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Interview with Race Director Tom Tajsich: „It’s going to be special!

Posted on: Donnerstag 5th November 2015

15 OCTOBER 2015 – On race day, when hundreds of athletes from all around the world happily crossed the finish line, when spectators go home in equally euphoric mood, and Regensburg has seen an unforgettable day. Then, for the first time in months, Tom Tajsich is probably going to find some rest.

But until then, many days full of work will pass.

Tom Tajsich is the head of the team, we will introduce to you over the coming weeks. The circle of volunteers, which has been working for months already. The triathlon-experienced team originates not only from Regensburg but also from England, Austria, the USA and even Australia.

The mass of details you have to consider for such an event are invisible for athletes and spectators. But that’s how it should be! Because when celebration begins in front of the Regensburg Cathedral, the stage is meant exclusively for athletes, fans and spectators.

Nevertheless, one thing is certain: Such an international event is impossible to be organized without enthusiastic volunteers, as Tom Tajsich tells.

Tom Tajsich zwischen Joachim Wolbergs und Profiathlet Chris McCormack
Tom Tajsich with Regensburg’s Mayor Joachim Wolbergs and Chris McCormack

CR: Hi Tom. Together with your team you have set yourself the goal to make the CHALLENGEREGENSBURG on 14 August 2016 an international triathlon highlight. But how did you get involved to organize long-distance triathlon at Regensburg?

Tom Tajsich: Actually, that was not my idea and I never wanted to become a race director. The city of Regensburg, however, has always been interested in hosting an international triathlon event within this beautiful region and has asked us to support.

My wife Sonja has been a professional triathlete for years. That made us travel to events around the world. This experience lets you know what makes a great event.

Additionally, at my daytime job as a project manager at Infineon, I’ve always been responsible for major projects – that gives me the know-how how to deal with such a complex project.

CR: You have already found an enthusiastic core team to support you. Which tasks do you have, as a race director, which tasks are you able to give to the team?

Tom Tajsich: At the beginning, it seems like you’ve got an unbelievable high mountain of tasks to climb. Then you’ve got to find a team that not only has the experience and skills to support you, but also matches your team spirit. Because only if you do understand each other, a project can run successfully. This is the first major task.

Right now there’s a team of logistics managers, catering managers, assistant coordinators, and so on. There are around 15 different areas, which are already managed by a team leader.

CR: On race day around 1,000 volunteers will be giving it all. Have you ever been a volunteer yourself and are you able to describe that experience?

Tom Tajsich: At first, I’ve got to say that it’s not easy to find that many volunteers. But we fortunately have quite a lot of clubs, groups and individuals who already got in contact with us and wanted to help. For example, a club that previously already organized a party mile – they really wanted to do that again.

I myself volunteered for ten years repeatedly. Sometimes only for my wife, but also as a volunteer in the crowd. Actually, triathlon hasn’t originally been my sport, but the enthusiasm I experienced among the volunteers, has dragged me right into it. It’s really special!

Sebastian Kuhn, frei
Communication is important for the team of Challenge Regensburg (Chris McCormack,  Johann Mayer, Sonja and Tom Tajsich)


CR: Cooperation with the region is important. Within the last few weeks you’ve had a lot of meetings and conferences. What’s the current state of organization?

Tom Tajsich: It’s great to get to know a lot of new people and their work. And it is going great!

Of course, occasionally you’ve got to do persuasion work. It is necessary to overcome resistance, and to convince people. Communication is important there and we’re doing lots of it and have been very successful withit. That’s why we are very satisfied with the state of organization.

I think we have already succeeded in inspiring, fascination and convincing the region. Especially in our goal to bring together the region, volunteers, visitors and athletes to create a special day for everybody.

CR: Are athletes still able to sign up and what can athletes expect in Regensburg?

Tom Tajsich: We have about 700 remaining slots for individual starters and relays at the current time. On race day, we want to offer long-distance athletes, relay starters and participants of our beginner triathlon a memorable event with some special features.

For example, we will have our registration right beside the finish line at the historic „Herzogsaal“ – one of the oldest halls in Bavaria. Only one of a lot of great experiences.

And above all, our beautiful routes with the incomparable finish line at Regensburg Cathedral.

And although we will have professional athletes behind the starting line, our focus lies on the age group athletes and making a special day for all of them.