind of that lower price point. And kind of

Joe Fleenor:

more, we do have, I guess, kind of two levels of race price points currently. And like you mentioned, we have, we don't call it this, but internally, it's kind of our signatures. Yeah, I guess it's kind of downtown urban races, Nashville, Louisville, Chattanooga, and then Gulf Shores, those are kind of our four races that have a little bit higher price point, because there's just more that goes into those events. And then the other ones have a little bit lower. We call more of our grassroots races, I guess, that doesn't have as much of the police presence and you know, all the built in costs that come in with that.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

So some guy named Carl, it's with a flag. Of course, Carl, Carl, Carl,

Faye Yates:

we still bring the same game to those, though. I mean, I think that's the thing that people need to understand is like, you know, our built in staff costs and expenses. That's not going to change. I mean, because we need those people. You know, at every race, yes, we still have to fulfill the same responsibilities. It's really just purely the the urban expenses, the things that go with it. And those prices go up the prices, use the more police and everything we talked about so so we can't go too crazy on offering a lower price point. They are lower price point, but it can't get too crazy. Yeah. Otherwise, we're not bringing a safe, you know, fun, event.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

safety first, obviously, make it keep it safe.

Tom Regal:

Yeah. And last time we spoke. I don't know if you Keep it had done a team magic race. But I hadn't done one. And I'd went down and did waterfront in Chattanooga. And like I'm, I'm, I'm not going to suck up here. But it was, like I've done a lot of races. I've done grassroots races to the top. And you know, all of that stuff. And the show that you guys put on for the athletes a call to show, right? Yeah, the game was fantastic. I mean, I was I was blown away at the level that you guys brought it to. And I've seen a couple of your races. Now I've been out a

Faye Yates:

Let's have Joe talk about that. That was his his couple of them. And it's been like, you guys bring your A game every single time, which is nice. And that's important, I think for someone just getting into the sport, because normally you wouldn't get that kind of level until you paid a lot of money. And you went up to the big brand and you know, other other races that we don't want to talk about. You know that you don't get but I've done. I've done so many. I've done so many even even non branded middle distance longer distance races that were I mean, they were they were eh, at best. I mean, and I was just impressed. I mean, really, really impressed with with the show that you guys put on for everybody. And I think that's important that you guys keep doing that and stay dedicated to that. Now, tell us about your some of your staff. Now, you added a new staff this year that I thought was probably the best hire that you've ever done with Janet and a concierges for newbies. Tell us about that role and how that changes the game for someone trying to get into the sport. genius, which I it's great. We're both we have him. Thank you for your nice comments. Yeah,

Joe Fleenor:

totally. Yeah. So just a little step back a little bit before we talk about the specific hiring of Janet Byers but we you know, the sport is there's a there's like a leaking bucket effect to the sport of triathlon where you get let's just say you get 1000 people that come to a race and then the next year you might have 400 of those 1000 that returned to that race and you got to find another 600 people to like fill that void and you're it's hard to kind of keep up. And there's a there's a problem with that. Like we're not doing a very good job with keeping people in the sport and keeping people engaged with our races. or the community as a whole. And Faye and I are a race production company, we can't be all things to everybody, we try to put on great safe races that are fun and competitive that people want to come back to. But we don't have enough tentacles out in the community to keep them engaged and connected to all the different people and resources and clubs and coaches and all the different things that are out there that help them stay in the sport that ultimately continue to drive us traffic to our races. So the position itself has always been kind of in the back of our minds, it would be great to have something like that, but we never acted on it until we were hiring for new event crew, we were just simply looking for people to come and help us on race weekends, and finding good people. And lo and behold, one of the applications we got was a good friend of ours here locally, Janet Byers, who she actually is the one that got me involved in the sport, she was my very first touch point in the sport of triathlon, through the club. And when she applied for that job, I told Faye, I was like, Janet would be fantastic. She's She's, she'd be a great crew person. But, you know, let's live return more than what that position is. And this concierge position that's always been in the back of our minds, kind of came up, it's like, she's, she's already that she already kind of fills that void, or fills that role that we're looking to do. And let's talk to her about it. So the idea was, you know, have her be that first point of contact for any sort of beginner or newer athlete at our races, essentially handhold them through the process leading up to race day to provide them more details on the course instructions on how to set up transition, get connected to a club, ideally beforehand. So you have a community of people you can race with and have support. And all that. And then after the race, which is the leaky bucket bucket effect is let's plug that bucket and you be that plug that keeps them engaged. So instead of just letting them race and letting them move on with their day and never talking to them, again, less, it's just a marketing email we do to them, have her be a constant point of communication with them to keep them engaged, if they're coming from Louisville, connect them with Louisville clubs and coaches offer them services. So that's the idea behind that role. And so far, you know, we're early on in that, but we're already seeing tremendous benefits of that we get. I mean, if you saw her at Music City triathlon, she has her own little tent setup.

Tom Regal:

That was awesome.

Joe Fleenor:

With all of our collateral and detail about the race and example transition setup. She literally for four hours, was just bombarded with people asking her questions, and that's going to continue on and every race we do and the ideas, we continue that.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

So yeah, I think, Tom, you were mentioning that some of the swimmers that felt like they wanted help they got is that the race where they got a bright pink? Yeah. I mean, I think that's a brilliant idea. Right? I was sharing with you guys earlier, I thought I had a heart condition, right. And you see people like I've been to races where people had heart attacks in the water, right? Sure. It's almost like hey, for those newbies or somebody that needs to make sure that the person you know, pays attention. I think that's a fantastic idea is one of the scariest things is the swim, right? So the fact that you're you're, you're trying to make it as comfortable as possible. I can't make you swim better, but we can certainly make sure to keep an eye on you. If you put on a our special color cap. So then the safety personnel know Okay, let's let's just keep an eye out on that one. I think that's a that's a brilliant way to continue to allow people to feel more comfortable the

Tom Regal:

wristband for the first timers or sure if it's your first tri. She got you got you got something right. It was kind of cool to see him light up. It's like, Oh, I get to wear it. I get to wear this. It was cool. But you also got to know who the first timers were. I mean, you can kind of keep an eye on it. And you can kind of see them and see how they were doing. And it was it was kind of it was nice. It was a nice way to bring that together.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

is part of your leaky bucket too, that sometimes people treat triathlons like a checkbox, sort of bucket list, kind of thing. I just we just talked to a guy that said I did I did one marathon and that's that's it, I did it. I checked it off my list of the thing I was going to do. Is there a is there a challenge with that to a certain extent like I want to do a triathlon because I've never done one before and now that I've done it that was great, or, or is it mainly just trying to try to keep those guys engaged?

Joe Fleenor:

I I have long believed, actually, ever since I've been involved in the sport. I feel like there's a branding issue with the sport of triathlon. And Ironman does a lot of good things for the sport. It puts eyeballs on the sport, but it's also it creates it is this bucket list type of sport mentality. It's like you have to be a certain level to even accomplish a triathlon when we all know that's not the case. There's so many super spreads and spreads that are manageable for all people and we just don't do a very good job as a sport promoting this is what I I consider a life style, it should be a lifestyle, lifetime sport versus achievement sport, like an attainment sport type of thing. And we don't do a very good job of branding it as such. And I think the governing body kind of takes a little bit of blame in that because it's just, it's, they have a, we have a hard time of getting people to look beyond triathlon as Ironman or you do it and you're done type of a thing, when this should just be something that does not monopolize your whole life. You shouldn't train 40 hours a week for your whole life. Just add it as part of your normal everyday routine, do races when you can join your community, make friends, and have it as like, you're doing three sports, you can get spread out your time, you can be healthier, you can not get injured as much. So that's a big thing. For me. It's just the branding component of it.

Faye Yates:

Yeah. I mean, it's the branding. And, you know, and I think we don't think it's with any ill intent, but it's the entire community. It's USA Triathlon, as a governing body. It's the, you know, the fear of missing out of people that don't have the Ironman brand on their car or their arm or wherever they have it. And, you know, and I think, you know, coaches are a big play in this. Yeah. That's fantastic. I mean, they celebrate in clubs. Yeah. Yeah, they celebrate achievement. Yeah, yeah, that means some of them do a little bit of hey, oh, and also these people were doing this a duathlon this week, and they don't even net sameness, or with the duathlon was, you know, and I think that's the it's that messaging. And like, in celebrating every thing, you know, it's not just celebrating that, that people are at the top of the people that did a 70.3 or a full distance. It's like, celebrate that we're, you know, sure. Our class is this big. And this many people are racing this weekend and the racing all sorts of different levels. And let's do it again.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Well, I think there's a, it's sort of like, when somebody has a child and like, they're, they're sitting there, you know, with their new baby. And the first thing somebody asks is like, when's the next one coming? Right? You know, it's that kind of thing. There's almost this, this sort of, like, Oh, you've done a sprint. Okay, when are you going to do an Olympic? Oh, you've done an Olympic? Well, when you're going to do a half and you ever, you know, and there's this sort of credibility that you have to do a full or else

Tom Regal:

Yeah, you need your street cred. Yeah. You know, you're not?

Kenny Bailey<br>:

you do the big ones. It's, it's, you know, I joke around the way you train is like a pork butt, it's slow and low. The competitive ones is sprint distance and an Olympic distance. I mean, you you have to go, I mean, it's competitive. It's so hard, I think there's a, there's a, there's a misnomer, or a correlation between, it's not competitive unless you get to this distance, when in fact, you can have a ton of fun and get really, if you want to be competitive, you can be really competitive at that shorter distance, and then you can go have brunch, yeah. And you train somebody hours like you were or if you're brand new to something, you can accomplish something that's that very few people do that's quite satisfying, just like doing a 10k race or a 5k race, where you get a lot of, you know, just like a 5k you get people running, you know, 15 minute five K's and people that are doing the first five K's can take 40 and both of them are having a great time. I think part of that is also us, I think as a as a community of people to not create this, you know, once you've done a, you know, when is B and I do it. I just did it last week. I'm horrible. But yeah, I mean, it's it's a I think that's one of the challenges. Yeah. Have you seen? Have you seen a change in not just because of COVID. But has a demographic sort of moved over the last few years? Or do you think it's the same for you to do a pie chart back to your point, you know, 40% of other ones that come back? Are there? I know during running half marathons, for example, flipped over I think a few years ago where it's over 50% women now are doing half marathons. Where do you see that happening with triathlon? Do you see a different set of folks showing up? What's What does it look like over the years?

Faye Yates:

I think the needles move some it hasn't moved quite the pace is like that what you saw with with running with women, I think we do see more diversity. I mean, there's there's definitely more diversity. There's different colors of skin out there now. Thank goodness. And there the women maybe come up a little bit, it's not drastic. I mean, it's still dominant men.

Joe Fleenor:

It's about I think our numbers are roughly 60/40. Men. Yep. And that's been steady for a long, long time.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

You do Is there enough? I know you have to balance sort of cost benefit analysis there. Is there enough of a cost benefit to try to do a women's only like triathlon? Oh, do I step on something? Okay. All right. Yeah, this is what we do. We ask the hard question. It's like 60 minutes.

Faye Yates:

passion project for us. Yeah, we want that. Yeah.

Joe Fleenor:

Yeah. There's, that's a demographic of growth for us. And it's honestly, it's kind of untapped at this point. And we see we see other race production companies across the country, or clubs that focus on catering more towards females with their events, or the what they're doing with their deliverables as a club. And there's, that's where the growth is. Those events are, are big, and they're growing. They're very popular. And why can't you know, that's a discussion of phi is what where does team magic fit in that? How can we tap more into that population and get them more plugged into the sport? So 100%? You're You're spot on?

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Yeah, yeah. It seems like there's a chicken and an egg thing going on on that one. Right, where you have to have enough to flip over to make it. Yeah, to make it that way. And I think part of maybe part of the reason why to have to have marathon distances were starting to flip over because they had women's specific one. I mean, the Nikes women's half marathon 30,000 women showed up, you know, to San Francisco my wife was one of them. It was it was just Tiffany necklace at the end. Maybe you can do that amazing. You know, it was just That's ridiculous. It was huge. And but what it did is it just brought in like hey, you can get a large group of people. A large group of women still be incredibly lucrative, but

Joe Fleenor:

maybe freeze freeze and squeeze free free squeeze after

Kenny Bailey<br>:

you go I was gonna write a note on a piece of paper that's something you know I think I think you're right I think somehow there's got to be this way in which it becomes somebody's got to take the step forward make I guess, let make less margin and just say we're gonna do it to do it. So I think I heard you're committing to magic today. On this episode sounded like it sounded what I heard just announcement about

Joe Fleenor:

doing this so we can land a title sponsorship. Right now.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Well, I think TriTomR.... it's got a great ring to it!

Tom Regal:

There we go. That and a Free freeze and squeeze.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

I Make a really good coffee. Anybody for hand poured coffee get in line, it'll be 16 hours by the time we so hold on, I'm still pouring support. Number four. hour and a half hour and a half travel on 14 hours get your coffee or his hand poured

Tom Regal:

or your coffee says there's a race come back, get your coffee. It might be ready.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

So along the lines of sort of different triathlons. We recently had a podcast right around gravel bikes and the rise of gravel bikes have been huge because of safety reasons because you get to see a new part of town because of safety reasons. I mean, it's almost entirely around safety right? Has there been any discussions or what do you see your if you look at your crystal ball, would a gravel triathlon be something that are you looking at it is it something that that's neat but we just right now we need to focus on kind of what we got now is that uh what are your thoughts on those kinds of races?

Faye Yates:

I would like to race one

Joe Fleenor:

Yeah, I one there's there's just not a lot of access here where we have to kind of know enough about it we're there's very few events out there they just recently held the national championships in Arkansas for grab will try and offer a try and I think that was why wildly successful but it's that's still a pretty small but yeah, and there's not a lot of access for good courses and good you know, training spots here like in the middle Tennessee area, and even there's some in Alabama but not really accessible to good water so so it's just finding a good course for that we're just not we're not aware of a whole lot of great options for that and we just haven't actively pursued it at this point. It is a point of conversation because we you know, the the idea of evolving with multisport is critical for us and if that's the way you know, we we like to pride ourselves on being kind of the front end of things but at this point, we haven't actively pursued it.

Faye Yates:

But we've discussed it got it yeah.

Tom Regal:

So what's the thought process if you were to put on a race someplace what is there a process that you go through like you have to look for the water first if we can get the water then we've got a swim area now we can add you know a good bike route to it or something so when you put on these races what's Is there a process for for trying to figure out where we're good location would be

Faye Yates:

Oh, yeah, there's there's all those the obvious factors when the minute be obvious to everyone to us. They're so obvious it's like you know, obviously you'd have the body of water that's a safe body of water access safe there's a transition area and if we're talking about off road of course these are two different things on road and off road are very different. You have to have the it's then it's the bike course and what fits with that. Yeah, you know, the things that you you you have to consider all the way around is a VIP parking lot. access. So there's lots of water in Middle Tennessee. Yeah, but how many bodies of water in beautiful bodies of water, but access to everything else you need access to a safe bike course that's not on a windy two lane road that's also has a place for people to park in the transition area. Yeah. When you start talking about gravel, not just mountain bike trails, we're talking about gravel riding now. And that's not you know, that's a new thing. The runs usually the easiest part. Yeah, quite honestly. So you've you've on the other two components, usually, you can usually make a run work. And then when I say two components, there's other components too. Because if you don't have a venue, you know, that's good.

Tom Regal:

Yeah, you gotta have all that you've got to get all the water, you gotta get everything in.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Yeah, well, hotel accommodations are got to be relatively near that kind of thing, right? I would say have all of it.

Joe Fleenor:

The unspoken piece on this is a good community partner as well. So we want we want, yeah, whether it's the city or Convention and Visitor's Bureau or somebody like that to essentially be a partner in our events. And if they're not, it, we know, it's not going to be a long term success. So it's likely that we do not pursue something that we don't have a key partner with the city or a CVB to help us in that event, because then it might just be a one or two year event, and they can kind of kick us to the curb, and it's not worth our time or effort. So they

Tom Regal:

need to commit in on it. And then they sell it year round. Right. So that's where they take care of the marketing when you're not there when it's not lead up time. You kind of build into that. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

So with with the upcoming season. Right now, we're in the middle of the heatwave, which is awesome. One thing is, you know, I was doing triathlons in California, and you never had to worry about like 85 degree rivers. A new thing I moved here and it's like, hey, this isn't wetsuit legal. I'm like, wait, what? I'm sorry. What? Yeah, no. Right. So so as as sort of people are showing up to these events, it's getting hotter and hotter. And usually the prime time for these for these races are kind of at that time. Do you find yourself having to make additional accommodations? Or what accommodations do you need to start making when it comes to sort of foul weather? Maybe not just heat, but other stuff as well? Like, what what? How much does? I mean, I know the weather affects you a lot. But how much? Is it sort of where especially heat related or lightning related? Or what are your what do you have to sort of look out for do you need to hire meteorologist along your staff? Next hire.

Tom Regal:

Radar watcher radar?

Faye Yates:

Yeah, we're definitely connected to radar watchers at every race, because it means the heat builds that also if there's any moisture out there, which usually there is in the south, or all of our races are, you have that chance of pop up thunderstorms, then it's gonna have wind, which is you know, wind does not our friend, rain rain is actually better than wind unless it's super damaging, you know, flooding, dangerous rain. With the heat factor. I mean, we have been doing this for a long time. And we've been really fortunate that we haven't had like the heat we're having right now. And like what's predicted for next week, fortunately, like this weekend, it drops down again, it looks like next weekend, and Chattanooga drops down a bit. But the 103 degrees we've not reached in that. So we haven't had we haven't dealt with that on a race weekend. I don't know Joe ever has. But I know T magic has not probably the hottest we've ever been as high 90s for Music City try one year, and we just had, it was so much ice can't have enough ice we ended up we considered taking the Olympic run and making it just the sprint. So just one loop because most of I guess all of our races are to loop courses. So that makes pretty much simplifies things if you'd had to ever, you know, knock off the run, because you know, you can get through the swim, you're gonna get through the bike, they're moving, the better flow, and they sweat a lot. They you know, remember that and hydrate for the run. But it's really that Olympic run. And, you know, and so that's, that's the biggest concern. And we haven't had to modify one yet. But we're always prepared to. And I think, you know, it's it's ice, it's having ice on the course, reminding people to ice themselves, put it on the points, hold it in their hands, put it on their neck, you know, it'd be smart walk when you need to. And if, you know, if if the heat index was at a level, and we work with the local authorities on this, if we're the heat index, you know, combination that's not safe, then, you know, maybe we modify the run.

Joe Fleenor:

And it's also positioning your emergency units to be in those hot spot areas. So if we got two ambulances on site, we know, you know, on the run course, especially on a hot day, position, one of those out there on the run course in case an issue occurs and obviously want it finish line because that's usually where an issue occurs as they come across,

Tom Regal:

push themselves for that last bit is absolutely

Kenny Bailey<br>:

be able to get turn the garment off.

Tom Regal:

As they're falling down.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

As a garmin doesn't have it, it doesn't count. It doesn't count. Yeah, it's not on Strava. Yeah.

Faye Yates:

general public doesn't, you know, they they think about Oh, it's 100 it's gonna be 100 degrees. You know, we don't get to that temperature during our race time, right. So as long as we can get some decent cooling over the night, you know, during the night, I mean, we don't usually deal with, we're not dealing with those extreme temperatures, a very rare thing that we get out of the 80s for a race until the very end of the Olympic run, and that's just some of the people that's not most of the

Kenny Bailey<br>:

people. And then the recommendations for folks is just pay attention, right? I mean, don't I know, you trained for a village now, you know, we have to say the weather,

Tom Regal:

right? I think educating them about the bike portion, right to be hydrating, not just water, but electrolytes on the bike portion, because it's all about the run, everything you do is a swim and the bike is about the run. So you need to make sure that you're actually hydrating and you know, pulling in those electrolytes so that you have something for the run. Because once you get to the run if you haven't had anything, yeah, you're, you're just pitching off a cliff at this point. It's going to be it's going to be pretty hard so

Kenny Bailey<br>:

well and sometimes it's kind of funny, it's so that other race company last year in California, you know, we we were supposed to do, okay, I'm just gonna say we're supposed to Ironman California. And Saturday was a great you know, it was cloudy and terrible. The Sunday the day the race, a bomb, cyclone hit. It was basically a cat three hurricane level kind of stuff sustained 40 mile an hour winds. And then Sunday was absolutely sunny and beautiful, right. 3000 people showed up with his race. And if it was up to those 3000 people, they would have raced that race. Fine and just still went out and did the marathon even though literally there's trees down. Yeah, it's a 40 mile. We're flying porta potties are rolling down the road. Right literally fell over and gliding down the street. Yeah, right. So but people still run the marathon because Darn it they trained. And so I mean, you're I would take it you get is kind of you get a nice range of people that have to just protect them. So you have to protect them from them, I guess would be the way

Tom Regal:

every so often, right? So

Faye Yates:

a very brief story. You know, when you're in Chattanooga, we only had to cancel this one one time. And it wasn't that the weather was bad on our race weekend. But prior to that weekend, we there had been just a ton of rain in the system. So the river, Tennessee River was so high that the exit steps for our Chattanooga race are underwater. And you could visibly see things floating in the river. I mean, I mean, I'm talking tree. Yeah. I'm talking about full trees from trees floating down the river. I mean, everybody can see it. We had to change to a duathlon and we actually had racers

Tom Regal:

saw they were upset, right? Oh, yeah. Yeah, didn't

Faye Yates:

believe that train for this will be their first Olympic race. Yeah. And, you know, they, they they sign a waiver, they assume the risk and they should be able to swim in that water. So yeah, yeah, we could. Yeah. save people from themselves. Yeah.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

I mean, I was I mean, the funny part about it. I mean, I'm sitting there getting my wetsuit on Go on. This is crazy. I have no idea. I mean, I was still in radio. Yeah, I'm like well, I haven't called it off so I guess I'm doing this right now nevermind that I can't get my hands off the bike at a 40 mile an hour sustained wind like I guess drinking is going to be an option that I'm not going to partake in like it was insane because you know you just were sheep at some point.

Tom Regal:

You're so locked in as an athlete though at that point for you've got your game plan you've got your you've got everything needs to go this way. It just you need to figure out how to adjust for that. Sometimes it just doesn't work.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

So 2022 What do we got coming up what's what's the exciting stuff you guys are looking forward to

Joe Fleenor:

everything we got I don't know when this is going to broadcast but we have our Chattanooga waterfront triathlon coming up probably

Tom Regal:

the week after this about two weeks from now this will be so that

Joe Fleenor:

race was just taken place. So we're excited about that event.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Congratulations, everybody did a great job on putting that on. Fantastic. Fantastic job guys. Nailed it. Nailed it.

Joe Fleenor:

Everything went perfect!

Tom Regal:

If you missed it too bad.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

This goes earlier Good luck. We gotta cover it. So after Chattanooga

Joe Fleenor:

is named we got in July we have our mountain lakes triathlon on July 9, which is in Guntersville, Alabama. It's a beautiful venue where you there last year

Tom Regal:

no I did not make it traveling. And I'm traveling on this weekend. This one too.

Joe Fleenor:

That's the second oldest triathlon for Team Magic. beautiful venue

Faye Yates:

35 years this year.

Joe Fleenor:

And then the end of July is Tri Louisville, which is a great downtown Louisville event we encourage it's a newer Team Magic race. So this is the second year of Team Magic producing that event. Awesome race in downtown Louisville. And then August we get Buster Britton triathlon on August 13th, somewhere around there, which is in Birmingham to South Birmingham and Pelham, and then River Bluff triathlon here locally in Ashton City is at the end of August August 28. And then we go to the beach for our last triathlon of the year on September 11, the Alabama coastal triathlon, which is I mean, second to none in terms of scenery and beauty, swimming the goal And you're right there in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Beautiful. And then we're back down there again, I guess in November for our half marathon, the coastal half marathon in Orange Beach. So that's the rest of our season.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

So if you're, if we've got somebody listening or watching that, it's like, yeah, I think I want to try a triathlon. Is there one that you would recommend over the other? Or does it doesn't?

Joe Fleenor:

Where does your listenership come from?

Tom Regal:

All over, right? There's a lot local, but we also cover the US and we've got Yeah, we've got some international followers too. Might want to fly in. I mean, I go to Gulf Shores

Joe Fleenor:

I think yeah, that coastal is one that I encourage people to check out. It's it's a destination event. It's a fun vacation spot. So we encourage people to get on there. Make a vacation out of it, add a race into it and see that amazing venue we have and course and you will not be disappointed. Yeah,

Faye Yates:

it has it all. And it's the weekend after Labor Day. So the price drop.

Tom Regal:

Always good hotels a little cheaper.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Nice. So how is it intercostal waterway you're on? Or is it actually open in the Gulf? Okay,

Tom Regal:

cool, I still haven't swam in the Gulf?

Faye Yates:

You should come!

Tom Regal:

I'll have to look at that.

Kenny Bailey<br>:

It's awesome. So as a person that wants to try to do their first sprint triathlon, as you guys are putting on these events, what are their like two or three things that they should keep in mind? To your point, you have a person that's kind of helping from a concierge standpoint? What are those two or three things that they that she likes to sort of? Keep people in mind? Is it kind of, I guess, beyond just the training, right? Is it you know, understand sort of where you need to go? What would be the thing that you would that they should educate themselves on a little bit more that to help them get, I guess, less stress and more fun during those during that time?

Joe Fleenor:

Yeah, I believe and not focusing on your time at all in your first sprint, perfect, just go do it and, and finish it. And smile along the way. Yeah, just smiling. Like, makes your temperament better, and not stressing out so much. So. And also, to me, I think we get so caught up and equipment and envy of people stuff, oh, my God, you get out there on race day, and you're a newbie and you see what people have, and you instantly get intimidated. And, and if you can somehow, you know, go into that knowing what you're about to see is not what you have to have, and being appreciative of what you have, and just enjoying the moment and putting a smile on your face. And just being grateful that you have the opportunity to go and like do what you're doing. Try to keep that mindset so that you don't have a bad experience just like envy other people because I think a lot of people face that.

Faye Yates:

Absolutely. It's really well said, Yeah, and that's yeah, it's if they can get away from that not be intimidated by that. And just have fun. I love that you said that just smile and have fun. And mean, you know, the obvious things that we're gonna make it less stressful, or, you know, spend the time ask questions we have a race concierge, she's there, you know, ask questions. Look at look at the course beforehand. So, you know, things aren't a surprise. We have, you know, all the information is out there to look at it come to the pre race meetings, you know, those kinds of things ease the stress to just be present. Try to be there the day before. Don't just show up race morning. Yeah, those are the technical

Kenny Bailey<br>:

things. Yeah. And I think the the racers themselves, somebody asked me a question. You know, hopefully other participants are also not, you know, are trying to help out, right, hey, I'm not quite sure, you know, as somebody right, like, hey, is this where I need to put my stuff? They're like, Yeah, you know, if you just do this, and this, you know, slip over that good luck, right. And yeah,

Faye Yates:

I think in general is a very friendly sport. And, you know, there's, there's a lot of clubs out there that are really good about, you know, bringing people in, and we're certainly working on that club atmosphere and letting them have a lot more camaraderie at our races and giving them space together, you know, they have tents and space. And I think that can ease people because, you know, once they talk to people that have been racing for a while, it's less intimidating.

Joe Fleenor:

Yeah, like it if you experienced pre race. And, you know, they show up, they're in transition area, they're waiting for the swim and you just look around, and most people and there's just a lot of nerves, like everybody's kind of quiet and their palms are sweaty, and they're like, checking their gear over and over again, and

Kenny Bailey<br>:

Mom's spaghetti.......

Joe Fleenor:

And, you know, I think if they can just relax a little bit, especially like if you do it with someone, you know, ideally, if it's your first time try to do it with another first timer, so you're experiencing it together. Yeah. And so you're sharing that stress a little bit. And that way and, and also talking to the concierge, like fade mentioned, like, figure out ways to, you know, be with people you know, as much as possible during the race, pre race try to try to be a part of a club because we wrapped together now so you're kind of racking and transition by the people you know, and you can talk and relieve some of that anxiety and then swimming with them, you know, move back in line if you need to. You don't you don't necessarily have to start exactly where you're starting, you can move back and get into a more comfortable position. So we try to make it as comfortable as possible for people. Yeah. And

Kenny Bailey<br>:

what you mean by that is the slower swimmers if you're a slower swimmer, they want you to be kind of let the faster ones go first, right? So everybody's going, Oh, I'm getting I

Joe Fleenor:

don't like where your spot is just kind of move back and get more comfortable for you.

Faye Yates:

It sometimes it's not even about the speed, because I think, you know, I'm, I'm pretty good swimmer, if I would just go to the pool. Yeah. You know, I don't, but I'm also claustrophobic. So I mean, I still come out middle of the pack in the swim. If I don't swim one time before I go, I'm lucky that way. But I don't like people swimming on me. If I needed, I'm done, you know, one long distance Ironman race. And I went all the way to the right and said, I don't care if I swim, you know, 500 extra meters, I don't care. I just don't want anyone clobbering, me. And I enjoyed my swim.

Tom Regal:

And it helps being there looking at the course ahead of time, so that you can say, Look, I'm just going to I'm going to angle out that way or, or for for Music City. If you were closer to the inside, right, you got to a point where you could stand up if you needed to, right, because it sloped in enough that you could get over there. And there was a couple of athletes that got over there. And they they needed to stand up. So they did caught their breath and then got back in there and started going again. So you look at those the little safety zones, right for you as you before the race and then you're good to go. Yeah,

Kenny Bailey<br>:

I think to have fun part is to your point. I mean, you're there to, like experience a really cool thing. And yeah, it's gonna be you're nervous, and you're excited. And you know, you don't know what the end is going to be like, but

Tom Regal:

You paid to do this......

Kenny Bailey<br>:

really cool medal. Yeah. And you stand in line for your 12 hours for your coffee. And

Tom Regal:

there's there's scientific data about the smiling part I tell I tell all my athletes, I tell everyone that I run into is just get out there and smile, thank volunteer and smile. And that lifts your mood and your spirit, it takes your mind away from the suffering that you're going through that you think you're going through. And getting out there. And then it's just more enjoyable that way. I mean, like they you get out there and enjoy it. If we're not having fun doing it. We're doing it wrong. Yeah, yeah, that's the key. Right? It's, it's a sport to have fun with it's a lifestyle that you're gonna you're gonna embrace and get with. So it's pretty cool.

Joe Fleenor:

I think also people focus too much on the comp like it's a, it's a competitive sport, and there is a competitive element to it. And we'll never get away from that. It should remain that way. Yes. But people see like, where they stack up in their age group. And they're like, oh, man, I finish nine out of 10 people, I'm slow or whatever. And I feel like people need to focus more on like their own internal race. So like, yeah, try it, you know, do your first sprint, get that time. And that's your baseline, and then race against yourself. And don't worry so much about your age group and where you stack up there, but focus more on how you stack up against your best time.

Tom Regal:

For sure. Cool. Well, thank you so much. It's great to have you both on again, this is yeah, we're maybe we'll make this a yearly thing. And we can talk about the state of the sport so to speak, and how we can get more athletes into short course racing, and fun fun racing and lifestyle of triathlon. So thank you so much for being here. Yeah.

Joe Fleenor:

We also landed a new title sponsor for a women's

Tom Regal:

I'm gonna have to go talk to my boss and my business triathlon..... partner. I'm sure she'll be all go over that. She likes to Tiffany idea, really. So thank you, everybody for listening. If you're watching on YouTube, thanks for watching. Subscribe to our channel. Give us some feedback, give us some ratings, you know, thumbs up five stars. All of that helps the algorithms and helps gets us out to more people. And we appreciate all our listeners and all your feedback. So thank you so much. Thank you everyone, and we'll catch you on the next one.