Rev3 and Challenge races merge

Big news in triathlon today: In 2015, Rev3 and the Challenge Family will merge for all of the REV3 non-drafting Triathlon events, to be labeled under the Challenge umbrella.


The Challenge Family, a global entity, has scooped up the Rev3 races; moving forward, old Rev3 races will be produced as Challenge Family events. The press release email sent from Rev3 today says all of the Rev3 staff will remain intact, with the only difference being the brand in which they produce the events.

Sounds like good news for Rev3’s pocketbook. Time will tell how the races end up. I’ve volunteered at Rev3 races in the past, and I’ll be doing my first Rev3 race this month in the Poconos.

Ironman announces refund policy

Ironman races are a HUGE investment, both financially with entries over $600 (in addition to having to get there, eat, sleep, and travel while there), and in terms of time. But what happens when you get injured, ill, or life happens and you can’t race?

Today, Ironman brand announced its Full Refund Plan, which is a policy for an additional fee, like travel insurance when purchasing a flight. “For a fee of $40 for IRONMAN 70.3 races and $90 for IRONMAN races, athletes can purchase the Full Refund Plan at the time of registration only.”

From their press release email:

“IRONMAN is proud to announce the Full Refund Plan administered by Stonebridge Benefit Services, Inc., a Transamerica Company, for race registration refunds. Athletes have the option to purchase the Full Refund Plan during the registration process for certain 2015 U.S. IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 races effective immediately. The Full Refund Plan will give athletes additional flexibility and will co-exist with the Partial Refund Policy (for IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events) and the Transfer Policy (for IRONMAN events only).

If an athlete elects to purchase the Full Refund Plan and is unable to participate in the event due to an injury, unforeseen illness, pregnancy, childbirth, active military duty, or travel delays to the event, they may be eligible for a full refund of the registration fees paid to enter the event.”

See the full policy here:

Nike to Discontinue FuelBand?

Reports came out this weekend on tech web site CNET that Nike has laid off its FuelBand team and ended production on a slimline Imageversion that was to launch in the fall. All signs point to this being end of the Nike+ FuelBand, although Nike has neither confirmed or denied this news. Yet. 

The Active Times guesses that Nike may partner with a more established hardware maker such as Apple instead of trying to fight for market shares on its now. The Active Times reports that Nike has about a 10% share of the fitness tracker market.

Nike says it will continue to support the existing version of the band and to continue to develop its Fuel app.

I personally don’t have any wearable tech, and I’m glad I didn’t get a FuelBand when I had the inclination to do so a year or so ago. I like the idea of tracking and having this information, but I can also do the same thing with just a little extra effort on my iPhone through free apps. I do have teammates who like the Jawbone UP and FitBit, but unless they came my way without cost, I don’t think I’m in the market for anything any time soon. I’ve been running without a watch for two seasons since my Garmin 405 broke, and I think I’d prioritize that over other wearable tech – but that’s not even on my to-buy list right now. 

I actually don’t know anyone who uses Nike+ FuelBand regularly, so I guess I can’t really say whether this is a loss or not. 

REV3 Discontinuing Pro Prize Purse, moves back to age-group marketing

Today (April 25, 2014) Rev3 announced to professional athletes that the Rev3 series will discontinue their pro prize purse after the MayImage 18 race in Knoxville, Tenn. This leaves pros who planned their schedule around the race series, which has given more than $2million in prize money in the past five years, without potential earnings. 

Rev3 cited a low eturn on investment surrounding the prizes, and said Rev3 is shifting its marketing focus back to age group athletes.