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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [AlwaysCurious] [ In reply to ]
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AlwaysCurious wrote:
DJRed wrote:


...and the above is exactly where you are wrong.

I do not have disdain for pros and I am not trying to drive them out in any way. What I do have disdain for is people who tell me I need to support the pros becuase they are the lifeblood of the sport. They are not. This is easily proven by realizing that if for the next 10 years only the pros raced IM, IM would fold. Conversely, what would happen if only AGers raced IM for the next 10 years? I know you get that.

Additionally, just becuase they can do it faster than I can doesn't somehow make them more entitled to do it in AMERICA.

So let's agree there's room for all of us. However, the concept that one group needs to be subsidized because they have decided to do this for a living is outrageous. That concept, I have disdain for.


I hope you stick around long enough, with an open mind, to gain a perspective larger than your own.

FWIW, I'd rather my entry fee be weighted toward the pro prize purse, rather than paying for a gazillion lifeguards, road closures on the bike for 11 hours, and aid stations every mile of the marathon. But you know what? I don't lobby for that because I accept there's a place for people finishing slower than 16 hours, even though they're a small percentage and their race eats up a disproportianate share of the costs. So be careful about whining about the outrageousness of subsidizing small groups of racers. That finger might be pointing at you and your buddies.

Fair point about the lifeguards, road closures, and aid stations using additional resources.

I guess what I'm saying is if we broke the race in two, you can take the pros, I'll take the AGers and we'll see who has the more profitable business over time. To me, that's the easiest way to quantify who is bringing dollars to the table.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [andrewnova] [ In reply to ]
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andrewnova wrote:
My other point is that I question if the people who rail against wtc continue to keep paying for their races

Yes. Guaranteed.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [craigj532] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting that the male pros lobbied against increasing the female pro field. That's just sad. And WTCs excuse about participation numbers smacks of the UCI mindset. Create the carrot and they will come. They will not come for no reason. In the early days of our sport, forward thinking people made a conscious decision about prize purse parity. This is one of the reasons that female participation in the sport has blossomed, as opposed to that in cycling. I have to give credit to the media as well, for giving female pro triathletes excellent media coverage. Female pros are an important part of my interest in the sport.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [kny] [ In reply to ]
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>Yes. Guaranteed.

n=1, the last WTC race I did was in 2010, about the time I first railed against them.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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if they "expect" it's not volunteering. If they "would like" then it's volunteering.


Rappstar wrote:
oceanswimmer wrote:
So how exactly do they expect their pro athletes to "volunteer"?


WTC will provide both financial and logistical support for the volunteer efforts. Things like travel, getting posters printed, etc. WTC is willing to help with that and also to help find opportunities where the event organizer would also help in this regard. Athletes will not be expected to "foot the bill" for volunteer efforts; they are expected to give their time.

A lot has been made about how WTC needs to do more "athlete development." I agree. But I don't think that it should be racing-type development. It should be "how to be more professional" development. That's what this is.

I think it's a huge win for pros. This is exactly the sort of thing that is a very clear value add to sponsors. Much more clear than a race result...

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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Ironma'am] [ In reply to ]
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I used to think that pros in advertisements didn't affect me. Then I noticed my reaction when I saw ads with an unknown looking all serious "racing" in an ad, and I thought "well, who are you?" Then I realized that for an ad to bear any weight, they had to have a recognizable athlete, and if it is one of my favorites (often female), I definitely give a second look at the product.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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MarkyV wrote:
Bryancd wrote:
It is worth noting that no where in #5 is there any specific threat of retaliation against pro's. There is a request to not use social media to air grievances.


It is implied. There stands a policy of retaliation for going against big brothers wishes.



(ETA: have been slowly working my thru the thread and noticed Brandon updated you)

Curious then that a pro that received this letter posted it for all to see. Be interesting to see if there are ramifications. Otherwise you are engaging in a supposition.

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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Ironma'am] [ In reply to ]
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Ironma'am wrote:
I used to think that pros in advertisements didn't affect me. Then I noticed my reaction when I saw ads with an unknown looking all serious "racing" in an ad, and I thought "well, who are you?" Then I realized that for an ad to bear any weight, they had to have a recognizable athlete, and if it is one of my favorites (often female), I definitely give a second look at the product.

Agreed! But you are talking about "product", presumably a bike, a tri kit, nutrition, etc.

If you had no intention of racing IMLP but you saw a pro advertising it, would that make a difference and would you then give that race a second look? Or are you doing IMLP for a hundred other reasons?
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Ironma'am] [ In reply to ]
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Ironma'am wrote:
Interesting that the male pros lobbied against increasing the female pro field. That's just sad. And WTCs excuse about participation numbers smacks of the UCI mindset. Create the carrot and they will come. They will not come for no reason. In the early days of our sport, forward thinking people made a conscious decision about prize purse parity. This is one of the reasons that female participation in the sport has blossomed, as opposed to that in cycling. I have to give credit to the media as well, for giving female pro triathletes excellent media coverage. Female pros are an important part of my interest in the sport.

From what I've read on Twitter, it seems that the issue was presented to the male pros as "in order to give the women an equal number of slots, we'll have to reduce the number of male pro slots." If it was presented that way, I can see why the men were against it. Of course, there's no reason that WTC couldn't find 15 more slots for female pros without reducing the men's slots at all. I mean, really, they just somehow came up with 100 slots for active duty military.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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h2ofun wrote:
BDoughtie wrote:
For the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship, we will reinstitute a 25-minute gap between the female professional athletes and the age group men. Given operational constraints, this change will affect the other 2,000+ athletes competing for a world championship in the age groups whose race will be shortened to 16:45.

My mistake.

Still seems like WTC is screwing the older folks, but sounds like some feel everyone is getting screwed.

Sure glad I no longer have Kona as any goal I am worried about, let alone an IM ever again.

How are they screwing the old folks? They can make the cutoff any time they wish. Old folks don't have any right to an event specifically catered to them. Everyone has the choice to enter or not enter, if you can't make the cutoff, tough shit.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Bryancd] [ In reply to ]
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I also thought the policy was already on the books with the pros, just that it's never been an issue, so likely been soft stance. Now it just seems they are saying they'll adhere to the policy. I thought I remember hearing they did have a policy already.

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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Ironma'am] [ In reply to ]
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Ironma'am wrote:
Interesting that the male pros lobbied against increasing the female pro field. That's just sad. And WTCs excuse about participation numbers smacks of the UCI mindset. Create the carrot and they will come. They will not come for no reason. In the early days of our sport, forward thinking people made a conscious decision about prize purse parity. This is one of the reasons that female participation in the sport has blossomed, as opposed to that in cycling. I have to give credit to the media as well, for giving female pro triathletes excellent media coverage. Female pros are an important part of my interest in the sport.

What carrot do they need to provide? Prize purses are already equal. Wasn't it just IM Wales where only 2 female pros bothered to show up? There just aren't as many female pros. Males make up the vast majority of IM athletes both AG and pro. AG field isn't even so why should the pro field? And what female pro has been disenfranchised that could have an impact on the race in Kona? Here she is:
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [devrock] [ In reply to ]
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devrock wrote:
So, I guess this is one of many reasons why Macca no longer associates himself with Ironman, huh?

I'm not sure how your comment applies to mine (that European IMs have 16-hr cutoffs). Can you please explain?
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [cjbruin] [ In reply to ]
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cjbruin wrote:
devrock wrote:
So, I guess this is one of many reasons why Macca no longer associates himself with Ironman, huh?


I'm not sure how your comment applies to mine (that European IMs have 16-hr cutoffs). Can you please explain?

With Europe using the metric system, isn't 16 hours there the equivalent of 17 hours here?
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [DJRed] [ In reply to ]
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I am talking about product. But for pros to develop a recognizable name, they need to race.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [tucktri] [ In reply to ]
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Carrots come not only as prize purses, but as sponsorship deals. To get those, they must race, especially in Kona. Fewer slots equals fewer opportunities.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Ironma'am] [ In reply to ]
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16:45 is still soft. its 15 hours for challenge roth (which should be challenge's championship) and no one is crying about it.


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Ellsworth53T wrote:
The athletes are under contract in those leagues and the leagues provide a living wage for the athlete. The triathletes, as far as im aware, are not under any sort of contract with WTC, and WTC certainly doesn't provide a guaranteed wage.


Bingo.

This. I think the more fair comparison (instead of full time employee/employer that is often being used) is that of a contract sales rep. In those cases these reps sell (or in this example "race") for different brands, and they tend to gravitate to where the biggest commission/incentives etc are. If they do not care for whatever companies brand/management etc they are free to focus elsewhere.

My read on this move by WTC is they are making somewhat of a gamble. I think they smell a split in the ranks of pro triathletes and are making a move to move them all in through potential compensation under their pushes to bring in more sponsors etc. I mean it's got to be somewhat scary being a pro with all of the uncertaintly around income as is (have to win/place etc) so moving to other race brands and hoping that works out is even more uncertainty..which is why I have somewhat of a low opinion of how the WTC handles themselves. IMO they come off much more like an overconfident bully than a solid desirable business to be affiliated with.

Now granted the closest I've ever been to Kona is through my boy Magnum (and if that counts I've been there way more than you knuckleheads) but the business side of this is very interesting to me..
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [DJRed] [ In reply to ]
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I agree - there are people that are doing the race for a bucket list reason - to lose weight, to reclaim their lives, to raise money for a cause,. none of these were my motivation. Mine was to go as fast as i could given my talent and desire and heart. I worshiped the guys that kick my ass and i memorized their names and looked to see them in results and imagined that i could be as fast as them. If WTC doesnt get prize money into the realm of reasonableness - the fast talented guys will do other things or certainly no one will do it more than once. They will cross it off their lists and move on - which is what WTC wants. Look at the winners list from years past - people dedicated themselves for close to decades to chase the IM prize - now only a fool would bother - the prizes are peanuts and most AGers suggest they dont care about the overall winners. Despite being a competitive AGer- i still say how i did with an asterisk relative to the fastest people. i was young once and had my chance - now its time to give the accolades to the young guns of tomorrow to take down past champions. That is where the drama is. WTC is shortsighted and simply minimizing balance sheet expenses. For a company that still charges athletes entry for the opportunity to win a paltry prize - they should welcome any social media attention they get - even if negative - cause most of the world pays little to no attention to IM racing, which will continue to be the case until the stakes are higher. This company is simply minimizing expense in the short term and cares nothing about long term growth. My guess is a sale of WTC is in the works and the CEO is out to smooth waters so that potential buyers dont start reading the social media and get scared away. I have drunk the kool aid for years - but man these days I am hoping for an underdog to come in and change up the direction of our sport. Go Challenge !! Bring out your best - good competitions always make things interesting!

Michael Hay - helped on the journey by the great folks at Rudy Project, Blue Seventy, Xterra, Kestrel and GURU (for the custom fit), Brooks, and Bialkowlski's TRYSPORT
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for replying, rapp.
I've been busy working and travelling since this morning. Lots to catch up on in this thread.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [tri4balance] [ In reply to ]
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OK, so I have been in transit for the last 24 hours or so. Did the following happen yet?

  • WTC increased Kona field size to 5000 people ?
  • Did the town of Kailua get pissed off with the threat of more visitors to the island and kick WTC out yet because the world is always better with less revenue. We don't want triathlon to bring in more revenue than Kona coffee?
  • Did Challenge sign a deal with the locals yet?
  • Did all the Challenge series events worldwide sell out instantly because they now have the key to the road to Kona?
  • Did Challenge reduce the Kona cut off to 15 hours, or are they starting the 60+ folks with floodlights at 6 am and giving them all an 18 hour cutoff and big head start while forcing the young guys to suck it up and go faster like they do in Roth?
  • Did all the pros tweet to Messick that WTC sucks and they are all racing for the Challenge World Championships in Kona?
  • Did the Kailua provide the peer to Challenge for free or did they ask Felix for 20% of Roth proceeds to use the peer?
  • Did the princes over in Bahrain call Andrew and say, "OK, we'll host the WTC Ironman World's in Bahrain on the first weekend of October and post $10M prize purse".
  • While all this was going on, did Mauna Kea just erupt out of frustration covering the QueenK in Lava, forcing Challenge to take the race course up Palani to Hawaii belt road to saddle road to the new turnaround 10K up the side of Mauna Loa?



Anything else happen around here. I feel like Murphy's Law coming off winter hiatus.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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the money is going the wrong way for that to be true.

the WTC is under contract to the athlete. for the $800, the WTC is responsible to provide races to race in, prize money, and fair racing through drug testing.

Rappstar wrote:
Ellsworth53T wrote:
The athletes are under contract in those leagues and the leagues provide a living wage for the athlete. The triathletes, as far as im aware, are not under any sort of contract with WTC, and WTC certainly doesn't provide a guaranteed wage.


Any pro athlete who holds a WTC pro membership license is under contract. In exchange for a fixed yearly fee, each athlete is free to race as many WTC events as they wish, earn prize money, etc. In exchange, they agree to abide by a code of conduct, be available for drug testing, and some other pretty basic things you'd expect.

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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [AlwaysCurious] [ In reply to ]
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AlwaysCurious wrote:
DJRed wrote:

I just raced IMMD. There were no pros. The race was just fine. My day was great. I have no less than 100 Facebook likes on pictures. I have told my training and raceday stories to no less than 100 people. I spent almost $300 on IM gear to remember the day and I've yet to order any of my course pictures. I'll continue to talk to anyone who will listen about what a great day and accomplishment this was for me and my family. I suspect there are 1500 or so other finishers from IMMD who are in the same boat with the same story.

Explain to me again the selfishness and tyranny of all this? Explain to me again about how my sharing of this amazing experience is not good for the sport?

By the way, I've been asked a lot of questions about the race by friends and family. Everything from "Was I scared" to "Did I pee on the bike" to "Was the water cold". You know what nobody has asked me either after the race or during my months of training: "Which pros were at the race?" Hell, I don't even think people realize there's a winner in IM races.


It sounds like you had a great day, and you've engaged a lot of friends and family. You've probably even inspired some to start triathlon. That's all good for the sport.

The selfish part is that you don't care about anyone other than beginners and/or MOP racers. The tyrannical part is your open disdain for those who don't fit in your "category" of participants. You not only don't care about pros & FOP amateurs, you seem to wish that they didn't even exist.

And the reason it's tyrannical is that when the mass majority doesn't care about one segment of a population, it has the power to drive that segment out. I've seen it happen in countless running races when a competitive no-frills race becomes popular with beginners. First it's all good, but then the race becomes more and more focused on the beginners (because that's where the money is), and forgets about the minority of people who race competitively (and actually crowds them out). Soon, there's nothing of the race left for the competitive people. Over, and over and over this has happened in the past 15 years.

Look, there's room enough in triathlon for all "categories" of racers. I've welcomed and encouraged more beginners to the sport than you have "likes" on your facebook IM finisher photo. All I ask is that you respect that there needs to be a place for all levels of competitors. You don't have to care about them. But respect the fact that others do care.

For when you come on a forum and repeatedly advocate that triathlon has no need for pros, you are being selfish, exclusionary, and tyrannical. And that pisses me off, and makes me sometimes wonder why I'm so eager to welcome beginners to sport. Because while overall triathlete numbers continue to grow, that vast majority is crowding out some crucial segments of the population.

I don't disagree with your central pint (room enough for all "categories"), but the attitude of which you protest are equally evident from the opposite POV.

Beginners and BOP competitors are routinely chastised and dismissed as "bucket listers", "participants" and "completists" by many here.

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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [ericM40-44] [ In reply to ]
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ericM40-44 wrote:
the money is going the wrong way for that to be true.

the WTC is under contract to the athlete. for the $800, the WTC is responsible to provide races to race in, prize money, and fair racing through drug testing.

Rappstar wrote:
Ellsworth53T wrote:
The athletes are under contract in those leagues and the leagues provide a living wage for the athlete. The triathletes, as far as im aware, are not under any sort of contract with WTC, and WTC certainly doesn't provide a guaranteed wage.


Any pro athlete who holds a WTC pro membership license is under contract. In exchange for a fixed yearly fee, each athlete is free to race as many WTC events as they wish, earn prize money, etc. In exchange, they agree to abide by a code of conduct, be available for drug testing, and some other pretty basic things you'd expect.

Lots of us pay professional dues for various industry associations. We pay some $$$ to practice our professions in our country or internationally. I know it seems backwards, but by paying in, we help subsidize a framework that allows us to practice our professions under certain rules and obligations. I don't see this being that different. Rapp is correct, that the some of the stuff is pretty basic and is not that indifferent from every other industry in terms of how professionals have to behave.
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Re: Ironman CEO: dear professional athletes [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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I started in the last wave at almost every race this year with exception of tremblant and I am in 18-24 so I could say that us young guys get shafted ....

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