What makes you want to get up in the morning? What drives you? Better yet, what drives you to get up at the crack of dawn or before to train for triathlons and then go to work and for a lot of us, still manage the family life?
Let’s face it, most of us aren’t professionals and we aren’t going to get the podium spots and win real money to make triathlons a worthwhile profitable adventure, and that’s ok. But, we still train and race and put a lot of effort into the sport.
Some race organizers are getting smart to add extra incentives to get you to race their events. Sure, you have the event t-shirts, goodie bags, coupons, giveaways, samples, finishers’ medals and finishers’ t-shirts. A lot of events even have prizes for the top 3 in each age group, but that seems to be going by the wayside while race organizers scramble for ways to turn a profit while presenting a quality race.
What’s the next step?
It’s the next big thing. There are a lot of smaller series out there that folks race locally, but to have a branded series with a points system is a big step for WTC. Time will tell if you have any payouts for winners in age groups and overall winners. Will it be worth it? Will it entice you to sign up and race more WTC events if you can have points bragging rights?
Personally, if I had more access to the events, then I might sign up for more. Being in the Midwest, IM KS 70.3, Branson 70.3 and IM Boulder 70.3 are the logistically closest events that I can race without breaking the bank and alienating my family. I have raced IM KS and IM Boulder and signed up for IM Branson which I missed due to my newborn son in the NICU for the first 2 weeks of his life (of which I got no consideration of an entry refund or credit to another event… but I’m not bitter, that much).
Now, would I sign up for all 3 if they counted in a points series? Probably not. Would I sign up if they were in a points series, at a reduced price, and I had the possibility of winning something? Maybe, maybe not, but the odds go up and make me think about it.
A local race director started the Heartland 39.3 race series here in Kansas City. It’s all about running three half marathons within 5 weeks of each other. Linked together, you get a reduced price for racing all 3, you are in the points series, sweet series medal and you get access to marathon maniacs and a couple of other perks. Two races I would normally race, and 1 I probably would not have signed up for. By packaging the events together, they got me on board. That packaging also enticed my coworker with a newfound passion for endurance sports to sign up. They have gone over 200 participants signed up for the series. In that 200+, there is probably a decent percentage that would have not ran all 3 races. Chalk one up for the event organizer for creativity to boost attendance to not-so-popular events.
That all goes to the fact that the points series is not a new idea, but it’s becoming more popular as a tool to get participants at events. In the past it was more for bragging rights among local friends. Now, it’s a selling and marketing tool.
Will WTC series points entice you to race more IM branded events? Is this just another money grab? Time will tell, but if ran properly under the right agenda, it could be a harmonious synergy of profitability for organizers and a great experience for triathletes.
Ryan Falkenrath writes the blog falkeetriathlon.blogspot.com, married father of two young kids, owner of two dogs and trying to balance life, work and multisport. Ryan has participated in multisport events since 2001 from 5k's to Half Ironmans. Ryan is also the Kansas City Endurance Sports Examiner and you can read more of his triathlon thoughts HERE and he collects race reviews at www.Triathlon-Reviews.blogspot.com. Contact Ryan at: email@example.com or follow him on @TriJayhawkRyan.
*Expressed opinions are not necessarily that of EverymanTri.com