History 101: What is the origin of the species known as "Mad Cow"?


The Mad Cows became an official team in the Fall of 2001 under the sponsorship of Steve and Carrie Larsen and their store, Steve Larsen's Wheelworks.

With Steve's leadership and help, the tireless efforts of Diana Hassel and Lydia Schlosser, and the dazzling performance of our many talented members, we are quickly becoming a prominent and recognizable team on the national "tri-scene."


Before the glitz and notoriety, however, there was a small group of athletes that started it all as a showing of solidarity before the Ironman California race in May, 2001. Davis had nine athletes competing in Ironman California and we thought it would be fun if we formed a "team" and got matching T-shirts.

The name "Mad Cows" came to me in Kona, 2000, after I noticed a large, vociferous and well-known presence of the St. Petersberg, Florida tri-team, the St. Pete's Mad Dogs". As you may recall, the Mad Cow disease "epidemic" was in the news at the time. I thought it would be a funny play on words if we Davisites became the Mad Cows.

We tossed some other names around-like "Tri-Agra-we go harder, longer, faster"-and a few others, but the Mad Cow moniker stuck. (The least controversial perhaps?)Origin-of-Mad-Cows

Mad Cows small

I quickly drew up our little mad cow logo, and Neil Michel of Axiom Photo helped me put it on the computer to get the image just right for printing. Screaming Squeegee then printed up our shirts, and 15 local athletes became our first team members. If you look closely at the ESPN coverage of Ironman California, Beth Zinkand is wearing her Mad Cow shirt in the pre-dawn hours on race day as she checks on her bike in the transition area. (The first documented cow sighting on national T.V.!).

In Fall 2001, when we became an official team under the tutelage of Steve Larsen, we again tossed around many different names. Again, the Mad Cow moniker survived the contest and became the official name.

One night, while sweating away in Garth's spinning class, it occurred to me that one of his oft-spoken phrases, "max effort", would make a perfect name for our logo cow! He has hence been dubbed MAX EFFORT. I hope you all agree that this is an appropriate name. Clearly, every-one is "honoring" Max by racing like MAD! I know he's very proud to be gracing all of your team apparel! P.S. Max loved being EVERYWHERE in Kona and is already anticipating a great racing season!


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