World Triathlon Corporation today announced, as expected, that they had acquired Setup Events’ Beach to Battleship iron and half-iron distance races.
While some will certainly hail this as a good thing, there are others that will feel a certain amount of sadness. And rightfully so.
I’ve never raced B2B. I was planning on doing the full iron race in 2016 with a friend so he could cross off a bucket list item. We were looking forward to the race for a lot of reasons: a fast swim, a flat course, good swag, a fantastic vibe and great reputation, a good location (in the state where I grew up and in a town I often visited), and certainly a good value for our dollars.
There are, of course, things that will not change. The course route isn’t changing. The swim will still be fast. The locals and volunteers will be out in force.
But things are changing.
Any time there’s a corporate takeover of a smaller, mom & pop outfit, the smaller changes. In my opinion, that change is often for the worse. Less personalized attention. More generic products. More crowds. Less character.
I suspect that those fundamental – and quite unique – aspects of Beach to Battleship will be gone now. In their place, you’ll likely find a similar experience that you’d get at any other Ironman brand race.
And while that’s cool for lots of people, it makes me sad.
So, rest in peace Beach to Battleship.