Iron Distance
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The Top Ten elements to look for in an iron distance race.
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You put endless hours of training into preparation for your race.  Make sure the event you enter puts in the same effort to make your day a memorable one
       
  1 Location  
    Will it be an exotic experience in a far away land or a chance to stay close to home and save money.  The typical race day weather in the host region is a very important consideration as well.  
  2 Venue and Course  
    A good venue is not only pleasing to the eye but also makes sense logistically.  You need to decide if the course is suited to your goals: hills or flat, salt or fresh water, loops or not.  
  3 Cost  
    Your major expenditure can often be travel to and accommodation at the race destination.  Add to that the entry fee of the particular race and food while visiting and things add up quickly.  
  4 Technical Support  
    We want effective marshalling to help us stay on course, accurately measured distances, and accurate timing.  Above all though, the course must be safe so risk management is of greatest importance.  
  5 Atmosphere  
    So much goes into creating a memorable atmosphere: spectators, music, announcer, even signage.  The key to all of this is the vision and leadership to bring all elements together.  
  6 Finish Line Experience  
    This one is so important it deserves to be separate from atmosphere.  For many, all the preparation and the event is focused on one thing: the finish line.  Fan support, music and other elements can make the difference.  
  7 On Course Support  
    No matter if you are finishing in 9 hours or 16, aid stations need to have the items that were advertised, things like gels and drinks that you are counting on.  Great volunteers handing it all out at the stations helps too.  
  8 Organization  
    Thorough and accurate communications is the key.  Tell the athlete what to expect and then deliver.  This is done through a good website, prompt replies to inquiries, and sufficient, well-trained staff at the event.  
  9 Awards  
    The medal, t-shirt, finish line photo, and maybe even some applause as you climb up on a stage; all of these can help to round out the experience and enhance your race day memories.    
  10 Peripherals  
    Your family may have come a long way to support you; wouldn't it be great if there were some mini-tri's or other events for them.  A race expo can be an interesting pre-race addition, not to mention an underwear run!   
  Sustainability
Our sport in inextricably linked to our natural environment.  It is of the utmost importance that we care of the land in order that there is a thriving future ahead for our children and our sport.  Make sure your race makes efforts in this direction.  Check out ResponsibleSporting.org for more information.
 
       
       

 
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