Looking back at 2012, Giving back in 2013 (Free races!)

2012 was certainly a challenging year; Another mid-year move, another aborted go at Rev 3 Cedar Point, and I actually gained weight instead of losing it over the course of the year. While I look out over a winter wonderland of snow that brings a vastly different off-season training experience than what we experienced last year in North Carolina, I find myself thinking about all the positives that last year brought.

From finishing the Belews Lake tri a week after an exercise-induced asthma diagnosis, fighting through hot conditions at Giant Eagle to make my sub-4 hour goal, and not giving up at Rev 3 Half Full on a brutally cold, wet, and hilly bike course; the season was undoubtedly a success. That finish at Half Full put me on a podium at a big race, and it serves as a great reminder that no matter how challenging things are, or how much it hurts, just don’t stop.

We’re really blessed to have careers that keep us employed in unsettled economic times., nd there are so many worse things than a blown race or a few pounds gained or the insecurity caused by a sudden move. The tragedies surrounding Hurricane Sandy and the shooting at Sandy Hook, both happening just a few hours from our new place in New York really put a lot in perspective for me. I’d already decided that I was going to do more to give back in 2013, though I wasn’t sure quite how yet when I got an email from Shannon Kurek, owner of HFP Racing.

HFP is the company that put on my first 3 triathlons back in 2009, and they were the race org for Giant Eagle triathlon last season. To make up for a minor timing issue, Shannon offered me a year of free racing for any HFP events. I thought that was an extremely generous gesture; too generous in fact, so I told him that while I would be happy to make use of a few entries I simply couldn’t in good conscience take that much free racing from him. He responded with a proposal; He would make a code worth X number of entries that I could register for as many of those entries as I liked and use the rest to give to folks new to the sport.

This seemed like the ideal opportunity to give back, so I jumped on it. I had hope to time this post with the launch of HFP’s new web site and the opening of registration for their 2013 calendar, but HFP’s relaunch has been delayed a few days due to a sick web developer. So while we wait for that to happen I’ll get things started on giving away the free entries away.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

- Comment on this post with your first and last name, what triathlon experience you have, and which HFP race you expect to register for if you’re selected

- You cannot comment for anyone else, they must enter their own comment

- Provide a valid email address that I can contact you at with the registration code

- I’m looking primarily for folks who are just getting into the sport and have never competed or done just a try-a-tri type race

- I want to have decisions by 1/14/13 at the latest so I’m looking for folks willing to commit now so they have plenty of time to train properly

15 thoughts on “Looking back at 2012, Giving back in 2013 (Free races!)”

  1. What you’re doing is a great way to proliferate the sport and support the noobs such as me!

    My name’s Matt Hammond. I’ve never done a tri before and, if available, I’d like to make the Glass City Multisport Celebration Olympic distance my first.

  2. I replied to your post on Beginner Triathlete that I completed a mini sprint in Cincinnati this past July and am planning on entering the Caesers Creek sprint triathlon this coming July. I am also planning on entering the Buck Creek mini Olympic in August.
    This is a generous offer on your part and I would be very appreciative of a slot. Thanks

  3. Great way to give back to the sport/communit! I am considering the sprint tri at Maumee Bay in June 2013 to get my feet wet and prep myself for the Rev3 sprint in September. I believe you may know my sister Kim from a past Rev3 event. So I guess it must run in the blood! Good luck in your 2013 season.

  4. Ben -

    It’s Lori Ruble again. I would just like to add my reason behind the madness of wanting to attempt my first sprint at Maumee Bay other than to prep for Cedar Point’s sprint. In May it will be 2 years since I have broken my ankle while running a 5k and to think I was merely a block and a half away from the finish line! I have struggle since to get back into my running routine. I had the opportunity to watch my sister cross the finish line of her first Ironman in September 2012, after breaking her ankle a year prior to the event(her break was more severe). My thoughts seeing her cross the finish line – What an Inspiration she is, and if she can do an Ironman I can remotivate myself back to running again. So I decided that I needed to make a commitment to do something in 2013 and stick to it. I appreaciate everything you are doing do give back to the sport/community and consideration! Thanks again.

  5. Hi,
    My name is Terry, and I am new to the tri world. In our community, there have been so many recently diagnosed with cancers, from adults to kids in elementary school. I started running this past year (short distance mainly) but decided to do a lot more this year. i am teaming up with the “Relay for Life” team at the church I pastor, and am competing in tris to help raise money for our communities cancer fight. This year is my “Race to Beat Cancer”. I plan to start with sprint distance, and end with the Rev3 Cedar Point in September.
    I definitely appreciate the effort to support newbies to the sport. thanks!

  6. Ben, you’ve impressed me over the years with all you’ve accomplished and now you’ve inspired me. It’s time to take my fitness to another level. I’ve never done a tri before but I’ve been thinking about it for the past year. This would remove the money excuse that hold me back (and you already gave me guidance on getting a bike). I suppose I should start with a mini, right? I’m considering doing either the Buckeye Chalkenge in Springfield or the Deer Creek Falll Cahallenge. It would be my first so I want to give myself plenty of time for training and any possible overuse injuries that might pop up. From working with my clients, I know that can happen but if you plan for it and build in recovery time you can still finish strong. I might be coming to you for sport specific advice though :). –Rachel

  7. Hey Ben!
    I’m a client of Rachel Kayla (above). I’ve never done a triathlon (or anything like that really). I’d want to do the Buckeye Challenge Mini(maybe Rachel and I can go together).

    Thanks for this opportunity!

  8. Hi, I’m Miriam. I’d love to do the women’s only Commit to be Fit at Alum Creek on July 27th. I’ve never done an outdoor race – only an indoor tri at my gym.

  9. Ben,
    I had held off in posting because I don’t quite fit the ‘first timer’ criteria, but your last blog post indicated you still had more entries to give away so I’ll give it a shot. I’ve done 3 sprint tri’s and one olympic as an aqua bike. The aqua bike was mainly due to issues with running due to weight and weight related injuries. My goal this year is to do a half iron! I am an avid swimmer and cyclist, but the run has long been my nemesis. So as a first time half distance competitor I’m hoping for an entry into the “Great Buckeye Challenge Half”. I’ve struggled financially the last few years and didn’t enter any multi-sport events in 2012. I’d really like to race closer to home (Syracuse area), but I have family in Ohio so that would be a plus. As an added bonus I would love invite you to get together and train some time (or more if you are interested) before the race. I know you are new to the area and would love to show you the Finger Lakes on bike! I really enjoy your blog and can identify with much of your struggles and joys you have shared in your journeys.

  10. Hi! I’m very interesting in the HFP race in Vermillion, OH on August 18th (Sprint Race) if you still have a slot open. I followed the link from BT here per your request.

    Thanks for offering up races!


  11. Hello! I know I’m late to the party but figured I’d give it a shot to see if you had any race entries left. I’m completely new to triathlon, just started training last November and I’m planning on making Deer Creek my first tri ever. Hoping to do the olympic distance.

  12. I just came across this on the BT forums. I realize I’m a bit late, but if you have any race slots left, would you be interested in donating them to a few veterans? I am the Community Outreach Director for Team RWB Columbus. Team RWB works with veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. We are always looking for was to get our veterans involved in local races. I know it’s a long shot because I am so late, but I figured it would be worth a try. Feel free to email me at nick.kiger@teamrwb.org. Thanks!

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