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#2IN2 - TRIATHLON BUSINESS & RECOVERY

Earlier this year Team firefly™ ambassador, Nick Baldwin, raced Challenge Taiwan and Ironman Australia just two weeks apart, a challenge he called #2IN2. 

In recent posts on his blog Nick describes how he recovered after racing Challenge Taiwan in time to race Ironman Australia and he talks about the business of racing, which is something we don’t hear much about. We’ve taken snippets from Nick’s blog for you to enjoy!

“The decision to race Challenge Taiwan – which was just 2 weeks prior to Ironman Australia – came at the end of February. So why the afterthought to race another long distance event just two weeks before a high priority race in 2014? The answer is a simple one – it was a business decision.”

Nick was based in the US at the beginning of 2014 and having researched flights the cost of a return flight to Australia was not that different to a multi-city flight. With Challenge Taiwan paying 10-deep, Nick knew that a solid race there would give him the opportunity to not only recoup the difference in the flight fares, but to come away with a net gain: “The nature of long distance triathlon racing is risky – targeting one event is great if the day goes well, but if it doesn’t unfold as planned you’re left down and out, looking at the race schedule and wondering where to go. It made perfect logical sense, racing #2in2 would give me two bites at the proverbial cherry rather than putting all my eggs in an Aussie basket!” 

                                                         Nick during the run at Challenge Taiwan

Nick was well aware that racing two long distance races back to back was not going to be easy and he wasn’t going to be at his best for both races: “The idea that my performance at either Challenge Taiwan or Ironman Australia – or worse, both – would be compromised was difficult for me to get my head around. I was 100% committed to performing at Ironman Australia, however a number of factors solidified my decision to race Challenge Taiwan. Paying good prize money as well as paying deeper than most Ironman races – was the deciding factor (this was a business decision after all).”

As a full time triathlete, triathlon is Nick’s sole form of income and he needs to race. Choosing races entails a full analysis of race options, which include:

  • Looking at race dates within the context of the season and fitness levels
  • Cost of travel, accommodation and other costs
  • Travel time and time zones
  • Course profiles and weather patterns
  • Analysis of past results
  • Other athletes racing (not easy to predict)
  • Potential media exposure
  • Potential sponsor bonuses at races
  • Total prize money offered (and local taxes) and depth of payouts.

As an upcoming pro triathlete the depth of payment and drop off for the prize money compared to the depth and level of the field racing is what Nick feels is the most important for making a decision as to whether the race is financially viable or not. Nick’s analysis was spot on for both Taiwan and Australia, but it wasn’t an off the cusp decision, rather a thought out one between him and his coach.  

                                                Crossing the line in 3rd at Ironman Australia

He talks in depth about his business decision and the business of triathlon in this post on his blog: #2IN2 – THE BUSINESS OF RACING.

Nick finished Challenge Taiwan in 5th place and made the podium in 3rd at Ironman Australia. The recovery between races was always going to be a learning curve for Nick and his coach, neither of whom – Nick as a triathlete and Brian as a coach - had attempted anything like this before. Read about Nick’s recovery in his blog titled #2IN2 – IN BETWEEN RACES.

Nick will take part in Ironman Wales this weekend. Good luck!