Ironman 70.3 Florida Is Moving To Haines City
As expected Ironman 70.3 Florida is moving out of Disney to Haines City. I have to say I am happy they are moving out of Disney. Why? Well, when I did the race I always had the feeling Disney really did not want us there.
The Ironman 70.3 race only brings in about 2-3K people. To Disney this is a drop in the bucket. Of these 2-3K people very few are spending money in their parks. Which means they are taking spaces from those who could be spending money in their parks Now this is just my opinion.
In comparison Disney's running races (5K, 13.1, 26.2) pull 15-40K people. Registration for these races cost as much and in many cases much more than the Ironman 70.3 (and all the $$ goes to Disney). The runners also spend some serious cash at these events swag. Disney has to make a killing on the race sway and expo tables. Disney race expos are HUGE. They pull upwards of 50 vendors at their expos. I could go on and on about how running Disney running races are better and MUCH more profitable to Disney than the Ironman 70.3 (and other triathlons).
I would also say Ft Wilderness (Disney) is a really bad place to have a race. The transition area was the strangest, most confusing and poorly lit area of any race I have done. The run was a 3 loop course in a very boring area of Disney. To make it worse about 30% of the run is trail-like. Not the safest ground to be competing on (although personally I like trail runs many triathletes are pavement pounding city folk). Transportation to the races was always a pain. Buses had to shuttle you to and from your car. This is of course another expense and issue Disney and race officials had to deal with. Parking was free which I am sure Disney did not like. Again I could go on and on about how triathons are a bad idea (ie not very profitable) event for Disney.
I have a feeling this is why many triathalon event are pulling out of Disney. Profit sharing, poor location, poor help from Disney, etc.
Many other triathletes (me included) are very happy the 70.3 will no longer be held at Disney. Most would not register at the event because they hated it so bad. Many are now going to register because it is no longer held at Disney.
But why HAINES CITY?! There is NOTHING in Haines City. Clermont is a much better choice due to its rougher course. It is the toughest and hilliest part of Florida. Clearwater would have also been a great choice because WTC is headquarters is nearby and they have ran the 70.3 championships there for years. I would say that running a race in Clearwater has to be more difficult because it is a much bigger city with much more traffic. But I am happy because Haines City is only about 45 minutes from my house. So party at my place if you are going. :-)
So what I am trying to say is... I registered for the new Ironman 70.3 FL the first day it opened. It is official I will be doing Ironman FL 70.3 again next year. But this year I want to meet up with some fellow bloggers and followers. Please let me know if you plan on participating. We could meet up for beers, coffee, poweraids, GUs, etc before or after the race.