Following the recent announcement and prompt rescinding of the Ironman Access Program, which invited athletes to pay $1,000 for early registration to all Ironman events (entry fee not included), budget cuts have followed...

Below is a picture of the sandcastle at the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in Clearwater in 2008;



and the 2009 sandcastle.....



and the 2010 sandcastle....... (photo copyright Ramon Serrano)



A statement from the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of Ironman, explained; "Following the loss of the Ironman Access Program our Sandcastle Homogenising & Innovation Team is all over the place. The budget has been halved which has meant we have been only able to loosely pile together the sand for our signature castle, and the money has run out before we could smooth around the edges. Any additional features that you see in the 2008 & 2009 pictures, the whales, the reef, the effort, was completely out of the question this year.

At registration we provided a sign up sheet for athletes to enlist in helping us complete the sandcastle on a first come first served basis. However the response was overwhelming and there were more athletes than spaces. In the past we have found that whilst many people sign up to help us build our sandcastles, sometimes they are not able to attend. Therefore we are delighted to announce a new Completely Astonishing Sand Homogenising & Greatly Rewarding Architectural Blueprinting program, in which for only $1,000, you can pledge your commitment to the WTC and will be one of the lucky few who will get early access to complete the sandcastle.

So sign up for our Completely Astonishing Sand Homogenising & Greatly Rewarding Architectural Blueprinting program and make sure our Sandcastle Homogenising & Innovation Team keeps coming to a town near you"