triathlon and family can mix

Things That Make You Go……..

Mostly unwritten, there are a couple of things not to do while participating, voulenteering, or supporting a triathlon/triathlete.


We have all seen it, something that makes you say “did I just see that?” Having been competeing for two seasons now, I have come across a couple of situations that made me take a second look. I may be alone with my thoughts on the subject, but here are some of the ‘faux-pas’ I have seen at some of my races.

Make sure that the gear you have matches the race distance and your ability. I participated in a Sprint Triathlon last year and passed a fellow competitor riding on Zipp wheels; I am all for aero-dynamics, but the benefit of aero wheels is lost on me for a 20km bike leg. I believe that you physical and mental conditioning will enable you to win a race, not the gear you are riding on or running with. More on that in a future post.

Are you an Ironman? Be proud of it, I would be if I was, but please leave the ‘Ironman Couer d’Alene Finisher’ jacket at home. This goes for everyone, but more especially if you are a spectator, and more especially at a Kids of Steel race. Even if you won the whole thing, which I doubt you did, the focus is on the current athletes and not your previous finishes.

Get a generic, logo-less tri suit. Unless you are sponsored by Cervelo (man I wish) your bike should be your only large brand identifier. I made the assumption that a young kid was sponsored by Felt at one race, got a little intimidated, then passed him on the first lap of the bike leg.

Most races, if not all, will distribute t-shirts with your race package. Don’t show up on race morning or worse, race with that t-shirt.

Respect for everyone involved in the race including competitors, voulenteers, and the communities you are racing through. I can’t count on two hands the number of times I have seen guys pass a competitor without a warning. Just a quick ‘on your left’ would do. If you see another competitor stuggling, give them some words of encouragement. You don’t need to pull them along, but a kind word when you pass could be all they need to make it to the top of the hill.

Most race organizers have to work hard with the communities to get permission, licenses, and the ability to come back the following year. To quote the Ironman 70.3 commitie, ‘don’t be a tosser’. If you are using gels, chomps, or anything that requires packaging, stick the empy warpper in your jersey or hit the garbage at the next aid station.

So don’t be that guy at your next race.

Question: Have you been ‘that guy’? What else have you seen that qualifies to make the list?


2 responses

  1. Couldn’t agree more on the respect. In my first triathlon it was amazing to watch racers throw their cups, gu packets, wrappers, or whatever else they had either in the grass along the way or on the race path itself, when garbages were placed very frequently throughout the course.

    On the gear and attire, sadly (but to a much lesser extent), I’ve become that guy. My wife reminds me how I would occasionally make comments about riders with the fancy bikes and cycling attire (shorts in particular) riding 12mph along the side of the road. So now I’m the guy riding with his nice new shiny bike with cycling shorts and clip on shoes. I guess its just because some day I hope to be able to compete with the top athletes in my age group or maybe because if I didn’t, I’d feel left out of the excitement of race.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:24 am

    • Strangley enough, it took a comment from my wife about my gear to realize it as well. Good luck in your future races, I am sure it is a matter of time before you are pushing the pace instead of catching up to it.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

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