Friday, October 29, 2010

WTC responds to my letter, and the overwhelming negative feedback...

Below is the email reply I received from the WTC yesterday. It took less than 48 hours for them to respond and 100% of my friends as well as Slowtwitch forum thought they would not. So, I say good on the WTC for a) listening to their customers and rescinding the Ironman Access Program, and b) showing they do care and closing the loop to those athletes that took the time to reach out them.

Case closed, onto more important things like figuring out how the F-K I am going to live in Toronto for the next 4 years with this Rob Ford clown elected as our mayor! REAL ISSUES!


Thank you for your E-mail and interest in Ironman.

We announced the launch of the Ironman Access Program earlier this week and due to an overwhelmingly large amount of athlete feedback we made the decision to rescind the program.

Ben Fertic, President and CEO of World Triathlon Corporation, released an official statement about the Ironman Access program and it is currently available for viewing on, as well as Facebook. Please see below:

We always appreciate feedback, recommendations and suggestions from all athletes and we take everything into consideration while planning future initiatives. Your opinions are welcomed and I will share your concerns internally with my colleges.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and we hope to see you at an Ironman event soon!

Please let me know if you have additional questions. Have a great weekend!


Athlete Services Coordinator
Ironman World Headquarters|2701 North Rocky Point Drive
Suite 1250 |Tampa, FL 33607

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Open letter to WTC's Access Ironman campaign

Dear WTC and Access Ironman:

I submit you re-evaluate your Access Ironman program, or in least, follow the social media reaction via twitter and facebook to learn how your consumer base is reacting. Take a look for #ironmanaccessprogram on twitter and learn how the athletes, age group/pro/world champions, are reacting.

I wrote in a blog report post Ironman Canada that the WTC was on a slippery slope of eroding its core by pushing the business of sport to far right. What you are effectively doing with this program is pushing the amateurs without/smarts not to pay the extra $1,000 off the start line while affording those with $1,000 to the start line. This alongside race fees rising, more athletes on course every year while pro purses stagnate is reaching to far from what makes Ironman great; community by sport. Rarely is community is raised and appreciated by profit margin.

Brand is everything, and your "AMEX" program has tarnished it. Recovery will not be as swift as post race, this will take some undoing and in the interim you have left doors open to very capable competition in the market of Iron Distance racing.

Sincerely in sport,

Rhys Spencer

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What to do when season and job ends? GET LIVIN'!

Friends and family:

A few updates that most know; here is a season recap:
- train all winter to get ready for August Ironman including great bike camp with team in Tucson. So far fitness really good.
- April do some Ontario racing and learn I have some good base
- May do some more bike races and a duathlon; fitness gaining
- June CRASH
- July, comeback on bike only at Tour of Catskills
- August still go out to IMC but don't race, just train my bike for GMSR
- September: GMSR (7th overall; 2nd on the TT, 10th on the Queen stage - see post below); Provincial TT (4th by 0.13 seconds - see post below); Centurion Cycling town of Blue Mountains (SERIOUS BONK see post below)

What was I doing vacationing after losing my job? Simple, R&R-:) I flew to Vancouver, got a car and went straight to the ferry over to Halfmoon Bay to visit my friend Adam, Tracy, and their little girl Ellie and old friend Cory Smith. What does one do there? RELAX, SIP (ah, gulp) WINE...AND SEA KAYAK! Talk about an experience and great way to leave all of the troubles of career behind! This was just what I needed and they live it right. Work hard, enjoy the outdoors in tranquility, share life. Well done clan there, well done! Here's a shot of the trip.

From there I went to Vancouver to flirt with the job market and real estate. 2 learnings; first, job market is TIGHT; second, the price tags for homes are HUGE! Not a good mix. Here is the sunset on English Bay outside my hotel, sweet way to finish a 6K run in Stanley Park!

AFter my 3 days in Vancouver I hit the road and drove EAST to our friends abode that we stay with for IRonman Canada. Thankfully this time they were home! I picked up Meredith at the Kelowna airport and reeeeeeeelaxxxxxxed! Meredith really needed time away and we sipped wine, hiked, ate like kings and of course checked out some real estate in the area-:)

A photo of our moring coffee/tea at the Starbuck's (formerly Hog's Breath) in Penticton to the sunrise

And last a few photos of our 2 hour hike along the Kettle Valley trail a top the Naramata Bench. A little slice of heaven I must say!

And as far as the unemployment piece goes, it was in the works all of 2010 and knew it was coming. Nothing sudden, just a good 'ol business wind down. Being HR guy, that was one tough slog hence the wonderful trip to Canada's west coast where folks RELAX AND LIVE!

Last, I wrote 10 goals out to start 2010 season. I didn't reach ANY OF THEM. Strange that it was one of my most rewarding seasons personally. Despite my crash, my layoff from work, my non-Ironman, only 1 triathlon....I really enjoyed the racing I did get to do and learning what's possible during trying times. Anything is possible, you just have to LIVE. Remember the motto:


So get livin' my friends, get livin'!