Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ironman Maryland

I predicted that WTC would kill Chesapeakeman as soon as it could, although it promised to run it once this year when taking over the TriColumbia races.

That may still be true.  Ironman has not historically been victim to the sunk-cost fallacy, killing the St. George 140.6 after three under-subscribed races.  But it is looking more likely as if the former Chessie has a longer life expectancy.

Today I learned (hat tip to frequent commenter D__) that WTC is putting its premium "Ironman" brand on the former Chessie.  Contrary to my prior statements, there is some logic to this -- it is the first Ironman-branded race of either length in the triathlon-crazy mid-Atlantic region.  (Ironman 70.3 National Harbor would have been the first, but it flopped before it ever started.)


  1. There's no doubt it's happening.

    I have mixed feelings about it. ChesapeakeMan was my first full-distance race, and it had a quiet charm that is the polar opposite of Ironman crowds, hype, and controlled access for spectators. It was extremely well run. But it wasn't growing much, didn't attract a very strong field, and seemed more the sort of race that one would do as a convenient option than as a dream event.

    I suppose I hope that Ironman Maryland succeeds. But part of me would be a little depressed if suddenly, merely by virtue of the race becoming Ironman branded, registrations jumped from 200 to 2,000. If that happened, it's possible to tell a story about the greater allure being due to the availability of 30 Kona slots (although that's a pretty small number, and most people would have no hope of getting one). More likely, I'd suspect the greater crowds would result from the sudden availability of M-Dot gear that one can wear to the gym and neighborhood barbecues. No one's very impressed by one's having finished something called the ChesapeakeMan.

    1. No doubt that it is happening, but doubt as to how long it continues happening. I continue to question whether Cambridge can handle the kind of tourist influx that Ironman races bring about. It is no accident that most US IM 140.6 events -- Louisville and Houston excluded, I suppose -- are during the off-season in tourist meccas.