email polemica per IM70.3 pescara – italy

dopo la gara di ieri, di cui poi scriverò qualcosa e posterò foto, mi sono sentito in obbligo di mandare questa email a tutto lo staff dell’ironman.

per chi vuole, buona lettura!

To whom it may concern.
It’s a long email, but i believe it is worth reading it.

Hello, my name is Maurizio Martinoli and I have been a triathlete for few years.
I am not one of those high rank triathletes at all, but i enjoy triathlon and i always try to do my best in the races i take part to.

This past weekend (June 10th), i took part for the second time in a row, to IM70.3 in Pescara, Italy.

I would like you to read the rest of this email as it resembles the negative opinions and feedback i received from most of the athletes i met after the finish line. I believe you should really take some counter measures.

Let me start from the very beginning. When i first enrolled in January, i just booked the slot willing to pay in a second moment. On Jan 30th i received an email from Mrs. Simona Di Domenico (whom i cc’ed in this email on purpose) asking to complete the registration. Everything would be ok, except for the fact that she cc’ed all the triathletes that that were in my same situation: so everybody knew who else did not pay. We have a little privacy issue here, don’t you think?
At my request of trying to understand why she did such a thing, she never replied.

Now let’s move forward to june 9th, the day before the race.
I arrived in Pescara at about 11am. I went directly at the registration area with my other friends who had to gather all the information and time chips. In the registration area room there were about 35 degrees (90+F), no air at all and a huge crowd of people. The worst thing was that there were different lines but nobody knew at wich line one should queue up. The reason? There was no sign at all regarding which line a triathlete should have used. The only sign was a little A4 paper on the desk of the staff that was totally unreadable from behind all those people standing up in line.
I myself got in a line, first, and then at the end figured out i was in the wrong line just before getting at the end of it. I then requested the staff to raise that paper so that people in the back could read where to line up, but they said that they didn’t have time to do it.
I figured why! There were only 4 people trying to serve the hundreds of triathletes that gathered there to get all the equipment. Unbelievable. It took me 43 minutes at the end.

Let ‘s move forward to the stuff (i would like to say goodies but i really can’t) that you provided to us.
1) a louzy backpack that must have cost the organization about 1.50 euros
2) sun cream
3) amminoacids
(not even the race rules were in the bag)
Period! That was all that we found as the stuff you provided the triathletes. I find this honestly ridicolous. Not even at the worst triathlon race i have been to i found so little cheap things, it is simply absurd.
The worst thing is that you provided the relay team members the same backpack that you gave us last year. Where thos the ones that were not given out last year? How is this possible?
We didn’t pay 20 euros to participate, we paid 200 euros (at the least). How in the world could you think that the stuff you provided us even gets close to a triathlete expectations that comes to an officile IM race?

Now, let’s go to the race, where the situation gets even worse.

Swim: the length was much above 1900mts as an official 70.3 should be. One of my friends, who has the GPS working also in the water, told me it was 2450mts. You can also check the splits of the pro’s, check at how much it took them to get out of the water.
What happened? Can anyone explain? Did the tide move the buoy during the night? Even if that is the reason, that is your problem to check. I cannot believe that we had to swim so much more in an official competition.
We are swimming in the sea and, yes, there are tides. You should check if the buoyes move, cannot afford this kinds of mistakes!

But you know what? It’s getting even worse on the bike.
First of all: they were not 90k. On my bike i had 95k’s, i asked around and everybody had between 94 and 95k’s. Why? We are not talking about 1k above the standard, we are talking about between 4 and 5k’s above the official distance. How in the world is this possible?
Plus: on the second refreshment point i asked for water and salts. I received, what i thought, was water and salts. When i drank it i realized i received 2 bottles of salts. I was totally mad. I had to do other 35k’s with only salts!
I thought it was my mistake, maybe i didn’t hear right, maybe i went by the refreshment area and did not understand what they were giving me.
But the fact is that i asked other triathletes during our last 35k’s and they had ALL the same problem, they all received only salts, no water. So, you ran out of water at the second refreshment!
Are you kidding me? Are you serious? This is just unacceptable.

Run: there was one refreshment with only water, no salts, no coke, just simple water with about 30 degrees under the sun.
The end on the northern side of the course could be easily “cut” since there was no timing carpet at the end, and trust me that some did cut that part since it was a long way going towards north and then back to the southern part. Again, how is this possible? A carpet should have been put at the end of the race buoy. Generally speaking, nobody should cheat on these races, but there are still some that like to cheat. A carpet and both ends is the only solution. Should i be the one that tells how to do such a thing?

End of the race.
At the athlete’s garden there was no food at all except for the same exact things that were present at the refreshment points. How can you think that a triathlete, after 5+ hours of race could ever want to eat those things?
Personally, if i had to drink a sip of salts i would have throwen up. The same thing was for all the athletes there.
There was only coke, water, salts and fruits. This is simply unbelievable. There was no pasta, no sweets, meat, ham, cheese… again just the same things that we could find at the refreshments points. Absurd.

But the best thing comes with the finisher t-shirts. This year has been even worse than last year.
This year you honestly beat all the records.
The finisher t-shirt was a “kalenji” tshirt sold by decathlon store at about 3 euros to the public. If that was not enough, on the back there is a huge “decathlon” logo which is really totally pointless. Decathlon was not a sponsor of the race, so i believe that the tshirts were given to the organization for free at the “cost” of printing out that ugly logo. Genius, isn’t it?
There was one triathlete in front of me that, after receiving this louzy tshirt, was so angry that was swearing like a mad man.
After 5+ hrs of race a triathlete that paid 200+ euros expects more, believe me. I don’t think it is hard to understand.

Wrapping up all the feedback.
All the above points were raisen up by ALL the athletes i met after the race, no excpetions.
The worst thing is that your “name” as the official IronMan, gets a really bad word mouth at least here in Italy.
A lot of athletes yesterday took part for the very first time to an international triathlon race, expecting something perfect, with a top-notch organization. Instead they were all unsatisfied by the organizations faults and mistakes. It looked like more as a local triathlon race with a couple of hundreds of triathletes, rather than an official IronMan race as we all know.
The IM races all over Europe are totally different and the organization is close to perfection.
In Pescara was everything but perfect. So many faults, so many mistakes, so many issues that it is unbelievable.
I don’t know if this depends on you, on the local organization, on the local administration, on your partners. Whatever. What happened yesterday is unacceptable at all levels.

Personally, if there is a IM70.3 in Pescara next year i will definitely not  participate (and this is the same feeling lots of athletes had yesterday).

Just for your information, i am posting this email in several triathlon specific sites in order to gather more information and disappointment (if any) from who took part at yeterday’s race.

I really hope to receive a feedback from you.


Maurizio Martinoli

2 Commenti

  1. roberta

    perfettamente d’accordo con te su tutto . Mio marito ha fatto la gara ed e’ rimasto profondamente deluso..Anche noi volevavo mandare una lettera di complain, ma tu dove hai spedito questa lettera?

  2. maurizio

    mandala agli indirizzi che trovi qui

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