This year’s XTERRA World Champion. The IRONMAN North American Champion. The top American male at Kona.
Mauricio Mendez, Heather Wurtele, and Ben Hoffman are examples of what the Human Interest Group clients achieved as they raced around the world in 2016.
Day after day, weekend after weekend, the crew enthused fans with hard work, professionalism, and an inspirational attitude that led to the podium. While individual achievements were impressive, the potential power of the whole HIG stable was undeniable this year too, as this holiday video shows.
Here’s how 2016 rewarded the work of these amazing influencers:
HIG athletes racked up more than 25 first place medals:
Mauricio Mendez: 2016 XTERRA World Champion, 1st at XTERRA Denmark, Sweden, and Italy; 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Los Cabos and Cozumel.
At 21 years-old, Mendez is the youngest XTERRA World Champion and the first Mexican athlete to claim the title. #Future
Heather Wurtele: 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 North American Champion; 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria, Monterrey, and California, and Challenge Iceland; and 3rd at IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
For the third consecutive year in a row, Heather was named the Canadian Long-Distance Triathlete of the Year. #Consistency
Lesley Paterson: 2nd at XTERRA World Championship, 1st at XTERRA Italy, France and Laguna Beach. #Motivator
Tim Don: 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 South American Champion and 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Monterrey.
British Triathlon recognized Don its Long-Distance Athlete of the Year. #PerformanceDriven
Ben Hoffman: Top American at 2016 IRONMAN World Championship, Kona-Maui Double title (fastest combined time at IRONMAN and XTERRA World Championships), and 2016 IRONMAN African Champion.
Hoff just missed the podium in Kona; his second top American placement in last three years. #AmericanMuscle
Radka Vodičková: 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Hefei and Putrajaya.
In the thirteen triathlons raced in 2016, Vodičková took first place twice, was a runner-up five times, and finished third in three races. #MrsPodium
Craig “Crowie” Alexander: 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Busselton (setting a new course record), Putrajaya, and Subic Bay.
The legend of Crowie continues to shine bright on the men’s professional racing circuit as he rips the age barrier myth in half. #Greatness
Samuel “App0” Appleton: 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Argentina, 2nd at IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga, and 3rd at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder and Bahrain.
Appo continues to show he is one of the world’s best at the 70.3 distance and yet has so many years remaining to perfect the half ironman. #BestIsYetToCome
Jake Montgomery: 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong.
We extend a warm welcome back to the youthful ex-surfer turned professional triathlete as he recovers from a horrible bike crash caused by a reckless driver. #millennialstrength
Lauren Barnett: 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Racine and Raleigh.
In a breakout year for the former full-time professional marketing specialist, new pro triathlete Lauren demonstrated she can compete with the best at the 70.3 distance. #MidwestMoxie
Rachel Joyce: 2nd at IRONMAN 70.3 Pucón.
The 3x Kona podium finisher and British overachiever knocked out a podium result early in 2016 while in the first trimester with her now next-of-kin, Archie. #IronMom
Trevor Wurtele: 2nd at IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria, Mont-Tremblant, and Monterrey; 3rd at IRONMAN Canada.
The highly creative arm of the Canadian super couple, Team Wurtele, Trevor turns on a blazing bike-run combo that is one of the sport’s best and consistently nets him podium finishes. #TopSpotIn2017
Paul “Barny” Matthews: 4th at IRONMAN Brazil and IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant.
The Barndog fought hard to earn his qualification at the Ironman World Championships in 2016. #NeverQuit
Our athletes extended brands with strategic partnerships (and a lot of engagement on social media.)
IRONMAN Champ Ben Hoffman collaborated with Transamerica on Freedom Within, a four-part video series about Hoffman’s professional sports career and personal life.
Team Wurtele and Louis Garneau entered into a partnership.
Five-time IRONMAN World Champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander entered a lifetime partnership with Newton Running and became the chief ambassador for HOTSHOT.
Jake Montgomery inked a partnership agreement with Gatorade.
Sam Appleton signed a partnership with FFWD and extended an agreement with Giant Bikes.
In their second year as part of Team Bravo, Tim Don, Rachel Joyce, and Paul Matthews boosted the profile and performance of international triathlon team.
Next gen stars Jake Montgomery and Lauren Barnett joined our crew.
Jake Montgomery joined Human Interest Group/Professional Triathlon with a fitness level honed by cross-country running, soccer, and surfing. This year, the Aussie scored a first place at IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong and two top-ten finishes.
Midwest-native Lauren Barnett has regularly stood on IRONMAN 70.3 podium since turning pro in 2013. Barnett continued that trend in 2016 with victories at IRONMAN 70.3 Racine and Raleigh.
2017, Get Ready!
Thank you to our athlete clients, fans, sponsors, industry peers, and friends who helped make this year a success, and 2017 promises more adventures:
Look out for new crew members, including Millennial champ Ellie Salthouse who racked up four long-course wins in 2016.
Travel with a new partner to escape the old ways of doing business.
Join us in 2017 as we cheer our world-class athletes, develop partnerships with leading companies, and engage with the growing base of fans committed to an active lifestyle. Stay connected through our updates and newsletter and social media, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.