Posted: 09/06/2015 at 09:34
Opinions vary - but mine for what its worth ... The IM races i have been too (Wales and Lanza ) are IMO worth the extra cost (for one thing the logistics of a sea swim and the relevant safety, often more closed road sections etc), and you can see why they cost a bit more than some of the non branded ones. Wales is epic , and you would be hard pushed to find an event that has better support along the entire course .
Outlaw is a truly great event , and has incredible support at HPP , but there is very little out on the bike section (with the notable exception of feedstations especially the pirate one) .. yes its iron distance , but ( and this will be contentious so sorry if it upsets anyone) it is not the same as IMUK , IMW others in terms of challenge .... Its not easyby any means , none of them are , just not as hard as the UK IM branded events (or indeed some of the other non branded long distance tris ).
so .. depends what you want and what you can afford ... but dont pick a race based on the tattoo you can get (unless of course its Norseman or MDS )