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sunnygirl

IM Melbourne- race day !!!!!!!!

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I have just watched the YouTube clip that Aiden posted of the swim and if that was typical of the water conditions, then the conditions were not that bad. The problem identified by those who did the swim seems to stem from poor directions by the organisers and the large number of people trying to navigate a difficult course that had been altered.

 

Nevertheless, congratulations to all those who competed - you deserve the accolades from all on this forum.

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I ws standing in the middle of the pack on the beach and heard everything perfectly. My hearing isnt that great! No issues seeing the buoys on the way in or out - you just had to wait for the top of the swell to spot.

 

Trying to idenitfy water conditions off a video from the beach is not really sensible - a bit like a hill climb!

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When I said quarter turned early.. I meant between first and second buoy! Not before the first one! At a guess was 75m between the two buoys.

 

Does show a bit of the chaos. Never heard talking or shouting before in a swim leg.

 

Was a bit calmer where that video is. He needed to turn back towards the pier.

 

Symo, did you hear take a sharp right turn at end of pier? That is what I heard multiple times and it was not correct.

 

 

 

(null)

Edited by Steno

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and back when my Granddad was 15 he worked down a mine without any of the "Mandatory" safety equipment used today.....doesn't make him any tougher or more of a man than miners of today...it just means people in charge of running things now are more aware of potential dangers and put measures in place to mitigate them.

 

Yep ya sign the waiver...blah blah blah.....so what, doesn't mean that an organiser should still run the event as planned if there are potential dangers like were there yesterday.

If you watch the video it doesn't look too bad (the video I took looks the same) it does not truly show the conditions. The waves the other side of the pier were much bigger, breaking against the pier and looked to be creating a swirling current as the water flowed under the pier and across where the swim start was.

I watched one swimmer signal for assistance about 150 metres into the swim. A lifeguard swam out to him without their rescue tube, why I don't understand, and when the lifeguard got there tried signalling to a rescue boat and jet ski who didn't appear to see them due to the size of the waves. Fortunately the lifeguard didn't get dragged under and they both made it back to shore. It looked like there was a rip there which was about 150 - 200 metres down the beach from the swim exit.

 

Yes people had the opportunity to pull out of the event when they saw the conditions, but how many of us would pull out? You have trained for months, you are pumped up on race morning with adrenaline and nerves, the buzz in transition gets to you and there is no way you are thinking straight enough to pull out.

 

With around 2200 swimmers attempting to swim in that for 3.8km, no matter whether you had 2200 extremely competent swimmers or some weaker swimmers, there would be no way you could safely manage multiple rescue situations that would more than likely have occurred had the full swim gone ahead.

 

I find it amusing that people who weren't there to see the real conditions, as quite a few posters have said they have only seen pics or video or heard from others, can sit at the keyboard and bag the shit out of the organisers for making the decision and make comments that people who competed "aren't an Ironman" because of the shortened swim. Maybe you all need to move away from the keyboard walk outside take a big deep breath of fresh air and think how good it is to be alive, how good it is that nobody drowned in a swim in a race where most of us compete for shits and giggles.

There are far worse things going on in the world than cutting short the swim leg of a race.

 

Back in the (Army) day we used to run 20k in boots, full uniform, 30kg pack and rifle in under 2 hours.

 

Congrats to all that participated yesterday, sounds tuff.

Edited by oldave

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I'd like to give a big shout of thanks to all the volleys and the crowd; they were awesome.

A special commendation for the people at the Elwood aid station. I wanted to stop and hang out at their party. It was rocking!

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Meanwhile, I have just seen a photo of the dinner at the awards night....a hot dog. Money well spent if anyone bought a ticket for friends and family.

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A hot dog at Ethihad is probably $50! A coke pushes it to a second mortgage

 

 

:lol:

 

(null)

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more swim course footage -featuring people turning early!! With race numbers on their heads!

 

Wow

Thanks for posting

That just looks super chaotic , you can't even tell which way anyone is ( suppose to be)going

 

Seems like the disorganisation caused alot of the problems

I feel sorry for anyone going out in that situation

Well done to all that did the right ( adjusted) distance

Cheers

Ip

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would have been way easy to run the swim course along the beach and/or do a gradual turn- even get out and run back down beach to start the next lap. the problem

was not the swell at all. it was greed putting 2200 people into too small an area- there was simply not enough room for people to move-then doing a 180 and having poor swimmers having to stop and get smashed by a shallow choppy swell created an situation where it was dangerous because of congestion and lots of people panicking. it was bad enough where i was in first AG pack to round the buoy- we literally stopped dead and i shouted to guys to calm the f-k down and stop grabbing and hitting each other -just chill and we'd get round. would have been terrifying for a first time or female in the middle of a crush of overweight poor swimmers. a good surf club carnival organiser would have been able to sus a route out- it was just poor knowledge of where the sand bars and rips were- they swam people into the worst part

 

same thing on the bike course- most of the decent athletes were not trying to cheat- there were simply way too many people out there. its funny how the fast guys still went fast and the hopeless.....well just complain about drafting all the time. dont meet too many shit bikers or runners who conned their way into getting kona spots- there is a minimum selection criteria. as someone else pointed out with a shortened swim and that many decent athletes to stay legal the field would have instantly been spread over 18km- an impossibility

 

the armchair experts on here have no clue - probably one of the deepest fields i have ever raced in OZ- unless you were there you have no idea

 

the big problem with IM racing now is the size of the field and the lack of qualification process.

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Meanwhile, I have just seen a photo of the dinner at the awards night....a hot dog. Money well spent if anyone bought a ticket for friends and family.

My mate got a pie also

But he wanted vegetarian , so I suppose a pie counts I havnt found any meat in a pie for years

Probably not much meat in a hot dog either

LOL

Cheers

Ip

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A hot dog at Ethihad is probably $50! A coke pushes it to a second mortgage

 

 

:lol:

 

(null)

LOL

Ip

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Last year was just cold. Otherwise conditions were perfect. My only bitch is the timing. They need to have it 2 weeks earlier so the race starts at 7 am in a decent amount of light.

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would have been way easy to run the swim course along the beach and/or do a gradual turn- even get out and run back down beach to start the next lap. the problem

was not the swell at all. it was greed putting 2200 people into too small an area- there was simply not enough room for people to move-then doing a 180 and having poor swimmers having to stop and get smashed by a shallow choppy swell created an situation where it was dangerous because of congestion and lots of people panicking. it was bad enough where i was in first AG pack to round the buoy- we literally stopped dead and i shouted to guys to calm the f-k down and stop grabbing and hitting each other -just chill and we'd get round. would have been terrifying for a first time or female in the middle of a crush of overweight poor swimmers. a good surf club carnival organiser would have been able to sus a route out- it was just poor knowledge of where the sand bars and rips were- they swam people into the worst part

 

same thing on the bike course- most of the decent athletes were not trying to cheat- there were simply way too many people out there. its funny how the fast guys still went fast and the hopeless.....well just complain about drafting all the time. dont meet too many shit bikers or runners who conned their way into getting kona spots- there is a minimum selection criteria. as someone else pointed out with a shortened swim and that many decent athletes to stay legal the field would have instantly been spread over 18km- an impossibility

 

the armchair experts on here have no clue - probably one of the deepest fields i have ever raced in OZ- unless you were there you have no idea

 

the big problem with IM racing now is the size of the field and the lack of qualification process.

Totally agree

I wish I could write stuff like this

It's in my head but I can't get it out, maybe I should have paid more attention at school

Cheers

Ip

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What a classic!

 

And for those who might not click...

Ironman-Melbourne-Bike-leg-DSC_0428.jpg

 

Bloody hell - I suppose that certainly explains a lot of the quicker times in what were described as challenging conditions, esp for the chicks

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For all those commenting on the swim who were not there-don't. Having done over 20 full or half IM's that swim was the roughest by a long shot. Conditions probably worst at the far bouy. Apparently only a few were pulled from the water which was suprising. As for the photo of drafting, taken not far from transition I suspect, of course that will happen with a short swim and 2200 athletes.

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esp for the chicks

 

Why?? Last I saw men and women raced exactly the same course!

 

Well done to everyone who finished yesterday. You raced the course, conditions and competitors who showed on the day. As always, those who had the desire and did the work got the Kona spots they were chasing (or turned them down if they had other priorities).

I stood on the pier during the swim start: easy to say from that elevated position that the conditions weren't too bad - indeed I've done enticer races in the bay in worse conditions. But not with 2,000 competitors in a beach start! I spoke to a friend who was on a paddle board for the swim, and she reported that the conditions out beyond pier were quite full-on, and she rescued a few who were totally panicked and sick. Personally I was glad I wasn't out there, but I did vow to do some more open water practice ahead of my next race.

having said that, i don't think the organisers did a good job with contingency planning or communication. Wind and choppy seas should not be a surprise! They'd had your money for a year after all - surely they could have come up with a better alternative than making it up on the fly which is how it seemed.

I had a lot of fun spectating. Had borrowed a bike but tried not to be a chump following the runners. Ducking down Station St and then some back roads past Mordy I found I could barely make ground on the pro runners - they are so impressive!

I spent a few hours with a cow bell at the top of the hill out of Rickett's Point. We had fun coaxing people into running again after the hill, and wondered if there was a pile of bodies around the corner after the effort. The response from people is fabulous.

Highlights for me were seeing Natasha Badman showing that age, injury, and poor swimming are no barrier to being an awesome ironman athlete, watching the pro guys make running look easy, seeing one friend take an 'easy ' age-group win and another finally grab a Kona spot after years of trying, and chatting to a few locals who knew nothing about the sport but were having a great day spectating.

I don't entirely buy into the whole ironman dream, but it's still a great day out.

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Melbourne was my first IM. I live about 500km from the ocean so no open water training for me.

 

My main issue was, like Steno, I got told to head hard right at the end of the pier by a volunteer walking the beach, I had no chance of hearing the PA with the confusion on the beach everyone was looking for directions. I actually found the section to the end of the pier not too bad and it was only as we got near the turn buoys the waves got a bit much to take. The amount of people that turned short was unbelievable. The congestion for me was more of an issue than the waves though. Coming back in was pretty easy, I just decided to go with the current and end up down the beach and walk back.

 

I got out in around 35 minutes having decided pre swim to take it very easy. At no point did I feel in danger and I would have gone out for another lap if asked to and I reckon I would have been fine, but I can understand the decision for sure.

 

Communication of the new course and maybe some more buoys would have made life better.

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It's amazing how often you hear people say that

Ironman has nothing to do with running marathons

Cheers

Ip

Edit to add

Well done on your result

 

 

no joke. It really is a mental exercise. Never give up.

 

Also I really don't get peoples fixation on the swim.

Take my times, if it was calm enough for a full 3.8km swim, I'd probably do much better on the bike, so time wise it'd balance well enough.

The swim was definitely NOT the tough part, waves or not.

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Received the email from FinisherPix informing me that the official photos of the race are now available. Does anybody know how to redeem the $95 photo pack that was paid at the time of entry ?

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Take my times, if it was calm enough for a full 3.8km swim, I'd probably do much better on the bike, so time wise it'd balance well enough.

The swim was definitely NOT the tough part, waves or not.

 

Nope, sorry, not giving you that. You really can't say that cutting 30mins off the swim time was counter-balanced by a little wind in the bike (on a super smooth road). At best, you might claim that you expended as much energy swimming 1.5km in tough conditions as you would have swimming 3.8 in calm conditions - but even that is a bit fanciful.

I have no problem with those who finished claiming the ironman title if that's important to them, but not with claiming the time as a legitimate finish time for the full distance.

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Nope, sorry, not giving you that. You really can't say that cutting 30mins off the swim time was counter-balanced by a little wind in the bike (on a super smooth road). At best, you might claim that you expended as much energy swimming 1.5km in tough conditions as you would have swimming 3.8 in calm conditions - but even that is a bit fanciful.

I have no problem with those who finished claiming the ironman title if that's important to them, but not with claiming the time as a legitimate finish time for the full distance.

 

You mean all those predictions that accurately called a new IM world record at Melbourne were wrong? :shy:

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Got to love all these clowns that are ironman course design experts that criticize a decision made to accommodate safety first because they saw a couple of videos from height that didn't truly demonstrate conditions. Wake up kids, we live in a world of litigation, insurance, red tape and the fact nobody takes responsibility for themselves anymore. I'm sure 95% of entrants could of completed a 3.8k swim in those conditions, but it only takes 1 drowning to change things forever. I would have been happy to go around again and would have found it quite enjoyable actually, but then again I'm a surf swimmer. So those puppets that have criticized the swim I'm happy for you to sign up to your next ironman, enjoy your flat lake conditions so you still feel like you're in the pool, draft off the person in front, swim a comfortable 3.8k and think about how the swim was a non event really and give yourself a pat on the back. Well done, you've just managed to complete another training session. Melb ironman was super fun, well organized and would prob go down as one of the best events I've competed in. Only criticism would be to put the carpet back down in transition. The finish line was the best I've ever seen, awesome new location.

Edited by quksel

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Got to love all these clowns that are ironman course design experts that criticize a decision made to accommodate safety first because they saw a couple of videos from height that didn't truly demonstrate conditions. Wake up kids, we live in a world of litigation, insurance, red tape and the fact nobody takes responsibility for themselves anymore. I'm sure 95% of entrants could of completed a 3.8k swim in those conditions, but it only takes 1 drowning to change things forever. I would have been happy to go around again and would have found it quite enjoyable actually, but then again I'm a surf swimmer. So those puppets that have criticized the swim I'm happy for you to sign up to your next ironman, enjoy your flat lake conditions so you still feel like you're in the pool, draft off the person in front, swim a comfortable 3.8k and think about how the swim was a non event really and give yourself a pat on the back. Well done, you've just managed to complete another training session. Melb ironman was super fun, well organized and would prob go down as one of the best events I've competed in. Only criticism would be to put the carpet back down in transition. The finish line was the best I've ever seen, awesome new location.

 

Thanks

For

That mr WTC maybe you can get back

To packing things up LOL

Cheers

Ip

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One thing I would like to know though. Everyone is saying it would have been better with more bouys. How did they shorten a 1 loop 3.8km swim, to a swim that the pro's could do in 19min in rough conditions (say 1500m), and not have enough bouys. I realise in good conditions they can be further apart, but did they just take the easy way out and not put all the bouys they had at their disposal out, as a cost & effort saving measure?

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I thought Mike Reilly did a great job in explaining the course. He explained it many times very slowly and clearly. "Head to the end of the jetty, take a slight right turn so you are swimmkng head on with the chop and swim to the buoys, then chuck a u turn and come with the chop."

 

He had them turn the music off to explain it. In my eyes only having one point to swim to reduced the confusion. Just keep sighting and swim to the only buoy you can see.

 

He said they had put two out there next to each other to swim around and I thought they would be right next to each other but just swam around both when I got out there.

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Mike did explain it clearly... The word I heard multiple times was "hard right" not "slight right"

 

(null)

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So with all this talk of safety where was the pre race timing scan? At open water swims they scan you in and out so they know if you've gone missing in the race. Friend of mine came registered for the race but did not start - nor did he inform the organisers. Not one call to him or emergency contact to determine if be actually headed out in the swim or not ( ie was he missing).

 

We all crossed over a set of wires next to the Coast Guard building before getting on to the beach. So a head count was done.

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Everyone has their moment of fame - but of 2000+ people to choose from why did they pick my ugly mug at the finish line for the awards night video!! :lol:

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Swim was chaotic purely due to area and number of people....plus people just not used to swimming in those conditions. I only swim in pool or river at Port Mac so very different for me but it is IM (more concrete needed!) not happy seeing people turn short but they will live with that. Ride was a bit boring and only tough. Only being a midget (5.5) I found it tough but at the end it came down to not being bike strong enough. Pissed at the mass drafting. Goes through the head for a short second to get it on the action but I can't do it. Have to say there were a few dudes going past with the same club outfits on (surely when db's see 2-3 guys in club colours in a train they should do something!). Won't mention clubs but one has been said before at a race down south nsw. Run was solid and actually a really good course (aside from camber and the long stretches). Didn't think crowd was going to be much on bike but they were cool and the crowds on the run were awesome. Finish was fantastic.

 

Best comment was from a guy with 1km to go saying not far now and then you can do the second lap! Had to smile. For those that finished well done. If not time wanted.....there is always next time.

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From the vid it looks to me that most of the chaos was from so many athletes in such a tight course going both directions. Looks mental!

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I didn't see too much blatant drafting but only unavoidable wide pack riding. I spent the first 40k worrying about the people around me and them popping in front of me to then have an official think I was drafting before id had a chance to allow the distance and then receive the penalty. If you were drafting after the 40k mark then you were cheating, anything before that was just pure congestion and unavoidable. If you don't agree then you have never ridden in bike races where 100-300 cyclist all go off at once, now times that by 5. By 40k the slower riders were long gone and the strong were passing. Tough head wind on the second lap after the wind changed direction. In the 3 ironmans I've done I would say the swim was still a challenge with the shortened distance, bike was tough on the second lap with the strong winds and the run warm. The crowd participation was by far the biggest I've ever experienced, some people just cracked me up.

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One thing I would like to know though. Everyone is saying it would have been better with more bouys. How did they shorten a 1 loop 3.8km swim, to a swim that the pro's could do in 19min in rough conditions (say 1500m), and not have enough bouys. I realise in good conditions they can be further apart, but did they just take the easy way out and not put all the bouys they had at their disposal out, as a cost & effort saving measure?

 

 

There were still putting bouys out as the pros were starting apparently, it was all very last minute, so I doubt all the bouys were used.

 

Mike did explain it clearly... The word I heard multiple times was "hard right" not "slight right"

 

(null)

 

 

Agree, hard right was the only term I make out clearly.

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Mike did explain it clearly... The word I heard multiple times was "hard right" not "slight right"

 

(null)

 

Steno & Tinman2, i'll back you both here. I was on the pier beside a speaker and he said "hard"

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There were still putting bouys out as the pros were starting apparently, it was all very last minute, so I doubt all the bouys were used.

 

 

 

Think it was more the case of getting the bouys to stay where they were supposed to be, there was a delay as they kept drifting in the conditions. Have only seen this happen at one other tri before and the swim was cancelled half way through the wave starts (sprint distance)

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Reckon large part of the confusion with the swim course explanation was that all the competitors were to the left of the pier being told about buoys which they couldn't see to the right of the pier. Before heading down to the left of the pier for the start I was on the right of the pier and I could see two buoys and was talking to some others about the revised swim course. But that was a good half hour before the start and I still wasn't sure if they were (still) the actual buoys we were supposed to go around.

 

A diagram or photo was needed. And confirmation that people *understood*. A lot clearly didn't. Even if meant repeating several (more) times and holding up the start even further.

 

I had a look for the official final revised swim course yesterday, and just a quick look now, but only find notice saying due to conditions course needs to be changed again to one lap.

 

I've swum in some ocean swims where they have oversize yellow(?) buoys. Really easy to spot, even in swell c.f. smaller white Ironman ones used(?). Maybe biggies would broken their moorings, don't know.

 

Didn't mind the swell so much, even though biggest I've swum in. Was (imagining) floating like a cork in the wetsuit (picture I had in my mind from don't know who here) and buried the head deep (as per squad swim coach). Issue was more the confused pack and congestion swimmers at the buoy combined with the largest waves. Don't know how I would have found 3.8km. My bigger worry is cramping in the legs, even though I barely kick.

 

Ahh, all probably sounds too negative.

 

I actually mostly enjoyed the swim :)

Edited by longshot

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perhaps some people just didn't see the buoys over the swell? In that video you can see the two M buoys and people turning at the first, maybe they couldn't sight the second. Who knows. Is that why they're calling it 1500m?

When I headed down to the beach I was expecting to do the triangle to the left of the pier, and I did struggle to hear the microphone announcement at that stage. I asked a few volunteers but they didn't have any idea either.

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Where's the overhead quadcopter video of the swim? That will really clear up just how much confusion there was :)

 

Can buy those things for less than a grand now.

 

And put big numbers on the back of swim caps. Make sure everyone knows they under constant surveillance, and *they will be caught* :)

 

Actually, I think more inadvertent mistakes, and perhaps judgement calls, than overt cheating - more of that on the bike I reckon.

Edited by longshot

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Although I got a little lost after thinking it was a hard right after the pier and taking a while to see the white buoys, I enjoyed the swim. It was bizarre to be in the middle of a less-than-half-IM swim with people stopping and hearing people around you squealing with joy/horror as we went over some of the waves after the pier.

 

I became even more confused when I found people swimming head on into me when coming back in. I totally understand how people could have panicked in the conditions and the confusion. At one stage I had to ask one of the water safety guys where I was supposed to go next.

 

From the shore it must have looked like the penguin parade at Philip Island with people washing up all over the beach - it was crazy and quite funny!

 

In one way it was like any other IM swim, still plenty of random breaststrokers giving you a kick in the groin when you least expected it (thank goodness I'm female).

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