Saturday, 22 October 2011

My Hopes for an Ideal World

'They've been fighting for over 2000 years, it can't be much longer now...' I love that quote from Adam Sandler's 'You Dont Mess with the Zohan' in regard to Israeli battles. With Osama supposedly popped, Yugoslavia supposedly settled, and Lybia supposedly freed, the world is getting closer to Utopia. But the evil regime that will never be broken down is that of the WTC, owners of the Ironman brand.

The 'World Championships' for IM and 70.3 (or 'half IM' if you haven't paid your licencing fees) is run by WTC and on the whole they do a good job. But to qualify you have to do one of their races at an extortionate cost. There are a few other organisations who are putting on brilliant events but aren't getting the athletes they deserve because either they're not a qualifier for the worlds or they're not M-Dot branded. I think that's a shame. In Australia WTC's events sell out in under 2 hours (IM Melbourne actually took just 6 minutes to sell out) yet Challenge Cairns, a brilliant Ironman run by a different company has been on sale for months yet is only half full.

While I also want to qualify for the worlds, I have decided not to do any WTC races in Australia and, in fact, only race them overseas when I feel I'm at a standard worthy of qualification. There are so many other races worthy of your entry fees, and at considerably cheaper prices!

Challenge Cape Town was recently postponed, I believe, due to issues about the safety of the course. WTC today offered any athlete registered for Cape Town a spot at any of their remaining Ironman events for 2011. I think that's both a beautiful offer and a brilliant business move. While nobody can deny that WTC have their domination of the sport dialled in, I hope that this offer is the start of a joint effort in opening up the world championship qualifying races to other organisers. Business wise, I think Gaza will be settled quicker. But for the good of the sport, maybe the answer is hiding in a drain with a golden gun.

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