I was sitting around the house yesterday just chewing the fat with a well know triathlon coach. (Who will remain nameless for reasons you'll soon discover).
Anyway, we were chatting about the possibility of someone actually doing a "Bandit " race of your World Champion in Kona, Hawaii like Jakob recently did in Boston. When my coaching friend jumped out of his chair and screamed Soloman. (And now you know why this mystery couch must remain nameless)
OK, so my main man of mystery didn't exactly jump out of his chair, but he did say Soloman with a such a degree of force that my sleeping dog opened one eye, tilted his head in a questioning manner, and sorter of snorted as if to say this better be good.
And you know what? It was good.
Apparently a few years ago Mr. Soloman did bandit the race....sort of.
He, along with the help of his wife, raced the entire course on the Saturday before the race. He jumped into the ocean when the imaginary gun sounded and swam the marked course with all of the other triathletes getting a last swim in before the big day.
But unlike the others swimming that day he sprinted out of the ocean, after swimming the 2.4 mile course and ran to the closed transition area. It so happened that his wife was waiting next to the transition area with his bike.
By now I think that you smart folks at WTC headquarters in Florida can guess the rest of the story. He completed the entire race all by himself, on the same course, going the same distance, just doing all this the day before the big race. Thus he earned the name Soloman.
At this point I believe my dog rolled over, gave another satisfied snort as if to say "well how do you like them appples," and went back to chasing imaginary tennis balls in her sleep and every-so-often reminding us with her presence with an ever-so-eye-watering silent but deadly dog fart.
All of this got me thinking...just to be clear I'm referring to Mr. Soloman, and not my dogs deadly emissions, about a possible new race Ironman race.
Now it is very public knowledge that you are eager to expand your own Ironman race portfolio. I believe that the inaugural Ford Ironman Louisville scheduled for August 26 is the first of several new races that you intend to add to your own portfolio of Ironman races.
And just to recap for all of the folks at home, most Ironman races in North America have been and are still put on by the newly minted North American Sports(NAS). Which begs the question of what now gets announced when an athlete crosses the finishing line of a North American Ironman put on by NAS.
"Congratulations John Smith, you are now an NAS," just does not have the same ring to it.
Anyway, here's a humble suggestion for another race that you can easily and pretty painlessly add to your growing race portfolio tomorrow.
Along with the Louisville race and the World Championship race in Kona this could be the third great WTC organized race.
I am of course referring to the possible Ford Ironman World Challenge (an Ironman/distance race) to be held on the Saturday before the World Championship on Sunday.
Now stay with me on this one.
First of all, you already have the course set up and most of the volunteers in place for the Sunday race. So why not just utilize all of the existing infrastructure for the Saturday Ironman Challenge?
Secondly, you already have a tremendous number of triathletes who would love to race that course but will never be able to, because they'll never qualify or win the very limited lottery.
And I'm sure you know from your demographics that these people tend to be the doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs of the world. To most of these triathletes money is not a huge issue. They would probably be willing to pay a good penny to be able to soak up some of that Kona race magic.
Now here's where the rubber hits the road.
As I'm sure you are well aware last year you had to move the race because of a date conflict with the local cruise ship. Kona is just too small to provide both enough houseing and accommodation for both the cruise ship and the race. Too many people in too small of a town.
So why not get together with NCL (the local cruise ship line) and create the Total Ironman Challenge Experience (TICE). In order to do the race the athletes and their families would get to spend a week aboard the Ironman cruise sailing the Hawaill Islands, meeting and greeting each other, listening to well known triathlon speakers, watching previous years race videos and just having a grand old triathlon time.
The Ironman cruise would culminate in 1) racing the Ironman Challenge on Saturday for those so inclined and 2) Watching the World Championship race on Sunday.
The athletes could sleep aboard the cruise ship (which I believe holds about 2000 passages) thus solving both your housing problem with Kona and your business conflict with NLC.
Furthermore, I suspect the price point of the Total Ironman Challenge Experience would be pretty elastic. You could (and should) certainly donate a sizable chunk of the revenue to the local YMCA, or the charity of your choosing, thus straightening many of the ruffled local feather and doing some good for the local community and economy.
The cherry on the cake and thus the complete win, win, win for you is that it would give thousands of Ironman triathletes around the world the chance to race their dream. These triathletes would otherwise never have the opportunity to compete and thus add their contribution to the Ironman legacy.
That's the plan. If you like it and decide to go with it all I ask is an outside cabin and perhaps a few annual entries to the Saturday Challenge for the my loyal everyman triathlon reader posse.