Race Reminders: NYC Triathlon Early Registration, IM 70.3 Race Openings & Marine Corps Marathon App

It’s that time of year where the most popular triathlons for next year start to open…and sell out just as quickly.  The first wave of these starts later this week, with many of the other big names occurring over the next 6 weeks into mid-December.

First up is the Nautica New York City Triathlon, which is one of the biggest and most popular Olympic distance races out there.  Some of you may remember I raced it this past year back in July.  And I also ‘competed’ in the always entertaining NYC Tri Underwear Run that’s tied to that event.

I had a great time (at both) and would definitely recommend folks do the race at least once.  If you have a time that qualifies you for the elite wave – I suggest you choose that over the later waves, purely for the purpose of avoiding the crowds.  Well, that and the dive start. ;)

Speaking of early starts…if you’re a USAT member, then I strongly encourage you to take advantage of USAT’s early entry program.  Regular entry used to sell out in 8-12 minutes when it opened at midnight, this year they’re switching to a lottery system for regular entry.  You REALLY don’t want to be battling that out then if you can avoid it…because more than likely…you’ll lose out.


For those who don’t read their USAT spam e-mails, you can find all the details of the NYC early registration here.

Ironman 70.3 Race Openings

Next up in the pile is a slew of Ironman 70.3 races for next year that just opened.  While none of these are ones that typically sell out immediately, if you have cemented next year’s race plans, it doesn’t hurt to lock in your spot.  This is because majority of these races are newer, and thus tend to take a bit longer to sell out compared to some of the most well known and established 70.3 races like Ironman 70.3 California (another awesome race) – which tends to sell out very quickly.

One of the races that did open is the Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island (Providence), which I did the first two years it started.  I had a blast both years (despite blacking out at the finish and ending up in the med tent), and would recommend them to others.  It won’t be on my race list for next year…as I’ll be on my honeymoon then. :)


You can go get details of all the 70.3 races that have opened thus far, and sign your life away here.

Marine Corps Marathon App

And last but not least – a reader asked if I had tried out the new RoboMo RaceMate Marathon Corps Marathon App ($1.99), which is the official iPhone app of the Marine Corps Marathon.  So I went ahead and downloaded it and gave it a whirl.

The press releases and stories would lead you to believe that you’re getting a full featured tracking app that will help you to track racers on race day…but in reality when you boil it all down…you’re just getting a map of the course.  Well, that and a countdown clock to the start of the race.  Maybe it’s just me – but I’m fairly certain all those racing are Sunday are painfully/excitedly aware of exactly how far away Sunday is.

The makers claimed in a press release that some 47% of runners were expected to run with cell phones on Sunday.  I’m going to go ahead and call serious BS on that number.  There’s just no way I believe that 1 out of every 2 people will be carrying a cell phone running that course. 

…that said…

Here’s a couple of screenshots I took.  The apps includes a brief course overview (just like MapMyRun has for free):


Then it includes a fully useless ‘News’ page with a whole two pieces of news…simply telling you that this app is designed for the Marine Corps Marathon:


Followed up by a pace calculator page.  Given there are a million free pace calculators online, I’m not sure I see the value here for racers.  Perhaps a spectator, but realistically you’ll have given them paces anyway:


And finally, it includes a different map page, which also lists the water stops, bathroom, food, locations, etc…  This goes a step further and estimates where your friend is based on whatever pace they give to you pre-race – so this is semi-useful, assuming your friend is accurate with paces:


The makers of the app have been touting their app design is being used by a few other marathon’s this year, including the upcoming NYC Marathon.  This app could go from useless to useful with the simple addition of integrated tracking.  And perhaps they have something up their sleeve – but given it’s not listed on the makers website as a feature, and with the app store approval process taking upwards of a week – it doesn’t seem likely for Sunday.  If the app took mileage split data from the races website and integrated it into the little-man maps it includes and placed a runner for each runner you were following – it’d be super-awesome.  But it doesn’t do that.  Thus…not awesome.

What will however be awesome is my costume for Sunday.  I’ll be out Sunday morning cheering on runners, with The Girl – and both of us in costume.  Speaking of costumes, if you didn’t see The Girl’s post on her past costumes and the like…very.worth.while.

Good times ahead!


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  1. By the way, NYC Tri is a lottery this year. Lottery open for 3 days, and results sent on 11/4.

  2. The MCM made two huge mistakes this year in my opinion which I think deserve more press.

    1 – They decided to eliminate the simple text-tracking app that they have had in previous years. This was an app that as you crossed each timing mat (every 5k) sent a simple text to the people that signed up for your tracking. Dont know why they eliminated this but everyone thats come to my last few races as loved it. How expensive can it be to have a simple system like this system running?

    2 – They went to this tracking app which requires runners to carry their iphone or android phone with them. Seriously? Who in their right mind would run with their giant brick of a phone with them the whole time? What a really dumb idea.

    These are two huge mistakes that MCM made this year and none of us has been able to get an explanation as to why.

  3. Sorry submitted before I was done.

    I dont believe the MCM data for one second. 47% of runners will carry their smartphone on race day? Really? Where did they get that data? I have known 2 people in all my running groups that carried phones and that spans hundreds of people. 47% seems like an absurd number.

    Also, how many smartphones will be able to run a GPS-heavy application for say 5-6 hours straight? I dont know many people that have a smartphone that can make it that many hours on medium grade use. But an app that is running a GPS application and pinging it every couple seconds?

    There was also a writeup in USAToday that talks about the tracking app.

    link to usatoday.com

    I just predict that this will be a complete disaster. I’ll be thrilled if I’m wrong. They had this real easy simple system that worked – but I guess for everything in life now you need an app to make it fancier.

  4. This is an epic FAIL on the part of MCM. For being considered “The People’s Marathon”, I find it sad that they are trying to milk out more $$$ from the mass of spectators and racers attending this race. And to charge an extra $1 so you can track multiple runners? ABSURD! Nickel and diming people is not the way to run a race (see WTC as an example).

    I agree with dcmidnight – the simple text based system worked well and it was FREE. Texts were a bit delayed, but you could use earlier splits to predict when people will hit certain points. As someone who has been out on the course the past 5 years to spot runners, I used to rely on that. Now I’m completely in the dark.

  5. I will love to see what your costume is…..

  6. I’m pretty sorry I downloaded the app last week. I was hoping to finish, get back to the Hyatt and grab my phone so I could track my wife and meet her at the finish.

    I could never run a marathon with my phone or an iPod for that matter. You never know who you might end up meeting and talking to, and I love connecting with the Marines.

    Ray, do you know where you’ll be on the course? And what’s the costume?

  7. Read this post yesterday and snagged a spot in the NYC Tri last night. Woot!

  8. Kaves

    Got blocked from the NYC Tri at 12:06 last night, it was already sold out, gotta be faster next year. :(