The Board of Directors of Mobile Baykeeper has determined it is in the best interest of the community to cancel the Publix Grandman Triathlon for 2020. Due to the continued presence of Covid-19 across Coastal Alabama, the race would require extra precautions and logistical complexity, and they simply do not have enough volunteers to ensure the safety of our racers. The Jubilee Kids Triathlon is canceled with no virtual option.
“This was a difficult decision for Mobile Baykeeper because we love this race and our racers, but the circumstances left us no acceptable alternative,” says Casi Callaway, Race Director for the triathlon and Executive Director & Baykeeper of Mobile Baykeeper. “We held out as long as we could, hoping we could still host the race in person in gorgeous downtown Fairhope. But for a nonprofit with ‘healthy communities’ as part of our mission, we couldn’t put our racers at risk – and with such low volunteer turnout, we just couldn’t pull it off logistically.”
The Publix Grandman Triathlon will become a virtual race with even better swag than usual to entice more people to participate. The swag bag will include the typical racer tech T-shirt and finisher’s medal, but it will also come with discounts and gift certificates from several sponsors including Publix, Fleet Feet, Runnin’ Wild, Run n’ Tri, OM Personal Training, and more. Winners will still receive the same 1st place prizes as in the full race – including a night at the Grand Hotel for top male and female finishers and the signature Grandman handmade tiles from Anne Webb Pottery.
In what would have been its 16th year with Mobile Baykeeper, the Publix Grandman Triathlon has a long and proud legacy as one of the most fun and best-executed athletic events on the Gulf Coast. The race typically consists of a 1/3-mile swim in Mobile Bay, an 18.6-mile bike through downtown Fairhope, and a 3.1-mile run along the Bay. For the virtual version, triathlete and Race Coordinator Meredith Diskin is developing a selection of suggested courses, including the original Grandman course, where staff will set up buoys for both Saturdays of the virtual race (September 19 – 26). Mobile Baykeeper took on the race because it aligned perfectly with their mission and our work for clean water, clean air, and healthy communities.
Callaway noted the financial impact the race has on Mobile Baykeeper, a 22-year-old 501(c)3 focused on clean water across Mobile and Baldwin Counties. “The Grandman funds a significant portion of our annual budget for programs like water quality monitoring, environmental education, and urgent campaigns like coal ash,” says Callaway. “In the most difficult financial year for many nonprofits across Coastal Alabama, we need your support now more than ever.”
Those interested in joining the virtual race can visit thegrandman.com to register and see the full swag bag. Anyone interested in supporting Mobile Baykeeper’s work for clean water, clean air, and healthy communities can make a donation at mobilebaykeeper.org/membership.