This message from Julie and I (Gregg) (aka the CHAMP CHUMPS) probably falls into one of several categories. 1. “Whatever, dude…don’t care…indifferent and does not apply. As a matter of fact, I am bored already and done reading”; or 2. “WOW…WHOA…what the heck?!...; or 3. “Good…they sucked anyway!”
Well, with great disappointment, we have decided to suspend our 2018 triathlon schedule and will no longer offer and produce triathlon events for 2018.
The obvious question is “WHY?” And the simple answer is first and foremost, our kids; secondly, declining numbers, and finally, too much workload and not enough of Julie and Gregg.
After years of racing and event production, our children have been hugely affected by our time away and the burden we place on them in emergency race situations. The “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment came when my 10 year old daughter ran a mile and half in flip flops to get to an unmanned & unsupervised water station alone on the race course. It was then I realized that me and Julie’s obsession with producing triathlons has gotten out of control, and the countless amount of times the rigors of triathlon production has affected our family and most specifically our kids, and this is time when we have to step aside.
Since 2002 and our very first events at Aurora Four Seasons Lake followed by the Silver Springs Triathlon, we have worked tirelessly on bettering our craft and offering some pretty good local racing at affordable prices. We put most of the finances and income back into our races, and with limited finances and staff, we tried to help local triathletes at least feel somewhat like they are having a big race experience. Our events peaked in 2013-2014 with our race numbers being above and beyond what we had planned. However, either because local triathletes are bypassing the local events and racing more of the big box corporate events, or the fact that our races just aren't to expectation, or simply less people are racing triathlon, Whatever the case, over the last few years, our participation numbers dropped dramatically. We operate hugely on registration monies, and with the trend in declining numbers, we do not see the financial justification to operate at a level we expect out of ourselves.
Triathlon Friends, we can no longer keep up with the enormity of the time commitment, and the great effect that this time has had on our physical, personal, and emotional health. Basically, and we apologize, but we can’t keep up. We have come to the realization that our big dreams of race ideas…iron distance races, triathlon tours, state to state long course tris, urban triathlons…will never be possible with our limited resources and personnel, and it incredibly saddens us that our big dreams for Northeast Ohio racing will never come to fruition. We simply cannot hang with the big boys.
We want to thank everyone that has enjoyed (or not enjoyed)our races, with a special mention to all the triathlon team and club support that raced with us over the past 15 years. We are humbled by your commitment to personal goals and your enthusiasm for triathlon, and we are appreciative that you shared a part of that devotion with us. But mostly, we will miss the great friends and absolutely exceptional people that we met along the way, as well as the intensity and sense of satisfaction that comes along with the sport. We are proud that some of you, who have continued on to the half and full distance races, began your triathlon career with CHAMP.
We will not be strangers, however. We will continue timing many road races and multisport races throughout the community, and with the little extra time, maybe Julie and I will come out of retirement to race with y’all.
We will hopefully be back one day to yell at you all from behind a bullhorn!
Until then…RACE ON!
Julie & Gregg, AKA, The chAmp chUmps!