Welcome to Episode 84 of the Final Surge podcast with our guest Steve Fleck. Steve is an athlete turned announcer and you will hear him at many events including Ironman Triathlons, Rock ‘N Roll Marathons and streaming online covering track meets. We talk to Steve about how he got involved in announcing after his athletic days were over and what it is like behind the scenes at these big events. Make sure you follow Steve on Twitter @SteveFleck and follow us @FinalSurge.
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How did you get your start in athletics?
- Distance running in 70’s in high school
- Triathlon’s in early to mid 80’s
- Cycling now
How did you make the transition to announcing at events?
- Volunteered at Ironman Canada with Steve King calling out names and with promos
- 4-5 years ago started to do it full-time
- 30-35 events a year across North America
Do you do mostly triathlons or is it a mixture of events?
- Do all three running, cycling, and triathlons
- Runner’s Space streaming
As a high school coach I, go to several cross country and track meets a year. There is a huge difference between the experience at a meet that just announces the next event and a meet with an announcer giving you details about what is going on and who the players are. What do you see as your job responsibility when you announce a race?
- Information provider
- Engage with sponsors and spectators
- Make the local officials get love
Are most of your events large events or do you work smaller events too?
- Fits better at larger events
- But have local races that want the big event feel
What does your preparation look like for an event and how does it differ from like a local 5k race to a big Rock n Roll?
- Bigger events more scripted
- Read promos as part of sports presentation
- Research who is running
If you are doing an Ironman Triathlon what does that look like for you? You are out there so long how do you fill that space?
- A balance between talking too much and too little
- Don’t talk non-stop
- Need to fill time with engaging stories
- It is all about the finishers at the end
- Awards for age groups
Any disaster or horror stories?
- Weather is the biggest factor
- Irrate participants will bring troubles
- Upset about things like flavors of Gatorade on course
Do you have a favorite race to do?
- Like a really competitive race on the track 800-1500m where you can build a story
The Final Surge… 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite endurance/running book? – David Epstein’s The Sports Gene
Current trainers you are wearing? – Favorite all-time is Nike Waffle
Favorite race? – Any big events like Ironman would love to do NYC Marathon
Favorite meal or recovery drink? – Beer and Risotto
Your favorite workout – Threshold/Sweet Spot
Team Final Surge