Here are a few things to know about Barrelman, why I'm racing it, and why you should consider it:
- Prize money. There is a $5000 cash prize purse split between men and women. The prize money is available to anyone as well, not just for the pro field. So whoever finishes in the top five can claim some cash. Here is the complete payout allocation:1st – $1,0002nd – $ 7503rd – $ 5004th – $ 1505th – $ 100
- Timing. The race is September 18, 2016, which is the start of the second half of my season. After racing Ironman Whistler in July I plan to take a little down time before the late part of my year. This will be the perfect race to kick off my fall racing as I build toward Ironman Cozumel in November.
- The swim venue. It's no secret that swimming isn't my strongest discipline, but I am pumped for the swim venue at Barrelman. The swim takes place in a canal near the Welland International Flatwater Centre (notice the non-American spelling), which looks awesome. Racers are all but guaranteed perfect, wetsuit legal swim conditions. It is a recreational canal with no boat traffic, so it should be great, clean water.
- Start time. I'm a morning person, so early starts don't bother me, but sometimes I feel badly making my family roll out of bed at 3:30 or 4am. Not at Barrelman. A 9am start time means everyone will be able to sleep to a pretty reasonable hour.
- The course/views. The course will having some stunning scenery, especially the run course, which is a double loop and will take you past the Falls twice. Everyone knows the view of Niagara Falls is better from the Canadian side, so racers will be able to distract themselves with the spectacular views.
- The price and the exchange rate. The US dollar is strong right now. Barrelman is a very reasonably priced race, but when you do the conversion to USD, it's a freaking steal. If you register by August 6, the price is $264 CAD, which, with the current exchange rate at the time of writing this, is $205 USD. A half iron distance race for just over $200? You'll save on hotels too.