After 7 years of ownership and management by "Win-The-Fight" Events and the Joanna M Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, it is with mixed emotions that we announce that 2013 is the final year of the SavageMan Triathlon Festival under current management.
Starting in September 2014, Greg Hawkins of Set Up Events becomes the new manager and producer of the "Win-The-Fight" SavageMan Triathlon Festival and will add SavageMan to the premier Maryland Triathlon Series.
What does this mean for the future of SavageMan? Foremost, Hawkins is committed to maintaining the special experience that athletes expected from both "Win-The-Fight" Events and the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation (JMNMF). Both SavageMan Triathlon courses will remain unmodified and the "Bricks in the Westernport Wall" tradition will continue until space in the road is exhausted.
There will be changes, but the majority of what makes SavageMan special - the course, the terrain and the community support - will remain unchanged. Greg Hawkins, founder of the Maryland Triathlon Series stated, "I am honored to continue the great traditions that "Win-The-Fight" Events and the Joanna M. Nicolay Foundation created and to bring this event into the 2014 Maryland Triathlon Series."
"It has been a great pleasure being a part of the team that has grown the SavageMan Triathlon Festival from a far-fetched idea into an iconic, international, "bucket-list" triathlon festival weekend that draws triathletes from all over the U.S. and internationally," stated Kyle Yost, SavageMan Triathlon Founder & President, "Win-The-Fight" Events. "I am very confident that the growth and success of SavageMan will continue under the stewardship of Set Up Events."
Why now? All good things must come to an end. After seven years of production and management, the time is right to hand over stewardship to a professional, full-time triathlon event production company. Kyle Yost and the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation started the SavageMan in 2007 (2006, actually, for a select few) for several reasons:
Deep Creek Lake, the roads of Garrett County, and Deep Creek Lake State Park were so perfect for a triathlon, that Kyle Yost felt an obligation to share it with the triathlon community and the JMNMF; there were very few regional long-course triathlons available to triathletes at that time, so there was demand for an atypical, very hilly race; triathletes have a tendency to spend long hours exposed to the sun, as all outdoor recreationalists, who are key stakeholders for the JMNMF to fulfill an important mission objective of melanoma skin cancer education.
"When launched, the "TRI-TO-WIN" SavageMan Triathlon was organized and produced, as a melanoma skin cancer awareness and charity event to benefit the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation," stated Greg Safko, JMNMF President. "We are excited for the new relationship with Set Up Events. Our efforts together, will continue to be measured in the countless 'sun-safe' learning opportunities that take seed, the healthy lifestyles that are embraced, and the lives that are saved!"
Seven years on and the equation has changed somewhat: Garrett County and the Deep Creek area is very successfully exposed to triathletes and is now an extremely popular regional training and vacation destination. The long course triathlon landscape, however, has changed dramatically in recent years, and triathletes have many more options. Set Up Events is well positioned in the competitive world of triathlon - so, adding the SavageMan Triathlon Festival to their arsenal helps them - and, transitioning stewardship will likewise help SavageMan to continue to thrive. Further, for both 2013 & 2014, the SavageMan 70.0 is the USAT Long Course Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship event. The SavageMan transition is mutually beneficial for all the parties and race participants and the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation continues as the sole official race charity!
Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation is a non-profit public charity founded in January, 2004 to foster melanoma education, advocacy and research. In nearly ten years, the Foundation has become an influential voice in the melanoma community and is now established as a national, and international, "voice for melanoma prevention, detection, care and cure."
"Win-The-Fight" Events was founded in 2011 and produces triathlons, gran fondos, and bike races to benefit the Joanna M Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.
Set Up Events is the nation's largest triathlon production company with 100+ races from Georgia to Maryland.