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2013-10-31 6:16 PM

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Subject: Non-WTC IM races
Many of you have more years racing than myself - I would love your opinion. I participated in the Great Floridian Ultra race a couple of weeks ago. Small crowd but the race was really well run. Organization, volunteers, etc were great. The race cost 275.00 entry fee and is 20 minutes from Disney. I felt like I found the secret IM that nobody knows about. @160 participants. The difference between WTC events and small races has been beat to death. My question is why? Is it really as simple as to hear mike Reiley, to qualify for the legacy program for Kona, knowing what to expect from so many reports etc. I know it is more complex than a simple reason. However, when a race is so cheap, in a great location and has minimal participation it makes me ponder the reasons why.


2013-10-31 6:36 PM
in reply to: kstater39

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

There are lots of reasons.  For some, they just like the WTC brand and know that it's going to be a pretty seamless race (does not mean a non wtc race is not well run).  Some like the crowds.   Some like to be able to wear IM gear.  Some want to qualify for Kona, which you can't do at an independent race. Some do want to hear Reilly's voice.  Some (seriously) want the M Dot tattoo, and don't feel they should get one without an MDot branded race.   WTC does a fantastic marketing job, and puts on very good (albeit crowded) races.

I've done WTC and non WTC races and pick them more by location and time of year than brand.

2013-10-31 6:43 PM
in reply to: #4889626

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
Good point, it may not be more complex than their are many reasons and WTC does a great job. Maybe the better question is why don't more people venture out to non-WTC events. Ps location, time of year, and/or the unique challenge of the race make my decision.
2013-10-31 7:02 PM
in reply to: kstater39

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

Originally posted by kstater39 Good point, it may not be more complex than their are many reasons and WTC does a great job. Maybe the better question is why don't more people venture out to non-WTC events. Ps location, time of year, and/or the unique challenge of the race make my decision.

I think that's actually changing, with Challenge, Rev3, etc. particularly with 70.3   For the IM distance though, there often is not another option.  I live in Southern California, you'd think we'd hae limitless options, and until last year or so with HITS, there was only one 140.6 I could drive to relatively easily (AZ).  Now there are two (Tahoe).  But HITS is bare bones and you spend most of the day alone, so it's a different experience. I may be missing one here that I can't think of, but I cannot think of another local-ish 140.6 distance event that I could go to that is not WTC.

2013-10-31 8:10 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
Of the 3 of my HIMs and one IM, all were WTC, but they were also by far the cheapest races I could have done when you consider the all in costs. My situation is not common, but it does exist as Chris also mentioned.

Personally speaking, I would have no problem doing a race put on by Rev3 or Challenge. Not really interested in such a small race like HITS. I do value having more people on the course with me and seeing how I stack up with a well rounded field overall and in my AG. It's part of competition for me. I know that it's mostly racing against myself, but at the same time I could also race against myself on my own by making my own races with just me in it. Not interested in that at all.

When I actually think about it though...of the races on the top of my wish list, none of them are WTC. Savageman, Leadman 250 (Bend), Strongman Miyakojima, Maui Gran Fondo, and the Alta Alpina 8 pass Death Ride. If I had to pick a second full IM to do, my guess is that Challenge Penticton, IMLP, or IMCDA would be near the top of my list. Decision would be based more on logistics than if it's WTC or not.
2013-10-31 8:42 PM
in reply to: #4889641

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
Awesome point Jason. I had not considered that in some locations WTC races may be the only option, even with a 650 price it may be the cheaper option. Strange that Georgia has more IM race options close than SOCAL. I wish we had all your ultra runs though!!


2013-10-31 8:45 PM
in reply to: #4889709

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
Chris Tahoe is on my bucket now. Are you doing it next after rocking Canada?
2013-10-31 8:57 PM
in reply to: kstater39

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
I have done 5 WTC brand, a Rev 3, Redman, and Bone Island this past year. I am signed up for Challenge AC so I guess I have been well rounded in the IM department.

I guess it is hard to define what "it " is but WTC has "it."

It is sort of like coffee shops. You have the local coffee shop that people know the owners or like the coffee and it has its loyal patrons but suddenly Starbucks opens across the street and people come from everywhere to get it there. It is still just coffee, one is way more expensive and sure might be a better product to some but there is just something that drives people to the huge name brand, heck look at the day after IM when the lines of people to get merch. Independant races there is hardly anyone clammering to get finishers merch.

2013-11-01 12:58 AM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
Originally posted by ChrisM

Originally posted by kstater39 Good point, it may not be more complex than their are many reasons and WTC does a great job. Maybe the better question is why don't more people venture out to non-WTC events. Ps location, time of year, and/or the unique challenge of the race make my decision.

I think that's actually changing, with Challenge, Rev3, etc. particularly with 70.3   For the IM distance though, there often is not another option.  I live in Southern California, you'd think we'd hae limitless options, and until last year or so with HITS, there was only one 140.6 I could drive to relatively easily (AZ).  Now there are two (Tahoe).  But HITS is bare bones and you spend most of the day alone, so it's a different experience. I may be missing one here that I can't think of, but I cannot think of another local-ish 140.6 distance event that I could go to that is not WTC.




Vineman in the bay area be an option for you. From what I have heard, its very well run, though considerably smaller than anything WTC.
2013-11-01 6:35 AM
in reply to: uclamatt2007

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
For me it was size of the event. I train exclusively by myself. When I go to a race I want a lot of people around. It's what I enjoy the most, being around others that have the same interest as me. Logistically I was choosing between Rev3 Cedar Point and IM WI. I had done the 70.3 at Cedar Point and saw the size of the 140.6 field and knew that wasn't for me.

Some like the smaller events/fields and that's great. It just isn't my preference and one of the reasons I think the IM branded events are so popular.
2013-11-01 8:32 AM
in reply to: kstater39

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
Originally posted by kstater39

Many of you have more years racing than myself - I would love your opinion. I participated in the Great Floridian Ultra race a couple of weeks ago. Small crowd but the race was really well run. Organization, volunteers, etc were great. The race cost 275.00 entry fee and is 20 minutes from Disney. I felt like I found the secret IM that nobody knows about. @160 participants. The difference between WTC events and small races has been beat to death. My question is why? Is it really as simple as to hear mike Reiley, to qualify for the legacy program for Kona, knowing what to expect from so many reports etc. I know it is more complex than a simple reason. However, when a race is so cheap, in a great location and has minimal participation it makes me ponder the reasons why.


BOTH of my IM's have been WTC branded, only because I know there will be 2,000+ participants. I'm slow at the IM distance (finishing in 15-16 hours) and I don't want to be out there, alone in the dark. If I go do an IM with only 160 people, I will be alone most of the race. That sounds depressing to me.



2013-11-01 11:13 AM
in reply to: uclamatt2007

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

Originally posted by uclamatt2007
Originally posted by ChrisM

Originally posted by kstater39 Good point, it may not be more complex than their are many reasons and WTC does a great job. Maybe the better question is why don't more people venture out to non-WTC events. Ps location, time of year, and/or the unique challenge of the race make my decision.

I think that's actually changing, with Challenge, Rev3, etc. particularly with 70.3   For the IM distance though, there often is not another option.  I live in Southern California, you'd think we'd hae limitless options, and until last year or so with HITS, there was only one 140.6 I could drive to relatively easily (AZ).  Now there are two (Tahoe).  But HITS is bare bones and you spend most of the day alone, so it's a different experience. I may be missing one here that I can't think of, but I cannot think of another local-ish 140.6 distance event that I could go to that is not WTC.

Vineman in the bay area be an option for you. From what I have heard, its very well run, though considerably smaller than anything WTC.

Vineman 70.3 is actually an "official" 70.3.  140.6 is not I think.  Still, looking at an 8 hour drive, but ye that's another independent 140.6

2013-11-01 11:15 AM
in reply to: kstater39

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

Originally posted by kstater39 Chris Tahoe is on my bucket now. Are you doing it next after rocking Canada?

Maybe, but not soon.  Although friends say it's a must do.   Weather can be erratic (obviously ), but on a god day it will be epic

2013-11-01 11:16 AM
in reply to: KSH

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
For me, location is everything. All my races this year have been in AZ, with the exception of Oceanside 70.3 which was only a 6-hour drive. Also chose to do IMAZ because it's 5 miles from my house... Of the 7 races I'll do this year, only two were WTC events.
2013-11-01 11:37 AM
in reply to: kstater39

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

I've done 2 IM-branded and 1 independent. I enjoyed all of them, but for different reasons. 

There are not a whole lot of  IM races around me in general (Redman is the closest at 3 hours drive away) so in my mind if I was going to DO an IM it was going to be BIG! I did Wisconsin first, then Louisville, then Vineman. Wisconsin and Louisville were amazing for the crowds and hoop-la, then after 2 years of that I was ready to experience a smaller race as a destination/vacation. Vineman was perfect for that, and fit all of my criteria.

I encourage everyone to look at all the options, make a list of criteria (location, time of year, total cost, etc.) - and be open to all of the options. There are some great races out there, IM-branded and not.

2013-11-01 11:42 AM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

I like to mix it up, next year's schedule includes WTC and non WTC....

NOLA 70.3 (maybe)
Wildflower
Escape from Alcatraz
SOS
SIlverman 70.3



2013-11-01 12:17 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
Originally posted by ChrisM

I like to mix it up, next year's schedule includes WTC and non WTC....

NOLA 70.3 (maybe)
Wildflower
Escape from Alcatraz
SOS
SIlverman 70.3




May see you at Wildflower. Still debating...
2013-11-01 1:14 PM
in reply to: kstater39

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

The size of WTC actually works against them for me. Just too crowded out there. No space until well into the bike. I train solo quite a bit and like having space to do my own thing. I don't really need or want the "crowd support" as I really don't like extra attention when out there. I really look more at the course to see how appealing it is. A WTC race would need to be exceptionally good to compensate for the larger crowds and all the fanfare around them. And for a 70.3 I'd still have to roll the dice with the wave start time. Rev3 races have been great. Challenging courses and enough people to know something is certainly going on, but still plenty of room outside of the swim start (which everyone has). Next year I might not even have something their size on the list. I didn't like being more than half way through the bike course of WTC races before having even remotely adequate space.

2013-11-01 1:30 PM
in reply to: kstater39


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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
I'll echo what most have said. Granted I wanted the WTC-branded experience for my first 140.6 and was also fortunate enough to have one in Louisville which is only a 2.5 hour drive for me. I have young kids so arranging child care can be challenging. WTC did require athlete check-in by 5PM on Friday for a Sunday race. So technically that is at least one extra night of hotel even with a short drive. Not sure how other non-WTC events work for athlete check-in. Of course for a full distance, I'd probably want to be in town 2 days before event regardless. Having done that one, I would consider non WTC-branded in the future. It will all come down to total cost including travel expenses. I'm doing IM Chattanooga next year but again, that is a 2.5 hour drive for me.

For 70.3, I don't care about brand. My first was a Rev3 and they do a great job. My second was a small local race. Didn't care as much for it.
2013-11-01 2:08 PM
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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

For me I wanted to do the IM brand for the first one......I guess I felt I needed to "prove myself" in the world of Ironman and I completed IMLP and I guess I did not want any of those "oh why didnt you want to do a "real " ironman comments lol..........I realize that may sound ridiculous, but it was important for me to do it first....now that that bubble was burst, I am doing Challenge AC and to be honest I am just as excited.

 

fwiw.....I feel if you drag your butt 140.6 miles in any race it is hardcore and I would never discredit anyones 140.6 accomplishment



Edited by FELTGood 2013-11-01 2:10 PM
2013-11-01 9:40 PM
in reply to: FELTGood

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
I have only done 1, so take it for what it's worth.

I had to chose between IMTX (3 hours south) or Redman (3 hours north).

In the end I chose Redman. Mainly based on cost (it was about 1/2 across the board), but also on feedback of the great staff and volunteers, which did not disappoint. It was a smaller race with only about 194 full participants. I think there were close to 1000 when you added up half, relay and half/full aquabikers. But I enjoyed the smaller feel of the race.

I feel I made the correct choice for me. I was there only to challenge myself, and I don't want a tattoo.


2013-11-02 11:30 AM
in reply to: #4889626

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races
I have completed 2wtc, 1 independent full. The WTC were more about location and the course. The great Floridian was because of price and to see how hard the course was. Thanks for all the opinions and experiences. WTC events have gotten so expensive it just amazes me some that more independent races are not more active despite the small crowds. Mainly I am still pissed that Silverman is no more lol!! Chrism Tahoe may be on my schedule in 15.
2013-11-02 11:13 PM
in reply to: kstater39

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

I don't usually care about the # of people in the race but I'll say for Tahoe, I'm glad it had the higher numbers of a WTC race.  Once the sun was down it was pitch black out.  The run isn't near anything residential, and the only lights you see are when you're approaching an aid station.  Someone having difficulty out there would never be seen except by another racer.

2013-11-02 11:18 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races

Originally posted by ChrisM

Originally posted by kstater39 Chris Tahoe is on my bucket now. Are you doing it next after rocking Canada?

Maybe, but not soon.  Although friends say it's a must do.   Weather can be erratic (obviously ), but on a god day it will be epic

The swim was comfortable, I like climbing on the bike and the run course was fair.  But oh man that weather.  I will not be doing that race again unless it moves back at least a month.  Pretty much the entire bike / run I was miserable and wished I was back in bed.

2013-11-03 4:56 PM
in reply to: KSH

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Subject: RE: Non-WTC IM races


BOTH of my IM's have been WTC branded, only because I know there will be 2,000+ participants. I'm slow at the IM distance (finishing in 15-16 hours) and I don't want to be out there, alone in the dark. If I go do an IM with only 160 people, I will be alone most of the race. That sounds depressing to me.




This is my reasoning for signing up for a WTC 140.6 race. However, it seems like Beach to Battleship has a larger field. I will definitely consider this race. I will probably never do a WTC 70.3. To me, it is not worth the steep entry fee when there are other options for well run races of this distance.
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