Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Orleans 5150 Pre-Race Report

Just over three days until the inaugural 5150 New Orleans race and based on the start list, I'm guessing that there is no one more nervous about the event than the WTC.  Hyped up as the newest series of high-end races, the WTC's new olympic distance promised to engage a large and growing newbie triathlete population into the fray.  And though the season is just starting and many of their events may be a huge success, the less than 500 named on the 5150 NOLA start list appear to designate this event as a bust from a race organizer's standpoint.
Really, less than 500?  I think the impromptu 5K to save money for a little girls lost cat a few weeks ago at least had 650.  This race will be less than half the size of my high school class.
With such a dismal participant list, one has to assume that the race will actually end up costing the company money in the end.  Perhaps I should take some extra cash on the bike and run with me, in case they decide to charge for water and Gatorade to cover their losses?
On the other hand, the minimal turnout is actually good news to racers.  The swim and roads will be vastly less crowded than they were during the recent 70.3 (or 69.1) event.  And with less entrants, even the middle of the packers can have renewed hopes of an age group podium spot.
So I for one am excited for this weekend's race.  The weather looks to be awesome, and the swelling Mississippi doesn't appear that it will effect the lake in any way other than dropping the temps a little bit.  So I'll see everyone out there - literally - we'll barely fill up the parking lot.
And if the lack of general interest is an indicator, I doubt anyone will be getting any i-dot tattoos afterwards.    


  1. Think they'll charge for bike parking? Make sure you don't lose your parking pass. You don't want to pay the maximum amount!

    I like the gatorade charge idea though! Wouldn't that be the worst slap in the face of a dehydrated athlete. =\

    Best of luck!

  2. From a marketing standpoint I don't think they have hyped it as much as their other races. I think that could be part of the problem. Additionally, they really can't think that an inaugural year is going to bring a lot of people for an Olympic distance race? Rhetorical question of course. IMHO, I think people are more willing to travel when the race is of a longer distance but that could just be me. I can do Olympic and sprint tris in my own area. I would only sign up for a shorter race if I had already made vacation plans to that particular location. Again, all just my opinion.

    Anyway, that is good news for you and I have no doubt that you will be on the podium. Have a great race! And I will root for you from Colorado!


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