The Race Club: Past, Present and Future

A-Hoy!

We made it through a serious hurricane season. Thanks for your concerns. Sadly, we lost our Lexus LX 470 in this last storm to a speeding tree and our storage shed is off to Oz. Our second annual fundraiser at the famous Joe’s in South Beach has been postponed due to the hurricane. It is now on December 11th. The event raises money for The Gary Hall Jr. Foundation for Diabetes. My very pregnant wife Elizabeth has worked tirelessly to make this event happen. I’ll tell you more about the foundation later.

My wife and I are expecting our first in December, hopefully not during the event.

This Aqua Notes is going to cover briefly, where The Race Club comes from, where we are, and where we are going.

Our History

In 1995 I started swimming with Mike Bottom, the greatest swim coach that has ever lived. Mike was coaching some pretty great college team and we would meet up in the summers, put together a crew of swimmers and proceed to train hard and then kick some serious Speedos. Our crew continued to grow over the years and we continued to get our results. We then operated under the name The World Team, because our swimmers migrated from all over the world.

Up until 2000 we were based in Phoenix and trained at the Phoenix Swim Club, a pool that my family built and ran. That pool is probably the only reason why I started swimming competitively. Not long after the 2000 Olympics, the pool was sold to Brophy College Preparatory, my old high school. A fund was created through the sale of the pool to support elite level swimmers trying to make the Olympic team. We supported Mike’s World Team. Our crew did incredible at the 2000 Games. The World Team continues during the summers.

The mission of The Race Club is to promote the sport of swimming and improve swimmers’ performances and self esteem through education, services, and the creation of popular race events. How do we do this?

Create the Brand

The Race Club was able to identify and establish itself with the publicity leading up to the 2004 Olympic Games. We were able to establish ourselves as an incredible program with the incredible results achieved in Athens. We are the greatest swimming program in the world. The Race Club = excellence.

Camps and Clinics

We started with the 7-Day camp. We now offer a 4-Day camp. Now you can build your own camp experience. Choose from a long list of activities and adventures. Choose a package or come up with your own. Swim with the dolphins then lift weights, or forget the weights and visit Key West. Or forget the spa and train until you throw up. It’s up to you. Everyone still goes for a swim at the best swim program in the world where our guests have the opportunity to train with world class swimmers.

Build the Brand

We are now negotiating terms to license our program out to various sources creating satellite locations where our World Team will operate. We provide the best training program in the world and a recognizable brand name associated with the best. We bring in the best athletes which in turn brings publicity to these licensed locations, and subsequently more members and more sponsors. We operate camps and clinics on a year round basis to the swimming community in exotic locations around the world focusing without compromise on the highest levels of quality. Through co-branding and collaboration efforts (think John Varvatos and Converse or Rosa Cha and Speedo) we further establish our brand globally. We look to identify our brand with a line of higher end gyms (actually we already have identified a few) that have swimming pools and look to incorporate our program as a class. I believe that we will secure something along these lines in the very near future.

Create a Signature Event

This one I’ve been talking about since I first joined the swim team and have watched USS take on this same objective with the Duel in the Pool. Allow me to introduce the concept of America’s Swim and Fitness Festival, slated for summer 2007 Our initial/trial event will be held in Miami Beach in November of 2006. The series will be held annually.

We have created the Tour de France of swimming. A race that accumulates times from open water swims scattered across the United States in conjunction with a fitness festival at the start and finish of the race. 4 teams, 6 swimmers on each team, 3 men, 3 women, all world class swimmers, and 1 swimmer over the age of 40 on each team. I am proud to announce that we will be working with www.fitnessfestival.com on this series. Check out this website! I attended this event in Italy and about 470,000 people attended this year’s event. Unbelievable!

I am proud to announce that money raised from this event will fund The Gary Hall Jr. Foundation for Diabetes, 501(C3) status. Money will go to research, provide costly testing supplies to poor and uninsured families with a member that has diabetes, and support groups like The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation who have partnered with us on this project.

Through television we will bring awareness to diabetes while raising money to fund the research that will end it. We will bring attention to swimming and the health benefits associated with this great exercise. We will be preventing type 2 diabetes by getting people involved with swimming and fitness. We look to local diabetes chapters and swim teams to get involved. As the number of those living (and dying) with diabetes rise to epidemic proportion we expect that communities, corporations and politicians will be with us in this great endeavor.

Okay, I know it isn’t the match races that I like to race in but the response to this event trumps anything else I have ever presented to corporate sponsors. Now that I think about it, since moving to Miami Beach in 2001 I have probably done half of my swimming in the ocean so I can’t knock the open water swim.

The World Team

Let’s not forget the team. This is all about swimming faster, more efficiently, and further. Plus, it’s a lot of fun being part of a crew of the fastest swimmers on the planet. Just look at our list of achievements.

So this is where we are with The Race Club. This is some of what I have been working on. It has been a tremendous help having my father and sister on board. We continue to grow and change the sport, creating better opportunities for the next generation of swimmers.

It’s exciting stuff and gets more exciting as it becomes reality. This has been a dream of mine for so long and I would like to thank all of those that have made this possible, you know who you are.

Please don’t hesitate to write and let us know what you think. Offer ideas and suggestions. We are after all representatives of YOUR sport.

I also want to say Bon Voyage to The Race Club’s newest member Nicolas Messer, truly the sportsman impersonated. He spent almost two months with us in Islamorada. He’s back in sunny Switzerland now and we’ll miss him, especially those very entertaining columns he contributed to TRC website. Thank you Nico! You are a great writer, in any language. I had many good laughs. You are welcome back any time.

Long live The Race Club!
Gary

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