Ironman Australia took place at Port Macquarie this past weekend.
My very first IM was in Forster in 2003 before the event shifted to Port Mac, so it always holds special interest.
With two VIF's (very important friends) on the IMOZ start line and with Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie & Ironman 70.3 Busselton on the same day, it should have been a red letter day for this self confessed triathlon tragic.
Unfortunately, visions of athlete tracking of all three events providing comic light relief from chemo side effects pretty much went out the window - immediately!
Ironman Live blog is all well and good to follow the race leaders, but why can we now not rely on up to date tracking of other pros and the age group athletes?
Surely it's not just me wanting to know those we are following are safely out of the water, off the bike or where they are on the run, without having to wait forever for the info?
Back in the good old days we could rely on tracker to be refreshed often enough to maintain our interest.
We would have tracking parties and follow the progress of family, friends and club mates from start to finish, however long it took. Next best thing to being there!
Now it is essential to have someone on the sidelines to relay sightings just to know those we are following have actually started the event and survived the swim, while whoever's job it is to refresh the timing, is on a go slow campaign.
Remember when you could check by age groups and know who was where and if really interested, produce a spreadsheet to follow time gains and losses just to help pass the time? Not anymore, now it's ...
The video coverage provides some insight on conditions but lets face it, if your interest is focused mainly on just a few key competitors, an accurate tracker would allow tuning in at the right moments.
And as much as I love hearing "..... You Are An Ironman", without the tracker updating, sitting glued to the coverage meant I had to hear Mike Reilly or Pete Murray say it over and over and over and over and over just so I didn't miss seeing those special people finish.
Why didn't I turn down the volume? ... very tempting but listening as well as watching at least gave a slight chance of hearing that the VIF's were in the finish chute because you sure as hell couldn't tell from the athlete tracker!
Judging by social media, I wasn't alone in my frustration but I'm not sure anyone in the Ironman organisation is listening.