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Fun Runners vs. No Hopers

Just finished reading a bit of a rant about fun runners starting in the wrong start spot which reminded me of something.

What is going on with the people who turn up to the Mazda London to do the Olympic and are getting rescued by the safety canoes before they've made it 100 yards - there were loads of them in '09.

I did the Corporate sprint and I was getting out of the water with people from a Supersprint which started, and I am not kidding, fully 45 minutes before my race - so given my moderate swim time these people had been going for an hour and hadn't managed 400m.

Who exactly thinks, I'm not a very good swimmer, this is open water, in a wet suit, with a mass start - I know I won't train at all I'll just turn up and give it go and I'll do the 1500m swim for a kick off.

There is soemthing to be said for thinning out the gene pool.


  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    you mean they recue them? they should let them sink and drown...tri - the newest blood sport
  • I did the Sprint this year, and one guy was rescued before the hooter even went off. First time in his wetsuit, first time in open water, first Tri, and had a panic attack swimming from the entry point to the start line. Poor sod almost took the caneoist out in the process.
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    I think because the majority of us triathletes are competitive folk we expect everyone who tries the sport to be like us.
    The fact is, like many other sports, people from all backgrounds may give it a go. Some may train hard, some may hardly train at all. Those that train hard might be wanting to beat a PB or a pal. Those that don't may be trying the sport or raising money for charity.
    If some want to pay the extortionate fees and not complete the tri, that's their decision.
    The more that try the better, IMO.
    It can only be good for the sport to widen the entry field.
    We moan when Chrissie Wellington doesn't get the recognition we feel she deserves, but the truth is the numbers doing tri in this country are miniscule compared to many other, more recognised sports.
    If we don't welcome the "no hopers" what hope do we have of ensuring people like Chrissie get greater recognition?
  • andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    i reckon most people who struggle early either panic a bit, or swallow a gob full.....and that makes them panic....you know how it is when you are in the pool and get a breath wrong...its difficult and in open water i reckon it scares people.
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    I dont kow if anyone else saw this weekends tv programme on the great "wherever it was" swim, but my god, these people entered these things wit the intention of breastroking (nothing wrong with that) the whole thing without getting their hair wet. They interviewed the one woman while she was swimming, if you can believe that. Went something like: Interviewer (from the boat) "how are you doing?" Interviewee (while floating at what seemed like tidal or river current pace "yeah everything is fine".

    Respect for doing something like, but put some Fing effort in!
  • Don't knock them for having a go, these were swims, not races.
  • I guess there are loads of different reasons for entering and all sorts of reasons people can get in difficulty but I just don't understand how someone can enter these things without training. I mean surely you read up a bit about what you're going to do? Do they massively over-estimate their abilities or do they seriously not realise how hard it will be?

    I'm starting my season next year and have been teaching myself to swim for a while, it's going slowly and I've got to put many many more hours in and in a large part this is driven by pure fear. When I think about my first OW competitive swim I'm seriously terrified.....but in a great way
  • Before I did my first OW swim race this year, I attended a course at Dorney Lake run by Zoggs. Probably the most informative 2-3 hours I've had. My background was as a surfer, so swimming in OW didn't scare me at all, but there is a huge difference between swimming back to shore, and swimming to follow a course, and doing it as efficiently as possible. The course comprised a 1 hour thoery, and then 1-2 hours of OW practice. We did entering the water, relaxation, strokes, sighting, drafting, mass starts, and finished with a mini race, included exiting and wetsuit stripping. If you;ve nevr swum OW competetively before I;d highly recommend atending a familiarisation first.
  • apnoeaapnoea Posts: 16
    To be fair I was pulled out of the water at Blenheim by friendly canoe people last year after 100 to 150 m. Not my first tri, not even the first time at Blenheim! Had a cold the preceding week, and underestimated how short of breath i would get in open water, despite being fine in training! Struggled to walk back to transition due to breathlessness. So not all being pulled out the water are because of inadequate prep. Lack of insight well thats another issue! Hind sight is 20/20 after all. Hope the rest of your season was less frustrating!
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Apnoea, good thing you werent at Dorney over the summer. I remember seeing one of the canoeists going over and not being able to get back in, so the other canoeists had to save one of their own. Wouldnt liked to hae been a struggling swimmer that day!
  • you mean they had a canoeist who couldn't roll/hand roll that just badly organised - did a swimmer pull them the right way up?

    i think the tight wet-suit and the adrenaline may not help either? maybe they intended to train but thought the swim would be easy?
  • i'm sure this will annoy some of you,
    but who care's,
    travelled over from ireland last year, for this great event, 'the london triathlon'
    please, if your anyway interested in competing or just 'giving it a go'
    avoid this circus,
    i've never felt more like a cow being moved through a market than in the docklands,
    expensive, hard to get to, nightmare to get out of, inpersonal, lacking in atmospere, etc.
    if your starting in triathlon, find a good, local, club run race & enjoy the day without all the extra stress,
    i'm sure this is not typical of the british tri. scene, & it would easily put you of the sport for good.
  • vetboyvetboy Posts: 21
    I've been a member of the Perranporth Surf Lifesaving Club for about 8 years, and have done water safety for several of their events. I was there in the 2004 race (I think rated as number 4 in the top 10 DNF's in a recent edition of 220), and we reckon we probably rescued about 80 people that day (from a starting list of 280). They were people of all abilities and experience who didn't train enough in waves and surfto take on the open water stuff. We had about 20 people have the sense to withdraw before the race started.

    I've been a lifeguard for a lot of years now, and never had so much trouble in my life. I rescued 2 people by dragging them in as our boats were busy, then just about collapsed on the shore exhaused after it.

    For those who did make it around the course, which was a bit shortened after one of the bouys broke off it's anchor, times didn't matter. The sense of achievement for those who just got around was huge.

    I know I've mentioned the race at Perranporth before, but those who love an open water challenge should definately consider it. Get a big day with surf, and even experienced triathletes will be proud of themselves for just finishing the swim.

    You'll also find that it's well set up for all abilities - there's the guns who fly through in 2 hours, right through to the mountain bike riders who take the full 4 hours. Everyone gets cheered in, and I haven't heard anyone yet complain that they got held up by other competitors.

    It's the biggest fundraiser that out surf club has got, and it helps to keep lifeguards on the beach over summer. If we didn't have all the muppets at the back of the field, the event would be smaller, the club would struggle even more financially, and the spirit of the race would be lost.

    We call it the Surf Challenge Triathlon because to even finish it is a challenge for most people if the conditions are big, so if anyone want's to take on a new challenge and learn a bit about open water it's well worth giving a go.
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