More DIY Racing
I'm paying $500 for the pleasure—if you want to call it that—of competing in Ironman Coeur d'Alene. That strikes me as hefty. Sure it costs money to put on an event. Insurance, security, that mediocre medal that now sits in a drawer, somewhere: the expenses add up. And then there's the profit line on the organizer's budget. Official I-dot-M Ironman events are owned by North American Sports, a private company, and they aren't in it for the sport of it. It's bidness.
There are alternatives, and next time I do an iron-distance triathlon, if there is a next time, it won't be an NAS event. I'll do Full Vineman, which costs $175 less and remains wide open for entries seven months before the race. Plus, if you decide six weeks before the big day that you've got to back out, they return all but $100 of your race fee. With Ironman, you have to sign up a year in advance, and the cancellation policy can be summed up as: Refund?
But it's not just the Ironman races that are out of hand. Several weeks ago I announced my snub of the Wildflower half-iron tri and its $220 fee (remarkably, the event will go on as planned). Then today I jumped online to sign up for the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon. This is a little jaunt I'd often thought about doing when I lived in those favored parts, and after reading an article about the race in Running Times last night, decided to finally go for it. I noted how well it fit in into my '09 schedule, coming one month after IMCDA. And I knew that after all the complication and whohaw of Ironman, a simple, pure half-marathon would really hit the spot.
For a lousy half-marathon run!
Boston this year is $110, but Boston is world famous, the greatest marathon in history. You've got to qualify for it. It's a thrill-of-a-lifetime kind of thing. Napa-to-Sonoma is a nice little run, but, I'm sorry, it's not $75 nice. Hell, I could almost buy a whole bottle of Napa wine for that kind of money. So I said no. Just as I'll make up my own half-iron tri to take the place of Wildflower, I'll do my own half-marathon. Cancellation policy: Very relaxed. Plus! Results available the moment the race ends.