"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss
IRONMAN 70.3 Atlantic City is not coming back in 2024. The truth is, it probably never should have happened in the first place. But it did, and I, my family, and the people who work for/with me are grateful for it.
It was 2015 and I remembered the day Andrew Messick called me and asked if I wanted to be a part of the IRONMAN family. My jaw nearly hit the floor. He had seen what we were able to do with Challenge Atlantic City and knew that event was never coming back. I was the last licensee deal IRONMAN would ever offer in the United States and we hit it out of the park. Over the next 4 years, DelMoSports was placed on the fast track of learning how to produce a world-class long-distance triathlon. We soaked up every bit of knowledge, made new friends, saw areas of efficiency that we didn't know existed and was able to grow our other events based on our affiliation with IRONMAN. In short, we became better... a lot better.
"Stephen, it's going to be Jones Beach or Atlantic City, it's not going to be both." This was a real quote stated to me a few months ago. The writing was on the wall. You can't argue with the facts: nearly 4000 athletes will be descending upon Jones Beach, NY for what is sure to be an EPIC inaugural 70.3 event. They're in good hands too. Corey Roberts is the race director, and HE IS TRIATHLON on Long Island. Corey is a fun-loving solar installing, triathlon producing, enthusiastic Aussie who's lived and breathed his Long Island community and triathlon for decades. His company, Race Awesome, has been lobbying for a 70.3 for years and his dream is finally coming true. THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT. I wish Corey, his crew, and my IRONMAN brothers and sisters who will be in LI supporting him nothing but the very best in executing a stellar 70.3 this September.
So now what? We move forward. Our goal is still the same: producing world class events along the Southern Jersey Shore and we will do just that on September 10, 2023, for the last time as an IRONMAN branded event. I think of where we were prior to IRONMAN 70.3 Atlantic City, and where we are now knowing this is the final act. I see a company (DelMoSports) that is now called upon to help execute some of the largest and. most respected endurance events in the United States and our experience working with IRONMAN is directly responsible for helping to open those doors.
What did I learn? All things evolve in this world, and we are just an example of that. My advice to you is if you have an opportunity in front of you ATTACK AND ATTAIN for the moment is fleeting.
Van Morrison said it best in his song, "Precious Time," "Precious time is slipping away, you know you're only king for a day," Remember high school sports? Remember your first year on the job? Remember when your kids were toddlers, or your dog was puppy? That's what we're talking about here. Be present, soak it in, learn as much as you can, evolve and get better.