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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 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

Image of Emily Stevens and one of her dogs sitting on a picnic table.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.

Caroline Curran – Marketing and Communications Assistant

Image of Caroline Curran, High Five Events Marketing and Communications Assistant. Caroline has been with High Five Events for almost a year now (wow!). She was born and raised in Texas and comes from a big, crazy family who means the world to her. Caroline attended college at the University of Arkansas, but moved back to Texas after getting her degree. Texas is her home. Caroline has lived in Austin for a little less than a year, so she is still getting to know the city. She’s loving every second. Some of her favorite things to do are check out local restaurants and bars, attend concerts or shows, and swim in one of the many, many swimming holes in and around Austin. 

Thanks for taking the time to meet High Five Events. It’s time for everyone to get back to work. They’re planning for the Austin Marathon’s 30th Anniversary on February 14, 2021!

High Five Events Lands on Annual Inc. 5000 List

High Five Events’ placement is in the top 50 percent of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies

Inc. magazine today revealed that High Five Events is No. 2163 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“We’ve made significant strides since producing our first triathlon in 2003 and are proud to be on the 2019 Inc. 5000,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re excited about what the future holds for High Five Events and are constantly focused on bettering our events, like the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour.”

Annual Inc. 5000 list

Not only have the companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2019 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 454 percent, and a median rate of 157 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $237.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 1,216,308 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000 can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

Jack Murray and Dan Carroll are also co-owners of High Five Events. Beginning with the launch of a single triathlon in 2003, the company has grown to become one of the largest privately owned event production companies in the United States. In addition to the events it owns and produces, the Austin, Texas-based company offers consulting and event production services for large-scale, athletic events that feature 10,000+ participants. They are a community-centric and has more than 100 years’ combined experience organizing large events across different venue types in a variety of locations.

How to Stay Motivated after the Austin Marathon/Half Marathon

Keep the good times rolling, stay motivated with these tips

You trained a great deal in preparation for the Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon. Most of you trained at least 3-4 months, some of you as many as 12 months! Either way, you’ve established a rhythm and created a solid foundation with which you can build off of in preparation for the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon! Read below to see how to stay motivated now that you’ve crossed the Congress Ave. finish line.

Reward yourself

Early mornings. Late nights. Months of training. Hundreds of miles. One finish line. You achieved your goals and accomplished dreams! Reward yourself and commemorate your moment when you purchase official, limited-edition Austin Marathon gear from the online Fleet Feet Austin store. Show off in your Run Austin Under Armour gear during your next workout or on your next long run. Be proud of your accomplishments! Hurry, because supplies are limited. Pro tip: when you don’t feel like working out or going for a long run, bust our your Run Austin gear for an energy boost!

Join a running club

If you don’t already run with a club or a group, this section is for you! If you do run with a club or group, check out some other options around town. It never hurts to meet more runners, try new workouts, and log more miles! Various groups and clubs around Austin have differing schedules, so they can accommodate most any runner in any part of Austin.

  • RAW Running meets twice a week on Tuesday evening (7:00 at Deep Eddy Cabaret) and Friday morning (6:30 at Fleet Feet Austin).
  • East Side Beer Runners meet on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Hops and Grain and explore Austin’s trails on Sunday morning. RAW and ESBR don’t charge for membership.
  • Austin Runners Club has runs just about every day of the week in every part of Austin. ARC dues are $30/year, but if you join ARC while registering for the Austin Marathon or 3M Half Marathon it only costs $25!
  • Pro tip: if you’re not in Austin, use this helpful tool from the Road Runners Club of America to find a running club near you.

Branch out

Chances are high that all or a high percentage of your Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon training miles were completed on the road. Now’s the time to branch out and explore other locations and endurance sports! There are numerous benefits to running on trails or completing your first triathlon.

  • Trail running will purposefully slow you down. You can really dial in your pace, allowing your body to continue getting stronger. With the ups and downs, twists and turns, you work your muscles differently. This helps with the strengthening, especially with your ankles and feet. Wherever you run on trails, you get to see some of the prettiest locations in your city! Pro tip: pay attention! You can’t just zone out like you sometimes can on the road, you have to pay attention to everything, from roots to rocks. The last thing you want is to end up on the ground!
  • Register for your first triathlon, like Rookie Triathlon. The benefits of cross-training are endless! With a 300m swim, 11.2-mile bike, and 2-mile run, this event is perfect for first-timers. You’ve got the running part down, now focus on the swim and bike portions. Once you adjust your training you’ll really feel your body get stronger. Austin has several pools where you can start your swim training and numerous bike paths where you can lock in your bike training.

Register for short-distance races

Speedwork makes the dream work! Now is the time most runners switch from long-distance training to shorter distances, especially with the impending Texas heat. This allows them to remain in shape while strengthening their muscles differently. Speedwork will help you get faster if you utilize your training properly. Just because you focus on shorter distances doesn’t mean you can ignore recovery, stretching, foam rolling, etc. You still have to take care of your body! 

  • Cap10K – Cap10K is entering its 42nd year and is the largest 10K in Texas. With more than 24,000 registrants expected on April 7th, Cap10K is annually one of the largest 10Ks in the US. Cap10K starts on Congress Ave. Bridge and finishes near Auditorium Shores. The finish line festival is complete with a selfie drone, beer garden, and live music.

Workout with Camp Gladiator

This crew got you loose on Feb. 17th, so you know they know their stuff. They also had 12 cheer stations on course, so you know they can bring the energy! CG is an outdoor fitness program for all fitness levels. They have workouts all over Austin, find one near you. These workouts will make you a better runner because you can trim down, work on your core, and increase your overall strength. Learn how you can take advantage of their best pricing of the season!

Raise money for your favorite charity

Another great way to stay motivated is to fundraise on behalf of your favorite Austin Gives Miles nonprofit leading up to Feb. 16, 2020. Add more meaning to your training miles and make a significant impact on Central Texas. Raise money from family and friends for each mile you run or each run you complete. Either way, you’re using your legs for good! It’s tough to choose from all the amazing Austin Gives Miles charities, but if you ran with us on Feb. 17th, think back to the aid station that gave you the most energy. The one that pumped you up when you needed it the most. Write down that nonprofits name and fundraise on their behalf when you train for the Austin Marathon, half marathon, or 5K.

Start a team for 2020

It’s never too early to begin planning for 2020 3M Half Marathon (Jan. 19th) and Ascension Seton Austin Marathon (Feb. 16th). There are many reasons to create a team. Starting a team is a great way to hold others accountable during training. Plus, running is better with friends! Why pick either event when your team can register to run both events. Grab brunch after long runs, make shirts for race day, or support an Austin Gives Miles charity. Let the recruiting begin!