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From songwriters to one of the largest grocers in the US.

We know Kerrville as the home of the most scenic triathlon in Texas, but it’s also the home of some pretty legendary superstars. Keep reading to find out 4 famous people you didn’t know were from Kerrville.

Robert Earl Keen

Robert Earl KeenRobert Earl Keen is an American singer-songwriter legend in the music industry. Keen’s music spanned many styles including folk, country, bluegrass, and rock, although he is most widely credited for his influence in Americana music. He was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. Keen is a Texas A&M graduate whose career sparked from playing shows in Austin, Texas and other famous music halls. While Keen struggled to become a mainstream artist, his music grew to be widely appreciated and influenced some of today’s biggest country music stars. His songs were covered by many musicians including George Strait, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, The Highwaymen, Nanci Griffith, and the Dixie Chicks. In 1983, Keen won the New Folk competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, Texas. Staying close to his roots, Keen continues to tour around Texas and will be at Austin Rodeo, and even has a show in Kerrville on March 7th!

James AveryJames Avery next to the original James Avery Craft Jewelry sign

James Avery, now a household name, started as man designing jewelry in his mother-in-law’s garage in Kerrville in 1954. The one-man business was a huge success and continued to grow and gain popularity and James Avery Artisan Jewelry was born! Staying true to his roots, the first every James Avery retail store was opened in Kerrville in 1973.   Avery’s jewelry became very popular in the Texas Hill Country and still is to this day. This world-renowned company has over 50 stores located in the U.S. and 5 manufacturing plants, one is in the heart of Kerrville. Truly a family business, James passed his legacy onto his son, who is now the current CEO.

Howard Edward Butt Sr.

Howard Butt and his wife standing in front of H-E-BHoward Edward Butt Sr. was son to Florence Thornton Butt and pharmacist, Charles Butt, who relocated to Kerrville, Texas in 1905 for the drier climate to combat his father’s tuberculosis. Florence opened a small grocery store below their apartment as a place for locals to get their groceries. Once Howard was in high school, he took over the store as a manager. After a brief stint in the Navy, Howard returned home to run the store with his mother. Although his first attempts at expanding the family business failed, he achieved success when he opened a store in Del Rio, Texas. In 1935, he changed the name of the company to H.E. Butt Grocery which was eventually shortened to, you guessed it, H-E-B. The first supermarket was opened in Corpus Christi and was credited as one of the first places a shopper could purchase meat, fish, produce, baked goods, and personal care products under a single roof. The rest is history with H-E-B being classified as the twentieth largest retailer in the United States.

Jimmie Rodgers

Famous from Kerrville, Jimmie Rodgers and his guitar

Jimmie Rodgers was an American singer-songwriter and musician who rose to popularity in the late 1920s. Best known for his distinctive rhythmic yodeling, Rodgers is widely known as the “Father of Country Music”. Rodgers rose to stardom from his recordings rather than concert performances, which was very uncommon at the time. He is credited as an inspiration for hundreds of artists after his time in both country and blues music. Rodgers reached the peak of his career and chose to build his dream house in Kerrville, Texas around 1929. The house still stands on the intersection of Main and Jackson on a hill that overlooks the town. His most popular hit, Blue Yoddlle No. 1 was even covered by Lynyrd Skynyrd. His other works were celebrated and honored by stars such as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Hank Williams who publicly gave Rodgers praise and credited him as a music legend. Rodgers was enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame and is still celebrated to this day.

A record number of triathletes, more than 1800, registered for The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas

A record number of triathletes registered for the 2019 Kerrville Triathlon, including this female sprint finisher posting in front of the Kerrville Tri sign.

Congrats to all the 2019 Kerrville Tri finishers!

More than 4000 triathletes and their friends and family traveled to Kerrville, Texas, for the 9th annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival. A record number of triathletes, more than 1800, (most in event history) registered for the Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas. Participants gave their all on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. Participants were treated to fajitas, cold beer, snacks, and an opportunity to recover in the refreshing waters of the Guadalupe River after crossing the finish line. Kerrville Tri also launched best pricing for 2020, which ends on Tuesday, Oct. 8th.

“This is my favorite race and the course is beautiful,” said Meredith Townley, who completed the quarter distance (3:22:07) on Sunday. “I love the hometown feel that Kerrville and the Hill Country provide and how everyone – vendors, sponsors, spectators, etc. – truly supports everyone else!” 

The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas

A record number of triathletes registered for the 2019 Kerrville Triathlon, including these triathletes floating the Guadalupe River in their Kerrville Tri floats!

Participants float the Guadalupe River after crossing the 2019 Kerrville Tri finish line!

The family-friendly Kerrville Triathlon Festival took place from Friday, September 27th, to Sunday, September 29th. It featured two days of triathlon action and a bustling two-day expo. Six different events were featured, sprint, quarter, half, aquabike, relays, and a kids fun run. The Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and kids fun run took place on Saturday. All other events, including the quarter and the half, took place on Sunday. Before the action began, participants, volunteers, and friends and family went to the annual Friday night Kerrville Tri Mixer. Inn of the Hills, the host hotel, hosted the Mixer and the expo and packet pick up. Grammy award-winning artist and Debra Zapata sprint participant Shawn Colvin sang Saturday’s national anthem.

“I love registering for and completing an affordable half distance triathlon in the Texas Hill Country,” said Michelle Bonathan, Kerrville Triathlon half distance open division female champion (5:22:50). “The support and energy from the spectators and volunteers were top-notch!”

Peter Murray (1:02:01), of Austin, Texas, won Saturday’s sprint event. Marla Briley (1:14:23), of Austin, Texas, won the female division. Sunday’s winners and their times follow: quarter – female winner, Jami O’Toole (2:34:38), male winner, Mark Saroni (2:03:20); half – female winner, Michelle Bonathan, male winner, Jack Cartwright (4:53:58). Results for Saturday and Sunday are available. 

Perks for record number of triathletes

A record number of triathletes registered for the 2019 Kerrville Triathlon, including these future triathletes at the free kids fun run.

The kids take off at the free kids fun run!

New for 2019, participants received a Kerrville Triathlon-branded float and recovered in the Guadalupe River after crossing the finish line. Athletes received a belt buckle finisher’s medal, customized shirt, and commemorative hat. They also received a reusable custom water bottle, personalized race bib, and swim cap. They enjoyed a free post-race meal including fajitas from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and the ever-popular beer garden. The event also had professional timing and photography. A great volunteer crew, thousands of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will showcase why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas. Photos can be found on the Kerrville Triathlon Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds in addition to the website.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Fire Department, Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Department, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, Mamacita’s, Camp Gladiator, and Gatorade.

The largest field in event history consists of triathletes from 17 different states

High Five Events concludes their 2019 triathlon season with the largest field in Kerrville Triathlon Festival history. More than 1800 athletes have registered for this beloved Hill Country event. The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas features a swim course in Nimitz Lake, bike course through the Texas Hill Country, and a run course along the Guadalupe River. The ninth annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival will take place on September 27-29, in Kerrville, Texas. The final price increase occurs tonight, Monday, September 23rd, at 11:59.

Image of custom float all Kerrville Triathlon participants will receive! They're part of the largest field in event history.“I’ve heard great things about Kerrville Triathlon, from it’s scenic course to the big party at the finish line festival,” said Bryan Deibel of Austin, Texas, who is registered for Saturday’s Debra Zapata Sprint. “I’m even more pumped to float the Guadalupe River after my sprint in my Kerrville Tri-branded float!”

Perks for Kerrville Triathlon participants

New for 2019, all participants will receive a Kerrville Triathlon-branded float so they can recover in the Guadalupe River near the finish line festival. Athletes will receive a belt buckle finisher’s medal, customized shirt, and commemorative trucker hat. They’ll also get a reusable custom water bottle, personalized race bib, and swim cap. Once they cross the finish line, triathletes can enjoy a free post-race meal including fajitas from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, beer garden, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will showcase why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas. 

“We’re excited about Kerrville Tri’s largest field ever and ready to welcome triathletes from all over to the Texas Hill Country,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “When you combine the three-day-long festival with the beauty of the Texas Hill Country you can see why Kerrville Tri is a true destination triathlon.”

Registration is still open

Current pricing for all events follows: Debra Zapata Sprint ($105), sprint aquabike ($105), sprint relay ($165), quarter ($155), quarter aquabike ($155), half ($245), half aquabike ($245), half relay ($295), kids fun run (free), Virtual Kerrville Triathlon, which can be associated with any distance ($45). 

The Debra Zapata Sprint distance triathlon, sprint aquabike, sprint relay, and kids fun run take place on Saturday, Sept. 28th. Quarter distance, quarter aquabike, half distance, half aquabike, and half relay will all happen on Sunday, Sept. 29th. Participants can pick up their packet at the Kerrville Triathlon Expo and Packet Pickup. The expo is located at the host hotel, Inn of the Hills. The expo and packet pickup, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Friday, Sept. 27th, and Saturday, Sept. 28th. Participants can see the entire pricing structure and register on the website.

A couple of hundred spots remain as The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas nears sellout

Friends pose before the 2018 Kerrville Triathlon. The 2019 edition nears sellout.

Tell your friends to register before Kerrville Tri sells out!

Excitement for the 2019 Kerrville Triathlon Festival continues to build as registration numbers continue their historic climb. The beloved destination triathlon has a limited amount of spots remaining as it nears a sellout. Last year, more than 2000 triathletes and their friends and family traveled to the Texas Hill Country. The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas features a swim course in Nimitz Lake, bike course through the Texas Hill Country, and run course along the Guadalupe River. The 9th annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival will take place on September 27-29, in Kerrville, Texas.

“My wife and I both love Kerrville Tri, we’re racing and volunteering again this year,” said Mark Wignall, who has participated in the Kerrville Tri for the past three years. “The entire course is beautiful and it’s a short drive from Austin and San Antonio, making it the perfect destination event.”

Branded floats for all

New for 2019, all participants will receive a Kerrville Triathlon-branded float so they can recover in the Guadalupe River near the finish line festival. Athletes will receive a belt buckle finisher’s medal, customized shirt, and commemorative trucker hat. They’ll also get a reusable custom water bottle, personalized race bib, and swim cap. Once they cross the finish line, triathletes can enjoy a free post-race meal including fajitas from H-E-B, fruit, and snacks. They will also enjoy the beer garden and have an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Kerrville Tri features professional timing and photography. Participants can draw energy from a great volunteer crew and hundreds of supportive spectators. An electric finish line festival will showcase why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas. 

“An increasing number of triathletes are hearing what we’ve known for nearly a decade, Kerrville Tri is The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “When you combine the three-day-long festival with the beauty of the Texas Hill Country you can see why Kerrville Tri is a true destination triathlon.”

Limited amount of Kerrville Tri spots remain

Current pricing for all events follows: Debra Zapata Sprint ($105), sprint aquabike ($105), sprint relay ($165), quarter ($155), quarter aquabike ($155), half ($245), half aquabike ($245), half relay ($295), kids fun run (free), Virtual Kerrville Triathlon, which can be associated with any distance ($45). 

The Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint aquabike, sprint relay, and kids fun run take place on Saturday, Sept. 28th. Quarter distance, quarter aquabike, half distance, half aquabike, and half relay will all happen on Sunday, Sept. 29th. The Kerrville Triathlon Expo and Packet Pickup will take place at the host hotel, Inn of the Hills. The expo and packet pickup, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Friday, Sept. 27th, and Saturday, Sept. 28th. Participants can see the entire pricing structure and register on the website.

Participants crossed the Kerrville Triathlon Festival’s finish line, then celebrated at the finish line festival

More than 1000 participants flocked to Kerrville, Texas, to participate in the 8th Annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival. The most scenic triathlon in Texas featured two days of action, plus a two-day expo. Participants gave their all on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. After their accomplishments, participants were treated to fajitas, cold beer, snacks, and an opportunity to recover in the refreshing waters of the Guadalupe River.

“I really enjoyed coming back to Kerrville for this race weekend,” said Tony Aventa, who completed the Debra Zapata Sprint on Saturday. “This year was particularly fun with the run through the park. Great job to High Five Events for coordinating such a smooth race!”

From spectating to the Kids Fun Run, Kerrville Tri is perfect for the whole family

The family-friendly Kerrville Triathlon Festival took place from Friday, September 28, to Sunday, September 30. It featured eight different events, including sprint, quarter, half, aquabike, relays, and a kids fun run. The Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and kids fun run took place on Saturday. All other events, including the quarter and the half, took place on Sunday. Before the action began, participants, volunteers, and friends and family went to the ROKA Happy Hour. The happy hour and the expo and packet pick up were held at Inn of the Hills, the host hotel.

“Kerrville Triathlon Festival is one of my favorite races of the season,” said Karen Moser, who completed the Debra Zapata Sprint on Saturday. “The courses are amazing, the support is top-notch, and I love the family atmosphere, especially when my daughters cross the finish line with me!”

Peter Murray (1:03:16), of McGregor, Texas, won Saturday’s sprint event. Andrea Fisher (1:10:14), of Austin, Texas, won the female division. Sunday’s winners and their times follow: quarter – female winner, Haley Koop (2:23:17), male winner, Mark Saroni (2:02:52); half – female winner, Rebecca Marrou (4:54:31), male winner, Todd Gerlach (4:45:09). Results for Saturday and Sunday are available.

Kerrville Tri – the most scenic triathlon in Texas

“The Kerrville Triathlon was such a great and memorable experience for my first successful 70.3,” said Ron Ledesma. “The High Five Events’ staff and volunteers were a huge part of making it so memorable for both triathletes and spectators. The race was very well organized from the expo to the festival area, including availability of support, aid, and facilities.’

Athletes received custom-designed shirts and water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, belt buckle finisher’s medal, a post-race meal including fajitas tacos from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival demonstrated why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas. Photos can be found on the Kerrville Triathlon Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds in addition to the website.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, ROKA, Clif Bar, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Fire Department, Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Department, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, RunLab Austin, and Gatorade.

Triathletes from 15 different states prepare for Kerrville Triathlon, the most scenic triathlon in Texas

High Five Events concludes their 2018 triathlon season with the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30, in Kerrville, Texas. More than 1300 athletes will participate in this beloved Hill Country event. Entering its eighth year, Kerrville Tri is rapidly becoming known for featuring the most scenic triathlon course in Texas.

Triathletes will participate on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. After crossing the finish line, participants can grab an inner tube provided by the event and float in the cool waters of the Guadalupe River. Before the action begins, participants and their friends and family are invited to the ROKA Happy Hour. This gathering will take place on Friday, Sept. 28th, from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 at the Inn of the Hills bar.

“People are buzzing about the 8th Annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival because it combines triathlon distances for everyone, the City of Kerrville’s hospitality, and the beauty of the Texas Hill Country,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re just as excited as the City of Kerrville to host triathletes from 15 different states and see the continued growth of this event.”

Swim, bike, run in the Texas Hill Country

The Kerrville Triathlon Festival will feature the Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and free Kids Fun Run on Saturday. Quarter distance, quarter aquabike, half distance, half aquabike, and half relay will all take place on Sunday. The sprint will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The half will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Triathletes who would like to participate but are unable to travel to Kerrville can register for the virtual Kerrville Triathlon.

Participants can pick up their packet at the Kerrville Triathlon Expo and Packet Pickup. That will take place at the host hotel, Inn of the Hills. The expo and packet pickup, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Friday, Sept. 28th, and Saturday, Sept. 29th. Registration for all distances is still open for the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. Volunteer positions are available as well.

Athletes will receive custom-designed shirts and trucker hats, water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, belt buckle finisher’s medal, a post-race meal including fajitas and tacos from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will showcase why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, ROKA, Clif Bar, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, RunLab Austin, and Gatorade.