Watching the Ironman World Championship

On Saturday October 10th on the Big Island of Hawaii they held the World Ironman Championship. That was one many Ironman events I completed. I watched this one via my computer.

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It’s a bit tough to watch, not being there. I raced it in 2008. It was like the Super Bowl of Triathlon. I haven’t done an Ironman race since 2013, that year I did two.

Ironman events are long races. I really enjoy doing triathlons. I really hate starting my day at 3:30 am. I think I was always more stressed about missing my alarm than I was about the race. Actually, I set three alarms and typically awoke before any alarm went off. It’s hard to sleep the night before one of these events.

I’ll do more triathlons. Currently, my swimming is better than ever – which isn’t saying much. My cycling is par as is my running. But, I think I’ll limit the distance to sprints.

I won a number of sprint triathlons. That’s because the swim wasn’t so long that the faster swimmers could build a huge lead. I could pass almost everyone on bike. Then, if I got far enough ahead of the decent runners while on the bike, I’d end up in the top 3.

Still, there’s that puke of dawn awake up call. But, for a short race I can sleep until 5:30 am. (I’m normally up at 6:00 am) I don’t need to eat as much so I can get up later.

One thing I really enjoy about archery tournaments – none of them start at 6:50 am.

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IBO World Championships – Vendors

Following the 2014 IBO World Championships my only complaint was related to the poor quality of manufactures’ representatives on hand to support their booths. This year, vendor representatives remained rather sad. If you were in NY, perhaps, you too noticed that the sales people often seemed dull and unresponsive or basically full of their self importance.

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For decades I was in business practice at an executive level. The last business I was associated with I was an executive VP and Chief Medical Officer. You might think, “Well, you were over the science and medical group, you don’t really understand business.” You’d be wrong; I also have a law degree and completed an accounting program. Of the things where I have an expertise, business (sales and marketing) is an area where I am very strong. This is why I could retire at 57 and can shoot a bow full time.

The manner in which many of sales representatives spoke to customers (archers) at the IBO was appalling. The vendor representatives were often arrogant to rude or both. Many seemed uninterested and worked to cut conversations short.

During my working career (not that shooting isn’t work when you do it 6 days a week and travel nearly every week to compete) our sales and marketing team did things differently. Our booth representatives had goals to achieve, products to highlight, results to share, individuals to meet and new relationships to cultivate. I’m not certain I witnessed a lot of that sort of activity at the tournament. I’m am certain I watched a lot of rudeness from company reps directed to customers (archers).

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Well, you might think that the IBO World Championship isn’t exactly a business trade show like the ATA.  OK, let’s grant that train of thought.  I’ll match the IBO vendors with Ironman vendors.  At the  Ironman World Championship there were probably 10 times as many vendors compared to the IBO on the Big Island of Hawaii.  At every booth athletes (customers) were treated with great respect.  The sales people went out of their way to see that every competitor was treated like a champion.  Too many of the vendors at the IBO acted like they were doing athletes a favor to get off their butts and answer a question.  In fact, many didn’t bother getting off their butts.

Granted, there were some great company reps at several of the booths. Still, there were a surprising number of booths staffed by people that made me ‘not’ want to purchase that manufacturers products.  To be sure,  I remained smiling and pleasant regardless of how poorly good manners were reciprocated. What was more difficult was keeping my mouth shut when I witnessed rudeness to others.

There are plenty of archery vendors. Some are better than others when it comes to the treatment of the athletes that compete in this sport. Seriously, though, there were some very bad company representatives at this major tournament.

IBO World Championship Warm-up

Thursday was check-in for the IBO World Championship and practice. The practice range is a short trip via ski lift to the top of a mountain.

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Scenic ride to the top

The practice range was slow again this year. Not as bad as last year. I got in a shot every 10 minutes. Some groups were large, 5 – 7 shooters and very slow. Shooting alone I jumped ahead of them when bottlenecks occurred.

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Skipping ahead of this group I found a spot where I could move faster

The practice targets weren’t easy shots. I heard more than one arrow zing through the woods followed by grumbling or worse.

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Heard someone zing an arrow over this target. I was happy with my shot

I spent an hour and forty minutes practicing. I shot two eights, my first two shots, followed by 3 tens and 5 elevens. Most of the targets were on level ground or slightly downhill. This is the terrain that I’ve practiced and competed on thus far in 2015. I don’t live near a range where the target is uphill. Driving out I noticed the ranges where I’ll shoot tomorrow off in the distance. Of course, two of the targets looked like steep uphill shots.

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This spotted cat was down the path seen here at 40 yards.

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This caribou was at 45 yard shot.  The stake was at 40 yards, I backed up five more before shooting.