In our History section, you’ll find the wonderful story of how two couples, Rue & Kathy Morgan and Ralph & Katie Perry, came up with a wonderful idea that over 3000 of us are now enthusiastic members of.
We are blessed to have three of our founding members still training, racing and howling with us today! Each year we give our most prestigious award, The Ralph G. Perry Award, to the “Mad Dog of the Year” and to honor Mad Dog #4.
Rue and Kathy Morgan, Mad Dogs #1 and #2, are originally from Oklahoma. Like many triathletes from the late 70’s and early 80’s, they entered into multi-sport later in life. Both Rue and Kathy have completed countless triathlons, received multiple awards, and still continue to train, race and howl.
Rue has competed in the IRONMAN Championship in Kona, and has completed every Disney Marathon since inception. After a period of injury, Kathy has entered back into multi-sport and crossing finish lines with a smile. Their granddaughter, Kyah Morgan, is Mad Dog #2722.
Katie Knight-Perry designed our distinctive official logo of the half-sun with the howling dog, in the spirit of fun-loving triathletes who train, race and howl together.
If you look closely, you’ll know you’re wearing original logo merchandise because her initials, “KPR” are cleanly signed on the lower right corner after the yellow sun.
Katie and her husband, Ralph, became triathletes later in life in New York, and eventually moved to Florida. Katie has been a great age-group competitor for most of her years in triathlon, and continues to routinely place top in age group.
Ralph Perry was an accomplished Civil Engineer in New York (one of his achievements included work on the World Trade Center) before he became a triathlete and co-founded the St. Pete Mad Dogs. Apart from his multiple Ironman finishes (including Kona), Ralph is best remembered for his positive attitude, his spirit of giving back to the triathlon community, great sportsmanship and his smile!
Each year we honor his memory by giving a plaque to the Mad Dog of the Year in the form of the Ralph G. Perry Award, the club’s highest and most prestigious honor. He is also remembered at local Design Sports events by Fred Rzymek and Joe Fernandez, who present the Perry Award to that event’s standout volunteer.