I’m about as old-school as they come, and have spent most of my triathlon career dreaming bout racing in Hawaii, but a conversation with my coach on the latest Crushing Iron podcast just changed my mind on the World Championship. Is it time Ironman moved KONA off the Island?
At first I thought it was preposterous, but the more I listened, the more it made sense. Not only could it be a huge financial win for Ironman, but so many more people could actually experience it, both as a racer, and spectator.
One of the points is obviously the expense of going to Hawaii for a week. It limits family members and friends that can support you, plus it likely forces some qualifiers to turn down the slot.
The size of the island comes into play as well. It would make it very difficult to have a separate woman’s and men’s race on different days, which Ironman is now doing for the 70.3 Championships.
There is also the question of: Does Kona really decide who is the best, or is it simply who is best in heat and wind? Moving to different climates with more challenging terrain would open the door for different triathletes and give a better overall sense for who are the best racers in the world.
I’m personally a huge fan of Ironman Wisconsin and thinking about Madison hosting a World Championship sounds incredible. The crowd support is already off the charts and the thought of how electric that city would be for an event of that magnitude gives me chills.
We discuss this starting the 25 minute mark of the Crushing Iron podcast, but also talk about a lot of other stuff regarding the broadcast. The men’s battle between Frodeno and Kienle, Ryf vs. Rinny. We also talk about how the broadcast, and specifically women are making this sport so popular. We talk about the human interest stories, the advertising, and the 83 year old who is the oldest man to finish.
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