I agree about the contribution from the support here, but assuming most people don’t approach ironman as a dick swinging competition, id argue that for many, their finish time is secondary to the experience. Personally speaking, I’ll attach far more value returning from IM Nice having had a great time, laughs, enjoyed the race than having achieved x time. Maybe im more a giant snowball than a snowflake
Clearly finish times are important to many, even more so important to others. Finish time isn’t just attributable to fitness. The mind and attitude are a significant factor, if youre flagging on the 2nd lap of the run or looking for inspiration to catch up those 2 places you need for Kona qualification some friendly support could well sway the balance.
Lastly, just want to say to anyone potentially feeling put out by my earlier post, don’t be, chances are that if you’re reading this thread you’re contributing. Also nice to see some newer pirates commentating.
I don’t think the “power of the pirate kit” is bollox, ive raced all over, its when you’re abroad you really notice this. Pirate kit it recognised and I like to think this recognition is a payback for the friendly nature of the pirates and support we give to others. There’s nothing like hearing the shouts of ‘go pirate’ when youre racing on your own in Arizona etc. People know who you are and where youre from.
Id be here all day if I recalled the countless times people have asked me about the pirates and recalled a race they were at.
PSOF is becoming more and more popular and there are many factors pushing this. Im not sure this is the place to discuss it though and am conscious this thread’s getting hijacked.
The big question is really – “What do people want from PSOF?” Im keen to hear from newer people, its no good the ‘old guard’ popping up and saying it used to be like X, Y & Z. That said, there are certain things that have worked that perhaps shouldn’t change, similarly people have made an investment through involvement which should qualify them a dividend of influence.
I don’t think we can totally control the popularity of the pirates, what I do think we should try and change is the way PSOF has become a disparate and less engaging community. I don’t think the FB helps with this, it used to be pirates but seems more like the pirate fanclub/exchange and mart.
I agree with The Engineer, we cannot be dismissive of people that turn up out of the blue, for all we know they could be the next Bouncing Barlist? There are lots of pirates that weren’t posting 3 years ago. That said if your first post if ‘I want kit’ or youve not introduced yourself its completely reasonable for people to ask who you are. Id even go further ask whether its time to suggest ‘you earn your kit’ quite a few think seem this is already the expectation. Earning your kit shouldn’t just be about doing an IM, it should be about contributing, supporting, getting to know people. In my view you can earn the kit even if you’ve no intention of doing an IM.
What irritates me more than anything else, is that there seems an increasing minority who order kit for the wrong reasons, they’ve either seen the pirate support at a race, read Holgs books and think ‘I’ll have some of that’. They order kit and are never heard of again, no doubt happily going round their local sprint broadly smiling to the sound of ‘go pirate’ ringing in their ears.
Going back to the question, “What do people want from PSOF?” For me PSOF means, a community spirit, something different, something special. This is getting watered down the larger PSOF gets and I think its time to consider whether we want to try and keep a lid on it or ‘let the cat out of the bag’.
Keeping a lid on it was partly why I argued so vigorously about commercialisation late last year. To me PSOF isn’t about self-indulgence such as seeing yourself in a tri magazine, it’s about a collective participation. Nothing sums that up better than the last 30 seconds of the Outlaw 2013 video (if you’ve not seen it yet, look for it on Youtube).
I do think wider availability of the kit attracts people for the wrong reasons and while I understand the reason for this thread, I don’t agree with the opinions that kit orders should go in as and when required. I struggle to understand the desperation for kit given we’ve spent £20,000 in the last 2 years, where is all this kit?
People should earn the kit through some sort of contribution rather than a sense of entitlement and expect its delivered when they click their fingers. Similarly I dont think differences of opinion about whether the kit order arrives in March, April or May should lose sight of the bigger picture.
People who start racing before May are very much in the minority though? Most kit orders are surely aimed at the Ironman events?
With the amount of kit in circulation if someone desperately needs kit there's nearly always some available to be sold on or loaned?
I think the change will help streamline the process and reaffirm what the kits for. The order process has become a monster and a lot of issues in recent years, not least people putting their names down, being difficult to contact, ignoring instructions or even arguing about the process.