And many of you did two or more IM in the season - a phenomenon unheard of in the amateur ranks only a few years ago. 2016 is shaping up to have even more. A handful of you have very real potential of landing slots at Kona next year and there will also be our army of first-timers. We are pulling for all of you!
IM athletes haven't cornered the market on accomplishment. The majority of you raced short course and 70.3's in alarming numbers. And our non-triathlon entries (swim, bike, running races, etc.) numbered in the hundreds. In total team members raced more than 1500 times. You conquered new disciplines, set PR's, trained your hearts out.
As is the nature of all things, the triathlon landscape in the Pacific Northwest changes. Not many years ago triathletes had a surplus of races to choose from and perhaps because of the surplus, many new races didn't make it. Even some of our area's most established races started seeing smaller numbers and couldn't make the numbers work to sustain the event. Issaquah, Lake Sammamish, Kirkland, Escape from the Rock - these are all races that at one time had over 1000 entries and now they're gone. That makes me sad. Like many of you, I raced all of those events and have many great memories of my own victories and struggles!!
Here at RTB we find ourselves with 3 triathlons that remain on the calendar in 2016. Why is that? What keeps our events growing and thriving? There's no doubt in my mind that it's PEOPLE who make the difference. Our athletes & spectators experience a ridiculous surplus of volunteers, staff, sponsors, etc - who generously and passionately work together and make this excellent, exciting, unforgettable experience. It seriously overwhelms me when I peel back a layer or two and think about what's actually happening out there. Makes me all silly and sappy....
No doubt you're taking time this holiday season to wrap your arms around the people in your lives who have cheered for you, washed your smelly laundry, found your missing glove, raised a glass to your victories, and listened patiently to your struggles. There are times our consuming sport consumes our best energy and the people closest to us get the leftovers. Let's give them the best we've got this holiday season - and into 2016. They deserve it . And we will continue, from the home office, to try and give our very best to you. You deserve it too.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
Raise the Bar
Race reports, upcoming events, news, and more, from RTB.