Saturday, 20 September 2008

Ironman UK 2009

Well, it seems that the rumours are true.

I was really inspired after helping as part of the race crew at Ironman UK this year. Even before the event I was considering doing it next year. A number of people I know have done it in previous years or were doing it this year. Additionally, Sherborne Castle, the home of Ironman UK, is just a few miles away from me, so it is a local race. So I resolved to do Ironman UK next year.

What did bother me slightly was some of the rumours at the race about the location for Ironman UK 2009. It seems these rumours are correct and the 2009 race will not be at Sherborne Castle. Every year there are some people who complain about the event and the disruption it causes, but most people in the area appreciate having such a big sporting event being held locally. They also understand that it brings a lot of money into the area.

Unfortuately, one person who does not appreciate having the Ironman in Sherborne is Edward Digby, which is a real problem since he owns the Castle. If he says no then there doesn't seem to be anyway the Ironman can be based in Sherborne. It seems Chris Boon, who owns rights to organise the race, is still trying to keep the race local but so far has had no success.

I still plan to do Ironman UK next year and I am still hoping it may be somewhere local, it would just be a real shame if it is no longer the local event it was this year. It seems such a shame that one man is making things so difficult for the race organisers and competitors. Not to mention taking an estimated £3.7M out of the local economy.


revelsfishery said...

I do admire all of you that do this race as it would be far beyond anything i could do due to serious health concerns when i was very small. Thats basically how i cam eot set up my own business when i was just 15 ready to leave school. Namely Revels fishery. This i ran generally happily for 15 years to Iron Man came to Dorset. 90% of my taking are from April to September and the bulk of this is August and beginning of September weekends and Iron man has a huge hit on me. Its been calculated after this years event the total cost to me is now around £6000 in lost earnings. When i can sit and spend months during the winter waiting for just one valuable customer this leaves a sore taste in my mouth. Every year organisers have come to me before the race and promised this and that and it will not effect us and yet every year NO ONE can get to us as we are right on the hill in the centre of the bike course and practiaclly sealed off. And thats just thoose which can be bothered to try many just decide to much hassle and go to a competitor. I have been resonable and asked for compensation. NO is the answer ive asked for prehaps some sort of sponsership for an event here. We will talk after the event im told then no comes to see us despite various attempts to contact. The following year again accompanied by police we get a visit again with all these promises. This year patience has ended. Although the date was later was in all fairness was an improvement i was not prepared to here anymore lies. My brothers business next to mine again a long term one was more effected then mine. If it was held in Ocotber November you would not hear a peep from me in fact might even take a chair out to watch as said no problems with the event just the organisers who do line there pockets well although hidden behind the charity clause!!. But im told the lake is then to cold at this time of year. Whats it called again IRON MAN!! As for money to the area i know a guest house in Sherborne which tells me they would be fully booked in August Iron man or No Iron man and again they tell me they would really apreciate the event if held in the Autumn when bookings are quite then the benefit to the area woudl really be clear. I think its unfair to put the blame solely at the feet of Mr Digby as just a visit to my local pub during Iron Man week after the event we tell anyone he is not alone. I expect this will be deleted not long after i submit if it does then that shows how suportive of comment Iron man people are. Another public house close to me "the Hunters Moon" which the new landlord Dean has just expirenced his first year and will support this argument further. Ive had it said to me well surely it would not hurt you to scarifce one day of traidng for good causes. Well i do make my donations to charity but like to choose where and who i give to and how many reading this would like it if there boss turned round and told them involutary they had deducted a weeks pay and given it to charity!!!!

Seamus Nugent said...

I travelled from Ireland for Ironman UK this year.

There were many reasons why I chose Sherborne. It is the closest IM to me in terms of travel and being similar to Irish climate/food etc. I had also heard that Sherborne was a warm and friendly place and that the event was a tough one.

The group of 6 that travelled thoroughly enjoyed our visit, the extremely warm hospitality afforded us and the nature of the town and people were second to none
It is a pity if the IM were to be moved from Sherborne. It is also sad to see a complaint from Revel Fishery. The complaint is the only one I’ve seen or heard and all the local people and businesses that I spoke with were more than happy to have an event such as IM in their area.

Having seen the race now on Channel 4, I am sure that many people who have never heard of the area will want to visit. This can only be good for the area in the long term after such widespread coverage.

Revels Fishery has complained on a couple of blogs/sites. There are inconsistencies in the amounts of money that they claim they are losing. Some places say 5k and some more say 6k. I would prefer to see the complainants do something positive and turn the IM weekend in to a money spinner. Use your initiative. Set up a stand with the help of the organisers. Sell your food, cooked or otherwise to the many people who were gathered there for the weekend. Get up off your backside and stop complaining. Get involved, enjoy the event, be part of the local community.

What is consistent about their complaint is the appaling use of the English language, spelling and grammar used. It is hard to believe somebody like this can survive in business.

They also seem to have a big thorn in their side with the organisers, the local people, the police, the charity. To be honest they seem to have a problem with just about everything and everybody connected with IM UK.

It would be a pity for all the people in the area who warmly embraced IM UK if it were to be moved. The real losers would be the townspeople, the competitors, supporters. Sherborne and IM UK seem to be ideally suited to each other from what I could see. The people we stayed with were warm, friendly, enthusiastic, helpful and very hospitable. I cannot praise enough all the other people we encountered during our stay, which incidentally lasted a week.

Revel Fishery have made a very serious allegation about organisers lining their pockets with money raised for charity. The organisers should take them to task over such comments. This shows the miserable nature of the complainers.

As regards holding the event in November / December, this would be totally out of the question. Despite the event being Ironman, the season is well ended by this time and indeed is a wetsuit mandatory event in September. The lake would indeed be far too cold to swim in. Indeed the temperatures on the bike course this year were just about bearable!

The spokesperson for Revels Fishery is a narrow minded person who just wants to ruin the event for everybody. Instead of getting involved and turning it into a money making event for himself, he would rather sit in his local pub and moan about how it affects him.

I hope that IM UK will be Sherborne next year. Nonetheless I will be entering and competing no matter where in the UK it is held. Unlike the Revels Fishery people, I wont let a bit of distance or inconvenience stop me.

I would like to know how other people feel about this.


revelsfishery said...

NUGENT WROTE "They also seem to have a big thorn in their side with the organisers, the local people, the police, the charity. To be honest they seem to have a problem with just about everything and everybody connected with IM UK. "
At what point have we (and i add we as im representing 3 seperate family business) had any problem with the police, charity, local people and the people who compete. I would like to see where we have had a go at these people!!. We have not!! As stated at the beginning of my last comment i admire thoose that do the race and have no problem with them but PLEASE let us run our business as we always have. As for us, its a long long winter and we have such a small window of oppertunity in the summer months. We are not wealthy people but love what we do which makes up for this. As for the organisers, we would quite happily have an audience with Mr Boon but oh no he does not even come and see us, instead each year sends a couple of pleasant young dolly birds. They make promises they can not keep as they get laid off after the race and new people employed to do the same job the next year. Last year we were given a suggestion of IronMan underwriting and sponsering a big fishing comp here. That shut us up before the race and then after no one was available to follow this up despite many phone calls (PLEASE understand and see where our frustration is comming from when they are doing things like this to us). At the end of the day IronMan UK bike route closes us dead and there is no way round this. As for finding a way to benefit from it. "Sell your food" you said. Well what food are you on about??? I personally run the Coarse fishing. Coarse fish is an element of english angling where all fish caught are returned unharmed, then there is the tackle shop. Any competitors want to buy a rod on their way round the course?. Then there is the Poultry sales. Fancy taking a Old English laying hen back to Ireland. Im sure it will be ok in the boot of your car while you are in the area for a few days!! The reason mr Boon will not see us? basically we are probabaly the worst off above any other business which is effected. There are others but we are the only one totally effected and there is very little that can be done for us. It would help us greatly just to reverse the cycle route so our premises can be accessed but we are told that can not be done. We have tried so hard to accomodate in the last 5 years.
As you are so far away i also add for the few weeks after the event you dont get to see the letter pages in The Dorset Echo, Blackmore Vale Magazine, Western Gazette e.t.c. There are others with a voice of discontent and i beleive a very serious incident this year to do with spectators leaving vehicles in private driveways and emergency access being blocked near the Old Castle. Not my issue so dont care, but one of many others i hear. The last one that does make me chuckle is i would love to see the books as to where the figure of of the millions brought into the economy comes from and again a figure that changes each time i see it quoted. I have at no time attacked you personally or any other athelete so where you base your hard attack on us comes from unless if i did not know better Mr Nugent you do not half sound like one of the organisers!!
By the way MikeyBTri appologies for all this comming out in your blog and prehaps reading it you have you own views especially if you expirenced things from an organisers point of view this year it would be interesting to hear from you. If you are local i would be more then happy to meet you and show you what im talking about here. I do have takings books that show you what im up againest. As for anyone else reading i again wish you all the best for your races and say again i have no problem with you i just want to know my family and the 2 other households and staff here can afford to put Turkey on the table at christmas. (left myself wide open for a pun there)

MikeyB said...

Firstly, I would like to clarify my involvement with the organisation of the Ironman. Basically, I volunteered to help out on race-day this year, assisting people out of the water and marshalling on the run. That is the extent of my involvement with the organisers and I do not represent them in any way.

However, I do live reasonably locally and in fact cycled past your business on Sunday as I did a lap of the old bike course.

It is perfectly clear from articles in the local media prior to the race that there certainly are local people who do object to the disruption caused by the event. It also seems that where they can the organisers try and accommodate these objections, changing the planned route through Folke for example. Sometimes this just isn't possible.

There are only a limited number of possible routes that could be used for the bike course. It is also normal to have the route go anti-clockwise so that the cyclists keep turning left and do not have to cross the stream of traffic that is using the side of the road that is left open.

It is also clear from looking at the local media during and after previous races, and especially after the announcement this year, that the vast majority of local people do support the event. I believe it does bring in additional money to the region, on race day and the months prior as people visit to ride the course. Though, obviously, not everyone will benefit from this the overall effect is positive.

Regarding your argument about being sealed off, am I right in thinking your business is on the east side of Revels Hill? So though access would certainly be more difficult, it would be far from impossible.

revelsfishery said...

Thankyou for a structured reply that does not throw insults mikey.

Basically the heart of the problem is we have competitors like any business ourselves and i value this as it keeps your business on its toes. However on IM day the vast majority of our potential customers see signs stating "long delays likely" and they just do not bother coming they just travel to another fishery. IM have tried different ways of putting the signs out after discussions with them, right upto a few days before the event but basically on the day anyone heading for us sees "long delays expected". We have a good trade from night anglers as well normally art this time of year and we start to get hit by a down turn in trade on Saturday the day before IM event. We give out posters IM give us giving routes, diversions and stating access in and out weeks before the event but its human nature if it looks like hassle then the customers simply don't bother and go to another fishery. Night anglers being worried if they choose to go home at some point on the Sunday IM day they will not be able to get out. Also we sell a lot of sea fishing equipment but these customers then on the IM day choose the A37 to get to the coast to again avoid delays which this route goes no where near us and again this trade is lost. One customer who did make it to us this year had problems at every marshall point from A30 right to Middlemarsh then told by a marshall they could not proceed. They pointed out a sign by the road side which actually said "Revels fisheries open as normal" and after a heated exchange a nearby police office walked over and asked the problem. Then the officer pointed out to the marshall they were wrong and actually gave this customer a police escort to us. (I state again in Mr Nugents reply i do not know where he has got it that we have a problem with the police as actually they have been very supportive and a couple officers even remarking the IM event is a headache for them but they have no choice but to over see it.) This was just one of what should have been many customers reaching us that day. In all fairness and ill give credit where its due and for me this year was the best year so far although takings were still very down but due to date being the start of our quieter time of year and another 2 weeks later again would have been fantastic and i would have just put up and shut up then. August really does devastate me. But as for my brothers business he has a large poultry sale first weekend of each month and has done for many years and the race this year was a huge hit for him. As I said before we are several businesses and im speaking for not just myself. Basically despite claims of road open one way through the course Revels Hill is closed completely both directions both this year and last as the cyclists find it difficult to stay within white lines and is the only part of the IM course im told this rule is not enforced hence the total closure for safety. The junction at Middlemarsh where the cyclists hang right to head towards Glanvilles Wotton presents a junction where southbound trafffic if its been lucky enough to get that far simply is not allowed to proceed further with out great difficulty. Last year i my self got caught here just trying to get to work and loads of tables and chairs and a watering station all had to be moved for me to get through as it was set up right across the road on the triangle there. If this road was open to one way traffic as claimed why was it blocked here like this. I was obviously the only person at this point that had made it here and again it was down to the police to get marshalls to let me through. Despite signs stating "business access not effected".
Promises from IM each year that we will not be effected are totally unfounded what is usually £1000-£2000 takings on any August Sunday (not talking profit here just turnover) 2007 IM was £7.20 this is my frustration and i rest my case with the problems i have. Every year from the start of the race season around May we have been promised a follow up visit to learn mistakes for next year after the event and every year no one comes. Last year i phoned and phoned the IM office pleading for a visit to chat about the problems i was first told give a few days to finsh up this event. Then told the same and eventually just kept being told someone will get back to me. (no one did) We are one location who are at the mercy of the IM bike course due to location and the organisers know this and are unable to do anything about it. Yes i agree with Mr Nugent we are i expect a thorn in the organisers side but see our point a view. All we want to do is trade as normal. Again i point out here ive no problem with the athletes or event itself but just why should we take such a huge hit. We have over 5 years made suggestions to IM to make up for this. We tried putting up a field for camping but why stay with us when there is a huge area laid on just outside the main venue this did not work. We suggested with there huge access to the media to swing something our way for a feature perhaps or treat us as a sponser due to the amount the event was costing us anyway. We even sugggested they underwrite an angling event here which if a success would not cost them a penny and if not at least cover the cost. All of which were taken on board by the IM reps who visit us before the event and promise top follow up after but never do. Basically we feel very brushed under the carpet now as its admitted we are one of the few which are truly effected. Any competitor reading this must see our frustrations being put through this.
I like yourselves are awaiting with baited breath for details of IM 2009. If its early August as rumoured and uses the same cycle route then i will be truly gutted.
I do point out though i do visit and read other forums trying to find out whats going on but have only ever made one other comment on another site with the exception to my wiritings here, so not sure what Mr Nugent means by he reads loads of my other posts and i would like to see them. However i have seen quite a few strong names used for the owner of Sherbone Castle on some of the Tri sites and i do understand the atheletes frustration but think its a little unfair not to repsect the owners decision and i will be fair i know locals who want to keep it here and this is really not helping your case to have these insults and names posted around on the net.
As said before if you yourself Mikey or any other athelte are near us then please call in for a chat we are normal human beings and just genuine people scrabbling a living in uncertain times and i would be more then happy for a chat. All the best to you all for you future events and i mean that truelly.

Jacqui A said...

...sorry to butt in gents, but I've just been reading this account forgive me for asking but I'm a wannabee IM 2009 competitor and just trying to find out when MikeyB thinks the official entries for the event will be released. I've entered the pre-reg and I'm going nuts because I have no idea of when the entry is usually issued. Any ideas?
Once again, sorry to seem so crass as I realise that there's a geniune debate going on here. I hope for all that 2009 IM proves to be successful.


MikeyB said...

Jacqui, I have no idea when the entry will open. Ironman UK 2009 is hopefully going to be my first IM as well. My understanding is that entry normally opens very soon after the previous years race. This year it is different as they need to confirm the new location and dates before they can start accepting entries. I might see if I can pop into Tri UK at the weekend and pickup any gossip.

Jacqui A said...

Cheers MikeyB - looks like we're all still in the dark. I'll keep a lookout and will yell if I hear anything.

revelsfishery said...

Interesting column in this weeks Sherborne edition of Western Gazette. Looks like IM have secured £5000 of funding to help keep event in West Dorset, Venue still unknown however but Sherborne Council representive voiced concerns at the meeeting that every year event was in Sherborne they asked to see IM's balance sheet of finances and every year it was promised but never appeared and some doubt was voiced at the meeting of Council on the finances and whole organisation. Prehaps the whole blame of event leaving Sherbonre is not to be put solely at the door of the Castle owners!!

MikeyB said...

I get the Yeovil version of the Western and it isn't mentioned in there. I will try and grab a look at the in-laws paper tomorrow as they get the Sherborne version.

revelsfishery said...

page 2 or 4 i think it was mikey long strip column on the right side of the page

MikeyB said...

I read it at the in-laws over the weekend. See my latest post.

LOUBY said...

AS a spectator from the beginning I welcome the change of venue and date. This is the worst Ironman for me and boring too! Change the date to the beginning of August as suggested when we may be able to see the lake and start on time! And you lot bikering... stop bikering and get out there training!