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WTC Halts Registration For 2013 Ironman U.S. Championship

imnycpromoimg2.jpgThe inaugural Ironman U.S. Championship triathlon sold out in a matter of minutes back in 2011, even with the nearly $900 entry fee. Triathletes that didn't get a chance to register last year probably volunteered this year to get their chance a doing so, but they and everyone else probably experinced sticker shock when they noticed that the entry fee for the 2013 race was at $1,200, a $300 increase from last year and almost $500 more than other races. Organizer where even offering a $1,700 entry fee which included some extras.

The triathlon community has been a buzz about the new entry fee, with reactions on both sides of the tables. Those that didn't mind the new entry fee registered, but it seems that the entry fee or pre-race sewage release into the Hudson River or the logistics has tamed others from gobbling up the remaining slots, since it hasn't sold out yet. Now comes word that the WTC has Halted / Suspends registration for the 2013. See the press release below. All athletes who have already registered will be given full refunds.

Full Press Release:

For 34 years, IRONMAN has been committed to delivering a superb experience for athletes. Creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences for athletes, spectators, partners and volunteers is our priority. We listen carefully to our consumers and have heard from many of them about the inaugural Aquadraat Sports IRONMAN U.S. Championship. This is the feedback we have received:

Most of our athletes loved the race. It was iconic and challenging - a tough test - just like New York.

We were also told to improve the logistics for our athletes and supporters. Producing an event in a large urban market is complex and challenging. The combination of the ferries, transition in Palisades State Park, an inability to have amplified sound in Riverside Park after 10 p.m. and the difficulty for our spectators to watch much of the race all combined to create an athlete and spectator experience that we need to improve.

Addressing the logistical complexity requires us to reconfigure a number of elements in our race. Given the changes we believe are necessary for the 2013 event, we need to do more work to assess whether it is viable at a price point that our athletes find reasonable. Part of our commitment to the IRONMAN experience is the relationship between registration price and the value to athletes. The pricing for the 2013 race is a reflection of the operational and logistical challenges of doing business in metropolitan New York and New Jersey. Simply put, to make this event a delight for our athletes, volunteers and spectators, the race is not viable at a lower price point.

It has always been our policy at IRONMAN races in North America to open registration for the following year's race the day after the event so that athletes and volunteers can gain guaranteed entry before general registration opens. We followed that policy yesterday for the 2013 Aquadraat Sports IRONMAN U.S. Championship. In retrospect, it was a mistake. We should have taken the time to listen to our athletes, partners and municipalities before we opened registration.

By suspending registration, we are taking the time to do that now. We need to work with all of our partners over the next several weeks to ensure that this event can be conducted in the way that our athletes expect and deserve.

In the interim, we will immediately refund the registration fees of each athlete who has registered and will hold their spots for the 2013 race pending the re-opening of registration. We continue to be amazed by our athletes and all those involved in the success of our events, and we congratulate all of the athletes, volunteers and spectators that made the 2012 Aquadraat Sports IRONMAN U.S. Championship a memorable day in IRONMAN's history.

For more information on IRONMAN, visit www.ironman.com. Athlete inquiries should be directed to NYC@ironman.com. Media-related inquiries should be directed to Media@ironman.com.

Additional Coverage:
- Ironman NYC Race Director Talks Logistics, Price Tag [via Triathlete Magazine]