Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ironman Schmironman

Caution: This post may contain some material that may be viewed as offensive to some. If you have no sense of humor or are affiliated with WTC/Ironman, I recommend you skip it.


DC Rainmaker's recent post made me realize how much I LOVE non M-dot (non Ironman brand) races. Gasp! Horror!! Shame!!!

I really do. Why???

Well, besides lower cost, less crowds, hassle and hoopla, and, to me, a more rewarding race experience, I think athletes get much better treatment at smaller, independent races. For example, I recently got two emails from the race director (RD) of the Gator Half Iron, which I'm doing next month:


One had this picture of their trapper doing her job to ensure we have a nice race.

Because we all know gators are a possibility in FL lakes, although in March they are most likely hibernating or inactive and oblivious to any neoprene clad triathletes sneaking into their territory. In late May, however, when the water temps are 80+ degs, well, that's another story (and one you won't likely hear about from the Florida 70.3 RD).


The other had a photo of one of their volunteers to do body marking for the ladies.

Because we all know what a special and sensual experience it is to expose your arms and legs to be tickled by a big black felt marker, and how the person doing it can make or break your race. At M-dot races, chances are that all the hotties are doing the race so that the folks doing the marking are, uh, let's say, less hot.

It's these little things that make a race special to me. That personal touch from RDs, a race shirt or logo that every other triathlete is NOT wearing, the satisfaction of gutting things out when there was NO ONE around to carry you to the finish, that look of awe in others when they find out you went 140.6 (or 70.3) miles just for fun, NOT for a label.

But I have nothing against those who do M-dot races and wear their logos. In fact, I welcome them. Just beware, especially if you're in my age group, I find M-dots to be exceptionally motivating targets when I'm racing ;-)

PS - I also think there are a lot of great marathons besides the biggies: Boston, New York, Chicago, Marine Corps, the RnR series ... EEK, please don't hate!

37 comments:

DaveP said...

How about if I just call you "mine"? ;-)

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!

IM races are so overrated and overpriced, IMO.

tokelle said...

Can't wait to hear all about the Gator Half, I was TEMPTED to sign up for it as my first half, but got a little freaked out by the gator issue... Maybe next year though! And yes, the race director sounds great!

Marlene said...

I'm all about the small-town races. I agree that you often get better care and attention.

I might be tempted to do a triathlon if *he* does the body marking. LOL!

Jonathan said...

Hilarious. We could use more fun in races and less cost.

Karen said...

I have yet to do a half ironman or full ironman but always wondered what the big deal was about that M-dot. Seems like just some marketing ploy. I'd much rather do a smaller race that is affordable and closer to home.

Anonymous said...

OK, I know now not wear my M-dot logos in any race you're in :) :) :)

Ashley

Jenny S said...

Shirley, I just love your blog. Keep it real for us, girl!

Stef said...

Ah YES. You've hit on one of the many reasons why I love Silverman!

Plus this post gave me a chuckle. I've nothing against IM races either. I've never done one but probably will at some point.

And as Jenny S said, thanks for keeping it real!!

lindsay said...

i like the big races OK... but i def much prefer smaller ones! just less of a headache and NOT OVERPRICED! rock 'n roll for example... hello, $100 for a half marathon you have to be kidding me..........

i would sign up for this ironman just so i could be bodymarked by that one. yummy ;)

Lisa said...

I've never really considered doing an ironman event, but after this post, I'm definately considering doing a non m-dot half....

;-p

Regina said...

yeah, well a full Ironman isn't in my future at the moment. If I can make it through the half Iron, I'll be happy. Speaking of which it is an Ironman branded one....so don't be hatin'!

Although I am considering another smaller local one in October. I hope my coach doesn't read your blog...

John said...

Done one Ironman brand event and don't feel the need to do another one ever again. Plenty of other good races to choose from and at a much better bargain.

See you at the Gator Half!

Jen said...

I totally agree!!!

BTW: Check out my blog for a cool giveaway!

Meg said...

Ha, ha! Go for it BIG or don't go for it all, right Shirley? I agree, the big marathons are fine but there are other fish to fry and they all have their own flavor. A little something for everyone! Stay real Shirley!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Great post Shirley! I want to work my way up to 70.3 one day and see the jaws drop :) Love that the Mdot motivates you! That's one of the things that make you awesome!!

Heather said...

I'm still pretty new to tris but think that I culd only do a Ironman brand race. Hearing those words you are an Ironman is really important to me and I don't think I could finish without people around to keep me going. If I do one though I'd probably buy enough mdot stuff so I won't have to every do another one, lol!!!!!

Rainmaker said...

...and now officially adding the Gator Half to my list...

Bruce Stewart (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

The Mango race is the best race, it's local, and for the ladies the race organizer also sometimes body marks them, and its just swimsuits the whole race, and a dip in the ocean to cool off when you finish.

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Wow, super marking from the Gator Half, excellent bodymarking ability... I'm going to look into that. I like the tone of your post too. :-)

Anonymous said...

SORRY CHARLIE. I DON'T THINK YER AN IRONMAN UNLESS YOU'VE FINISHED AN M-DOT RACE PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

ShirleyPerly said...

That's OK! Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Spokane Al said...

Shirley, I was pretty excited and looking forward to seeing the offensive stuff in your post. However, after going through it at least of couple of times, I have yet to find any.

Perhaps you deleted it before I had a chance to read your lastest stuff?

Anonymous said...

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Petraruns said...

Never a "hate" - I can totally see your point. Not about IronMan really - just because I've never done one - but with running races. I intersperse the very "big" races with some tiny ones and enjoy the differences.

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Just something about Mdot. They did a great marketing of the symbol and race to make people want to advertise for them. Crap, I admit it, I do IMFL because it is easier than Clermont....

lizzie lee said...

I just had myself this weekend that experience... rewarding....

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Fe-lady said...

Those kind of races are the only races I ever knew "back in the day"-
Now the IM races are all way too gawdy and expensive.

Give me a 120 mile bike ride with one good friend any day and I will take it over an IM race....

Fe-lady said...

P.S. I wonder if that anon. IMer will change their mind once they are older and realize how immature that statement is...

Completing an IM is fun, challenging, and somewhat difficult...but in the scheme of things it really is no big deal.

Calyx Meredith said...

I'm an and/both kinda gal. I LOVED my experience at the B2B half, but I look forward to the gawdy chaos of an M-dot race someday. Love your RD's sense of humor. Thanks for sharing those pics!!

Jennifer said...

I totally agree with you. Being in Chicago I've done the Chicago Half(s) and full marathon but I'm getting tired of the high race fee's and the jam packed race course. This year I'm seeking and trying out smaller races. I'm enjoying the smaller groups and little race fee's.

Rural Girl said...

You should definitely know on the marathon front. You are a rock star!

Formulaic said...

Great post! Made me smile and look for a gator or two around here that could use a little trapping!

IM or not all the races seem to boil down to you vs. you. The IM has all the hype but after the first 20 minutes it feels like every other race out there..."why did I sign up for this again?"

RoadBunner said...

Okay, I don't consider myself a triathlete by any means, but if I did an iron distance race, I think I'd have to do an M-dot. I guess it is the marketing and the "You are an Ironman" fantasy. If I were in the market to do repeated iron distance races, though, I'd probably like to try a smaller race. I definitely love smaller marathons for all the reasons you mentioned.

Kristi said...

Altho I am so glad for my IM branded race experience, I also loved doing the 'local' iron distance race and if I do another one, would probably look for another non-branded race. B2B looks like fun...maybe some day. :)

PLANET3RRY said...

Body marking... that's why I like to do the local triathlon here called the Trideltathon. Delta Delta Delta Sorority girls mark the numbers on the racers... yes... sometimes it's the little things that make ALL the difference.