It's the great debate, is it not? Who do you like better? Who puts on a better race? A few people have asked me about the merits of each, so I decided to put some thoughts down on the topic. Granted, I have only done two Rev3 races (only 1 half) and only a single WTC or Ironman Brand race. I will also do one of each in 2013. But I did do a half from each company in the span of 4 weeks. So lets break it down by the tale of the tape, shall we?
Both races were extremely well organized. Rev3 had to do a little more "on the fly" stuff with the winds preventing bike check on Saturday and cancelling the swim on Sunday. Ironman was setup to easily handle the 3,000 that were registered at check in at the Marriott. Rev3 only had to handle 500, but it was smooth as well.
Winner: Slight WTC
Pretty similar. Augusta was $275 and Florida was $250. Rev3 did do an early bird for $215. No early pricing was availible for Augusta even though most races top out at $250 and some race early bird is $199. But if you have a race that sells out even when you have 3,335 spots, why would you offer a reduced price?
Big Time Feel
I have to give the nod to WTC here. With the sheer event size, people taking all kinds of pictures at transition, and all the stuff being sold at the expo, you knew it was a big race. I saw many people biking in their "Ironman 70.3 Augusta" bike kits, which is hilarious, but makes you understand how important it was for people. Rev3 has a great big event/laid back atmosphere however that I do like. WTC also has the qualification for their "World Championship" race in Las Vegas.
Rev3: Long Sleeve Finisher shirt, Finisher Medal, AG Award Medal, cheap sling bag, BlueSeventy Goggles, Headsweats Visor, and free 2013 entry for winning your AG. WTC: Tech T-shirt (no sponsor logos), Finisher Medal, AG award plaque, nice sling bag, timing chip strap. The easy winner here is Rev3
Rev3: 500, WTC: 3,000. Depends on what you like, but 500 is a great number. Not so small that you get on the bike course and you are by yourself, but not too big that you spend the first 30 miles trying to get some room to breathe.
Winner: Slight Rev3
Gotta like the Rev3 bike racks. Plenty of room and you feel like a pro. WTC stuffed us in transition like sardines. If the guy next to me had shown up, I would have been in trouble.
No issues with either. Courses both marked well and with volunteers at turns. Plenty of volunteers and aid stations on the run.
WTC definitely gets the results posted asap. They have some of the rankings within you AG screwed up, but nice results. Rev3 took several days to get all the split timing straight on their website
Ironman had a ton of pics to look at from Finisherpix. Like 3 or 4 times as many as I'm used to seeing. Rev3 had some decent ones, but they give you a free finisher pic, and its like 20 mp!
Winner: Slight Rev3
Easily Rev3 here. WTC is more strict on the rules and such. Rev3 lets your family run down the chute with you. Rev3 also has stuff for the kids to do on Saturday and Sunday.
So I scored it a slight edge to Rev3. It really depends on what you want. You want a big race, with a big time feel and the potential to qualify for a championship? You want Ironman. You want a big time race that is a little more laid back and something the family will enjoy and want to do again? You want Rev3.
I may revisit this next year after I do Ironman 70.3 Las Vegas in September and then Rev3 South Carolina in October.