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  • Writer's pictureKen Lubin

Episode #136- Rob Urbach-CEO of Iditarod-Former CEO of USA Triathlon

Rob is currently the CEO of the Iditarod and for most of us the Iditarod conjures images like no other sporting event: blinding white terrain, icicles knotting ruddy-faced mushers’ eyebrows, silver-eyed dogs lunging frantically into a vast unknown.

Basically, crazy people charging headlong into challenging horizons.

The word is Ingalik Indian for “distant place.” The Iditarod race across Alaska couldn’t be much farther from where Louisville Kentucky native Rob Urbach began his career in sports management. After earning his degree—and competing as a nationally recognized tennis, swimming, and cross-country athlete moved to Philadelphia to earn an M.B.A. at the Wharton School of Business.

Next were executive vice president positions at premier sports and entertainment firms such as SFX and Octagon, where he oversaw international marathon, tennis, and golf events and soccer’s 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

A highly decorated “Ironman” himself, Urbach moved to Colorado in 2011 to become CEO of USA Triathlon, where he founded the NCAA triathlon program, helped make possible the first USA triathlon Olympic gold at Rio, and launched the Paralympics program that, also in Rio, had the highest medal count of any country.

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