Browsing Twitter, it appears the Triathlon year has started. We are still in January right? It appears the Triathlon 'season' has become a triathlon year.
For Pro's, trying to win prize money to make a living or/and aiming to collect points for the World 70.3 Championships and Kona then racing right through the year is becoming the norm. Have you seen the prize money structure at races? Happy days if you win, or get a top 3 places, but if not, then it's a tough gig. You maybe able to pay your hotel room and get a cheap evening dinner, but you will be heading on to another race to try and keep paying those bills.
This is a fantastic article by Pro Cody Beal, who lays out his finances for the year as a Pro.
This is getting into a whole other realm of the finances and the tough reality for many 'Pro' triathletes. I will save more on that for another time.
Where will the racing take me this year?
Back to planning the season or let's call it a year of racing. I will leave the globe trotting and sunny racing to the other athletes, as I spend the winter months, on the turbo, running some miles, improving my swim and getting my body in efficient working order.
I read this good article by Jesse Thomas, in terms of planning a season and thought, maybe I should do some planning.
I submitted my results from last year to British Triathlon, and got a letter back, providing permission to race as a pro. Hurrah, Thank You. So I can now enter Ironman or Challenge races as a Pro if I would like
That means I can buy my pro licence from Ironman, $900 for a year, this includes race entries for a whole year, no wonder athletes race so much, they want to get the most from their money. Then Challenge races have their own system, it all depends on the organisers and your results, top results mean free entry, bog standard results and you will have to pay entry.
In terms of race planning, here are my main race considerations
- Is there a good race T-Shirt when you cross the finish line? is XS really XS, or will i just have yet another pyjama top?
- What is the post race food like? plates of nutella sandwiches, fig rolls, malt loaf...sign me up. If it's a banana and some stale crisps then I will rethink that one.
- Location, will it rain? Will I need arm warmers, a gilet, wish I had water proof overshoes on the bike and almost get frost bite? Yes this is probably a British race. Don't want to appear soft so, going to pretend i love this, though inside I wish I had chosen an exotic location instead of a trip across the M62.
- Will I hear lots of "Go BigSuz" cheers out on the course, I have had some incredible support at races like last years Leeds ITU, Slateman, Outlaw half in 2015 and Bolton IM. Therefore top of my agenda are local, British races.
The magazine article is about above, one of my favourite races, Slateman. Who is coming in 2017?
- Will I get messages from my mates saying "You just popped up on sky sports, winning some race in Snowdonia, what the heck were you doing running up a mountain in a swim suit?" Makes me laugh, but referring back to Cody Beal's article, hopefully gives those who sponsor and support me, some good value for money.
Lots of serious consideration. Got to remember, racing is fun!
The good news for British athletes is there are now 4 Pro 70.3 races in the UK/Ireland. Staffordshire 70.3, Edinburgh 70.3, Dublin 70.3 and Weymouth 70.3
Considering cost of travel and accommodation then these 4 races make economical sense. And I hear they have good race T-Shirts, chocolate digestives, sunshine and showers to make British athletes feel at home and I could bribe someone to make a GO BIGSUZ banner!
These races, make sense in terms of racing on home soil and in front of home support. I am sure I could find a friend of a friend to let me sleep on their sofa and filling up the micra to travel to Edinburgh is far more realistic than a flight to Ulaan Baattar (not sure Ironman have spread to Mongolia, but maybe soon with their Asian expansion?)
Have fun planning your own race schedule for the year ahead, and good luck if your races are coming up soon. Bellow is a reminder of great local support. Leeds ITU race, click on the picture to hear the crowd cheering for Jonny.