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Modifying a triathlon

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A curious question here.  Aside from clearly specified modified formats (biathlon, etc), do you ever see participants in modified formats of triathlon?  

  I'm toying with the idea of doing a entrance level tri purely for the challenge of completing it, rather than places/times/advancement.  Never done one before; it would be a stretch of my comfort zones in a number of ways.  However, I had a pretty significant (and terrifying) bike accident 2 years ago and I'm far too scared to actually get on a bike - only been on stationary bikes since - would any RD out there (of a small event) let me 'roll' the bike portion?  Would be rollerskating/scootering/similar and yes I'd give right of way for every cyclist/do as much as I could to not interfere with their race?

  I've RD'd fun runs and running events, so I can see the ops/OHS/rules side from that perspective, just not sure how this would go down with tri RDs or participants.  Thoughts?  (NSW based).

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Triathlons are modified all the time - cite the number of swim cancellations lately - but what you're asking for is more an individual allowance to change a leg. I would say it probably wouldn't happen but Emo might be the kind of guy who would consider it so you can have a go. Having said that, I doubt any race director would think it safe to have someone rollerblading or scootering during a bike leg.

The solution for you is to do something like the Nepean Enticer where it is a totally controlled environment where you could cruise around on the bike with no problem. If you're really worried about the bike, I'm sure you could find someone who'd be happy to ride shotgun for you - hell, I might even come out of retirement and ride along behind you.

 

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The issue would be with sanctioning which is needed to operate under Triathlon Australia's rules and insurances (no need to discuss their benefits, but it is part of the package). Because the rules that underpin the sport are very specific about the bike equipment and athlete behaviours, I very much doubt that any sanctioned race could make concessions.  You could try aquathon - swim/run.  Or find an unsanctioned badass race where they can do whatever they like.  

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4 hours ago, Cranky said:

What about a team where you do the swim and run?

Don't think they'd have that for an enticer so they'd need to be able to swim and run at least the sprint distances.

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Allowing scooters or rollerbladers out on the bike course would create safety issues. It's the same kind of thing as allowing a recumbent bike. You might be fine – knowing what you're doing and taking it easy, and able to convince the RD of it – but what about the second, third, etc. guy who wants to do it? That's what the RD will be thinking of. That and the liability.

If the RD wants to have a go, though, there are ways to deal with it. We had an athlete with cystic fibrosis at a race I head reffed. She couldn't put her face in the water. The solution was to let her do the swim leg on a SUP, starting after the last wave, with a kayak escort.

It was a rules violation, but that's a separate issue from insurance coverage – the insurance covers an athlete even when they break the rules. In the US anyway, race insurance covers everyone any way, including volunteers. So long as the RD isn't found to be negligent (that's the fear), everything is good. Unless someone at HQ hears about it and gets bent. Then it could be an issue the next time the RD tries to sanction a race. OTOH, if the RD could work it out ahead of time with TA, it's not a problem. Given the downward trend in participation, they might (should be) open to ways of broadening the appeal of races.

As far as the rules violation went, I was marshalling the bike course when it happened, so couldn't do anything about it at the time :-). She was dead last in her age group. The RD included her in his results (online and posted at the race) but reported her to USAT as a DNF on the official results. Everyone was happy, particularly those who were none the wiser.

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Why not just set up a trainer in transition and do your bike leg there.

would be a great spectacle I reckon

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2 hours ago, roxii said:

Why not just set up a trainer in transition and do your bike leg there.

sick bastard :lol:

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14 hours ago, trinube said:

Don't think they'd have that for an enticer so they'd need to be able to swim and run at least the sprint distances.

My first triathlon experience was as a swimmer at an enticer distance

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45 minutes ago, Cranky said:

My first triathlon experience was as a swimmer at an enticer distance

Really?  Well there you go, good option.

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31 minutes ago, trinube said:

Really?  Well there you go, good option.

But you might want to look at how that ended ..... Lol. 🤦‍♂️

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I will preface this with the acknowledgement that this will sound harsh.  It's not intended to offend, just looking for some reasoning.

You say you just want to do an enticer "for the challenge of completing it" but you want it modified because one leg is too far out of your comfort zone.  How exactly do you figure you are then completing a triathlon and meeting the challenge?  It might be something like a triathlon.  It might be a test of your endurance and skills but it's not a triathlon and you won't have done what the others have done.

Why not just do an aquathlon (run-swim) and complete an event properly if you can't cycle?  Why do you think you should be given special consideration simply because of your fear?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying get over it or that your fear isn't genuine and debilitating.  Many people have a genuine and debilitating fear of swimming in open water, would it be reasonable for them to be allowed to wade through the shallows instead and if they did would you still say they completed a triathlon?

The challenge of completing an aquathlon is no less than a triathlon, it's just different.  Exactly the same as your "roller" version would be different.  If it's truly the internal challenge you want the what does it matter if it's not even an official event?  Go make your own course to swim, roll and run and the satisfaction of completing it should be no less.

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3 minutes ago, Stikman said:

I will preface this with the acknowledgement that this will sound harsh.  It's not intended to offend, just looking for some reasoning.

You say you just want to do an enticer "for the challenge of completing it" but you want it modified because one leg is too far out of your comfort zone.  How exactly do you figure you are then completing a triathlon and meeting the challenge?  It might be something like a triathlon.  It might be a test of your endurance and skills but it's not a triathlon and you won't have done what the others have done.

Why not just do an aquathlon (run-swim) and complete an event properly if you can't cycle?  Why do you think you should be given special consideration simply because of your fear?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying get over it or that your fear isn't genuine and debilitating.  Many people have a genuine and debilitating fear of swimming in open water, would it be reasonable for them to be allowed to wade through the shallows instead and if they did would you still say they completed a triathlon?

The challenge of completing an aquathlon is no less than a triathlon, it's just different.  Exactly the same as your "roller" version would be different.  If it's truly the internal challenge you want the what does it matter if it's not even an official event?  Go make your own course to swim, roll and run and the satisfaction of completing it should be no less.

 Well said

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Or stick to running and open water swimming events?  Why have a need to do something when one part of it makes you uncomfortable?  

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Also not being harsh, but if ur scared to ride the bike of a triathlon on the road, how is a scooter or rollerblades on the same road any different?  Is it scaredcated of the bike itself? But you ride indoors? 

 

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To the OP, just enter and find someone to go with you or do a team event. My opinion is we should be doing everything we can to get people into the sport - triathlon's dying and half the problem is we make it hard and expensive to get started.

As I mentioned earlier, Emo would be the most likely RD to help out - you could always PM him and ask what he thinks. He allows flippers or noodles in the swim etc so might be happy to do things to put your mind at ease on the bike. I'm sure he'd be sympathetic to someone who's had a nasty accident and is trying to get into the sport regardless.

BTW, are you male or female?

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Thanks for the ideas everyone - it sounds like being part of a team would be the simplest way to achieve this.  I appreciate the differing perspectives, and it doesn't sound valid enough for a RD to take up!

  Stikman, I can completely agree with you, not offended at all...I felt stupid as soon as I posted it (I imagined all these excuses people could create 'I'm fair skinned and burn easily, can I just run my run leg in the shade off course?')...I also can see the selfish side - I'm not the person who's had a nasty bike stack and I wouldn't want to disrespect anyone else who moved past that and got back on the bike/the road..  But, that's why you bounce ideas; now I know more.  I guess I was looking for something more 'official' than a training session (even though that would count).  This thread has given me some good ideas for alternatives; thank you.

  Turts, I impailed the bike brake/clippers into my thigh when stacking it downhill.  Landed on a 1m-wide boardwalk with water either side of me pinned by a bike. Called emergency services, had firies/ambos/helicopter ride to hospital, and vascular surgery to repair sFV and sFA.  3 month recovery.  The Xray is awesome.  Remove the handlebars and you've removed the fear factor.  Trinube, I'm female.

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58 minutes ago, observer said:

Thanks for the ideas everyone - it sounds like being part of a team would be the simplest way to achieve this.

Trinube, I'm female.

Good luck whatever you decide to do, sounds like a nasty accident. I'd have been happy to do the bike leg for you in a team but it would need to be mixed. Maybe a tranny lady will pipe up and offer as well. Another thing to consider would be the Pink triathlons - they're pretty low key and wouldn't be too intimidating.

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Hey Observer, not sure where youre based so this may not work for you - check to post from Rob in the race directors section re the australia day aquathon. 

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Does any one mix tris? any more .Can vagally remember in the old days run/bike/swim. Just don't cramp in the swim😅😜 

 

 

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On 28/12/2018 at 6:38 AM, roxii said:

Why not just set up a trainer in transition and do your bike leg there.

would be a great spectacle I reckon

I actually think this is the future. Especially in cities. It’s only a matter of time before someone comes up with a triathlon where you swim In an endless pool with your progress monitored and logged online, and do the bike & run on Zwift or equivalent.

in between traditional triathlons and the 100% Zwift online  version I have outlined, I reckon that doing the middle leg on Zwift will soon be a thing with city based triathlon clubs who otherwise can’t run local club races. For example, in the inner city and inner west of Sydney you could run a triathlon at Dolls Point - 750M in the Bay, 20km on watopia and then a 5km run towards Brighton Le Sands and back. The organisers would need a fairly big power supply so competitors could hook up their wahoo Kickrs in transition, but other than that, the logistics of running the event would be pretty straight forward and probably very cost effective.

 

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