I was initially upset about the price difference between the Muskoka 5150 Oly tri ($99) vs Subaru's Guelph Oly event ($73) and I sent off an email to WEC and Mark took the time to reply back with this respose. If the event is run as well as the Subaru 70.3 the price difference may indeed be worth it?
"There are many reasons that the race costs more. The 'big deal' reference I made can be expanded upon a bit, if you like, too. If you have done the Muskoka 70.3 race, then you'll know that we make that race a much bigger event than, say, the Peterborough Half. Race kits are better, shirts/hats are better, there are finishers medals, the expo is bigger and better, the venue is better, etc. Same thing will happen for the 5150. Everything is done on a bigger scale because in the world of triathlon, the 5150 championships will be bigger (money wise) than Ironman. The qualifiers have to reflect that was well.
Beyond the 'big deal' factor, you can't compare the logistics of holding a race in Guelph compared to Huntsville. Everything costs more as soon as we head to Huntsville. Transportation, fuel costs, police will cost more, venues, road closures, porta-potties, etc. etc. etc. One of the reasons we go back to Guelph twice a year is the simple logistics of everything. It is cost effective and convenient for athletes and organizers alike.
While we always try to offer a premium over other series', this one will compare to our 70.3 races where it is a better product than the 'regular' series. I have done Ironman races, the Subaru Races, as well as others and the biggest difference I noticed between an IM race and the regular triathlon events was the feel of everything. It was a big deal. I noticed that feeling was replicated at the Muskoka 70.3 and that will be what we're going for with the 5150.