General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Ironman branded or no? Rss Feed  
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2013-05-22 8:23 PM

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Subject: Ironman branded or no?
I began doing tris last year and have an IM n my calendar for 2015 for my 60th birthday. So if I ever only do one, how important is it that its an Ironman branded event? Does it matter to you?



2013-05-22 8:29 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I want my first one to be an IRONMAN event. Just for the over the top experience. I did my first 70.3 this past weekend and it was IRONMAN and it was pure awesomeness. After I complete my first I don't know if it will matter who puts it on.
2013-05-22 9:22 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
It really depends what you're looking for in a race. The WTC puts on great races. A big production, lots of athletes, big crowds, and Mike Rielly at the finish. For some people, that's what it's all about. Nothing wrong with that.

For me, that stuff is really cool, and I definately will do a WTC branded IM before I die. But there are also other non WTC races that I have on my bucket list. Actually, most of the bucket list races I want to do are not WTC races...or to be fair, most of my bucket list races aren't even triathlons.
2013-05-22 9:50 PM
in reply to: #4753676

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I'm with the others on here. My first long course event will be an Ironman branded one, but after that, I don't think I will care. I have heard about all the awesomeness and want that for the first one. It's all a matter of preference.
2013-05-22 10:50 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
It's a no from me. I don't like the IM business model and I won't support it with my dollars. I've not done a full, but I have done a couple HIMs, both were non-IM brand and both were well run and lots of fun. That's to say nothing of the registration process being easier, and the price much less expensive.

IMO, a full is a full and jumping through hoops to support the marketing hype doesn't appeal to me. But that's just me and other people like different things for different reasons.
2013-05-22 11:12 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
5 Full Ironman events
4 Half Ironman events

1 Non Iron Full
4 Half Non Irons.

Personally, I don't care about the extra money that the WTC charges. I don't care about how they run the business. They put on AMAZING events, the organization is great, the crowds are incredible. If this is a once in a lifetime thing, go Ironman. You won't regret it. I'm not saying the others aren't good... they're just different.


2013-05-23 5:49 AM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
Originally posted by Stuartap

I began doing tris last year and have an IM n my calendar for 2015 for my 60th birthday. So if I ever only do one, how important is it that its an Ironman branded event? Does it matter to you?




#1. Since I feel I may only do 1 at this distance I wanted to do an IM branded race to experience everything it has to offer.

#2: it does matter for my first and possibly only one experience wise but as far as the distance if you cover 140.6 in any race that is a huge achievement.
2013-05-23 6:11 AM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I think I would only go for WTC IMs to qualify for Kona, otherwise I couldn't care less for the brand, I don't think it really matters if you're an IRONMAN(TM) or an Ironman it's still a great achievement. What matters to me is the organization and the race course/location.

It's really important that the race is well organized, there's enough aid stations, that they have enough nutrition, that they care about personal safety and security of equipment, the race course should be well known, and accurately measured with a known race profile.

Second the race course and location, I'd want this to be an experience beyond doing 140.6 miles, the race it should be scenic and offer opportunities a pre- and post-race to enjoy the place, this is more important if you travel with family or friends for support, I wouldn't expect them to go just for the race.

The WTC IMs scores well on all of these, but at a premium price. There are plenty of other organizations doing a great job too at a lower price, the Challenge Family for example.
2013-05-23 6:21 AM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?

Originally posted by erik.norgaard I think I would only go for WTC IMs to qualify for Kona, otherwise I couldn't care less for the brand, I don't think it really matters if you're an IRONMAN(TM) or an Ironman it's still a great achievement. What matters to me is the organization and the race course/location. It's really important that the race is well organized, there's enough aid stations, that they have enough nutrition, that they care about personal safety and security of equipment, the race course should be well known, and accurately measured with a known race profile. Second the race course and location, I'd want this to be an experience beyond doing 140.6 miles, the race it should be scenic and offer opportunities a pre- and post-race to enjoy the place, this is more important if you travel with family or friends for support, I wouldn't expect them to go just for the race. The WTC IMs scores well on all of these, but at a premium price. There are plenty of other organizations doing a great job too at a lower price, the Challenge Family for example.

x2.

Personally, I don't care about the brand.  I care about the experience.  You can have a good or bad experience with an IM brand race or one put on by another organizer, so my suggestion is always to check out the history of an event and/or the organizer if it's a new event before registering.  Reading race reports can give a good indication of what the race experience is going to be like.

 

2013-05-23 6:50 AM
in reply to: frozensurfer

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
Originally posted by frozensurfer

5 Full Ironman events
4 Half Ironman events

1 Non Iron Full
4 Half Non Irons.

Personally, I don't care about the extra money that the WTC charges. I don't care about how they run the business. They put on AMAZING events, the organization is great, the crowds are incredible. If this is a once in a lifetime thing, go Ironman. You won't regret it. I'm not saying the others aren't good... they're just different.


Agree. I've only done one non-IM brand HIM - but have done an IM full, and spectated a few all IM-brand fulls. It was seeing IM Canada in 2007 that gave me the triathlon bug. It was amazing - the whole thing.

The other factor for me personally is the size of the race ... being someone who can end up by herself for a while (read: slower) I appreciate the sheer size of the IM races - not that the off brand races aren't fantastic but for a full especially it would be hard to be further back in a thinning crowd when there are only about 600 racers at that distance. It's not bad but it's definitely a different experience. Training and racing can be solitary enough.

That said, there is the Challenge brand which seems to give Ironman a run for its money in terms of the scale of the events - especially in Europe.
2013-05-23 8:09 AM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?

Originally posted by erik.norgaard I think I would only go for WTC IMs to qualify for Kona, otherwise I couldn't care less for the brand, I don't think it really matters if you're an IRONMAN(TM) or an Ironman it's still a great achievement. What matters to me is the organization and the race course/location. It's really important that the race is well organized, there's enough aid stations, that they have enough nutrition, that they care about personal safety and security of equipment, the race course should be well known, and accurately measured with a known race profile. Second the race course and location, I'd want this to be an experience beyond doing 140.6 miles, the race it should be scenic and offer opportunities a pre- and post-race to enjoy the place, this is more important if you travel with family or friends for support, I wouldn't expect them to go just for the race. The WTC IMs scores well on all of these, but at a premium price. There are plenty of other organizations doing a great job too at a lower price, the Challenge Family for example.

Some folks don't like the cost of WTC races, but it's a small percent of your total outlay.  When you fly to a venue w/ family and stay in a hotel, the race entry fee is not really that significant.

I'd recommend finding a place you want to travel to and race.  Then see what's available in the area, regardless of who's organizing it.  Then look at them and decide if they provide what you want.  Personally, I don't really want to do a long course with a field of 30 participants or whatever.  That's a tough lonely day.  But something put on by Challenge versus WTC?  Sure why not.



2013-05-23 9:33 AM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
Originally posted by Stuartap

I began doing tris last year and have an IM n my calendar for 2015 for my 60th birthday. So if I ever only do one, how important is it that its an Ironman branded event? Does it matter to you?




When you say "IM" do you mean 140.6 or 70.3. IM is 140.6... a Half Ironman is 70.3.

For the 140.6 distance I'll probably only do a IM branded event. Why? Because I'm slow and I don't want to be out there all alone at 10:00 PM. If I do a non-branded race their might be 300-500 people racing and most of those will finish long before me. At an IM branded race there are 2,000-2,500 people and thus I'm not alone a couple of hours before midnight.

For the 70.3 distance I don't care. It doesn't matter to me if it is IM branded or not. Even smaller races for that distance tend to pull 800-1,000 people and I have never been alone on the course for those.

2013-05-23 9:35 AM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
Originally posted by Stuartap

I began doing tris last year and have an IM n my calendar for 2015 for my 60th birthday. So if I ever only do one, how important is it that its an Ironman branded event? Does it matter to you?



PS- If you going to do a IM (140.6) branded race, MOST of the races fill up a year ahead of time. If you want to do one in 2015, you need to start deciding which one you are doing in 2014. Many of the IM (140.6) races require you going to the race and volunteering so you can get a spot for 2015.
2013-05-23 9:45 AM
in reply to: KSH

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?

For me it was a YES. I am the type of person that enjoys soaking in the experiece of it all. I fell in love with watching finishers on my computer at IM branded races and saw my friends experience it to the nines. I wanted to be a part of that. So I was.

I've done 2 IM-branded Ironmans but this year I'm doing an off-brand. I'll let you know how it goes on July 28

2013-05-23 10:04 AM
in reply to: lisac957

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I just did IM St. George 70.3 and WTC did a heck of a job. That being said, was it such an incredible experience that I would fork out the type of money required for a full IM race? No. I live in Utah, so if we still had a full IM branded race I would probably pay the money but I would not travel AND pay $650 to $700 for that.

I'm glad I did the 70.3 but I think it was enough to get that bug out of my system. I am currently signed up for my first full at Lake Tahoe. It's called Expedition Man and it's in it's second year. The reviews say that they do all the basics right and the price is half of what I would have had to pay for the IM branded race at Lake Tahoe. Another option I considered was Vineman, which is a very storied race here in the US. My schedule did not match up for that one.

At the end of the day I think as long as you do 140.6 at an official race you are an Ironman. That being said if you have never done a WTC event you should do one. However, doing a 70.3 for that experience may be much more economical than going the full WTC route.
2013-05-23 10:17 AM
in reply to: Lock_N_Load

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?

I am doing my 1st 140.6 this year at Redman, a non IM branded course. To me and my thinking is that I want to run the 140.6 first before I spend on the money on an IM branded race. Redman was only $325 and I have heard nothing but good things about the race. So I am not worried about the experience factor just yet.  

I tend to learn so much from doing the distance the first time, that it makes the second time that much better for me.



2013-05-23 10:35 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I have completed 7 ironman races so far with 2 more scheduled for this season. Some of these races were the ironman brand and others were independent. I liked the experience of both. They are VERY different. These days, I am leaning more toward the independent races over the ironman brand. I like the "feel" of them better. They are all 140.6 miles, so you will be an iroman either way you decide. :-)

Edited by amymengel 2013-05-23 10:39 AM
2013-05-23 12:06 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
Great feedback guys! This is what I was looking for. Different perspectives and insight on the decision making process. Right now I would favor IMAZ as both my parents and my brother live there but I have talked to a few people who have done a HITS event. While small, the athletes seemed to really enjoy the experience.

I figure I have about a year to decide since I was planning on late 2015. That way I can volunteer for a 2014 event if need be to get a slot in 2015.

Much appreciated, thanks.

2013-05-23 12:17 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I did an Ironman branded 140.6 for my first full distance race, and it was awesome. From the organization at package pick-up to all the volunteers to the expo to the course to the support along the way, and of course the finish...I thought the WTC event was great. So, for your first 140.6, I'd vote for a WTC race. I'm going WTC for my 2nd IM distance race too.

Coach Karen mentioned something in her post about how fast you are, and I think this is a very good point. If you're going to be finishing late (13+ hours), then a WTC event may be best because of the size of WTC events. In other words, there'll be be other athletes around and you'll have a good sense of 'community' on the run leg. Other non-WTC event are generally smaller and you may be 'alone' on the course for a healthy part of the day. This may be something to think about.

But as others have said, 140.6 is 140.6 no matter who organizes it.
2013-05-23 12:49 PM
in reply to: LarchmontTri

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I am planning on doing my first full IM next august at IMMT. I chose IM because of the experience, amount of people, venue, etc. I also might only do one 140.6 distance race in my life and if I do, I want the Ironman brand experience.
2013-05-23 2:01 PM
in reply to: lisac957

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
Originally posted by lisac957

For me it was a YES. I am the type of person that enjoys soaking in the experiece of it all. I fell in love with watching finishers on my computer at IM branded races and saw my friends experience it to the nines. I wanted to be a part of that. So I was.

I've done 2 IM-branded Ironmans but this year I'm doing an off-brand. I'll let you know how it goes on July 28




I love the Rock and Roll Marathon series for this reason.


2013-05-23 4:09 PM
in reply to: Stuartap

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I've only done one full so far, it was branded, and I'm so glad I did. Especially for my first. The crowds are absolutely awesome. The finish is truly amazing, and it's a moment I'll never forget for the rest of my life. They put on one hell of a show, in my opinion well worth the cost.

Important? No, it's not important at all. In the end we're all traveling 140.6 miles by sea, bike, and foot. It's the same amount of work no matter what. The crowds at Ironman definitely help and people are amazingly supportive. The signs make you smile and often times you forget about how much you're working. You are repeatedly told how much of an inspiration you are, and there are so many other racers that will inspire you throughout the day. It would be hard for me to do a non-branded race after it, but i won't discount any.

Its really about what you want. Some people really want the M-Dot tattoo, and for them, you have to do the branded race. I was one of them, and I'm coaching one of them. Nothing wrong with that(though many people on here will disagree with me).

If the crowds don't matter to you, you want to save money, you don't want to sign up a year ahead of time, and you want more choices in races a non-branded race is the way to go.
2013-05-23 4:12 PM
in reply to: Donskiman

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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
"That's to say nothing of the registration process being easier, and the price much less expensive.

IMO, a full is a full and jumping through hoops to support the marketing hype doesn't appeal to me. But that's just me and other people like different things for different reasons."

I don't know what hoops you're talking about or what difficulties you're referring to. You said you haven't done a full so how would you know about the difficulties? yes, getting in a domestic full means registering within minutes of opening, but it's not that difficult, its just hurried.

I've done both branded and non-branded halves and noticed no differences at all in the registration process. And for the record, I wasn't attempting to support the market hype, I just wanted to do that race. Its ok to not like the company, but to slight the participants who chose to race with them is unnecessary.
2013-05-23 5:06 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman branded or no?
I've done four WTC events and three non-WTC events. My experience was that the WTC races were great but so were the non-WTC races which included Vineman twice. Vineman was equal to or better than the WTC races for me. There was still a large crowd, great support and organization, and a really cool medal. Another non-WTC race I'd love to do is Beach 2 Battleship. We are pretty fortunate to have so many options.

Edited by popsracer 2013-05-23 5:06 PM
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