Why? Because I worked my ass off, cared about what I did, had a passion for it, and delivered a great product to the customer. I don't consider myself any more intelligent than the next guy...Really, it's not rocket science, and it's the same thing in triathlon. Of course, longterm, the races that really deliver a great product to the athlete will succeed. Musselman is a great race, and will continue to grow/thrive. As will other races. I'm a firm believer in this, otherwise I wouldn't have added two HIM weekends this year. I have complete and utter confidence in what we do, and what we'll provide the athlete.
IMO, that's not truly the point. It's more about supply. There are quite a few long course athletes out there. BUT, I still think there are too many long course races for them all to succeed. That's true of any business model. Supply and demand. If your business is good, it'll survive. It may take a while, though, and you may need deep pockets to survive the lean times. Eventually, the great races will prosper...With 101, it's probably more a question of whether they can weather 3-4 years of 200-300 athletes.
My basic belief is, for most of us, if you wanna go long you want the hype and excitement that only comes with racing with 1500 other athletes, and all of the spectators it brings with it. Most non-MDOT IMs can't capture the excitement because there are 100 people racing. 100 people racing means about 200 spectators, given that it's generally only family that's coming out to watch this stuff....Face it, folks, even at a high profile MDot, the people watching are family and friends, not the general public. This stuff just ain't that exciting to watch:)
So, it's the chicken/egg thing....How do you build the hype and excitement with only 150 athletes? It's tough, and it has a direct impact on the athletes experience.