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,