Part of endurance sports is learning a little from each experience. Every race, training ride, run, there is information we use as athletes to learn from and improve.
Heather Gollnick is doing just that, taking an old idea and bringing it to the next level. The 5 time Ironman winner, along with her husband Todd Gollnick and Trakkers have teamed up to create the Revolution 3 Triathlon Series. Heather has trained and raced at the highest level, she has seen the good and the not so good of what triathlon has to offer and launched Revolution 3 as a new alternative to the 140.6, 70.3 and Olympic Distance races.
"Our immediate goal is to make triathlons a more interactive, enjoyable experience for spectators and family members by providing fun activities for children and family members during the race. We're about change. Change for the age grouper, change for the professional athlete, and change for the spectators," claims Todd Gollnick, Rev3 Race Director.
It's about time.
My Ironman was a long day of racing for me, but even longer for my family as they tried to kill time in Lake Placid for 16 plus hours. Even the fastest 140.6 distance racers are asking their families to wait around for 8-9 hours. Normally these races offer everything to the racers and nothing much in the form of distractions to the spectators and families. One of the reasons I have stayed away from longer races is the burden it puts on my family. Heather told me , " we want to honor the sacrifice the family puts into these events as well and from our experience, we knew that there was something missing, something that could be immediately improved on, and I think we have."
Revolution 3 is providing quality venues for the athletes, but hosting them in locations that the entire family will enjoy, amusement parks
Sandusky, Ohio- Cedar Point Amusement Park,
Middlebury, Connecticut at Quassy Amusement Park
Knoxville Tennessee (finally a reason to visit Knoxville).
Rev.3 organizers are making sure that the families and spectators are taken care of while their athletes race for 3-6-17 hours, by hosting these races in amusement parks that will be open exclusively for the spectators and volunteers families to enjoy during the race. Fun at a triathlon? Unheard of! What will they think of next? Better athlete tracking?
Yes, actually they did. Race director Todd Gollnick told me about utilizing the latest Trakkers GPS/Athlete tracking technology that will provide real time tracking of the athletes, so the families won't be on a roller coaster or scarfing down a corn dog, when their athlete comes into transition or hits a certain cheering spot.
Again, when I did my Ironman, I was stung by a bee on the bike, which
caused me to pass out, veer off the road and lay there unconscious for
about an hour (this is the short version), if this technology was
available to my family, they may have noticed that daddy wasn't moving
and alerted someone.
Revolution 3 is doing to
the Iron and half distance races what the XFL did to the NFL(hopefully
they will be around MUCH longer than the XFL), making them step up
They are taking a great idea and making much needed improvements on
it. Some of these improvements are cameras placed all over the course
making it possible for spectators to watch their athletes during the
race, a massive TV screen for people to watch the race as it happens
live, and plenty more. All of the little touches that make the entire
experience more interactive and personal to the people involved. And
not just about selling out in two days.
Money. Yes, they have it and they are spending it on the event,
on the locations and on the professionals. Individual professional
wins have deep reward money, but they have thrown the gauntlet to the
pro that can bag all three wins and added a 125 thousand dollar bonus
prize as an incentive. Attention all pro. triathletes, I said a $125,000 bonus!
Money commiserate to the athletes talents and efforts, again, madness! This "madness," has gained the attention of Matt Reed and several other pros. who are running towards Rev. 3 and the possibility of winning the big bucksl.
I applaud the efforts of Todd and Heather as well as guys like Frank Lowery-Silverman Triathlon
and a dozen or so other race directors that get the fact that it's
about the accomplishment of crossing that line 140.6 miles out there in
the sand, and not the brand name.
If it wasn't for innovator like Heather, Todd and yes, Vince McMahon,
then we wouldn't have growth in sport, new innovations, ideas and
technologies. I am making their races my A races this year in both
Knoxville (Olympic) and at Cedar Point (70.3).
I have heard a lot of you out there complain that Madison has been
done, and the other 140.6 races are too far away or too hard to get
into." All of the Rev. 3 races are open for registration and Sandusky isn't
that far of a drive. If you're up for it, I will see you on the beach,
you can look for my family in the water park.