‘Motivation Man’ enters the Florida triathlon world
With a calendar brimming with statewide events every summer weekend, who would be bold enough to add yet another triathlon to the Florida schedule? His name is Steve Tebon. Anyone who raced Florida triathlon prior to 2006 would connect the name to one of the most successful sports marketing ventures for amateur endurance athletes ever produced in the state.
For 23 years, Exclusive Sports Marketing had a following of athletes who would travel anywhere Steve asked, to indulge in his triathlon series. Four times I went to the Bahamas racing venues on three different islands. Three years he brought together Ironman legends Dave Scott, Scott Molina, and Scott Tinley to race with the series amateurs. In 2005 he convinced Norwegian Cruise lines to burn extra fuel to increase engine speed of the ‘Sovereign of the Seas’ to get his triathletes to Nassau Harbor to meet a water ferry taking them to Cable Beach for a 7:00 am swim start. It seemed there was nothing Steve Tebon wouldn’t try in his quest to attract athletes… and he managed to keep entry fees reasonable all the while.
With great business sense, Steve Tebon attracted sponsors to provide substantial funding for amenities and venues only dreamed of by growing numbers of competitors entering the triathlon production market at the time. By 2006, Tebon decided to sell ESM and sadly the Publix Family Fitness Weekend Series fell into rapid decay. During it’s prime years it had been the best. Not that there weren’t sometimes ‘issues’ when Steve would receive my emails of complaint. Through it all, the athletes remained loyal and the camaraderie truly did make us a family, year after year. For disclosure , Tebon had a policy whereby if you won every race in your age group during a season, all entry fees were waived for your lifetime. I did that in 2005. The policy was tossed aside by the current owners after 2010 but it was nice while it lasted!
Apparently, Steve Tebon can’t seem to stay away from the heat in the kitchen! Five years of being on the sideline has been too much to bear and so we have … ‘Motivation Man! Adding his long-time associate ‘sports commentator’ T.J. Cesarz into the mix, Tebon plans to re-enter the market not with a bang but an explosion! Commitment of strong cooperation from the City of West Palm Beach will bolster prospects of highly successful inaugural Half Iron and Olympic distance races.
Racers will need to arrive on Friday, June 1 to rack their bikes for the Saturday, June 2nd race starts. There is no need to describe the agenda since the website explains thoroughly. Normally athletes look upon inaugural events with trepidation and for good reason. However, the cliché that fits best for this duo…’ it ain’t their first rodeo’.