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Dec 18

Tri philosophical question: Branded Ironman or Iron Distance?

Jason M sent me an email asking me this question:

Hello, and thanks for the tips and 1st hand information on your training blog.  I love soaking up other people’s experiences and knowledge.  I have question that nobody in my local triathlon club seems to know or want to answer.  Because there are only 9 official IM (full length) events in the US, and they sell out in hours, if you are planning on doing one, it could potentially be 18 months from now before your race.  But, there are other events, such as the Revolutions3 140.6 race in Sandusky Ohio.  If you complete that, do you still consider yourself an Ironman, even though the sponsor is different?  I would like to think so, but as much effort that goes into training, I would hate to think that I had a Barry Bonds-esque asterisk beside my name until I completed an IM branded event.  These are the things that go through my mind on my long runs.  I know you have more important things to do than answer stupid questions like this, but I believe I’ve run out of people locally to ask.

 Here was my Answer to Jason:

Thanks for writing.  I think that’s a great question!  I did a non-branded Ironman race and I 100% consider myself to be an Ironman. I did the distance. I suffered through the pain. I’m an Ironman and damn proud of it.

However, I did not get the M-dot tatoo. I made my own tatoo design with a 140.6 on it. Mostly because I didn’t want folks asking me “Which Ironman did you do?” and then I’d say “Beach 2 Battleship”. To which they would probably say “Oh, never heard of it.” Unless you are from NC, you may not have heard of that particular race. But it is a full iron distance race, so I’m an Ironman!

Well, that’s my two cents worth! I’d be happy to post your question on my blog and ask readers to chime in.

So, what do you all think?

 

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5 comments

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  1. Maria

    I don’t understand how paying more in registration fees, and maybe transportation, lodging etc. to do an m-dot race makes one any more of an “Ironman” than swimming, biking and running 140.6 miles close to home? I plan on using B2B as my half-iron debut and I’m pretty sure I’ll be just as proud of myself at the end as I would have been at an M-dot race. You put the time in training, you made it to the start and endured to the finish. You are an Ironman, regardless of who sponsored the race.

  2. Jamie

    Love it! Agree 100000%

  3. Mandy

    Yup, you are an Ironman – I believe it is the distance, not the brand.

    WTC might sue you for saying it though. ;)

  4. Chris

    “Carol, you are now an Ironman…” Regardless of whether you do Kona or a local 140.6, I agree that you are an Ironman whether the race is branded or not. It is interesting how one brand dominates the sport, but good to see they are getting competition from Rev3 and other race series

  5. BDD

    I agree 100%. 140.6 is 140.6 no mater what race org you do it under

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