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Ironman's IronGirl event - gets consumer feedback

(20 Posts)
MyWeaponofChoiceisWords Thu 17-Jan-19 21:56:57

Have a read of the comments - on the same day of Jasmin Paris's record breaking Spine Race win, this couldn't feel more out of touch.
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SanFranBear Thu 17-Jan-19 22:01:42

Some of those comments are AWESOME though... but yeah, patronising doesn't e en come close angry

MyWeaponofChoiceisWords Thu 17-Jan-19 22:06:32

Yeah the comments are great and very amusing too. Can't believe IM think this is appropriate.

SanFranBear Thu 17-Jan-19 22:09:52

I particularly like the one about the tampon...

Ironman UK have really shot themselves in the foot here though and as lots of people have mentioned, what separates this from the many MANY free parkruns available every weekend ... other than the lovely pink flowered t-shirts?

Freshprincess Thu 17-Jan-19 22:20:32

What a PR a disaster for them. Not only patronising, but with Jasmin Paris incredible achievement, the worst timing possible. The comments are great!

Also as a side note, I can't understand why anyone would pay for a 5k when you can do one for free every week.

silentcrow Thu 17-Jan-19 23:01:14

Hat tip to the lovely @manwhohasitall, as usual...

silentcrow Thu 17-Jan-19 23:09:23

Also on reading those comments I'm thrilled to see Lucy Gossage speaking out. I've seen her race and she is awesome.

QuietContraryMary Thu 17-Jan-19 23:29:35

Ironman: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26 mile run

Irongirl: 3.1 mile run.

Lol, fuck off

ClaraMatilda Thu 17-Jan-19 23:38:54

The comments are very encouraging!

I wonder if Ironman engaged the same market research people who supposedly discovered that most adult women thought 'This Girl Can' was a good name because they liked being called girls. hmm I love the idea behind that programme, it's just a shame about the name.

Very frustrating how so much of what is aimed at women is pink and infantilising. I tend to buy my sports gear from the men's section because it's not pink or cutesy and tends to be less skimpy and better made.

CrazyOldBagLady Thu 17-Jan-19 23:51:02

Oh dear its like some sort of parady. How did this get the green light? Some of the comments are excellent

MoaningSickness Fri 18-Jan-19 00:30:44

market research people who supposedly discovered that most adult women thought 'This Girl Can' was a good name

Wait, what? 'This girl can' is supposed to be aimed at adult women!!? I've heard of it but always assumed it was for children/teens due to the name confused.

NotBadConsidering Fri 18-Jan-19 05:16:20

Most spectators and supporters at an Ironman event are female, but not exclusively. An event for ANY supporters who otherwise are just meant to tag along would have been a good idea, like the Iron Kids run. But assuming there aren’t men who are supporting women doing the full Ironman is poor. There is a massive sex discrepancy between participants at Ironman level, at least 70:30 and previously Ironman organisation have said they want to even this out which is admirable. But not in a patronising way like this. Increasing female participation at Ironman level is a lot bigger than this. See all the MN threads on “DH’s expensive/time consuming hobby” for examples.

BlackCatSleeping Fri 18-Jan-19 05:42:24

My first thought was why is it called IronGirl when it says age 16+

SkylightAndChandelier Fri 18-Jan-19 07:57:15

I know very little about all this - but a few people I'm acquainted with do Tough Mudder - which is a team event, so this macho men's race combined with a gentle run for the ladies doesn't occur...

What absolute idiots. I can imagine the meeting now, where a group of men tried to figure out what they could do to get women 'involved'

HoneysuckIejasmine Fri 18-Jan-19 07:59:18

Oh that's so ridiculous. I know two people who did Ironman Tenby this year - my male cousin (his 4th) and a female friend (debut). Apparently the weather was such that men had an advantage on the bike leg, it was so windy the lighter women were less able to hold the line than heavier men. My cousin was hugely admiring of her time when I told him, she kicked ass on her first try, on the UKs hardest course. It struck me that Ironman is a hugely supportive event, where competitors are genuinely interested in each other and very encouraging.

ClaraMatilda Fri 18-Jan-19 09:53:35

Wait, what? 'This girl can' is supposed to be aimed at adult women!!? I've heard of it but always assumed it was for children/teens due to the name

It is! I went back and checked because I wrote an academic essay on the topic some years ago. Sport England are targeting females aged 14-40, which does include some girls but the majority in that range are grown women. The leisure centre chain where I did my interviews was at the time trying to target women aged 25-50 through the scheme instead, since they had the lowest participation rate in the sessions and at the centres generally. (Maybe because the 14-24 group were more likely to think something aimed at 'girls' was for them?)

The reason given for using the word girl was because it's 'inclusive' and apparently the focus group liked it. At over 30 I don't feel included when something is advertised as 'for girls' confused I did get to include a nice bit of feminist linguistic analysis in my essay, at least.

Although perhaps we should be thankful it wasn't 'This Girl or Non-Binary Child Can' wink

SonicVersusGynaephobia Fri 18-Jan-19 11:27:44

Can anyone screenshot this, and maybe some of the good comments, for the non-Facebookers?

HoneysuckIejasmine Fri 18-Jan-19 19:29:13

Here's the latest response from IRONMAN:

To our athletes and fans: We’re sorry. We’ve heard you, and we realise we’ve missed the mark on this one.

After taking your feedback into consideration, we have decided to replace Iron Girl with the Night Run. A 5K fun run open to everyone, aged 16 and up.

Iron Girl was not in any way intended to isolate groups or engender negative stereotypes, however we acknowledge the incorrect way in which the message was brought across. The intention of the event was to provide a 5K fun run through a supportive, energetic and empowering environment for females pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle who may want to be involved but are not necessarily interested in doing an IRONMAN event at this time.

The event was in no way intended to diminish the achievements and capabilities of women. IRONMAN celebrates all athletes and encourages inclusive participation across all levels of competition and distances.

We apologize again and are committed to doing better as we work to bring more racing opportunities for all.

SonicVersusGynaephobia Fri 18-Jan-19 19:44:42

It's a good apology. They are holding their hands up and acknowledging they made a mistake.

BlackCatSleeping Sat 19-Jan-19 03:25:24

Glad to hear they have taken on the criticism well.

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