Yesterday I did something rather unexpected. I had absolutely no plans of doing it when I woke up yesterday morning, but it all came together and happened quickly, nonetheless… I registered for Ironman Florida 2016.
When I set my sites on an Iron-distance triathlon nearly 2 years ago, IMFL was the race I thought I would do. I expended a ton of mental energy on that race, visualizing myself as a participant over and over again.
Then, this year, after Beach 2 Battleship 70.3, my thoughts shifted. After I had a couple of hours to shake off the race, I realized what a super opportunity it would be to race my full-distance race there, instead of IMFL. There were a number of things that factored into that decision:
- A super-fast point to point swim
- About 1/4 the number of athletes as a branded race (500-ish vs 2000+)
- I could take my time making my decision because the race would likely not sell out
- I wouldn’t have to spend a weekend out of the office at a crucial time of year to go volunteer at this year’s race for the privilege of registering for next year’s race early
- And let’s not kid ourselves… $300 registration fee vs $800 (with USAT membership renewal) is not chump change
But there was no small amount of conflicted emotion in the decision making process. For me, participating in a full-iron distance race is a one-time thing. Neither my life nor my business support the level of training that it takes to survive one of these races in tact. However, I have a family that is ALL IN for one 140.6, so I have to make it count. I loved B2B 70.3 but it’s not an “Ironman” race, and there is the whole mystique of the “Ironman experience.” The possibility of having Mike Reilly pronounce me an “ironman” at the end of race is HUGE in my mind! Plus, all the finisher SWAG! The FINISHER SWAG, people!!
In the end though, B2B made the most sense all the way around.
So, it was decided. I would register for B2B 140.6 on November 1st when registration opened.
Only registration didn’t open. It was pushed to December 1st. On December 1st I ran to my computer with my credit card in hand ready to push the button, only to find another delay. Registration would now open on December 14th. Okay, no big deal, I could wait another 2 weeks.
And then the rumors started…
Every tri-related FB group I visited and every tri-blog was buzzing with speculation and rumor that WTC (Ironman) was buying Beach 2 Battleship and that it would be a branded Ironman race in 2016.
As a student of the Law of Attraction, I figured that, if true, this was just the universe’s way of giving me what I wanted – Beach 2 Battleship AND the Ironman experience I had dreamed about. It never even occurred to me that the full distance race may be cut from the equation.
Then yesterday, Slowtwitch and some other sources were saying that B2B would likely be an Ironman 70.3 race only. Which kind of makes sense. WTC was looking at a 70.3 on Hilton Head Island, but details for the new 2016 race have been sketchy at best. B2B could be the replacement for that race. Anyhow, it’s all just speculation at this point, but my spidey-senses were tingling.
THEN, I popped over to the IMFL website and saw that registration for the 2016 race was still open – unheard of! IMFL ALWAYS sells out in a heartbeat. Plus, yesterday was the last day to register before the price increased.
I consulted with Deb and some trusted friends… I hemmed and I hawed… I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to race B2B as a branded full, but I also didn’t want to be left out in the cold if the full-distance race was cut and then all those people who had been waiting to register gobbled up the remaining IMFL slots while I was flying home from Albany on 12/14.
With so much up in the air, I decided that a known entity is better than an unknown, and there were just too many unknowns with B2B and too many moving pieces outside my control for my comfort level. So, I pulled the trigger on Florida, and I am at peace with that decision.
I have put so much energy into IMFL, I guess this is just how it all had to play out to get me there. I’m excited and I have 334 days to prepare!
Buckle up! It’s going to be one hell of a year!