Go HERE to watch a quick video describing CEO Challenges
Ted Kennedy, Ironman, and CEO Challenges
Ted Kennedy is the founder and President of CEO Challenges. Below is a brief business history.
- 20 years in consumer packaged goods sales & marketing roles (13 years with Quaker Oats), was Vice President of BestFoods Canada
- In 1999 joined Ironman North America as one of the original four founders, along with Graham Fraser, Lyle Harris, and Chris Gdanski
- As VP of Marketing for Ironman NA, role was to expose new companies to Ironman, and was successful in bringing in Janus, HSBC, Kellogg's and Ford (to name a few) as sponsors
- Started the CEO Ironman Challenge in 2001 in Lake Placid as a way to organize a 'race within the race' for CEOs and company Presidents
- Left Ironman NA in 2005 to launch CEO Challenges, and take the sport competition for CEOs concept to many different sports, all over the world
- Has since expanded beyond Ironman to other triathlons (e.g., Escape from Alcatraz), cycling (Leadville 100 MTB and CEO Cycling with George Hincapie), driving (Rolex Grand Am), tennis, golf, and skiing, with plans to expand into hockey.
- CEO Challenges was purchased by Life Time Fitness (NYSE: LTM) in Apri. 2012 and Ted has committed to stay on for a minimum of 5 years to run the CEO Challenges division for Life Time
"One of the great experiences of my life thanks to CEO Challenge - truly a great job and I suspect this group is not that easy to impress."
"The CEO Challenge surpassed my expectations in so many ways, including receiving first class treatment for my friends and family and increasing the visibility of my business! I have been lucky to develop some business from contacts made via the CEO Challenge! Ted paves the way for an amazing experience"
"Simply put, you folks are a class act. Your hard work, compassion, light-hearted attitude and friendly spirit made for the experience of a lifetime!"
"Words truly cannot explain this awesome experience"
"The event itself was fantastic, and the organization was flawless"
"Thanks again for your wonderful hospitality. It was a truly memorable experience. The entire event was exceptionally well run"
"Joining the CEO Challenge makes the event all the more exciting. I get to talk to like minded CEOs and senior executives who chat about the latest super brick and LSRs they did as opposed to the latest share price and new deals. For once, numbers mean different things - 30 means a 30km run rather than 30 cents up on the share price. Of course, most would hope for both. You really can't ask for better camarederie."
Teo Ser Luck , Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports - Republic of Singapore
Summary of post-event feedback from all CEO Challenge participants since 2001 (people who are obviously accustomed to exemplary service):
- 100% of all CEOs reported the event met their expectations
- 86% reported the event either exceeded or far exceeded their expectations!
Go HERE to review the extensive feedback provided by CEO Challenge participants.
Some of the High Profile CEOs that have taken part in CEO Challenge events:
Mark Holowesko, Templeton
John Macfarlane, Tudor Investment Group
Chuck Chokel, White Mountains Insurance Group
Doug Lebda, Lending Tree
Mike Zafirovski, Motorola (now CEO of Nortel Networks)
Sir Rocco Forte, Rocco Forte Hotels
Ted Philip, founder of Lycos
Curt Girod, Unisys
Colin Grassie, Deutsche Bank Asia
Andy Bass, Toshiba Europe
Tim Hockey, TD / Canada Trust
For the 400+ CEOs that have taken part in our events:
The total revenue combined = $1.2 Trillion
The total employees = 740,000
The average company size = $3.6 Billion
The average number of employees per company = 2,400
The predominant (median) co. size = $20 Million and 67 employees
44% of competitors have done more than one CEO Challenge event, and many have done 5 or more!
Company Titles - 33% are CEOs, 25% Presidents, 15% Owners, 14% C-Suite Executives, 7% Partners, and 6% Managing Directors
The Importance of Family
This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits to the CEO Challenge. While you are doing your last bit of training, relaxing, and on race day, we are looking after your family and guests. On race day, we know when you will be coming by each point of the race, and will make sure your family and guests are at that location ready to greet you as you go by. Plus, we always book accommodation at a Resort that has lots for families to do, including swimming and organized activities for children.
What does a CEO Challenge Event Include?
- An actual competition between CEOs, with a winner declared in each age group (if relevant), and overall
- Top finishers gain access to a ‘World CEO Championship' where they have the opportunity to compete against qualifiers from other events for the title of World CEO Champion
- Exclusive ‘meet and greet' opportunities with top Pros / Coaches / Personalities / Insiders in the Sport
- Wonderful VIP opportunities for the CEO and their guests, and one price covers all expenses
- A portion of the entry fee is donated to charity (Challenged Athletes Foundation).
- Official uniforms and apparel
- Networking receptions, dinners, business sessions and an Awards Banquet
- Biography on the CEO and their company will be posted on this web site (5,000 visitors per month), and in a published program circulated at the event
- Awards to the winning CEOs in each category
- Five-star accommodations, where available
- First-class service, incredible attention to detail, and constant care from the CEO Challenges staff
In the News"You're standing on a beach. Ahead of you lies a grueling 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and full marathon. It's hot, your heart's pumping and you're wearing a rubber suit. And you thought running a company was difficult. Welcome to the world of CEO Challenges."
Business Management Magazine - Survival of the Fittest, February ‘08
"Kennedy's company, CEO Challenges, enables some of the most competitive people on earth to prove themselves outside of the business arena."
Forbes Small Business Magazine - The Iron Man, February ‘09
"There's even a growing business in catering to gung-ho execs. CEO Challenges, a Boulder, Colo., firm organizes sports events for C-level managers."
The Wall Street Journal - Masters of All Universes, September '06
"Karbe will be among 18 high-level executives whose path to Hawaii began by signing up with CEO Challenge LLC in Boulder, Colo."
Business Week - And Now, the Chief Endurance Officer, Oct '05
"The brainchild of former Ironman North America Executive and marketing whiz Ted Kennedy, the CEO Challenge takes the form of a grueling set of qualifying races."
Business Management Magazine - Survival of the Fittest, February '08
"For a group of road-hardened examples, look to the competitors in the CEO Challenge, a program for CEOs competing in Ironman triathlons...At stake: the title "World's Fittest CEO".
Men's Health,- The Aristocrat of Cardio, Oct '05
"Running has so infiltrated the corner office, in fact, that a CEO Marathon Challenge is in the works. (It is) the brainchild of Colorado promoter Ted Kennedy, who already organizes the CEO Ironman Challenge..."
Runner's World- Great CEOs, Nov '05