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Meet High Five Events – The Team that Brings You the Austin Marathon

Meet High Five Events and learn about the folks behind the Austin Marathon

High Five Events is a unicorn, aka a native Austinite, born and raised in Austin. What began with the launch of a single triathlon in 2003 has now grown into one of the largest privately-owned event production companies in the United States. Meet High Five Events and you’ll see they’re endurance athletes themselves. They know what to expect from a world-class event experience. This fact, coupled with the staff’s 100+ combined years of event experience, is how they produce some of the country’s best events, like the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, 3M Half Marathon, and Kerrville Triathlon Festival. If you don’t know the crew, take some time to meet High Five Events!

Time to meet High Five Events!

Stacy Keese – founder, co-owner, Director of Marketing and Communications

Image of Stacy Keese at a triathlon. Read this blog to meet High Five Events.Stacy directed her first 5K/10K while still in high school. She graduated from Tulane University where she helped produce races for a local nonprofit. After moving back to Texas in early 2000, she quickly continued on this path with Jack Murray. They created Jack’s Generic Triathlon in 2003 and Rookie Triathlon in 2004. Many new events followed in the following years. Her eye for design and marketing knowledge keep High Five Events growing and looking towards the future of event productions. Aside from her love of all types of events, Stacy also enjoys learning about natural health and working on genealogy.

Jack Murray – founder, co-owner, Director of Sponsorships

Image of Jack Murray showing the peace sign at the 2017 3M Half Marathon. Read this blog to meet High Five Events.Jack is one of the founding partners of Jack & Adam’s Bicycles, High Five Events, and EventDog.com. From 2003 to 2016, Jack & Adam’s Bicycles was known from coast to coast as one of the main fitness hubs in Austin before selling to Bicycle World in 2016. Jack has been head mechanic for Team USA Triathlon since 2003, traveling around the world as support staff for Team USA. He also serves as Chair of the Board for the Austin Sports Commission. Jack is originally from Sinton. He ran the mile in high school and was a state champion in 1994. After high school, he ran track and cross country at Texas A&M Kingsville. Jack is also a partner in a few fine Austin establishments like Gibson Bar, The Wheel Bar, Burro Cheese Kitchen, TenTen, Devil May Care, and Mayfair. When Jack is not working on one of his many businesses, you can find him out and about with his wife and business partner, Stacy Keese. They’re always enjoying everything Austin has to offer, from running on Town Lake Trail to listening to live music at ACL.

Dan Carroll – founder, co-owner, Director of Operations

Image of Dan Carroll posing at an event in his High Five Events gear. Read this blog to meet High Five Events.Dan leads the operations team in which he is the master of checklists, course maps, site plans, equipment lists, truck schedules, and signage manifests. He has more than 15 years of full-time experience in endurance event production and has been the certified race director for several hundred triathlons, running races, and bike rides. Dan is USA Triathlon Level 2 Certified Race Director, the highest certification level that USA Triathlon offers. He was one of the first race directors in the country to achieve that certification. Prior to founding High Five Events, Dan worked at Trilogy Software. He has civil engineering degrees from Cornell University and Georgia Tech. Dan loves being outdoors. He spends his free time running, cycling, hiking, and building things with his wife and two daughters. Dan’s personal motto is “Attack the day.” That often drives his family crazy, but it sure comes in handy when setting up a racecourse starting at 1:30 in the morning.

Tina Teich – Marketing Manager

Image of Tina Teich and her husband, Alex, at 2017 Kerrville Triathlon. Image of John Chung at Rookie Triathlon. Read this blog to meet High Five Events.Tina started with the company in 2011 while working at Jack & Adam’s Bicycles. Prior to that, she spent three years managing a local wine bar while obtaining her bachelor’s degree at The University of Texas. Tina loves her job because it inspires others to invest in a healthy and active lifestyle. She enjoys the variety of different events owned and produced by High Five Events and finds adapting marketing strategies to each event’s personality to be a fun challenge. When not working with the best team in the business, Tina enjoys listening to audiobooks, training for triathlons, and playing outdoors with her daughter and husband.

John Chung – Event Manager and Course Lead

Image of John Chung at Rookie Triathlon. John was born in Canton, China, but got to Texas as soon as he could. He’s been in Austin since 1997. John began his career with High Five Events in 2012 as a part-time employee. He became full-time in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. John has a BS in aerospace engineering, but he never “uses” his degree. He entered the triathlon world in 2007 as a way to get back in shape. Getting in shape via triathlon is what eventually led to his position at High Five Events. John spends his spare time wrenching on his own car. Yes, he still swims, bikes, and runs whenever he gets the chance.

William Dyson – Communications Manager

Image of William Dyson posing with Megan Haynes, his wife. Read this blog to meet High Five Events.William is an Austinite Unicorn too. He broke into the running scene in 2007 as an intern for the Austin Marathon. He began working with High Five Events in 2016. William has his master’s degree in sport management and bachelor’s degree in mass communication. He has more than a decade’s worth of experience with communication, event, and program management, and media, community, and public relations. William’s role allows him to capitalize on his previous experience, utilize both degrees, and tap into his outgoing personality. He is a medium runner (shoutout to RAW Running), vinyl connoisseur, Cheesehead, and amateur backyard pitmaster. William and Megan, his stunning wife of nearly three years, and Napoli, their 8-year-old blue heeler, live in south Austin. 

Emily Stevens – Athlete Services Manager

Before Emily started with High Five Events, she admired it from afar for many years from multiple perspectives. She worked on the sponsor side as an event manager for Clif Bar; participated as an athlete, 2014 Rookie Tri was her first triathlon; and joined the part-time operations crew working the run and bike courses and managing the aid stations for three seasons. Emily became the full-time Athlete Services Manager in the spring of 2017. She thoroughly enjoys interacting with athletes and helping them get ready for race day! And she’s honored to work side-by-side with such a dynamic team of brilliant, hands-on, work-your-butt-off team members. When Emily isn’t working, she watches her husband fence (with swords), endures his relentless telling of puns, or watches him and their 12-year-old build computers. They also LOVE taking their dogs on hikes around the Austin.

Scott Moore – Site and Supply Manager

Image of Scott Moore and his famous moustache. Scott and his sweet handlebar moustache have been with High Five Events since September 2017. He was born in Mesquite, Texas, and was all-state track and cross country and Poteet High School. He also graduated from Texas Tech University where he ran on the track and cross country teams for two years. In his free time, Scott plays hockey, rides his motorcycles, listens to podcasts, and hikes with his Chocolate Lab Milo. His favorite professional sports teams are the Dallas Stars and San Fransisco 49ers.

Laura Gomez – Volunteer Manager

Image of Laura Gomez, High Five Events Volunteer Manager. Laura has been the Volunteer Manager at High Five Events since 2018. She was born in Bogota, Colombia, and moved to Austin after graduating from high school. Throughout middle school and high school, Laura was fortunate to learn four languages and experience different cultures. She’s currently finishing her master’s degree in recreation management. If she’s not studying or working she’s likely working out, reading, eating ice cream (Amy’s Ice Cream sweet cream with rainbow sprinkles is her jam), or taking a nap.

 

Why Marathoners Need Proper Nutrition When Running 26.2 Miles

Proper nutrition can effectively power marathoners to the finish line

You train for months. Your goal is the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon finish line. All of your hard work leads up to Sunday, February 16th. GU Energy Labs, the Official Energy Gel and Chew of the Austin Marathon, is here to help you perform your best! Their products are scientifically proven to give you the energy you need. They’ll have two on-course Energy Zones near Mile 9 and Mile 20. GU will provide the following ROCTANE Energy Gels, Vanilla Orange (35 mg of caffeine), Chocolate Coconut (35 mg of caffeine), Blueberry Pomegranate (35 mg of caffeine) and Pineapple (no caffeine) on course. GU Blueberry Pomegranate Energy Chews (no caffeine) will also be available. Check out their advice on proper nutrition, listen to the “Eating is Training” episode of the Pinnacle Podcast, and prepare to perform your best!

Proper nutrition advice from the experts at GU Energy Labs

Image of the 2019 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon finish line with the Texas State Capitol in the background. Follow the GU Energy Labs advice in this blog about proper nutrition to help you get to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon finish line.Through training, we grow stronger, get faster, and learn how to endure more. By eating the right nutrients, in the right amounts, at the right times, we build our muscles, mend our bodies, and optimize our training efforts. While athletes train hard to prepare for races like the Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon, they also need proper fuel to make sure they feel good and their performance doesn’t suffer on race day.

When you’re out running for miles on end, your muscles consume their glycogen stores after only an hour and a half. Your body needs fuel in the form of calories to keep going to avoid the dreaded bonk. When you run, blood is diverted away from your digestive tract to power your muscles, so you need something that is easily digestible and can be converted to energy quickly. Sports nutrition products like energy gels, chews, and drink mixes provide fast-acting energy so you can fuel quickly without stomach issues, allowing you to keep pushing hard. Along with sufficient hydration and electrolytes, the type of food you eat is crucial. In long races like the Austin Marathon, proper race fuel can be the difference maker between getting to the finish line feeling good or struggling through the last five miles.

The fuel your body needs

Fueling is not just for race day. The fuel you eat during training sessions is equally important. At GU we like to say “Eating is Training”. It’s a mantra for optimizing athlete’s everyday diet. It means tailoring your nutrition intake to meet the demands of your training cycle with planned and purposeful fueling. Eating is training, is a holistic approach to nutrition with a focus on performance and recovery.

Check out GU’s Pinnacle Podcast episode for more on the “Eating is Training” philosophy.

GU Essentials – The Foundation of a Good Plan

  • Energy Gels – 100 calories, delicious → Great for training.
  • ROCTANE Energy Gels – 100 calories, MORE amino acids, MORE sodium → Reach for these when it’s time to get serious.
    • What’s the difference? Learn when to reach for a ROCTANE Energy Gel.
  • Energy Chews — 90 calories per serving, portable & delicious → Mix it up with the GU you can chew.

Race Day Nutrition 101 — The Basics

You’ve invested energy, money, and a whole lot of time to get to the start line. Set yourself up for success with a fueling and hydration plan. There are three basic aspects to creating a proper nutrition plan, energy, hydration, and recovery. Yes, everyone is different and responds differently to what they eat and drink. Here are a few rules of thumb we recommend following to keep you performing and feeling good on race day.

Rule of Thumb #1

Consume 100-200 calories per hour while running. That’s the magic range that will work for most people. While it’s possible to train your body to absorb more than 300 calories per hour, if you haven’t practiced before race day, we recommend staying within this range. Start consuming in your first hour of running since you are bound to go into a calorie deficit in a race like the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon.

Rule of Thumb #2

Hydrate along the way by drinking between 16-30 oz of fluids every hour. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to make sure your body is performing at its potential. When you’re dehydrated, your power output goes down. Don’t waste your run and keep the fluids flowing!

Rule of Thumb #3

You need electrolytes to absorb fluids — 300-700 mg of sodium per hour. Plain water does not absorb as efficiently as water with electrolytes, so make sure you’re getting enough salt to help you hold that hydration. We supplement sodium in all GU energy products to make hydrating easier for you. Just sip some water after a gel, chew, or Stroopwafel to nail your hydration plan.

Rule of Thumb #4

Recover faster by consuming a complete protein within 30 minutes of uploading your race to Strava. By including recovery in your training routine, you can bounce back faster and get stronger making you ready for your next run.

Rule of Thumb #5

Protect your muscles and stay sharp with 3,000 mg of amino acids per hour. Branched Chain Amino acids (or BCAAs) are the building blocks of proteins, and can start repairing your muscles while running. GU helps protect your muscles from damage by including BCAA’s in all GU energy products. BCAA’s are a GU HQ favorite because they help fight muscle soreness, and we believe any time is a good time for BCAA’s; pre-run, mid-run and post-run!

Big thanks to the experts at GU Energy Labs for providing so much helpful information. You’ve done the training. Planning is complete. All the information you need is now yours. The last part is to reach your goal at the finish line! Don’t forget, GU will have two on-course Energy Zones near Mile 9 and Mile 20 to give you the boost you need.