Ahh….the Publix Grandman Triathlon. One of my very favorite sprint triathlons. From jumping off a pier to start the swim, to the challenging hill to start the bike, rolling smooth roads for the rest of the bike in beautiful farm land, cheering crowds as you descend the hill off the bike and start the run, the live oak canopy on the run, and the final push on the run in the Park along the bay, Grandman has a truly unique and beautiful course.
But as beautiful and challenging as the course is, it is the people who make the race. Being centrally locate along the Gulf Coast, Grandman attracts the best triathletes from Biloxi to Panama City. It is always a blast to see friends and compete with the best.
I been fortunate to race the event for the last 19 years and Pelican Man (Grandman predecessor) was one of my first races. The course has evolved over the years, but one thing has remained constant – the race supports and enhances the Fairhope community and Grandman is an important part of the social fabric of the Fairhope community. The race organizers – Mobile Baykeeper – are our guardians of the water quality in the Mobile Bay and Eastern Shore area and they do a wonderful job of putting on the race. The enthusiasm and dedication of Casi Callaway – who heads up Mobile Baykeeper – always puts a smile on my face.
As far as the actual “Race” was concerned – it was a hotly contested event – with Erik Winfree and Allen Stanfield duking it out the entire race for first place. Allen had the fastest swim time of the race, Erik had the fastest bike split with a course record averaging 27.2 mph (holy moly batman!), and Allen countered with the fastest run time of the race. The race was not decided until the final 200 yards. Congrats to both Allen and Erik and everyone who completed The Grandman.
Grandman is located in the hometown of the Chain Tri Team sponsors – Pro Cycle and The Orthopaedic Group. The Chain team makes it a top priority to represent at The Grandman to thank our treasured sponsors. Katie and Joseph of Pro Cycle run the best bike shop in the southeast and we are very fortunate to have them in our community. Also huge shout out to Sports Medicine/The Orthopaedic Group and Dr. Jeff Conrad as it great to have Orthos who race and understand the triathlete lifestyle.
Next up is the team road trip to the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon followed by The Heart O' Dixie Triathlon. If you are looking for a great and unique triathlon in July – race The Heart O' Dixie!
Many, many thanks to Pro Cycle of Fairhope, The Orthopaedic Group, Heart O’ Dixie Triathlon, and Infirmary Health for their continued support of Chain Tri Team in 2019!