Overall, for an inaugural Ironman race, I thought they did an amazing job.
The only negatives that I noticed and that can easily be fixed are: 1.) Take a clue from all other IM races and have a ton of finisher items after the race. They really dropped the ball on this aspect and lost a lot of money. I had a lot of money burning a hole in my pocket waiting to be spent on finisher items. 2.) The food at both banquets was not very good. The food was cold and dry. 3.) The port-o-johns on both the bike and run course were the worst I have ever experienced at ANY race I have done. Several had no toilet paper. Some were so bad that after I walked in and almost vomited, I turned around and walked back out.
There were other little things, but the above were the issues that stuck out in my mind.
I do wish some of the athletes had a little more respect for the island (and all race venues for that matter), by not throwing their bottles and garbage wherever they wanted. It was sad seeing water bottles and garbage on every part of the bike and run course.
I did not get my Finisher t-shirt at the finish and after several emails with several people I found someone that sent it to me! For all of you that did not get your Finisher shirt (and I am sure there are plenty) his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, more merchandise can be purchased at www.mszmexico.net
It is in spanish and it has limited selection, but there are still shirts and shorts.
He sent it to me free and he even paid the shipping. Great customer service.
It was my first Ironman so I have nothing to compare it to. I felt the expo could have been organized better. We needed to bring a copy of our passport for some reason and they only had 2 copiers for all 1900 athletes.
I also had a problem with the photographers from 2digital. They wanted you to proof your photos within the week after or they sent out the ones they thought were best. Mexico has very expensive interent so we didn't get a chance to proof them. I am still working with them to get my photos.
The merchandise was very limited at the expo. I wasn't told I needed to pre-purchase a finisher visor and I would not jinx myself anyway. Finding one after is a joke. I went to the awards banquet at 4 and stayed until 7:30 and they still didn't have any merchandise to purchase. I am still begging the website that sells the merchandise to print more visors for those of us that want to buy finisher clothing.
The banquet was hot and very buggy. We didn't stay for very much of it because of the conditions. Something inside and air conditioned would have been better.
The morning of the race was a disaster with the toilets. The one stone structure had no toilet paper and the toilet was clogged. The 10 porta potties had very long lines. Again, 1900 athletes need more porta potties.
The volunteers were AMAZING! The swim was beautiful! Well organized and incredible! The transitions were also very well organized. The bike was very tough with the wind on the backside. Headwinds then cross winds then no wind. Very intense. There weren't very many referees, probably a good thing for the back side but I am sure some people took advantage of that situation.
I did not pick up my special needs bag on the bike on the second lap because of the lines. I picked mine up on the third lap and they were very quick with it. I remember reading to always plan for the unexpected and I paid close attention to that. I carried enough food that I wouldn't need to pick up my bag if they couldnt' find it. I know others did not plan accordingly and are still mad at that situation.
The run transition was super fast and right on the course. I was in and out in 2 minutes. The run was my favorite marathon. Spectators the whole way and they cheered so loud! There as water and ice every kilometer. I have never had such great support in the previous 8 marathons I've ran. Thank you to all of those people handing out cold ice for so many hours!
I didn't have to deal with any more porta potties so I have no complaints in that area.
I wish I could have been directed to get my photo in front of the finisher sign and been given my shirt that day. Other than these problems, I love the day.
I qualified for KONA so of course I am happier than ever! Great effort and I hope it only gets better. I also hope they clean up the trash from the bike course. I have a feeling it might stay for a long time and I feel horrible about that. Maybe a greener course to help the island could be something they could try for in the future.
Thanks Ironman Cozumel!!