Wednesday, April 18, 2012

KONA



Raymond Brit - RUNTRI Ironman Kona Slot allocation

"We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline
or the pain of regret or disappointment."
- Jim Rohn





The Lottery results came out on Sunday .The first 100 triathletes to race 12 Ironman's and apply for a slot were selected by lottery. In addition there were a further 100 from the general lottery .World Triathlon Corporation (WTC)   receives approximately 7500 entries for the 100 slots .

It is always an interesting exercise and a hopeful exercise to see if one has made it .It is the ultimate at least for an endurance triathlete to race in Kona. By far many will suffer the pain of regret and disappointment . It is elitist and demanding and only a few can qualify. The odds of obtaining a slot for many including myself are 0 simply because the quality of triathletes seem to improve and times are falling in the age groups across all races.

Yet there is the illusion that there is a glimmer of a chance. Luck plays a part as being in the right race , even in the right decade may actually have helped.

But having said that , as I chatted wiht friends after training last night I mentioned I still race against myself and I am still chasing the clock. That is what gets me chasing a race each year and training . Obviously , with each race comes many emotions and sometimes disappointment. Even in training there are ups and downs. Life is not in a vacuum and it is sometimes hard balancing all the balls of family , training , and work . I can do it and have done it but only to a degree and as I have discovered this year , sometimes work or family must take priority .

WTC has also tried to reward or offer places to the most inspirational or inspired clip from a triathlete  .You can actually vote.I started listening and watching the various video clips .Without being insensitive.,they are all great human  stories of individuals who have used Ironman to inspire themselves and to move in a positive direction. But they are all the same.

We all have the capacity  to improve and take charge . The motivation and the mechanism for doing so can be through sports or community service or building friendships and interest or even helping others. I see it in one channel  Ironman or triathlon.

Sadly I do feel that for WTC it is is about the brand and the monetary return. Every endeavour they have put forward seems from a cynical view geared to entrench the Ironman brand and the mystic. Whilst racing and getting to Kona remain a great desire , it is somewhat sullied by the degree of pure commercialisation , and even manipulation of setting up races with the WTC brand. It is such that they hold a desired brand , all forms of endurance sports seem to be enjoying a surge of popularity and this has made getting into and racing even more competitive and WTC are taking full advantage of it.

Raymond Brit at Runtri has done an excellent analysis of qualifying times for Kona , and the number of spots for 2012 . There will be a lucky few chosen for the NBC coverage and "human interest "stories that go with the coverage, a few VIP slots and a few charity slots. The going rate last year was $40,000.00. It is now edging to 2000 starters starting in KONA in October. I estimate with the 20 plus ironman races and 52 70.3 races the entry fees earned are approximately A$50 million ,not including the sponsorship fees , merchandise and TV rights. SEE
RUNTRI -Analysis of Ironman Kona

So congratulations to those who qualified and Clifford who got a spot amongst the first 100 who had done 12 ironmans .
I am not quite there yet and I will continue to enjoy the pure moment of racing for myself and close out the rampant branding. I want my sport to be what it was 30 years ago. 15 individuals setting out to test themselves . I don't want the hype , the sugar coated TV inspirational stuff.

The dream is standing at the start of the race .There may be 1500 -2000 competitors but at that moment it is really just you taking on the race. That is what the right stuff is made off .That is a Triathlon.