The Big Woody

Looking at dong the Big Woody next year as it is nice and local but wondering if it counts as an iron distance race. It is 10 miles short, 6 on the bike and 4 on the run, so would it still count? I know this seems a very petty thing but if I'm going all that way I'd like to call myself an ironman, even if it's not an M dot event. Opinions anyone?


  • I didn't know it was 'short', always thought of it as an IM.

  • Rocco, I don't think it makes any difference what WE think, it's what YOU think that's important, isn't it?

    Personally, in order to call myself an ironman I felt I had to do a branded M dot event.  I also went for one with a very good reputation for the razzamatazz, the nice fabric transition bags, the free buses, firework, towels, shower lorries etc etc etc and I paid probably two or three times what you pay for the Big Woody.  Subsequently I've done a Challenge event and an independent (Outlaw).

    All these events have their good points and their bad points in terms of cost, reputation, delivery, course profile and, yes, course distance.  Ultimately you, and only you, can decide what are the key factors about long course triathlon racing that are important to you and then decide which race you want to go for. 

    You can call yourself what you want at the end.  Call yourself Dorisman if it pleases you.  It's about you.



  • I actually feel the same as you Mouse that to be a "true Ironman" is all about doing an official M dot event. I was looking at The Big Woody, also Outlaw which I am on the waiting list for a place, as a good place to start before deciding to pay a lot more for an official event. This is of course just my opinion and I guess the one that counts really, but always nice to hear from others.

    What I guess I should have said, but didn't word it properly, is does the Big Woody count as "Iron distance" event rather than will I be an Ironman at the end of it
  • I do like the name Dorisman though image
  • Again, you have to decide if it counts.  (Sorry I don't mean to be an arse!)

    I can tell you what I think, but you have to decide what you think.

    Technically in some manual or rule book somewhere I think it says there is a 10% tolerance for races to be qualifiers for something, could be IM qualifiers, could be ITU races, I'm not sure, but that might be a helpful place for you to start in your decision making process.

    I'm interested why you feel it's a good place to 'start' - do you feel you need a practice run?   If you feel (as you say) that it should be an M dot event, then what we say won't change that and I'd suggest you should go straight for the kill with an M dot event if that's what you really want.  The reason I say this, is that you'll just end up toddling off to Bolton (or wherever) next year if you're not satisfied, so if that disatisfaction is already there now, then it's not going to go away.  You might as well do what you want to do from the very start.

    (And you don't need a practice run, you just need faith) image

  • there are a few around these parts (DtS, Holgs, Min, Viking) who did the BW as their 1st long distance race and called themselves Ironman after completing - they have all gone on since to complete other events (branded and unbranded).

    it's a perennial discussion - do you call yourself an IM if you do a non-branded event??  as Mouse says - it's your call.   there's probably more argument as to whether you should have an M-dot tattoo after an unbranded event!!!   

  • I think the biggest reason for wanting a practice run is due to cost and faith in myself. The Big Woody is just up the road for me and would mean I could have support around the course from friends and family, although from reading more and more race reports it seems everyone supports everyone so not such a major issue as I first thought. The official M dot races are expensive and I would don't know if I have the faith in myself to enter one as my first and get round it. Hence why I thought of a practice race.

    As you say though, at the end of the day I do feel that it has to be an official race to be a true Ironman and that really I should just have faith in myself and enter one. Do you know if there is a waiting list for IMUK?

    FB - not sure I would get a M dot tattoo and definitely wouldn't unless if was are an official event. But each to their own.
  • Yep... Did TBW no 1, and after 3 trips up English Bicknor felt more than happy to call myself an Ironman...

    Since did IMUK, Which seemed to also feature a "short" run that year, and this year The Outlaw

    It's and Iron Distance Race.... IM is only a brand name and a branded logo (Yeah alright I know I have it on my arm)

    Do like the idea of being a DorisMan tho, Think I would have to wear pink rather than yellow for it

  • Rocco - not sure if IMUK has a waiting list but IMWales still has places.

    just do what a lot of us have done - enter an IM and train like buggery and keep the faith!!  at least once you've done one you can call yourself an IM and then move onto unbranded ones.

  • Dave - was the BW the same distance as it is this year or was it the full distance?

    FB - IM Wales would be great, I live in South Wales, but the sea swim scares the crap out of me! I watched it last year when the weather was awful and it looked scary! Could be a good challenge though
  • It was a different course, with the swim in a different lake....

    Trever has never been that handy with a tape measure to be honest

    Stop messing about and get yourself entered into IMWales

  • Rocco - I did IMW when it was the bad weather - the swim was great!!  got an IM PB swim time at it.   but then I do most of my OW training in the sea so it doesn't bother me that much.   the more training you do in the sea, the easier it becomes....

    do it!

  • For what it's worth, some people felt that IMW was short this year too.
  • image did they?!  I hadn't heard that!  Is that what happens when they switch organisers ....


  • Dorisman and Sagaman....

  • I'd not worry too much if i were you -6 miles on the bike is nothing and if its the same hills that I did it on - then its much harder than most IM bike courses anyway. 

    4 miles short on the run - well at least they're telling you this. 

    I think when I did it  the swim seemed short (as have plenty of IM races), the bike was about spot on, and er the run was less than 20 miles.  None of which we knew until the day. I'm still counting it as an IM distance race as I finished the course as they asked. 


  • Pingu - yes, we discussed it at length with Cheerful Dave afterwards. 

  • I heard the IMW run was a bit short. It would need to be very short for me to run up and down that chuffing hill.

  • D0MD0M ✭✭✭

    As someone who has not done an IM distance race, but would like to.  Personally, I would want my first IM race to be an acurate distance course.  I believe Outlaw is acurately measured, so would be happy with that one. But if BW is short, it would not interest me in the slightest, I would feel cheated.  For me,it`s not the branding, but the validity of the distance.  

  • Dreaming Of Magic wrote (see)

    As someone who has not done an IM distance race, but would like to.  Personally, I would want my first IM race to be an acurate distance course.  I believe Outlaw is acurately measured, so would be happy with that one. But if BW is short, it would not interest me in the slightest, I would feel cheated.  For me,it`s not the branding, but the validity of the distance.  

    Apologies...I'm going to be a pedant image.

    Accurately measured - to what level? a 22.6 mile run could still be accurately measured at 22.60 miles, or 22.600 miles. IMUK is well known to be short on the run. I'm sure it's still an accurate distance though.image

    It's all bolleaux as a 'properly' measured course (racing line) will likely not be raced as such, so you'll always add distance on, more so on the swim if you don't watch for the bouys...

  • It's interesting that only people who haven't raced long are worried about half a mile !

    Shut up & put up
  • I popped my IM cherry in Bolton, but my first HIM race was The Little Woody the year before. I went through the same thought process. Should TBW be my first long race, it's cheap and it's local. But for me, I didn't want to finish, and it but be s branded IM event, just in case it was a let down, and also having to forever explain the differences. I also did IMW in 2011, and it is an awesome event, and hopefully I'll be back in 2013, something of a buzz on Tenby that I haven't got elsewhere.
  • none of the IM races are that accurate they all have suit the location.......

  • To back up both Cat5 and seren, not all of the IM-branded races are exactly (or even near-as-damnit) 2.4-112-26.4 but "accurate" doesn't mean "not short". Some races are over-distance, Germany certainly had a 5k longer bike one year. The France bike loop is not 112 miles, but no-one complains by the time they've dragged themselves over the hills!

    Wales had a short run this year (by a couple of miles), and some people were wondering if the swim was short too. But as Mouse says, the IronMan Corporation say you have within 10%, which is how France has a bike leg of 106miles and runs can "legally" be as "short" as 24 - I would cite Roth as an example, but I fear the wrath of one who was led to believe as such.

  • IM branded or not is all bollox Cdr John Collins (the originator) didnt set out to start a brand it was all about rocking up on the day and cracking the distance image
  • Give or take a few miles image when you get to this distance it dont matter a fig it all hurts and takes some doing to train, get fit, stay uninjured and crack the course
  • M..o.use wrote (see)

    Pingu - yes, we discussed it at length with Cheerful Dave afterwards. 

    I do prattle on after races, don't I?

  • Cheerful Dave - maybe a teensy bit but you did provide chips so all is forgiven.  image

    I did Germany the year it had the 185km bike leg.


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