Ironman North Carolina

I received an email yesterday that the PPD Beach to Battleship Ironman distance race had been bought out by the Ironman branded race corporation. This next year's version of the race would now be under the ownership of the Ironman and be available for qualifying to the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I had already planned on this being a race that I came back to. I felt like I had a great race in 2015 and wanted to try and better my time on a great course in 2016. With this news coming across, I had some decisions to make. One of the biggest decisions was whether or not I wanted to sign-up again at a more expensive rate for this race. I also may need to look at moving my timeline up for my next 5 year goal of qualifying for Kona.

Affordability

In Triathlon racing there are 4 different distances that you can participate in, Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman, and Ironman distances. Just as you might figure, there are more sprint races than there are ironman races. Moreover there are more companies or race organizers doing sprint races than there are ironman distance races. In fact the first three distances usually have independent owners that provide multiple opportunities to race through the year. There are very few ironman distance races on the schedule, moreover, there are very few ironman distance races that are not Ironman branded races. You can find a few brands such as HITS that provide a couple of opportunities but they do not race near where I live. There is the Great Floridian Ironman distance race in Claremont, Florida and a few others around the state of Florida. In North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee etc. there are just not any ironman distance races offered. This is why the beach to Battleship was so enticing because it was close and offered an ironman distance race. So, I have to make the decision whether I am going to do an ironman race this next year or not. If I am going to do an ironman distance race in 2016 then with this recent news of the Beach to Battleship getting bought out, I would need to look at the Ironman branded races.

One of the other difficulties with the Ironman branded races for me is the cost. The average cost of doing a full Ironman branded race is around $ 700. Whereas the independent Beach to Battleship was $ 375 in 2016 for the early bird rate which I used last year. This is a significant increase in money. My total racing budget for the year is usually less than $ 700. I knew that I would need the warmup events such as the White Lake Half in the Spring and the Lake Logan Half in August. I think both of these races prepared me well last year and I wanted to compete in them again. This was going to stretch my budget for sure. After getting the email from the race about the sale, I began to look at my options.

I first searched for any other independent ironman distance race within 8 hours drive of Asheville, North Carolina. I could not find any that were not already Ironman branded races. I then began to look at my options for Ironman branded races. I found that I really had 4 options. One was the Ironman Florida. I have had my mind set that this was the Ironman branded race I would do first when I wanted to kick start my goal to qualify for Kona. I looked at the cost sheet and they had already passed the Tier 1 cost and were into Tier 2 at around $ 750. The Ironman North Carolina was going to start at $ 700. I Ruled out Florida and was surprised it was not sold out. I figured it would have sold out some time ago.

I then looked at Ironman Chattanooga. This race looked intriguing as it has a 116 mile bike ride. I looked at the cost sheet for it and it started at $ 675 but they were already past that marker and in fact as I looked harder they were already sold out. This does look like a race I might want to look into for 2017. I also looked at Ironman Louisville. This race is one that I have heard is a good one even though it has some challenging climbs on the bike ride and a challenging run course. I ever came back to looking at Ironman North Carolina. The cost was $ 700 and it would start sign-ups on December 18th. I decided that if I was going to do an ironman distance race this year it would be this race.

I have had a good year financial and God has blessed our family. My Christmas bonus was more than I had expected and we had not spent as much in the month as predicted. I knew we had some expenses coming up, but also knew this was a unique time to register for a race that I had already completed and felt good about that might give me good shot to qualify for an elusive Kona slot. I noticed that this race would be given only 30 Kona slots. This means I will need to finish in the top 3-5 places in my age group to have any shot of getting a Kona slot. My wife has been incredibly supportive of this effort as well which makes it easier. She was a little disappointed last year when I finished and there was not someone announcing "You are an Ironman." She wanted me to complete one that is Ironman branded! She also would like to go to Hawaii !! I sent a text to her to ask if I could register and we both agreed that I would even though I am not sure she knows how much it costs.

Just a side note, I wish there were more independent ultra distance races available in the southeast region. There are several half-ironman distance races, but we need more of the longer course races here. Hopefully, this will continue to be something that is worked on in this region.

Registration

I noticed that the race site had been built and included much of the information from the Beach to Battleship website, including the same course instructions. I knew that the course would be the same as in 2015. I did notice that the aid stations would have some different nutritional needs. I enjoyed my heed last year, so will have to adjust to some of the products that are placed at Ironman branded races. I was intrigued by the different ways you can sign-up for a race on this site. You can of course purchase your slot outright. You can also have a straight foundation slot purchase of twice the early bird rate to support the Ironman Foundation or you can become a part of the Ironman Foundation team and raise a minimum of $ 3500 for the foundation and you get your spot for a $ 100 joining fee to the foundation. For a fleeting moment, I thought about going the route of the foundation fundraising slot, but thought better of it when I noticed that whatever you do not raise up to the $ 3500 is charged to you credit card. Yikes! I do want to use this next year to raise awareness for a cause and to raise money for a cause such as Living Water International or Compassion International. My brother-in-law has Cystic Fibrosis and has been a huge inspiration to do all of this racing because he can not. I could raise money for the CF Foundation. I will make this choice later. With all of this being considered, I just went ahead and decided to register the regular way and purchase my early bird slot.

I went into the site when it opened at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST). This was when the registration icon was available to click. The registration icon took me to the Active.com site to register. I wonder why Ironman does not have own own registration site for this and avoid the fees Active charges. Of course maybe Active does not charge them anything since they have their own processing fees. I clicked through the different registration screens including to certify that I was 18 or over and sign the waiver electronically for a release of liability. The main registration page included some medical questions such as medications, emergency contact, etc. There were also radio buttons that I had to click if I understood the cutoff times for the swim, bike, and the run. You then had to click that you understood the World Triathlon Federation's release of liability. I also had to input my USA Triathlon ID number. I then click the complete button. The site referred me to an error that my USAT number would be expired by the time the race occurred so I would have to either purchase a pass on the site for the race or renew my membership today to extend past the race deadline. I always renew my USAT membership in the spring of each year. I was frustrated by this development because this is an additional $ 45 fee on top of all the other fees for the race. I did indeed, though, go to my USAT site and renew my membership. I then reentered the site and it let me past that particular spot.

I also indicated that I would like the $ 90 insurance policy of the return of all fees if for some reason that was indicated such as illness, injury, job relocation, etc. that I could get these fees back. I think this is like travel insurance. You never think you will not be racing on that day, but $ 90 is not too much to ask to get all of the $ 700 back if some unforeseen occurrence happens. This Full Refund Plan appeared like a logical agreement, so I went ahead and added it to my purchase. The Active.com fees came to $ 42 which seemed steep to me. I noticed they have a membership plan called advantage and so I checked into that. If you joined even on a trial basis you could get your processing fees back. I began to investigate and the reality you do not get all of the $ 42 back but up to $ 10. I did agree to pay the 99 cent trial fee. I also got $ 10 knocked off of the processing fees. It may seem small but on an over $ 800 bill, the $ 10 was a welcome change.

I had my total and had entered all of my data for the registration. I entered my Credit Card information and press complete! I got a bit excited inside and a little nervous. This was not registering for any old race, but this was an actual Ironman branded race. At the end they will announce "You are an Ironman." There is the very real possibility that with the right training in this next year, I could end up getting a slot to Kona. This registration just appeared to have a bit more energy to it then some I have done in the past. This race being bought out by Ironman may be the best thing that has ever happened to this triathlete. It has forced me to compete against the stiffest competition and to go for a Kona slot.

I had not planned on going for a Kona slot for maybe another year. This decision has absolutely been forced upon me and I am ready for the challenge ahead. I will write about my 2016 goals and race schedule later, but for now this day gives me a lot to think about in terms of the intensity of my training, my nutrition (got to get to 175 pounds or below), and my overall outlook for 2016. I guess I have also let a little bit out of the bag of another of my triathlon goals, make it to Kona!

The Top 5 Camping Regions in North Carolina

Vacation time is just around the corner. It is the best time to go outdoors and spend time with the nature? From the mountains to the shore, there’s a campground and some gorgeous scenery waiting just for you:
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Mount Pisgah Campground

It is a portion of the Appalachian Mountain Range, a place that has beautiful scenery, whether blanketed in the wildflowers in spring or overflowing with yellow, orange and red hues during the fall season. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the scenic byway which follows the tall crests of the southern and central Appalachians for 469 miles from the Shenandoah National Park located in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park of North Carolina.
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Ocracoke Campground

For some various scenery, pitch the tent right on the sand dunes in this campground. You can reach his place with a boat. Ocracoke Campground is situated in the western end of the island close to the town of Ocracoke. This is the sole campground wherein you could make a reservation that makes sense seeing that you just need a boat to get there.
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You do not like to get stuck with no a place to rest and sleep. There’s a manned pay station in the entrance and you could pay using your debit or credit card. You would be asked to drive all over the campground then pick out a vacant spot and then come back to pay. This campground comes with 136 cites, and is separated to 4 loops which are all available for RVs and tents. There are modern bathrooms or outdoor showers having cold water, so no one could see you taking a shower. These are all located across the entire campground area.
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Mouth Mitchell

Spend the whole day in climbing the highest peak in the eastern part of Mississippi. In the evening, pitch the tent in the summit and then have fun with the amazing view of those shining stars above.

Goose Creek State Park
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For those people who have fun with camping, they can drive their RV going to Goose Creek RV Resort. It boasts its coastal terrain that you can explore and the beaches which can be reached just a few steps away. It would be a nice choice for a very long weekend.

Hanging Rock State Park
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If you want that high mountain feel in Piedmont, your best destination will be the Hanging Rock. This is the most suitable area for pitching your tent. Enjoy trails, waterfalls, boating and horseback riding, just like whatever your heart wants. You will never find any reason to feel bored when you get there.

Do Corporations Appearing in Court in North Carolina Need to Appear Through a Lawyer?

Operating a business as a corporation, including an LLC (limited liability corporation) or PLLC, or as a partnership, has many advantages in North Carolina, including limiting the liability of the owners of the business. There are, however, some disadvantages to operating a business as a corporation (as opposed to a sole proprietorship). One of those is that in North Carolina a corporation can not represent itself, through its non-attorney employees and owners, in a court proceeding, such as a proceeding in the District or Superior Court; a corporation must appear through a licensed attorney in a lawsuit or other court proceeding.

The practice of law in North Carolina is governed by statute. The practice of law includes performing any legal service for another person, firm or corporation, with or without compensation, preparing court documents, assisting in legal work, and advising another person, firm or corporation about their legal rights. (NC Gen. Stat.) 84-2.1) A statute specifically states that a non-lawyer can not "appear as attorney or counselor at law in any action or proceeding before any judicial body, including the North Carolina Industrial Commission, or the Utilities Commission . " One case held that a corporation can not even request a continuity of a court date, because this constitutes the practice of law.

Federal courts have generally applied the same rule, requiring a corporation to appear through a licensed attorney. The rule also applies to partnerships, and non-profit corporations. Some federal proceedings are exempt from this rule, such as proceedings before the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The leading case on this issue in North Carolina is found at 155 NC App. 205, 573 SE2d 547 (2002). In this case, the plaintiff sued the defender, which was a corporation. The corporation had one shareholder, who was also the president, CEO and Chairman of the Board. This owner filed an answer and counterclaim, and apparently appeared in court to argu one or more motives. The plaintiffought to strike the answer on the basis that the owner could not file the answer for her corporation. The presiding judge contacted the North Carolina State Bar (which regulates licensed attorneys in North Carolina, and which also investigates the unauthorized practice of law), who informed the judge that the owner could represent her corporation in court. The case later reached the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which held that was error. The court wrote, "in North Carolina a corporation must be represented by a duly authorized and licensed attorney-at-law and can not proceed pro se without doing so in accordance with [limited] exceptions."

One such exception is that a corporation's employee can represent the corporation in small claims court. 86 NC App. 469 (1987). The reasoning of this case is suspect, but this exception is still recognized.

Whether a corporation can represent itself in an administrative proceeding before the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), or before a Board or licensing agency, is not entirely clear. NC General Statut 84-2.1 states that the following constitutions the practice of law: "the preparation and filing of petitions for use in any court, including administrative tribunals and other judicial or quasi-judicial bodies, or assistance by advice, counsel, or otherwise in any legal work. " The State Bar has said, apparently in reliance on this statute, that "appearing in court or before any judicial or quasi-judicial body on behalf of another" constitutes the practice of law.

It would seem that that a corporation must appear through a lawyer in administrative proceedings. The term "quasi-judicial" generally means, "denoting or relating to powers and functions similar to those of a judge, such as those exercised by an arbitrator, administrative tribunal." Further, North Carolina case law states, "A 'contested case' is a quasi-judicial administrative proceeding to resolve the rights, duties, or privileges of a person involved in a dispute with an administrative agency." 358 NC 649, 657 (2004).

On the other hand, one case held that a corporation can represent itself in an administrative words without a specific rule or statute says otherwise. 187 NC App. 227, 653 SE2d. 11 (2007). It is therefore difficult to summarize this precise issue and to predict how courts will rule in specific administrative contexts.

A corporation appearing in Superior or District Court in North Carolina, or appearing before a Board or the Office of Administrative Hearings, should there before retain counsel to represent it, or at a minimum retain counsel to advise as to whether legal counsel is required. Where counsel is required, the absence of counsel will mean that the corporation can not assert its rights, and can not defend itself.

How to Start a Home Photography Business in North Carolina

After years of pursuing photography as an avid amateur photographer, I decided to finally take the plunge and become a professional. I already owned all the necessary camera bodies, lenses, flashes and other assorted equipment, and having my own business intended future photography purchases would be tax-deductible. A smart decision, right?

The short answer, for me at least, was "yes." The long answer, however, was, "It depends on how much time you want to spend running around and researching the requirements."

Fortunately for you, I've done it already in North Carolina and am willing to share the results (for this state, at least!).

For the purposes of this article, I'm assuming the following things are true:

1. You will be operating this business in the state of North Carolina.
2. You already have the photography expertise to qualify as a professional photographer (that's another article all by itself).
3. You've done the necessary research to determine whether you have the time, energy, potential customer base, and business plan to ensure your new venture succeeds (again, this topic is another article on its own).

The first step was determining what kind of business entity to be. After doing much research online, I was a bit confused, until a CPA explained it to me: there is a difference between your legal status and your TAX status. She recommended that my photography business be an LLC (limited liability company), but file taxes as a sole proprietor.

As with all the different options, there are positives and negatives to each option. LLC status would protect me from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit, which was important to me. The paperwork is very easy to prepare and submit, which is also good because I wanted to take care of everything myself.

Filing taxes as a sole proprietor would be very simple: just attach a Schedule C to my personal tax return each year. Although this filing status is easy enough, sole proprietors pay a slightly higher tax rate than S-Corporations.

Filing as an S-Corp, however, means more paperwork and filing quarterly taxes instead of a Schedule C with my annual return. I was not interested in that much paperwork, so sole proprietor status is fine with me. If and when my business starts making so much money that I'm interested in a lower tax rate, I can always change my status to an S-Corp.

Now that I've determined my legal status and tax status, I had to file for my LLC with the state of North Carolina. This involves sending a check for $ 125 to the Secretary of State, along with Articles of Organization, which can be downloaded and filled out from their web page.

It takes about 7-10 days for your status to come back confirmed, although if you include a note and your e-mail address, they will e-mail it to you which will save a few days.

The state of North Carolina observers photographers to be one of those lucky professions that require a State Privilege License. This is an annual license granted to the person, not the business, so if you end up working for a different photography business in the future, you do not need to get a second license that year. A privilege license is $ 200, from the North Carolina Revenue Office. This must be done in person, but the Revenue Department has offices all over the state, so there's probably one in a city near you.

While I was there, I also received a State Tax ID. This is (fortunately) free, and it will come in handy because armed with this important number, I will no longer need to pay sales tax when purchasing items for my business (assuming I'm purchasing from a North Carolina vendor; obviously you don 't pay sales tax at all when purchasing from an out-of-state vendor, such as when I buy lenses online).

The friendly and helpful NC revenue employee explained to me that two forms will need to be delivered into the NC Revenue Office each quarter. One is a form explaining what your revenues for the quarter were and how much tax you charged your clients. You will need to include a check for the tax amount. The other form shows what equipment you purchased for your business that quarter and did not pay tax on. You will need to include a check for 1% of the total (hey, at least it's lower than paying the full retail tax on your purchases). This includes everything from cameras and lenses to printers, computers, paper, ink cartridges, etc.

Charging my clients sales tax is a bit confusing in North Carolina. The law is not clear, and lawsuits that have been argued in state court have conflicting results. It appears that you do not need to charge sales tax on services such as session fees, UNLESS the client ends up purchasing prints from the session. Of course you always hope and assume the client will purchase prints, but you never know for sure. To be safe, you should go ahead and charge them sales tax on the session fees up front, assuming they will buy prints.

You always need to charge sales tax for tangible goods sold. So any prints, albums, or other products that you sell to your clients must always include sales tax.

The tax rate that applies depends on where the client took possession of the goods. If the client lives in Gaston County and requests me to mail her the prints, the Gaston County rate applies. If the bride decides to swing by my house in Charlotte to pick them up personally, the Mecklenburg County rate applies.

Tax was by far the most complicated part of the business-formation process. Fortunately the employees at the NC revenue office were very helpful, andave me a few "cheat sheets," sample forms, and (best of all) their phone numbers for me to call with questions.

If you want your NC State Tax ID to be in your business' name, instead of your own name, you will need a Employer Identification Number from the IRS. I was initially confused by this, because I was not planning on employing anyone other than myself, but as it turns out, the Employer Identification Number has nothing to do with employing anyone. Luckily it was free and handled easily over the phone while I was in the lobby of the state revenue office.

Now there's the matter of where you live. I'm a resident of Charlotte, so I'm in Mecklenburg County. Fortunately, Mecklenburg County recognizes the State Privilege License, so I was not required to get an additional County business license.

I was, however, required to get a Customary Home Occupation Permit from the Zoning Office. This is a one-time permit that allows me to work from home. This is a lifetime permit; however, it only applies to this particular address. If I decided to move to a different house in a few years, I will have to get a new permit. It cost $ 125.

Next, I needed a business checking account. I went straight to Wachovia, since they already handle our personal bank accounts and I wanted everything in one place for convenience. Wachovia needed copies of my privilege license, my EIN, and my state tax ID, as well as the normal documents for a new account like my driver's license. In about a week, I had received my check card and checks for the account. This is highly recommended by the CPA I visited, in order to keep business and personal expenses separate.

The final thing I needed was business insurance. This is recommended in addition to any homeowner or umbrella liability coverage you may already have. It's not too expensive (less than $ 200 per year) so go ahead and get it. Any insurance agent will be able to go over the options with you. Business insurance will not only cover your equipment in the event any of those expensive lenses or cameras get damaged, but will also help in case a guest trips over one of your lightstands at a wedding, for example.

A few side notes: if your business is an LLC, you are legally required to have the initials "LLC" or the words "Limited Liability Company" in your business name. This makes it clear to all customers and potential customers that you are an LLC. Also, if you do not keep your business and personal expenses separate, you lose the protection of an LLC (meaning your personal assets are vulnerable in the event of a lawsuit). DO NOT RISK THIS – keep everything well documented and separate!

Best of luck with your new business venture! I recommend visiting the North Carolina State business development website and calling their hotline; theyave me a lot of tips the CPA didnt mention, and it was free to boot! Fortunately there is a lot of support out there for people starting their own businesses. It's free, and these people know what they're talking about – please take advantage of it!

Hit and Run Attorneys in Sanford, North Carolina

Approximately 11% of all motor vehicle crashes involve a driver that flees the scene. Personal injury as a result of a hit and run can take years to recover from mentally, physically and emotionally. Our attorneys can get the compensation you deserve through various avenues including insurance and possibly your employer.

In North Carolina, a hit and run offense is covered under GS § 20-166 Duty to Stop laws, which states:

a driver has the duty to stop in the event of a crash

both parties must provide the other person involved with his / her identification, contact information, and insurance information

a driver must offer assistance to anyone injured in the event of this case.

a driver must remain at the scene of the accident until law enforcement and related personnel have completed the investigation

GS § 20-166 further discusses the responsibility of the driver and categorizes the severity of the offense as a misdemeanor or a felony.

If the driver knows or reasonably should know that the collision caused property damage, the driver may be charged with a misdemeanor. Property can include another person's vehicle, house, bicycle, pet, and mailbox, or public property like a telephone pole. If the driver knows or should have known the accident replied in serious injury or death, the driver can be charged with a felony.

Hit and run violations are on the rise.

It continue to rise each year. It's important to be alert on the road and to know how to respond to this case should you ever face one. The following is a statistical snapshot into hit and run cases over the past 5 years. According to research obtained from the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the number of cases increased by 50 percent between 2012 and 2016.

Total Crashes Deaths Resulting from This Cases

2012: 10,385 213,605 15

2013: 11,198 220,271 23

2014: 11,626 226,552 20

: 13,612 251,638 24

2016: 15,353 267,494 23

The importance of a hit and run attorney.

Whether you're the driver responsible for a case, or you're the victim, it's in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent you as soon as possible.

If you're the driver accused, it's important to understand your rights and what is involved in North Carolina's Duty to Stop laws. It employs a structured sending system, and depending on your case, a hit and run conviction could result in a heavy fine, jail time, or both.

An experienced attorney will help you understand the charges that have been bought against you, as well as the penalties that may result from a conviction. Your attorney will work with the other parties involved, including insurance companies and the District Attorney's Office to help navigate your case, resolve disputes, and provide a defensive defense against any criminal charges.

Do not fight your hit and run case alone.

An experienced personal injury attorney in Sanford will work on your behalf, whether you're a victim or the party accused of committing the crime. Whether identifying the driver or navigating the complex world of filing documents to support your case, your attorney can help you recover damages or defend you to give you peace of mind.