I recently found out about big news for pro athletes racing any of the Ironman trademarked events in 2010. 2 new big programs have been implemented. The first is an "anti-doping" initiative in which they say they are going to be more strict about testing athletes at events and during the off-season. To help pay for this more intensive testing program they have created a pro membership program in which every professional who wants to race in any Ironman trademarked events (operated by WTC- World Triathlon Corporation) must pay a yearly $750.00 fee. Although I first thought this was bad news, after reading into the program it looks like it will be a good thing for me. You can read about the new program at http://www.slowtwitch.com/News/WTC_sets_2010_Professional_Membership_program_1105.html
The fee includes entry into as many Ironman trademarked events as the athlete wants to compete in. I was planning on doing four 70.3 events which would have costed more than $750.00 for me. Now I am thinking of doing Ironman Wisconsin since it would be "free" after paying the membership fee. That race alone would have cost me $550.00. I've read some of the pro triathlete comments on Slowtwitch and many are upset because they had received complimentary entries at some of the Ironman trademarked events they did in the past. I would not have been in that boat this year so for me this looks like a good thing. For some motivation, some of them stated that this opens the door to "30 year old pseudo-pros who are not full-time professionals to turn pro and it will water down the fields of races." Their description of a "pseudo-pro" was exactly where I fit. It also makes me realize I have lots to prove in 2010 that I belong in the professional fields at races. My season begins on Monday and I couldn't be more excited to get going. 3 weeks off has allowed me to recover from last year and get more motivated than ever for the upcoming season. I'm going to kick off the season at 12:00 a.m. as my own way of honoring college basketball's famous "Midnight Madness". I'll continue to post regular weekly training updates every Sunday night. Thanks for following the journey. DREAM BIG!