So you want to know where I’m off to next, aye?

Going into this year I knew that one of the perks of being a pro was that I could rearrange my race schedule on short notice since most races do not require a long lead time to sign up (typically ~3 weeks, if there is a deadline at all). However, after several years of age group racing which generally required mapping out the next year’s races 12-18 months in advance – and generally not being able to just jump into most races since they’d fill up – old habits die hard and I still found myself planning this year well in advance of deadlines.

Before IM Boulder, it was the plan to also race IM Louisville to the schedule to see how I’d respond to racing in that 3 week interval. However, as Boulder got closer rumors of changes within WTC were surfacing. Ultimately, these changes were announced during the race, but my new plans had already been in the works – I’d be racing Challenge Penticton instead of IM Louisville on August 22nd.

 

Note: apparently I wasn’t the only female looking for a Boulder-take-2!

From the business perspective, which is what guided the initial change of heart, this is a much smarter move. Flying from Denver to Seattle is easy (and cheap!). From Seattle I’ll be able to carpool with blog-twin Cathleen up to Penticton which is awesome – it’s always nice to have the company of friends at races. I’ll also be given a homestay in Penticton – something that (as far as I know/have requested) is not ever an option for me with WTC! Challenge races also pay $75,000, 10 deep in the prize purse. At IM Louisville, I’d be looking at $25,000 going 6 deep. My odds in Canada are definitely more favorable.

From a racing perspective, while Penticton can also get quite hot (101 the other day!!!), I have only heard rave reviews about the course and location for the race. And, while Louisville will always have a special place in my heart since that was my first IM, it’s no secret that Louisville has a reputation as a sufferfest – I’ve had that day there too! So, Penticton seems like a great place to give myself a second chance to show the fitness I have this summer.

And finally, from a personal perspective, I do feel more of a persuasion to race Challenge races at this point because I think they are doing great things for the sport, professional and amateurs alike. The changes that WTC recently announced is a big change for the professional field. While this change may be in their best interest as a business, it’s certainly not in the best interest for developing future generations of long-course triathletes. The fact that they do not want to go beyond their call as a business and help the sport grow and develop is troubling to me. I like to believe that it is more than possible to run a successful business and still have your heart in the right place – if I didn’t I wouldn’t have gone into business with myself!

I am quick to admit that I don’t have all the answers as to how to accomplish that. However, I do know that it would be easy for WTC to create a “minor league” of pro racing, in sorts. They could throw small prize purses at “B” races for people who need to develop so that one day we can advance to the “kona-tiered” race fields. Without that, if I continue to race WTC races, the hole I could find myself in financially simply wouldn’t make sense.

I don’t want to get into a discussion of WTC-bashing or the like. I still believe that Ironman races do great things for the age group athletes in the sport, and I’d never stop sending the athletes I coach to these races. Generally speaking these races are safe, smooth race experiences. But as a professional athlete, I have a hard time racing for a company that, admittedly, doesn’t care about the future and development of the sport.

Comments

Leana
Reply

Best of luck in Penticton! I’ve raced that course twice (and I was also at Boulder). I love the one loop swim. The bike course is quite beautiful and there is some nice challenge with the climb up Richter and Yellow Lake. Running along Skaha is also gorgeous.

Have a great race out there!

Abby
Reply

So awesome you’re taking on Challenge! I was excited when I saw it on your Instagram feed.
I love Ironman races, too, but I think Challenge is a really great triathlon family and offers a lot to racers.
I did IM Canada in 2012 in Penticton. It was hot, but the swim was the nicest one I’ve done!
Best of luck- I’ll be cheering for you!

Katie
Reply

Best of luck coach :) smash some dreams out there!

Kevin Kunkel
Reply

I hear you about WTC. Too bad we couldn’t catch up. I’d be at Loo for the 6th time this year. Good luck in Penticton. I can’t imagine doing two Ironmans three weeks apart but for you and the Biscayers out there, its just another day at work.

alyssa.godesky@gmail.com
Reply

Good luck in LOU! I’ll send cloudy and cool thoughts your way!!!

Andy Rosebrook
Reply

Good luck in Penticton. I think you will love the course and the people are great too. I did IM Canada in 2011 and it was a blast. The summit at Richter Pass is a tour de France vibe, coolest thing I can remember in a race. The whole WTC thing is very discouraging, even from an AGer/ fans perspective.

alyssa.godesky@gmail.com
Reply

Thanks Andy! I’m really looking forward to the bike. And I just may see you at a Rev3 event soon!

Kelly
Reply

1. Don’t forget your passport driving from Seattle.
2. I’m curious how Penticon will be now that Challenge is in its second year running the race. It’s a great area and I’m hoping it continues to be a good race.
3. I’ve been having the same thoughts about feeling more inclined to support Challenge events if I want to do another full, but it seems like they only have a few in North America?

alyssa.godesky@gmail.com
Reply

ha! I was so glad I was home for a few days last week so I could get my passport. So weird you even need one to go to Canada.

Challenge has just started expanding to NA so it’s fairly limited options. I’m really hopeful they will put another full distance somewhere, but it is hard to say. I will say that Atlantic City was a fun course but it is quite a ways away from the west coast :)

Jacqueline Riley
Reply

Although I am a bottom of the pile age grouper, totally agree with you. WTC has become a complete ‘cash cow’, much prefer the Challenge races here in Europe. Also, at the moment Challenge don’t usually fill up in 20 minutes so, even as AG racers we can enter races at reasonably short notice

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