The race was founded in 1983 by Charlie Hoolihan, Mark Salvetti and Rick Ramirez . We started with a three-race series 1983 and along the past 33 years we have received numerous awards and recognition for putting on a quality race in South Louisiana. We’ve come a long way since the first year…..the introduction of clipless pedals….aero bars….heck, we used to put up “changing rooms” for transitions!
A little known fact is that in 1985 the race was twice as long as today, at that race the very first Scott DH Aero bars were used by Andrew McNaughton to defeat Mike Pigg in a classic battle. Mike Pigg went on to clean house that summer and become known as one of the fastest time trialists in triathlon history.
The race was run continuously from 1983 until 1993, it slept until the brash trio of Steve Sperier, Tom Holland and Donnie Jarrell re-created the event in 1996 then again in 1997. In 1998 Mark and Kirsty Salvetti moved back to the Northshore to form the core with Steve and Lori Sperier. Tommy Holland still heads South from the Mason Dixon line to help out every year, and Charlie Hoolihan comes out race day to help with logistics and race announcing. Charlie is kind of like the “Nash Roberts” of Triathlons…….no school like old school!
After a 1 year hiatus for the race, founding member and Race Director, Mark Salvetti, will turn over direction of the event in 2016 to Gulf Coast Half Marathon Event Director, Michael Wattigny. “I couldn’t be more excited to see the race come back this year and am really looking forward to Mike’s experience in endurance production taking Crawfishman into the future. He is a friend, a seasoned event professional, and has an energy and enthusiasm that is unmatched,” stated Salvetti.
Our race has always made efforts to assist the community monetarily, to that end we are always pleased to donate to Denise Gutnisky of the Have A Heart Thru Art Foundation . We have also made monetary contributions to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center , Donnie Jarrell fund, American Red Cross, Kids Connection, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Office, Franco’s Fins Swim Team , Mandeville Police Department and the Mandeville Wrestling Team. Our race is put on by the efforts of great race volunteers and generous sponsors. Next time you come across either one, say thank you.