Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ironman... now in 5150

So the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owner of the Ironman brand and Ironman and Ironman 70.3 race just recently launched a new race series... the 5150. The 5150 represents 51.5km which is the cumulative distance of the very popular Olympic distance triathlon. They've already branded a number of popular races with the 5150 moniker including the following:

US Domestic Races - 2011
March 13 Miami International Triathlon (Miami, Fla.)
May 1 St. Anthony’s Triathlon (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
May 15 5150 New Orleans (New Orleans, La.)
May 22 Memphis in May Triathlon (Tunica, Miss.)
June 19 Washington D.C. Triathlon (Washington, D.C.)
June 25 5150 Provo (Provo, Utah)
July 10 Boulder Peak Triathlon (Boulder, Colo.)
August 7 Nautica New York City Triathlon (New York, N.Y.)
September 4 Hy-Vee Triathlon/5150 U.S. Championship (Des Moines, Iowa)
September 11 5150 Lake Lanier (Gainesville, Ga.)
October 2 5150 Lake Las Vegas (Henderson, Nev.)
October 23 5150 Galveston (Galveston, Texas)
November 12 5150 Clearwater/5150 Series Finale (Clearwater, Fla.)

International Races - 2011
June 5 5150 Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany)
June 12 5150 Klagenfurt (Klagenfurt, Austria)
July 9 5150 Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland)

Seems like a brilliant business move on the part of the WTC (which itself is owned by PE firm Providence Equity Partners) to take advantage of the growing sport of triathlon. It's the latest in a series of steps the WTC (and Providence) has taken to leverage the value of their investment and Ironman brand. Just this summer they teamed up with Powerbar to launch a new line of sports drinks and recovery drinks--this on top of countless other products bearing the Ironman brand. It seems smart that they didn't actually combine the words Ironman with 5150 for fear of diluting the Ironman brand with a shorter and "easier" Olympic race format--as an Ironman finisher I'm actually quite glad they're keeping the terms separate.

Hopefully the move won't affect race fees as they're already rather expensive for some of these races and that the races continue to be run in a high quality manner. More information is available at

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