The 2009 season opened and closed above the 200 athletes mark for the duathlon and triathlons. This is quite a figure. Back then in the whole country, only about 20 races (running) were reaching this level of attendance, and very few exceeded. To achieve this number whilst being a multi-sport event, involving confidential sports such as swimming and cycling, without any media support or relay and complete disdain of the authorities... was a sign that we were doing the right thing somewhere.
In parallel to this, we had to keep an eye on our threats and this was in the back on our mind for the whole season. Surprisingly, 2009 was the only year in Schiniathlon history where the National Federation had taken a step back in their continuous harassment. This gave us hope that maybe we had solved the issue, maybe by becoming a Ltd. Company we had defined our ground clearly.
In general though 2009 was another successful season, double-digits growth on participation and loyalty of our existing base of athletes. Hop! Ltd achieved the break-even, there was no money to make out of it, but the essential part was that the business was self-sustainable and hopefully with a couple more sponsorships commitments, we could become profitable and remunerate our work in the near-future.
We also kept the excitment and perspectives of the athletes going: the 2009 "Ironman Frankfurt" group of 22 Schiniathletes, training and traveling together to race this IM, got much publicity and interest. The story traveled through forums, facebook and various social media - we started sending there was an interest for bigger distances in the country... the idea of the 2010 racing calendar started to take shape, and this would clearly involved a step up in the distances...