14 responses

  1. Chan
    June 9, 2019

    Definitely on the bucket list for me to one day able to make this. (Yes I know the rules, secret invite only).

  2. SwimNbike
    June 9, 2019

    Sad Panda Comment;

    I was lucky enough to join a Diner en Blank ( international event) after seeing your post a couple years earlier.

    Unfortunately it also leaves a bitter taste.

    The Diner en blanc was a great success. I managed to surprise my better half and go there together. Actually it was around our 6th year wedding anniversary.

    Not sure what happened after that.. cox 6 months later we were separated and divorced after being together over 14 yrs and married close to 7…

    it still dang hurts. I’ll be honest.

    Another event that year was, I turned 40, and after deciding I had to get on the IM wagon as well. As a middle age guy thing.
    I did some oly’s a couple years before
    So about 2 months after our separation, I did my first and only 70.3 to date.

    I did my SBR. but my headspace wasn’t right. I was in the paradise in terms of location, in Phuket.
    The missus insisted going to the fanciest hotel, if we were to go. This was before we were separated. Lucky me I was in the fanciest hotel there, with private pool. the whole 9 yards..
    I got the honeymoon treatment, with roses on the bed. while i was in terrible – dumped – mood. Oh btw it was all prepaid for. So I couldn’t get a refund. and I emailed the Hotel mgt that I wanted low-key treatment, no festivities. But I guess they didn’t the memo. and I got the honeymoon treatment.

    well anyways about the race 50m before the finish, I walked off the course, and gave my bib to a race official and I retired from the race. I just didn’t want to finish my first 70.3 in a terrible state. I felt if I am going to race 70.3 or IM. I was going to do a proper race and finish in satisfying fashion. finishing up to my potential. that day wasn’t my day.

    It wasn’t all bad, that race was about giving and forgiving, I handed salt tablets to fellow racers, I paced for someone from our club. I patched a flat for another team-mate, to help him get to the bike finish with 10k to go. Dealing with stomach issues from bad food the night before. I managed what I could.
    with rolling starts I was 15th out of the swim. I hoped it would set up my race, but it wasn’t what I hoped for.
    even the post-race party was cancelled, because King Bhumibol had just passed, (RIP) whole of Thailand was in mourning.

    Alas that was my 70.3 attempt.

    I still feel I have unfinished business there at the 70.3 Phuket. but that race is now cancelled.. so I guess it’s a past station. Sorry for hijacking this comment section. reading the post just triggered memories. excellent writing, reviews and blogs. Keep up the good work. Ken

    Swim N Bike
    Bib 508 ^_^

    ps. typo it’s cubes not cubs

    • hq
      June 10, 2019

      Thanks for sharing. Did you consider turning your story into a movie?

    • oh thats funny
      June 10, 2019


  3. Reinhard
    June 9, 2019

    Certainly a very nice event. One question comes to my mind: What about toilets? If I understand it correctly, there is no organization. 10-20.000 people, a lot of champagne, wine, beer and other drinks …

    • Anonymouse
      June 10, 2019

      This is an excellent question. Do tell, Ray!

    • DC Rainmaker
      June 10, 2019

      It’s funny, the French are really really good at one thing: Holding it.

      Actually, two things: Not caring about not holding it, and finding a bush nearby.

      There are no toilets, though there are some street toilets in/around the city, albeit none in this specific area of town. Most people tend to go prior to leaving the pre-game meeting points (in cafe’s/etc…). Somehow, it just works.

  4. Bernie
    June 9, 2019


  5. Rick Burgess
    June 10, 2019

    Hey, we are Amsterdam later this week – after spending 2 weeks cycling around Holland. Any chance of stopping by the cave?

    • DC Rainmaker
      June 10, 2019

      Yup, I’m around all week. Feel free to ping me (just my first name at domain) and happy to find a time for you to swing by. I’m located roughly near Olympic Stadium.

  6. Duncan Tindall
    June 10, 2019

    Wish it was $2.50 over here. We’ve been to the Tauranga, NZ version the last two years, and whilst it is a fantastic night, really enjoyed it then it is about the most expensive night out of the year for us. Works out about $400 for the two of us, and that’s not including the white outfits.

    You need to join the DIB international ‘club’ and then you have to buy tickets which includes a bus to the mystery venue. Can’t take any booze in so you needed to have pre-booked the wine (at their inflated prices). Also hire the tables and chairs. And of course as you got a bus to the random venue, not only have you a taxi home, but also need to rescue your car from the bus pickup the next morning.

    Still, a good night out, even if it does have even less demographic mix than the average ironman startline…

    • DC Rainmaker
      June 10, 2019

      Yikes, that’s crazy money. Though, like you said – if the event hits it, then awesome!

      I think it’s also a bit driven by cultural expectations and allowances. For example, drinking in public is generally just fine in France (and much of Europe), whereas in the US (and many other places) it’s not at all fine. So that drives things like being able to hold events like this (with wine and champagne and what-not), without being on private property.

      Also, since this event started some 30 years ago, the tradition of it upholds the rigors of what people have to do to attend it (namely dragging all their own stuff not via car, and complying with rules like cloth only napkins). Whereas if you try and introduce that concept to many people in the US in a random city, it just wouldn’t hold water.

    • Duncan Tindall
      June 11, 2019

      Yup, and indeed one of the great things about New Zealand is how chilled dining is. Even ‘posh’ restaurants you will see people in shorts/tee. Basically, all is good.

      So then creating out of nothing rules about what you can wear, what you can bring, the dimensions of the table you need to provide, etc, it’s a heck of a culture shock! But I guess that’s what makes it so special here because it is so different.

  7. Monica Quijada
    June 10, 2019

    Favorite post every year!

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