Last year I wrote a review of the Collins Cup event. I have once again been asked for my opinion now that this years event has been run and won.
Feedback I've received is it doesn’t interest age group athletes. However, I think it should because a powerful professional presence helps to market the sport that you participate in. Whatever your own personal feelings towards this event, it and the sport in general doesn't deserve to be looked at by the wider population or your work colleagues as a fringe sport, or you as a weekend crazy person.
If the pro end of our sport is marketed professionally, and the athletes are paid with some parity to mainstream sports, this will go a long way to changing peoples attitudes to what you accomplish in your spare time. So I believe it’s important to you regardless of your own level of performance.
This is a tough sport whether you do Ironman or sprint races. Completing a triathlon is an achievement of the highest quality. That should be recognised by your peers, not only in triathlon but in your daily community. Making the sport visible should be all of our responsibility.
Now to the race !
The format hasn’t changed. So my opinions on it haven’t changed either.
(2021 opinion piece: Letting the dust settle)
What I find very positive is the intent from the organisers was there in spades - and intent is very important!
The coverage, the cameras, the live feed to multiple television and online outlets was first class. It should serve as an embarrassment to Ironman for their pitiful efforts to service those watching from a far, as well as those at the race venue. This coverage was night and day / streets ahead of any rivals in this area. No penny pinching went on here.
Could the resource’s be better applied? Yes! However, it was there for all to see that this organisation is deadly serious about lifting the sport to a new level, and that is the biggest hurdle missing from our sport for a very long time. Big browny points from me as the intent is now here. The potential is now in view.
They too deserve our accolades as they embraced the challenge and got stuck in. Every one of them gave it everything, which was pleasing to see for an old coach who actually knows about world level excellence. Kudos must be given where it’s deserved. It was fights all over the place. No other triathlon have I seen where every athlete, no matter their position, was giving it their all.
On a personal athlete note it was great to see 'The Angry Bird' Daniela Ryf flying high again. There is no greater long distance athlete better. She turned up this time and showed why she should be compared favourably to the best ever in all female sports.
The same was true of the mighty Nicola Spirig. There is plenty I could say here but I won’t as I said it all before the race (The Samorin debate). Many athletes should sleep well knowing that this was Nicola's last international race.
All in all, I think this organisation has proved it has the potential to move the sport into the mainstream. We should support it’s endeavours to do so.
Just the way I see it.
Main photo credit: stari.behind.the.lens