ITU Pushes borders of ITU style racing...

[3rd April Update]D'oh, I;ve been had, I just looked again at the Runners Web piece and realised the date was April 1st....

What ever you think about ITU President Les McDonald he has certainly never been afraid of making changes to try to keep the Olympic or standard distance triathlon format racing vibrant.

This report on Ruuners Web name three major changes that are being considered for elite races, but these are likely to bleed down to at least the ITU Age Group Worlds in some form or other if they become established. The changes are:

  1. Equalising the swim and bike portions of the race to eliminate the current bias to the run. Most ITU Elite races are really only contested on the run, even given the new ITU Prime bonuses introduced to reward the fastest on the swim, bike and run sections. Hope fully these changes will make it much more of a swimmer or cyclists race. No details on how the changes are likely to be implemented.
  2. Fixed transition times. Not sure what the ITU are trying to achieve with these. Maybe to avoid the current "bun fight" and bike throwing that occurs in transition and make them are more orderly change over, alternatively if the fixed transition time is really short, it will make transition even more hectic! That doesn't seem to be the point based on the wording in the Runners web piece.
  3. Finally, duathlon will become a 2-section race rather than the current run-bike-run. Here in NY, there are already a significant series of biathlons run just like this.

One assumes these changes will be driven through in time at least for the 2008 Olympics, to try to make the televised race more interesting. If nothing else it will give the commentators something else to prattle on about over the duration of the race. Personally I've got my own favorite ways to make the televised coverage more interesting which doesn't involve changes to the format, and would give the commentators more to talk about and keep the viewers more interested!
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