The Colorado Matters discussion sounded much like the hand-wringing that goes on after a triathlon death. Too many people; unexperienced; poorly prepared; companies that don't plan, etc.
As unfortunate as any death in sport, or endurance tourism is, until the a death is proven to be negligent, they remain unavoidable. This is especially true for men of my generation. Many of us have the income, we have the motivation, we've been fed the dream via TV and magazines, it's now time to try it.
I doubt I'll ever be able to compete over long course distances again, but heck, the Triton World Series looks both epic racing and race tourism all wrapped up in one.
If you've even blown up on the final leg of a half distance (70.3) or full distance(140.6) race because you went too hard on the bike(me, every long distance race I did!), or are not sure if you can race long distance, the TRITON World Series is well worth considering, especially if they add the race countries they've listed including the USA and Canada.
The only race so far announced is the Azores Triton, taking place on the 18th, 19th and 20th of October, 2019.
The races are held over 3-successive days. The first day is a swim, choose from 1.5Km, 3Km, 4.5Km; The second day is the bike, choose from 50Km, 100Km, 150Km; the third day is the run, choose from 10Km, 20Km, 30Km.
Awards are based on points, and are awarded as follows: 1st place will be awarded a number of points equal to the number of finishers in the race and category in question (X); 2nd place gets (X-1) points; 3rd place gets (X-2) points, and so on until the last placed finisher, which will get one point. Points from all TRITON WS races are added for a end of year ranking.
They have Pro, Age Group, Corporate and Relay divisions, and points over all 3-distances Full, Half and Olympic. Which implies you can't mix and match distances.
There are a set of short videos on youtube, with the courses for the Azores Triton races. I have to say it looks epic. As of today, I was the only person who'd viewed the video below :-)
A good news bad new story. Ironman and Facebook have announced that Ironman will use Facebook Live for the next two years, with a third year option for 2021.
Facebook surely has a platform to broadcast to the world, avoiding the buffering and related connectivity issues that we've seen in the past with the 10+ hour Ironman broadcasts. Realistically, no generally available TV/Cable broadcaster is ever going to show Ironman Live.
Facebook will be collecting all the data from the viewers, especially if your are logged in to your Facebook ID, but not just when you are.
At least based on my limited viewing in 2018, you were not required to be logged-in to Facebook. However, unless your ran in an "incognito window" or similar, Facebook dropped a number of cookies into your browser which it could then use later. Also, if you tried to click on any other link, maybe to see a Pro-athletes FB page, you were immediately dropped into the Facebook login page, with any details FB knew about you.
Talking of data, the press release boldly claims:
"Triathlon Fans Have Spoken: Exceptional Fan Response In Year One"
It doesn't though provide any details to support this claim, how many, where from, what they said etc.
I promise my journal hasn't become a promotion vehicles just for the movie. I'll add a state of the union post shortly. In the meantime, just a couple of weeks out from the start of the ITU Season which will see the majority of the athletes that are going to race in the 2020 Olympics get selected, here are the links for Amazon Prime members to watch the film online.
Not long after Challenge Roth in 2013, which was truly a great race, I heard there was a plan to make a full length movie of the 2014 race.
They launched a fundraising effort via Indiegogo to raise money for the film. It didn't go so well, they raised just $7,115 USD of the flex goal of $500,000, raised from 89 backers, of which I was one.
We got frequent updates during 2014 before and as they headed to Roth for the race and then it all went quite. Nothing. I figured it was another crowdfunding gone bad. At that point, I'd lost more than I'd got. Of the ones I got the product itself was a let down, or just wasn't durable.
The great news is, that the folks behind We Are Triathletes stuck to it. Like that person in an Ironman race who has had a bad day, a mechanical, bio issues, they kept going and finally delivered last year. We had a screening here in Louisville CO on August 8th at the Cinebarre Boulder 11, about 60 people showed up.
The film is now widely available to rent or buy for streaming, or as a DVD. This is great news, as much as I think Challenge Roth is more of a must do race than Kona, I also accept it's hard to get into, and for most Americans, hard to get to.
You can buy, rent or stream starting from their website. Make sure you watch through the credits!
Executive Producer, Bob Babbitt, has even bought a Superbowl Commercial in Glendive Montana, watch this for the low-down.
I have a massive backlog of race reports, it's looking less and less likely I'll be racing anytime in the future, so I figured I'd start with the latest and work backwards.
I was originally, and optimistically signed up for the Olympic Distance Triathlon. This relied on two things.
Being able to maintain my motivation and training
My ongoing heart condition
Turns out, neither of them held-up. My training tailed off over the summer; and I'd had an abnormal (heart) treadmill test 10-days before the race. As a result of the test, the cadiologist rather that being unenthusiastic about my continued racing, point blank forbid any further swimming. Apparently I'm just too big to rescue from even a pool in the event of a cardiac issue, and drowning isn't a great way to go.
Fortunately, rather than DNS, I switched to the duathlon. The race format was 5k run/17-mile bike/5k run. I actually like duathlons as a race format, even though I don't enjoy running that much.
The run and bike segments are the same pretty much as those used for all the other sprint races at Boulder Reservoir. So that's good and also gives me some benchmarks to perform again.
With Kare racing as well, and with a wave start approximately than 45-minutes before mine, we had to be out at the Res' early. At packet pickup the day before, I'd officially transferred to the duathlon, but kept the same race number. Racking was in with my age group for the tri. I briefly re-assured the guy next to me I wasn't racing him, and left.
After watching Kate start in a massive swim wave, I did a slow jog back to the car, dropped off my top, and used the run back to transition as a proper warm-up. Given BBSC have a fairly relaxed approach to transition, "Athletes only", I was able to drop the key fob into Kates bike bag, zipped it up and wet to the end of the aisle and waited. Ashley came by, then women from Kates wave started to come into transition. Kate was through a few minutes back, and after she'd left on the bike, I left transition.
The field was much bigger than expected. I had figured maybe 30 people, it turned out there were 29 females, and some 40 Men. Competitors based on what they were wearing were 2/3 experienced, 1/3 newbies.
I lined up near the back, both because I knew I'd be slow, and to better pace myself., over all the 5k went well, I started to fade after about mile-2, which was to be expected, I'd done ok, on the way into transition I decided to take a bathroom break and also to lean to remove my run shoes.
Importantly, I was able to keep my heart rate fairly even, although it peaked a few times at the mid 160's, the average for the run was 145, right about were I'd expected it.
5k run stats: Official time 32:05, 2nd slowest mens time. My run pace was 10:21. Fastest 5k time was an awesome 13:16. Average HR 145 bpm, Max HR 164 bpm
I did a resonable transition, given the bathroom break, and soon settled into the bike. On the way out of the Res' I was surprised to catch a glimpse of Kate on her way back in.
T2 stats: 2:33
The course is a gentle but noticeable climb out of 51st St, along Jay Rd, and then up I-36, and from the point on 36 where the course starts to level out at 7-miles, it's mostly a hammerfest. While the course was pretty busy with the tail end of the Olympic distance bike and most of the duathlon competitors, once I'd turned off on Neva RD, I was surprisingly alone.
I pushed on as best I could, working hard to keep speed above 20MPH. It was only just before N 63rd street that I passed two other competitors, sailed aroud the right turn where the competition merges with the fast Olympic distance triathlon.
I tried to maintain a decent pace to the end of the bike course, but started to slow on the return on the Diagonal. Finally on the turn onto 51st, I went as fast as I could back to transition, with a cautious but well executed running dismount.
17.3 Mile Bike Stats: Official time: 56:11, 25th male. Average speed 18.4MPH, Max Speed 36.9. Average HR 141, Max HR 153
I had a clean transition, and ran out holding my water bottle, unlike a triathlon where I'd typically run out holding and trying to put my race belt on, I'd already put this on before the start!
On the second run, my heart rate alert (160bpm) went off quite a few times. I've conditioned myself to come to a complete stop, let it return to where it should be, and then restart running. It drops pretty quickly, and the Cardiologist says the extra beats are likely to be my additional PVC/PVD in action, as at the time it happens, I don't feel any pain, no breathlessness or any other indication there is a problem. You can see this on the chart below, circled.
As much as I tried, I just couldn't pass the two duathlon women just ahead of me, and pushed through to the finish line.
5K Run Stats: Official time 38:38. Slowest male 2nd 5k. Average HR 141 bpm, Max HR 173bpm.
Overall I have to say I did again enjoy the duathlon. Heading out on the bike is an entirely different feeling than in a triathlon. Overall my bike speed was down, compared to other races over the same course, although my RUN 1 was in the ballpark for my run performances.
We went almost straight from the finish line to the award ceremony, where I was surprised to learn I got 3rd in the Male 60-69 age group. Turns out 2nd place was almost 30-minutes faster, but hey you've got a be in it to win it.
If this does turn out to be my last multisport race, that's a decent way to end.
OVERALL STATS: Finish time 2:10:12, 35th man, 55th overall, 3rd of 6 in age group.
Good luck to all these guys, and the countless age groupers that will be racing Kona that have overcome a major injury or illness. The fact that any of these men are racing is truly remarkable, the fact they qualified is truly an awesome accomplishment. For the record, I couldn't find a single female professional racing in Kona who'd had a major accident in the past 2-years, this is one male achievement the women shouldn't aim for equality with. #50womentokona
Of these, I've paid more interest in Tim Dons recovery. Not just because Tim is a Brit', and because we've raced at many of the same races, but also he is for now, also local, here in Boulder. I can remember seeing Tim on a rainy Thursday course ride around the Milton Keynes Olympic distance course back in 2000., we'd ridden and were sitting in the small cafe drinking hot tea, and a head of curly hair passed by the window, it was Tim now going out on a run.
Tim doesn't have a perfect record. During his time as a short course professional while a short course professional he was twice suspended/banned for missing drug tests, he has also has his race failures, most especially the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he DNF'd.
However, after his accident, Tim deserves to have a great Kona. Here are a few pictures, and videos, if you have not seen the Man with the Halo, grab a cuppa, and be amazed.
My slo-mo video of Tim winning 2017 Ironman Boulder 70.3
is always news, because it is news, and because it happens so infrequently. Last weekend saw at least two deaths in races, the most prominent was the death of 75-year-old Jim Hix in the USA Nationals. Jim had to be rescued from the swim and subsequently pronounced dead. At the time of writing, no cause of death has been established.
The other death I was able to find was that of Dr Mark Wladecki during a triathlon in Gibsonburg Ohio at the White Star 5K and Multisport Festival. According to the press write-up, 60-year-old Wladecki "failed to stop at a stop sign" during the bike section, and was hit and killed.
For those of us that are triathletes, and cyclists, death reports are a stark reminder of the risks we take. Recently while a volunteer Captain, running VIP Services for the Boulder Ironman 70.3, I got to witness, first hand, my first death in sport.
At the time, my first reaction was what was going on, as a saw the rescue team on jet ski's converging fast at a pint not far from the finish of the swim. I was almost shocked to see how they cut through the swimmers. It was quickly obvious this was indeed a rescue, and this excused the speed and danger the other competitors were put in.
We have a couple of #wildflowertriathlon#wildflowerexperience tech t-shirts that don't fit... A women's medium and a large. The large is only slightly bigger than the women's medium. I think the large may be kids sizing, it's definately not men's. They are free for local pickup, otherwise I'll mail them out for a PayPal $3.99 - neither says long course..