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IM Dropping Activity Wales for IM Wales 2012

I have been very disappointed to hear that Ironman UK will not be using Activity Wales for this years IM Wales. Activity Wales worked tirelessly last year to ensure that we had one hell of a spectacle, working closely with the Welsh government, local councils and most importantly the community. If it was not for their hard work and efforts I am sure it would not have been the success it was and if true it smacks of the Large corporation using the skills and local knowledge of the small guy and then dropping them once all the hard work has been done………not a good advert for the IM brand.


  • I have been back in the sport for a short while but have the feeling that this is not the first time they have done this sort of thing from reports on other forums and speaking to people at Ironman UK in the trade.

    The issue is the brand is a magnet and as such it is tempting for a small group like Activity Wales from what you say to go along for the ride for the first year hoping for rewards in the future. Large corporations get to be large by dominating the market. They can do this by growing the market as a front runner and when this gets to a saturation point they keep momentum going by take overs. The problem here is where do the loyalties lie. Things like negotiating a bike and run courses with police take a lot of time. Police will be happy this year to say same again as will many groups on aid stations etc... its like employing someone for a short period in business to get your hands on their contact list.

    If the Ironman Organisation was honest then entry fees should be cheaper this year as a lot of the groundwork was done last. The truth here is they won't and organisation who do help out in setting up races for the brand should make sure they charge a good fee for doing so at least they will not be out of pocket as opposed to seeing their work as an investment for the future as by the looks of it there is none for these guys second time around.
  • There is much sense in what you have said. I just hope the guys that run it this year can do as well as last year. I want to enter as i DNF'd in 2011 and have some unfinnished business in Tenby. A great course, fantastic atmosphere. Excellently marshalled. Spoke to many guys and gals (inc pro's) after the race and many said it was the best IM they have done.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    A bit annoying,as it happened when the IM brand came to the UK in 2001 (discounting the Kona slots that where available at the Ironbridge Triathlon early 90's,yes I am that old).Bluesure(one of the major sponsers) and Simon Blackburn as the race organiser/director worked for a couple of years to get the IM brand into the UK.Put on an excellent race,in 2001 and then improved it in 2002,with perhaps one of the best UK race courses I have raced on,only to have it moved 'down Sarf',with one of the reasons stated as that the majority of triathletes where from that area,nothing to do with the New Major sponser opening a rather large store near to the event area.
    2003 HIMUK,sadly lacked alot I am afraid.
  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280
    jon.E I was working on a cycle feed stationat the Ironbridge Iron distance tri and also the fillowing Half distance won by top world pro Gregg Welsh who IIRC got his nutrituon wrong on rhe run and called in the pub for a sandwich and still won .

    apologies for the thread hijacj
  • Bathtub, great story.

    I saw an article last year '10 things that have got better in triathlon'. Modern culture tends to promote the fact that everything naturally has to get better. My opinion is just because things are bigger and comercilaised doesn't make them neccesarily better.

    I was out on a ride a few months back and bumped into a triathlete in his early twenties and we got chatting. I explained that I was coming back to the sport after a long break At one point he asked me what was my PB giving me his. What he was of course talking about was best time for an Olympic distance race. I had to speculate on a time explaining that when I raced standardisation didn't exist as a be all and end all. If a good bike course was 46km and the run was 12km so be it, far better to have a great natural course than some traffic cones in the middle of the road to ride or run around.

    My own view is i suspect a lot of things have got better but some things have been lost or at least marginalised by big events such as those put on by Ironman, but if you were not there over the course of the journey how will you ever know as to how good some of the scenery was in this sports formative years. I have not been on all of that journey but the contrasts are quite apparent from my own position.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Sadly the past is a country we can never revisit.

    But we continue the search to find events that remind us what was good and is still good about the sport.
    Natural course do exist,I am always dubious about any event that advertises standard distances,AND uses a natural course,rather than as you say''a cone in the road''.

    Market forces,finance,Health and safety,all co-conspirators,in the changing face of events.

    DE-Rail a thread,if it didn't get derailed it would be boring.
  • You are dead right we can't revisit it, if we could I would like to have the body back that I did in my early twenties, I would even promise to give it a bit more respect second time around.

    I consider myself fortunate to have been around at that time. Up in the roof space there are still enough bits and pieces to knock up a retro tri bike, and I know in the bottom of my draw there is some day-glo Insport trunks and a matching short crop vest top that should come with a radioactive warning which I can still get into. The made to measure Snugg wetsuit is a bit of a no go area unfortunatly.

    I suspect for many the best tris are nearly always the first ones and that is something which never really changes. I am glad that my first experiences were at a time when people did the sport just for the hell of it, making training up as we went along and every event was a bit like a mini adventure. A bit of a mad circus in town for the day.

    The funny thing is that back then I wanted the sport to get as big as it is right now, and now.....? I accept where the sport is but to be honest i think there are a hell of a lot more stressed looking individuals on the start line than I remember. Maybe we simply didn't have a clue about what we were doing, and today people think they are supposed to!
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    I wouldn't use the word clueless,but use relaxed,instead.Smaller entry fields,you could pretty well recognise a large number of other racers,probably by name.For myself it has gone full circle,you start out,wanting to finish,you improve and become competitive.You abuse you body so much that to finish is a bonus,so you become more relaxed and enjoy it.

    Some people tend to focus too much on one central point,get totally stressed out,and miss what goes on at the periphery.Be it on a macro scale(focus on IM,rather than sprints),or micro scale,(distance and speed over form and function),In this day and age we are fed that more is better,when quality is really paramount,triathlon shouldn't be stressful,it's origins are more laid back,but as this derail has mentioned,we forget the past
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