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Jeff Matlow
September 08, 2015

10 Questions: Therese & Faye


Therese Bynum and Faye Yates are the magical team behind Team Magic, one of the leading triathlon (and other sports) companies in the United States. Team Magic, which is based in both Birmingham, Alabama and Nashville, Tennessee, has been around for 30 years, creating and managing some of the best events in the biz.  Yes, the events are magical, which is why they have such a ridiculously devoted following. Oh, and Therese owns goats.  That doesn't hurt either.

What you may not know is that Therese and Faye were the inspiration around what evolved into imATHLETE.  They are like the Eve and Eve to our Garden of imEden.  

You see, they wanted a better way to manage registration and engage with their participants, so their friend Matt Bonvicin created SportsWare, and that eventually turned into imATHLETE, which eventually resulted in you sitting here reading this. Kismet, ain't it?   

imATHLETE has a ton of respect for, and are forever grateful to Therese and Faye, but we asked them to answer these 10 questions anyway. 

Here you go... 10 Questions With A Race Director: Therese Bynum and Faye Yates (Team Magic)

Q#1: Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Faye:  Rolling Stones

Therese:  Stevie Nicks


Q#2: If you could have invented anything, what do you wish it was?

Faye:  A container for bib numbers and race number envelopes that has a way to hold the numbers from falling as numbers/envelopes are handed out. If this exists, we can't find it!

Therese:  Swim lap pool side clock and lap counter.


Q#3: Why in the world did you become a race director?

Faye:  I am crazy! Seriously, it is super rewarding work. I love watching all of the planning and hard work come to life on race weekend and serve as the vehicle for so many individual accomplishments and amazing stories.

Therese:  Owned a triathlon shop in 1985. Raced triathlons, "biathlons", swims, bike & run races. Wanted AL to have better races. Bought first race for $750 - 29 years ago. 2 weeks before our local spring triathlon, which I had won the year before, it was going to be cancelled. The owners sent out a snail mail message. I got it and called them and said triathletes wait till the last minute, please do not a shop owner and previous winner I did not want to see it go away. They said sorry, I said let me buy it. Only 28 were registered and 2 weeks later we had over 300 race. I did not get to race, however I did start a multisport business that day. I loved everything about the multisport lifestyle!!!


Q#4: If you were an animal or vegetable, which specific animal/vegetable would you be and why?

Faye: Dog. NO DOUBT. They bring joy to anyone that will accept it. I love bringing joy ( back to previous question! )

Therese: One of my goats. They are cared for and playful. They make people happy as therapy pets for Hand in Paw. Or really anywhere they go.

Corn - so I could become popcorn. Again - make a lot of people happy!


Q#5: What sponsors do you shamelessly want to plug?

Faye: Birmingham Coca-Cola. They have been with us since the beginning! Many sponsors move around, but they stick with us every year. Also love our host city sponsor, Montgomery, Alabama and our partnership with the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission. The events we have with the aforementioned are super positive, win-win events because we all see the value and hence bring the best experience possible to our customers / visitors!

Therese: Birmingham Coke, including Powerade and Dasani, has been the best sponsor we have ever had and continues to support Team Magic events today. Our local bike shop sponsors: Bike link and Cahaba Cycles really help our races and racers. JRAG has done all our screen printing for years. Of course you can not stay in business with out support from new sponsors: Eddie, Fagan Sports Medicine, Monarch Advisory Group, Mountain High Outfitters and Shelby County.


Q#6: What's the craziest thing a participant ever said to you?

Faye: Do people change their clothes in the transition area in front of others?

SWEET: "Can we pray with you" .... at the very end of a race day and things were almost broken down, a newbie was very excited and asked me the question above. It was very sweet. My dad had just had a stroke and I left town to direct a race in Lebanon, TN. He was on my mind a lot that weekend. We prayed - just was totally not expected.

NOT SO SWEET: The one thing I remember the most to this date and still makes me sad: is the last place participant of one of our races giving me a piece of his mind for not having a chicken basket for him. We planned on having pizza and chicken, along with cookies, fruit, granola, chips, bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc...a lot of food left - however he went on & on until I finally reached in my pocket and the only thing I had was a $5 bill. I said here, you can get chicken for less than this and have a nice day.


Q#7: How many events do you put on every year?

Faye: 14

Therese:  ~20

[Editor's Note:  Hey Faye - apparently Therese has got 6 races on the side]


Q#8: How many events do you participate in on any given year?

Faye: 8 - 10

Therese:  Used to do up to 35 a year for about 20 + years, now I am lucky to get one in. This year Mach TN Tri is on my birthday. I am NOT in shape, but I am doing it anyway. GREAT RACE!


Q#9: What does 1 + 1 equal, and why?

Faye: 2, because it just does. Am I going to feel really stupid in a minute?

Therese:  Sharing...because the world needs more peace and happiness.


Q#10: Favorite thing about imATHLETE?

Faye:  LOVE the responsiveness and the REPORTS! Awesome live reporting on participants, financials, etc....

Therese: imATHLETE registration program was created by a very good friend of mine, Matt Bonvicin. He asked how he could help? I told him, I and many other RD were frustrated with the lack of how registration system supported RD and the athletes. He went to work and what you see is a lot of his helping me, help you have a better day. Jeff Matlow and I had been discussing linking friends - kind of like USAT new program: Tri it Forward. They got together...imATHLETE has one of the most user and RD friendly programs. Together, my 2 friends pooled resources together to bring us all into the multisport family. That, is what the multisport lifestyle, to me is all about. Friends helping friends! Pay it forward...



10 Questions with a Race Director is (not really) a trademark of imATHLETE, the event registration company. (It's not even close to being a trademark).  Any rebroadcast, retransmission, or account of this article, without the express written consent of imATHLETE, the online registration company, is prohibited (unless you want to share it on Facebook, or Twitter, or email, or send to friends, or really send to anybody.  In fact, never mind about getting our consent, just share this with everybody you possibly can).



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