ITU Worlds, what's the point of swim/bike?



M

Mark Hickey

Guest
"Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Apparently, someone must be going to events and buying products from the sponsors, or there
>wouldn't be so many worldwide races. Over 150,000 in Syndney were there for the Olympic event--more
>spectators than any other Olympic event, including the cycling road race/time trial. There really
>is no other way for short-course pros to make a living at this point.

That has NOTHING to do with the popularity of triathlon, but everything to do with:

1) It was downtown (easily accessible)
2) It was free
3) There was room for 150,000 people without crowding
4) There were Australians participating.

To give you an example of how much into the sport the crowd was, I was standing at a point a couple
km's from the finish. The 10K "foot race" (the only competition of the day, sadly) was coming down
to a neck and neck sprint for the finish. The extensive PA system that had been set up around the
course was blaring out the blow by blow as the runners entered the last few hundred meters.

Then and Aussie 2km behind the leaders happened to run by.

The crowd roared "AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, OY, OY, OY" a dozen times or so, making the finish
inaudible even standing next to the speaker. I only found out who won when I received a pager update
(I had set that up in advance, luckily).

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 
H

Harold Buck

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:

> That has NOTHING to do with the popularity of triathlon, but everything to do with:
>
> 1) It was downtown (easily accessible)
> 2) It was free
> 3) There was room for 150,000 people without crowding
> 4) There were Australians participating.

And expected to do well, no less. Plus, it was the Olympics! A lot of people will turn up to watch
just because of that (and the fact that it was free, as you pointed out, helped a lot).

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson
 
S

Stewart Fleming

Guest
Mark Hickey wrote: ...
> 4) There were Australians participating.
>
> To give you an example of how much into the sport the crowd was, I was
...
> Then and Aussie 2km behind the leaders happened to run by.
>
> The crowd roared "AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, OY, OY, OY" a dozen times or

Now you know how the rest of the world feels about US TV coverage of Olympics.
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Stewart Fleming <[email protected]> wrote:

>Mark Hickey wrote: ...
>> 4) There were Australians participating.
>>
>> To give you an example of how much into the sport the crowd was, I was
>...
>> Then and Aussie 2km behind the leaders happened to run by.
>>
>> The crowd roared "AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, OY, OY, OY" a dozen times or
>
>Now you know how the rest of the world feels about US TV coverage of Olympics.

It was pretty much the same story in Oz - lots of coverage of fringe sports that Aussies were
expected to do well in (rowing, archery, thiings like that). But at least they didn't have the
idiotic commentary on the various perceived sins of the participating nations during the opening
ceremonies.

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 
H

Harold Buck

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Stewart Fleming <[email protected]> wrote:

>
>
> Mark Hickey wrote: ...
> > 4) There were Australians participating.
> >
> > To give you an example of how much into the sport the crowd was, I was
> ...
> > Then and Aussie 2km behind the leaders happened to run by.
> >
> > The crowd roared "AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, OY, OY, OY" a dozen times or
>
> Now you know how the rest of the world feels about US TV coverage of Olympics.

The rest of the world is free to do their own coverage of the Olympics if they don't like the
US coverage.

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson
 
T

Topdog

Guest
Stewart Fleming <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Mark Hickey wrote: ...
> > 4) There were Australians participating.
> >
> > To give you an example of how much into the sport the crowd was, I was
> ...
> > Then and Aussie 2km behind the leaders happened to run by.
> >
> > The crowd roared "AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, OY, OY, OY" a dozen times or
>
> Now you know how the rest of the world feels about US TV coverage of Olympics.

The REST of the world? This part too. I'd love to actually see some of the SPORTS, rather than an
occasional US contestant followed by 20 minutes of "up close and personal". If I wanted that, I'd
subscribe to People magazine! As a result, I haven't watched the Olympics unless I was overseas
at the time.
 
S

Stewart Fleming

Guest
Harold Buck wrote:

> The rest of the world is free to do their own coverage of the Olympics if they don't like the US
> coverage.

Well, the early proposal for Sydney TV coverage was that only Australian media and NBC (who had the
US TV rights, as they do for all Olympics out to 2012, cost a mere $2billion) would have access to
the media centre. All other foreign media would have had to take a feed from either one, or enter
the daily ballot for 8 (EIGHT) media passes (between 150 accredited organizations).

Watch for such an arrangement to resurface next year, more especially in China in 2008. The only
reason it didn't fly in Sydney was because Australia has a non-discriminatory international trade
agreement to open up news media to foreign organizations.

The "docudrama" package of the Sydney Olympics for the US domestic audience was very amusing, I
thought. STF
 
H

Hug

Guest
"Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...

> Ironman and half-Ironman distance racing in America is not in jeopardy from draft-legal Olypmic
> racing--it continues to grow. But then again, so does ITU. What's the problem? Unless you are like
> a religous fundamentalist who can only see literal interprations of morals and rules, both can
> peacefully co-exist.

I agree with Tom on this point. Cycling has several different formats, why shouldn't triathlon?
Nobody is being forced to race draft legal. There are less than 100 draft-legal racers in the US
(more than the 27 Tom claims - maybe 27 females, defn more than 27 males) and only a handful of
races (less than 10 US domestic races). I raced 11 years in non-drafting age group races and am in
my 4th elite season, with a mix of drafting and non-drafting events (mostly draft legal as Olympic
trials approach). The two formats are different for sure.

I think of drafting events more as a game - they are like a **** shoot. Anything can happen on the
day, and who shows up will usually help determine the outcome. The strongest overall athlete does
NOT always win (though often does) and that can be frustrating, but we know that going into the
events. (Just like in cycling, at crits the strongest overall rider doesn't necessarily win.) It can
be frustrating to show up and find out there are no other strong swimmers
- so a strong swimmer may need to decide whether to loaf the swim in order to ride with the pack, or
push the swim, building a big lead and then seeing if it can be held on the bike and onto the run.
At another race, there may be a load of good swimmers so it will be an easier day for the swimmers
but a tougher one for the weaker swimmers as they chase. The draft legal races are more strategic,
more like a game and often more fun. (Riding solo can get boring IMO!)

Non-drafting events are purer - your effort is your own and you don't need to hope that so & so will
show up so you can swim and bike with her. Personally I prefer non-drafting, they seem fairer, but I
do enjoy both styles of racing. I just wish there would be some longer distance non-drafting events
that had fairer swim lengths. (Change of topic<g>!?) The ITU long distance races are closer to the
Olympic Distance proportions than IM distance proportions are but these races are few. Would be good
to see more middle distance races with proportionately longer swims (like Muskoka) otherwise the
strong swimmers will continue to gravitate towards draft-legal events where the swim (sometimes) can
have more impact.

-hug
 
T

Tom Rodgers

Guest
Obviously, people were having fun there for some reason. Would they have had more fun if it had been
no-drafting and the runners were space farther apart?

"Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >Apparently, someone must be going to events and buying products from the sponsors, or there
> >wouldn't be so many worldwide races. Over 150,000 in Syndney were there for the Olympic
> >event--more spectators than any other Olympic event, including the cycling road race/time trial.
> >There really
is
> >no other way for short-course pros to make a living at this point.
>
> That has NOTHING to do with the popularity of triathlon, but everything to do with:
>
> 1) It was downtown (easily accessible)
> 2) It was free
> 3) There was room for 150,000 people without crowding
> 4) There were Australians participating.
>
> To give you an example of how much into the sport the crowd was, I was standing at a point a
> couple km's from the finish. The 10K "foot race" (the only competition of the day, sadly) was
> coming down to a neck and neck sprint for the finish. The extensive PA system that had been set
> up around the course was blaring out the blow by blow as the runners entered the last few
> hundred meters.
>
> Then and Aussie 2km behind the leaders happened to run by.
>
> The crowd roared "AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, OY, OY, OY" a dozen times or so, making the finish
> inaudible even standing next to the speaker. I only found out who won when I received a pager
> update (I had set that up in advance, luckily).
>
> Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
 
T

Tom Rodgers

Guest
I'm not a great swimmer, but have worked hard to become "average" relative to my other splits, but I
address your issues in another topic by topdog. I think the de-emphasis on swimming has more to do
with sequence than length. Run is most important because it is last, just as sprinting is more
important in road cycling and climbing in mountain stages that end with a
climb. "The last shall be made first" as the goes.

I notice that most replies have to do with media coverage, not racing. I don't think the media or
most spectators care about the format. By the way, are there really 100 AMERICAN ITU format racers
who make a living? I don't mean draft-legal juniors or people with a pro license (which anyone can
get), but folks who really do the tour and try to earn a real living. Lots of college kids who can
run a 13 minute 5K and swam in high school have tried an ITU race just to see--not the same thing.

As a coach, I figure there are 27 American ITU format racers who might possibly need my
services--really small compared to 500,000 American triathletes. The rest, despite ocassional
draft-legal racing, do not earn a living in the sport and cannot afford coaching. The non-drafting
amateurs with professional jobs most certainly can--which is how I started.

"hug" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
>
> > Ironman and half-Ironman distance racing in America is not in jeopardy
from
> > draft-legal Olypmic racing--it continues to grow. But then again, so
does
> > ITU. What's the problem? Unless you are like a religous fundamentalist
who
> > can only see literal interprations of morals and rules, both can
peacefully
> > co-exist.
>
>
> I agree with Tom on this point. Cycling has several different formats, why shouldn't triathlon?
> Nobody is being forced to race draft legal. There are less than 100 draft-legal racers in the US
> (more than the 27 Tom claims - maybe 27 females, defn more than 27 males) and only a handful of
> races (less than 10 US domestic races). I raced 11 years in non-drafting age group races and am in
> my 4th elite season, with a mix of drafting and non-drafting events (mostly draft legal as Olympic
> trials approach). The two formats are different for sure.
>
> I think of drafting events more as a game - they are like a **** shoot. Anything can happen on the
> day, and who shows up will usually help determine the outcome. The strongest overall athlete does
> NOT always win (though often does) and that can be frustrating, but we know that going into the
> events. (Just like in cycling, at crits the strongest overall rider doesn't necessarily win.) It
> can be frustrating to show up and find out there are no other strong swimmers
> - so a strong swimmer may need to decide whether to loaf the swim in order to ride with the pack,
> or push the swim, building a big lead and then seeing if it can be held on the bike and onto the
> run. At another race, there may be a load of good swimmers so it will be an easier day for the
> swimmers but a tougher one for the weaker swimmers as they chase. The draft legal races are more
> strategic, more like a game and often more fun. (Riding solo can get boring IMO!)
>
> Non-drafting events are purer - your effort is your own and you don't need to hope that so & so
> will show up so you can swim and bike with her. Personally I prefer non-drafting, they seem
> fairer, but I do enjoy both styles of racing. I just wish there would be some longer distance
> non-drafting events that had fairer swim lengths. (Change of topic<g>!?) The ITU long distance
> races are closer to the Olympic Distance proportions than IM distance proportions are but these
> races are few. Would be good to see more middle distance races with proportionately longer swims
> (like Muskoka) otherwise the strong swimmers will continue to gravitate towards draft-legal events
> where the swim (sometimes) can have more impact.
>
> -hug
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
"Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Obviously, people were having fun there for some reason. Would they have had more fun if it had
>been no-drafting and the runners were space farther apart?

If it were me, and the lack of drafting meant I didn't pull all the weaker cyclists to T2 to "run
with" - yes, it would be more fun if it had been a no-drafting race.

Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame

>"Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]...
>> "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> >Apparently, someone must be going to events and buying products from the sponsors, or there
>> >wouldn't be so many worldwide races. Over 150,000 in Syndney were there for the Olympic
>> >event--more spectators than any other Olympic event, including the cycling road race/time trial.
>> >There really
>is
>> >no other way for short-course pros to make a living at this point.
>>
>> That has NOTHING to do with the popularity of triathlon, but everything to do with:
>>
>> 1) It was downtown (easily accessible)
>> 2) It was free
>> 3) There was room for 150,000 people without crowding
>> 4) There were Australians participating.
>>
>> To give you an example of how much into the sport the crowd was, I was standing at a point a
>> couple km's from the finish. The 10K "foot race" (the only competition of the day, sadly) was
>> coming down to a neck and neck sprint for the finish. The extensive PA system that had been set
>> up around the course was blaring out the blow by blow as the runners entered the last few hundred
>> meters.
>>
>> Then and Aussie 2km behind the leaders happened to run by.
>>
>> The crowd roared "AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, OY, OY, OY" a dozen times or so, making the finish
>> inaudible even standing next to the speaker. I only found out who won when I received a pager
>> update (I had set that up in advance, luckily).
>>
>> Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
>
 
H

Harold Buck

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:

> "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >Obviously, people were having fun there for some reason. Would they have had more fun if it had
> >been no-drafting and the runners were space farther apart?
>
> If it were me, and the lack of drafting meant I didn't pull all the weaker cyclists to T2 to "run
> with" - yes, it would be more fun if it had been a no-drafting race.

I think he meant "Would the fans have had more fun?" That's hard to answer; I'd bet some enjoyed the
crash in the men's race, but maybe that's not the element we should be catering to.

There are probably some people who prefer to see all of the competitors in a pack, and some who
prefer to see people stretched out, with the possbility of someone coming form behind. I think it's
irrelevant to whether the draft-legal format should be the showcase event of triathlon.

--Harold Buck

"I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

- Homer J. Simpson
 
H

Hug

Guest
"Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> I'm not a great swimmer, but have worked hard to become "average" relative to my other splits, but
> I address your issues in another topic by topdog. I think the de-emphasis on swimming has more to
> do with sequence than length. Run is most important because it is last, just as sprinting is more
> important in road cycling and climbing in mountain stages that end with a
> climb. "The last shall be made first" as the goes.

Well sequence certainly has something to do with it. Still, if you have a great swimmer/mediocre
runner vs a great runner/mediocre swimmer and the swim leg were last I still don't think the
swimmers would have enough distance to make up in the swim in order to catch the runners unless they
cramped up (which might be likely and is why they don't usually have the swim last). Would love to
see swim-bike-run-swim - that would be fun to see the swimmers have a chance to recatch those who
caught them on the run.

> I notice that most replies have to do with media coverage, not racing. I don't think the media or
> most spectators care about the format. By the way, are there really 100 AMERICAN ITU format racers
> who make a living? I don't mean draft-legal juniors or people with a pro license (which anyone can
> get), but folks who really do the tour and try to earn a real living. Lots of college kids who can
> run a 13 minute 5K and swam in high school have tried an ITU race just to see--not the same thing.

There are certainly NOT 100 American ITU racers who can make a living off their earnings, closer to
10. Racing for points doesn't pay the bills - only those who can place top 10 or 15 at World Cups
can probably afford to be full time triathletes. Your previous post said:

>I understand that draft-legal ITU racing is a completely different
sport
>than we do, and there are 27 people in America who do it.

There are definitely more than 27 Americans racing ITU stuff, I didn't realize that you only
consider those who are earning a living doing it as true racers.

>
> As a coach, I figure there are 27 American ITU format racers who might possibly need my
> services--really small compared to 500,000 American triathletes. The rest, despite ocassional
> draft-legal racing, do not earn a living in the sport and cannot afford coaching. The non-drafting
> amateurs with professional jobs most certainly can--which is how I started.

When did this thread become about coaching? BTW, there are US athletes who work decent jobs, race
ITU (not earning a living off of
it) and can afford coaching. These might be athletes to target for coaching b/c those who are
already earning a living doing it most likely are happy with their current coaches.

-hug
 
K

Ken Lehner

Guest
[email protected] (hug) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Well sequence certainly has something to do with it. Still, if you have a great swimmer/mediocre
> runner vs a great runner/mediocre swimmer and the swim leg were last I still don't think the
> swimmers would have enough distance to make up in the swim in order to catch the runners unless
> they cramped up (which might be likely and is why they don't usually have the swim last). Would
> love to see swim-bike-run-swim - that would be fun to see the swimmers have a chance to recatch
> those who caught them on the run.

You ever do the "No Run All Fun Biathlon" years ago in Maryland? 2000yd swim followed by a 14 mile
bike. No steenkin' runners to worry about!

Ken Lehner

P.S. I had the (dis)pleasure of having Laurie Hug draft off me the entire swim in a triathlon...
 
H

Hug

Guest
[email protected] (Ken Lehner) wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> You ever do the "No Run All Fun Biathlon" years ago in Maryland? 2000yd swim followed by a 14 mile
> bike. No steenkin' runners to worry about!

LOVED that event!! I did it in its final year - but IIRC it was advertised as a 1500 swim in the
Choptank (which took about 20 mins, so maybe a bit long but defn not 2000) followed by a 16 mile
bike (which was a bit short - maybe 15 miles). Wish it would be resurrected!

>
> Ken Lehner
>
> P.S. I had the (dis)pleasure of having Laurie Hug draft off me the entire swim in a triathlon...

May I ask, when was that? Finding a draft in a swim was a rare thing indeed until I started doing
ITU stuff. One of my guy friends provided a great draft at some local events (including the
aforementioned "No Run All Fun Biathlon") but he was fond of hiding before the race start so those
of us who had an affinity for his feet would have trouble finding him when the gun went off.
Tricky *******
<g>!

-hug
 
K

Ken Lehner

Guest
[email protected] (hug) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> [email protected] (Ken Lehner) wrote in message
> news:<[email protected]>...
> > You ever do the "No Run All Fun Biathlon" years ago in Maryland? 2000yd swim followed by a 14
> > mile bike. No steenkin' runners to worry about!
>
> LOVED that event!! I did it in its final year - but IIRC it was advertised as a 1500 swim in the
> Choptank (which took about 20 mins, so maybe a bit long but defn not 2000) followed by a 16 mile
> bike (which was a bit short - maybe 15 miles). Wish it would be resurrected!

I think I did it the final year, too, i think, in '92? I remember chasing down and catching a
cyclist for like 8th place (turns out he had a flat rear tire).

> > P.S. I had the (dis)pleasure of having Laurie Hug draft off me the entire swim in a
> > triathlon...
>
>
> May I ask, when was that? Finding a draft in a swim was a rare thing indeed until I started doing
> ITU stuff. One of my guy friends provided a great draft at some local events (including the
> aforementioned "No Run All Fun Biathlon") but he was fond of hiding before the race start so those
> of us who had an affinity for his feet would have trouble finding him when the gun went off.
> Tricky *******

It was the "Du the Tri/Tri the Du" in Cherry Hill, in August/September of '95, I believe. First
triathlon my (now-) wife ever saw me do. I tried all my tricks to get the drafter off my feet
(twisty turn at the buoy, cutting in front of a swimmer from the previous wave, etc.), to no avail.
I can't remember if you thanked me while running to the bikes or if I said "nice swim" to you. I
looked in the results, and your name was the only woman with a similar split (same wave as the 35-39
males). Of course, this was so long ago...

(from a Google search, a post I made in '99: "We got out of the water, and the draftee actually
complimented me on my race! It turns out to have been a woman in my wave. I later checked the split
results to see who it was: someone named Laurie Hug...")

Ken Lehner
 
K

Ken Lehner

Guest
[email protected] (hug) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> [email protected] (Ken Lehner) wrote in message
> news:<[email protected]>...
> > You ever do the "No Run All Fun Biathlon" years ago in Maryland? 2000yd swim followed by a 14
> > mile bike. No steenkin' runners to worry about!
>
> LOVED that event!! I did it in its final year - but IIRC it was advertised as a 1500 swim in the
> Choptank (which took about 20 mins, so maybe a bit long but defn not 2000) followed by a 16 mile
> bike (which was a bit short - maybe 15 miles). Wish it would be resurrected!

I think I did it the final year, too, i think, in '92? I remember chasing down and catching a
cyclist for like 8th place (turns out he had a flat rear tire).

> > P.S. I had the (dis)pleasure of having Laurie Hug draft off me the entire swim in a
> > triathlon...
>
>
> May I ask, when was that? Finding a draft in a swim was a rare thing indeed until I started doing
> ITU stuff. One of my guy friends provided a great draft at some local events (including the
> aforementioned "No Run All Fun Biathlon") but he was fond of hiding before the race start so those
> of us who had an affinity for his feet would have trouble finding him when the gun went off.
> Tricky *******

It was the "Du the Tri/Tri the Du" in Cherry Hill, in August/September of '95, I believe. First
triathlon my (now-) wife ever saw me do. I tried all my tricks to get the drafter off my feet
(twisty turn at the buoy, cutting in front of a swimmer from the previous wave, etc.), to no avail.
I can't remember if you thanked me while running to the bikes or if I said "nice swim" to you. I
looked in the results, and your name was the only woman with a similar split (same wave as the 35-39
males). Of course, this was so long ago...

(from a Google search, a post I made in '99: "We got out of the water, and the draftee actually
complimented me on my race! It turns out to have been a woman in my wave. I later checked the split
results to see who it was: someone named Laurie Hug...")

Ken Lehner
 
H

Hug

Guest
[email protected] (Ken Lehner) wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...

> It was the "Du the Tri/Tri the Du" in Cherry Hill, in August/September of '95, I believe.

The now defunct - that was a fun race - great for spectators but a bit too congested at times.

First triathlon my (now-) wife ever saw me do. I
> tried all my tricks to get the drafter off my feet (twisty turn at the buoy, cutting in front
> of a swimmer from the previous wave, etc.), to no avail. I can't remember if you thanked me
> while running to the bikes or if I said "nice swim" to you. I looked in the results, and your
> name was the only woman with a similar split (same wave as the 35-39 males). Of course, this
> was so long ago...

I think it is only proper to thank someone when they pull you around a swim course<g>!

-hug