So if you were anywhere on the tri sphere on facebook last night, you saw the eruption that happened...
Ironman NC has been shortened on the bike course by 62 miles, due to the large amounts of flooding that still remains after Hurricane Matthew 10 days ago. It's kind of crazy because while everyone was stressing out this week, I was like "Oh it will be fine." As they always say, anxiety doesn't ever fix anything, and I guess that's the case because whatever happens will happen..and guess what? It happened. Lol.
So of course I have to write a blog on it ;)
First, we all stare at the email that they sent. We all didn't ACTUALLY think that they would do this, so it reads "The full ironman course will now be 2.4 mile swim, an altered course of approximately 50 miles, and 26.2 mile run. We all think "an altered course of 50 miles?" Does that mean that 50 miles are altered or that it's only 50 miles? Surely, it's just altered. Let's take to facebook groups.
Of course there's already posts. "DID Y'ALL GET THE EMAIL? IS IT SHORTENED?"
The emotions start flying in. I don't even know what to feel. I felt kind of numb. Tanner was at work, and I was just reading the comments. Tanner got home, and then when someone hugged me and said "Oh my gosh, I don't even know what to say right now. I am so sorry. You've worked so hard" and then I just lost it. I just sobbed in his hug. You might think I'm dramatic, but maybe you haven't ever sacrificed as much as Ironman athletes do to get to this point...especially when it's our first one (and for me my only one). I knew what was done was done, and I didn't want to really even comment on facebook groups/status posts in the heat of my moment. I've at least learned my lesson about that.
Of course immediately the sides divided.
"HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU WERE A HURRICANE VICTIM?"
"WHY AREN'T YOU JUST HAPPY YOU GET TO BE HEALTHY AND HAPPY PERIOD?"
All of those comments are true, but they also aren't mutually exclusive. It's like when someone says "I wish my husband and I didn't argue that much" and someone fires back "well at least he doesn't beat you!" Like, it's just unnecessary. Especially at the very heat of the moments of figuring this out, we aren't even allowed to be upset. Also, yes it's facebook but we all know that human connection is something that we all crave and when the people that are within your circle tell you that it's not okay for you to be upset, it hurts.
I went from sad into whining mode. I just was like "Uhhh why did I even do this? Why did I waste all this time and energy and now I can't even really do an ironman? Uhhhh poor pitiful me!" Blah blah blah-we won't waste much time on that stage as it's annoying. lol!
From there, I went into anger. I'm not still angry because I've come down from that ledge, but I do want to express my frustrations.
Ironman-WHY? I'm not asking why you changed the event. I have zero problems with you being cognizant of the victims of the hurricane. I can only imagine what they are going through, and I do not want to take that lightly. Many of us have emailed you expressing concern, and we have gotten this exact same canned email.
The end of the email says if you have any additional questions, then ask them. So, here are mine:
Why would you ignore all of our requests for transfers just upsetting everyone?
Why would you not just offer us something to keep your reputation and your brand?
Why would you continue to be so money hungry that you make so many valuable customers turn away and say that they will never participate in your events again?
Where is the money going that you are making? We know that you gave $10,000 to local relief, but we also know that in 2015 you made 183 million and plan to only grow from there in 2016. We know that you have a lot more gained on this little "short cut" then the $10,000 that you put up to probably silence us.
How can we help the victims? If we are all going to be there, and ironman has enough power to just do this, then why can't we do something beneficial for the community? Think Chickfila business model here, they ACTUALLY know how to run a good company with ACTUAL customer service.
We all know it's more complicated than what the eye sees. We all know that the race directors have went over all the options of how to keep the course, and have found that it's not doable and that's fine, but WHY do you keep ignoring our requests for more answers? Why do you give us zero options for transfer or partial refunds? Why do you ignore emails of those coming from 800 miles away until they decide they have to make the decision, and they travel the distance only to THAT DAY find out it's a no go.
There are going to be people that say "You're an ironman" but you're not until you go 140.6, but honestly it makes me sad that even the local races feel like they can't call themselves an ironman unless they do your branded event. Heck, you've got people that tattoo your brand on their calves, chests, and shoulders. I mean, that's huge. And you know it, ironman. You know it. You know that you have us by the balls, and that nothing that we say or do or write blog posts about is going to change anything about the fact that you are all about the money.
If you answered our emails, our concerns, or our heartache and gave us some answers and communicated with us, then none of this would be happening. It's like dating a guy for 10 years, and he pulls the rug out from under you and says "I can't date you anymore." and you say "Why?" and he ignores you and you never hear from him again. WE DESERVE ANSWERS AND OPTIONS IRONMAN. You are a company and if I was one of those people, I might would report you to the better business bureau because you took my $750 and you didn't deliver, and then you don't even give us options otherwise.
There was an update this morning that states that they tried. They tried to extend the course, and 421 wouldn't allow them, then they tried again and they couldn't get enough officers/etc. I understand and appreciate the efforts that we would have hoped you would put in regardless, but would love to know why we can't transfer or get a refund?
It's no longer about the victims. It's just about business, so I get that. Because you are about money, I will be too. I'll never give you another dime. And I'm sure you don't care about me, and that's fine, but I know I'm not alone, and it's 2016...the year of social media. The year that social media can destroy people and companies, so it's worth looking into.
From anger, I went into "whatever" mode. I really don't care anymore. I'm over the initial feelings. It is what it is, and that's what it will be. I'm not one to stay upset about much of anything for too long because the truth is, I am happy for my health. I am thankful to be able to race period. But I do think we all deserve a grieving period, and there are some that it might extend into the remainder of this week, and that's okay because everyone processes differently. We can all decide our attitudes in our circumstances, but sometimes it takes time to get there. Sometimes we yell and kick and scream and cry and then we take a deep breath and realize it's okay...it's all okay. I won't support ironman until we get further answers and options, but I also will go out there and do the best that I can with focus like I would any race. I'm going to try my best and I'm going to give it my all, because that's what endurance athletes do. We don't quit. We never will.
If you'd like to track me, you can do so by downloading "IMTracker" on your phone and my bib number is
I also would like to say that I know ahead of time that not everyone agrees on this topic or the things that I said in this post. I just hope that we can recognize that this is my blog, so obviously it's going to be my opinions and just to take that at face value and stay civil! K thanks! ;)