Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hy-Vee and the Taper

So my prediction for Hy-Vee was dead on, 1 American podiumed total. Congrats to Laura Bennett, on a fine payday, and a brand new Hummer. Sad that all that money from an American company is going to foreigners, and not helping the Olympic development of Americans as well as it could, (or should in my opinion.)

I watched the broadcast, and all they talked about was the money. It's like this was the biggest and most important race ever! Another reason why this race was a bad idea, what will happen next year? They haven't confirmed the event for next year yet, and the prize purse, but I wonder...If it happens again next year, 2008 will have the Olympics, the World Championships, Lifetime Fitness Tri, and the Hy-Vee World Cup again. How much money will an athlete make if they win the World Championships and the Olympics? Not as much as they would make if they won the Hy-Vee or Lifetime Fitness races, (plus the Hummer and Toyota Sequioa which come with the purses). Does this make any sense? It doesn't to me.

And of course, it just seems stupid that a short-course athlete can do another race next weekend, and many more races, and continue to earn a lot more money. An Ironman athlete can only have one race which comes close to this one, and that's Kona. And many consider Kona to be the most important and biggest race every year in the whole sport. Makes you wonder.

Well, enough of the Hy-Vee rant. Days 6 and 7 of the taper went well.

Saturday - I had a 2.5 hour ride, with a 30 min tempo at Ironman race pace/intensity. I felt lousy for the first 30 mins or so, but by the time I started the tempo, I felt great! I couldn't believe how quickly 30 mins went by! My watts were right on, and the speed was right what I wanted. It was a good sign. After the ride, a quick jog off the bike, feeling good.

Sunday - 65 min run, with 5x1 min at half-marathon pace, with 2 min recoveries. Otherwise, steady and just trying to get into a nice groove. Again, it took awhile to feel good, about 40 mins into the run.

Packed a bunch today, making sure everything is set for the trip.

Tomorrow is a swim and easy ride, and finish packing, then meeting up with my boy Tony to make sure the bike is ready to race! No more mistakes with the bike prep like Wildflower.

If you've seen the forecasts for CDA, you can see it's expected to be about 70 degrees on Sunday, the coolest day of the whole week! That's a great sign...

Vance - 2007 NFA

1 comment:

David said...

Hey Jim.. I have a few comments..
first about the Hy-Vee triathlon, you said the money would be better spent if they funded the US Olympic team/or several smaller world cups.. well, I do agree with that from an amateur athletic perspective, I've gone to FISU triathlon twice, funding myself, so it'd be great if amateurs got more money, it benefits more people and you get better development. But with what they've done, they've gotten the whole triathlon community and better yet the sporting world to sit up and take notice. Look at BG Gas and how they sponsored ITU, doubling the cash prizes, that deal was worth alot more money, but the brand recognition they received for it pales in comparison to what Hy-Vee spent. The ½ million dollars is ALOT of money, especially to us triathletes, but in context when you compare it to a superbowl ad, or sponsoring another Pro Sport its peanuts! Now, Hy-Vee has the goal of marketing itself, and I have to argue that they accomplished that far more effectively by sponsoring one big race then they could have by 3 smaller races or the US team! In regards to the US team, if they sponsored them, how would they reap the same brand coverage? Athletes would have Hy-Vee stenciled onto their suits, but would NBC, or any other mainstream network talk about what Hy-Vee is when an American podiums at a WC? I think only good things come out of this, you get triathlon into mainstream media, increasing sponsorship awareness of the sport, and more money for the athletes.
Now, in regards to ironman vs. ITU, unfortunately the reality is that you can get most people to watch ITU, while you can’t watch ironman, thus you can support a pro tour (world cups). I agree that this doesn’t seem fair, however to most people (the general population) an IM is boring, I personally watch Hawaii in real time, but I’m the exception. More people watching = more money for the sport, and thus more events. Now the thing you should be more correctly railing against is WTC and how they haven’t changed the prize money structure for Pros since the early 90’s, and unfortunately I have to say they haven’t because they don’t need to. Personally I think its sad, but they’re in this for the money, they can put on races without pro fields and have them sell out, IM is now the thing to do, its like marathons in the 70’s, look at where the majority of finishers are at an IM.. 14-16 h, to the vast majority of participants the Pro Field is irrelevant. I agree there is a catch 22 built in here. Less money = less pro’s = even less mainstream coverage, but why would the WTC increase the money when there are still Pro’s who do it, cause people like me to watch them? I know monty believes that WTC will loose appeal if they continue this, his argument is based on the Boston Marathon, and the decrease in prestige due to its changing of the prize money and how they had to change it back. But if the WTC see’s that happening I’m sure they will increase prize money, however in the short term I don’t believe it will change. I agree that it’s sad and unfair, but unfortunately that’s life. If Pro’s want to change things then start racing the 101 series, or ITU or the classic non-drafting evens, there is more money, if enough people start doing this then I’m sure you will see WTC increase the prize purse because there is a segment of there target market which does like the pro field. I could go on about the utter genius the WTC has about marketing the IM trademark and how that has contributed to this as well, but that’s for another day, and perhaps a good thing for you to rail against too!
I hope you don’t take any of this personally, but this is just my objective opinion on the state of triathlon with my love of the sport taken out of the equation. I have huge respect for you guys, I tried training full time last summer at the national center, and it’s a hard lifestyle to keep up. I love the idea of following dreams and seeing just how far you can take it.
Best of luck at CDA I’ll be cheering for you
David