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Ironman Return to Racing


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A few days WTC released thier return to racing informaiton.

The five principals are:

As a result, the Safe Return to Racing operating principles are organized around five broad areas of contagion risk mitigation:

  • Enhanced Hygiene: Hand sanitizer, hand washing stations, and disinfectant wipes will be readily available around our venues. Cleaning of common venue areas will be enhanced. Staff and volunteers will be provided with face coverings and gloves to be used while working in all athlete-facing areas. Athletes will be provided with face coverings at packet pickup and are expected to wear a face covering around event venues.
  • Screening and Education: Appropriate personal health, personal hygiene and safe support education and training will be provided for staff and volunteers in necessary functional areas. This includes the future expansion of the IRONMAN Smart Program to provide Volunteer Smart™ guidelines for volunteers. Athletes and volunteers will be required to fill out a pre-race health questionnaire. Additionally, in many venues no-touch body temperature screening will be instituted. Per the World Health Organization guidelines, individuals with a body temperature of greater than 100.4º Fahrenheit or 38º Celsius will not be allowed to race, volunteer or work.
  • Density Reduction: We will institute measures to increase space for athletes and supporting personnel in areas such as swim start, transition, and finish line. Modification or elimination of non-essential race services and functions, such as banquets may also occur.
  • Touchpoint Minimization: We will reduce or remove touchpoints and points of interaction between staff, athletes, and volunteers without compromising event safety and security, through redesign and reconfiguration of event village areas as well as race course zones such as aid stations.
  • Athlete Self-Reliance: Through the Athlete Smart™ program, athletes will be empowered to determine their individual level of self-reliance to further minimize interaction and touch points with race officials and volunteers. Athletes will be encouraged to Race Smart™ by carrying nutrition and hydration while utilizing items such as hydration vests and event offered special needs stations. Athletes should review and embrace Athlete Smart Self Reliance Tips which can be found here ironman.com/return-tips.

https://www.ironman.com/smart-programs

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I completely have that insight and do have a lot of support from Mrs FP.  I think the difference is: I was already doing this stuff when we met, so it was never an addition to our lifestyle.

It's not unwise at all. 7-9 hours a week or 1-1.5h a day, if it's spread across three sports in a week, isn't very much at all and aerobic capacity, which is such a large component of this sport,

If Busso is commercially viable with a domestic field, why wouldn't it go ahead? They could even cut costs by not having a witches hat or a marshal at the run turnaround. Not like any of the loca

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15 minutes ago, Ironnerd said:

Density Reduction: We will institute measures to increase space for athletes and supporting personnel in areas such as swim start, transition, and finish line. Modification or elimination of non-essential race services and functions, such as banquets may also occur.

So will their density reduction strategies include reducing the number of competitors to a number more in line with what the course can actually handle, or will we just reduce other people, you know, the ones they have to pay for. 

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4 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

So will their density reduction strategies include reducing the number of competitors to a number more in line with what the course can actually handle, or will we just reduce other people, you know, the ones they have to pay for. 

Course itself, not so much, perhaps the run leg as the bike leg should be managed by the TOs. Think swim starts, briefings, and recovery/finish line. Could be interesting with Port Mac as that rolling start was packed!

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19 hours ago, Chuckie M said:

in place by Cairns?😁

Interesting point. The run course there is crowded. Not uncomfortably in normal circumstances, but now?

 

perhaps they should revert to having athletes run from Yorkeys Knob to thin out congestion on the esplanade?

That would mean two transition areas outside the finish zone and extra expenses for transporting bikes back after the race but it would make the whole course more manageable. Especially for 70.3 athletes 

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7 minutes ago, Andrew #1 said:

Interesting point. The run course there is crowded. Not uncomfortably in normal circumstances, but now?

 

perhaps they should revert to having athletes run from Yorkeys Knob to thin out congestion on the esplanade?

That would mean two transition areas outside the finish zone and extra expenses for transporting bikes back after the race but it would make the whole course more manageable. Especially for 70.3 athletes 

The problem with that run course is the BOP are out in the cane fields in the dark.

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49 minutes ago, Paul Every said:

Why is that a problem?

Having been out there after dark the only problem I can foresee  is zero light for long stretches of the highway. There is a lot of traffic and even with witches hats giving the runners their own lane (and the shoulder) to run along, it didn’t feel particularly safe at times. Other than that, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

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35 minutes ago, Andrew #1 said:

Having been out there after dark the only problem I can foresee  is zero light for long stretches of the highway. There is a lot of traffic and even with witches hats giving the runners their own lane (and the shoulder) to run along, it didn’t feel particularly safe at times. Other than that, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

That & if ppl collapse they can easily roll down the embankment and not be seen. 

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1 hour ago, Andrew #1 said:

Having been out there after dark the only problem I can foresee  is zero light for long stretches of the highway. There is a lot of traffic and even with witches hats giving the runners their own lane (and the shoulder) to run along, it didn’t feel particularly safe at times. Other than that, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

 

29 minutes ago, Bored@work said:

That & if ppl collapse they can easily roll down the embankment and not be seen. 

Those are really problems? This is the same company that runs UTA.

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30 minutes ago, Paul Every said:

 

Those are really problems? This is the same company that runs UTA.

Was when I was out there. They were worried about it & had officials on scooters checking on ppl all the time

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Does that mean it was a problem and it was happening? Or does it mean they just had volunteers checking? How many people did they have to rescue? Are there still bodies to be found?

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8 hours ago, Paul Every said:

Does that mean it was a problem and it was happening? Or does it mean they just had volunteers checking? How many people did they have to rescue? Are there still bodies to be found?

Yes it was a problem, it was a safety issue. That’s one of the reasons why they changed the course.  

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21 hours ago, Bored@work said:

The problem with that run course is the BOP are out in the cane fields in the dark.

If they enforce a 13 hour cut-off that should solve most of the problems.

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1 hour ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

If they enforce a 13 hour cut-off that should solve most of the problems.

Agree. I was racing post surgery & shouldn't have been out there.

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9 hours ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

If they enforce a 13 hour cut-off that should solve most of the problems.

They could simply have the yorkey’s knob run in for the 70.3 and find some extra roadways to run a 2 lap course for the full distance ...

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7 hours ago, Bored@work said:

Agree. I was racing post surgery & shouldn't have been out there.

I was racing post 40, post back injury and post any real Ironman fitness at about 93kg. Shouldn’t have been out there, except for the fact that it was a goal to celebrate returning to some basic mobility and fitness after 3 years basically immobile. 
 

I am just happy to 70.3s after that though ... although ... another IM after 5-0? ... why not ... IMNZ 2021 here I come!

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Really? It’s far better out in the cane fields than that stupid wharf they used to make you run on. The 4 lap course is far better than the old 3 lap course. If that smooth flood light footpath is an issue, there are a whole lot of other events in trouble. 

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29 minutes ago, Bosco said:

Really? It’s far better out in the cane fields than that stupid wharf they used to make you run on. The 4 lap course is far better than the old 3 lap course. If that smooth flood light footpath is an issue, there are a whole lot of other events in trouble. 

I like the current run course. It’s a lot better for spectators 

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On 05/06/2020 at 7:58 AM, Bored@work said:

Yes it was a problem, it was a safety issue. That’s one of the reasons why they changed the course.  

We have a very different perception of risk.

It's bullshit how "safe" and santitised Ironman and triathlon has become. And the sport itself and the participants are the losers.

I haven't raced Cairns, but the description of runners having had a sealed lane or shoulder to run on, marked by witch's hats, aid stations every 2 km, marshals patrolling.....If everyone has a headlamp and a reflective vest, it is in no way unsafe by the standards of many endurance events. And those are the sports that triathlon is increasingly losing potential and past participants too.

By comparison, ultra marathons are booming. Competitors routinely run alone through the bush at night, (sometimes even from dusk until dawn, having already run all day), along rough single tracks, often with hours between aid stations.

With rogaining, competitors are racing out in bush all night, admittedly most often in pairs, but there isn't even a set course and they're looking for unmanned checkpoints, often located well away anything that even resembles a trail. The only way to access a control might involve scrambling along a rocky creekline for an hour, or navigating through the bush to a point at the base of a cliff, (best not screw up nav and approach from the wrong direction).

But have triathletes running along a sealed road after the sun goes down..........oooohhhh, that's so scary and dangerous. They might fall off!

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3 hours ago, Paul Every said:

By comparison, ultra marathons are booming. Competitors routinely run alone through the bush at night, (sometimes even from dusk until dawn, having already run all day), along rough single tracks, often with hours between aid stations.

Define 'run'. We call most ultra runners 'bush walkers with a number pinned on' 🙂

 

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On ‎4‎/‎06‎/‎2020 at 9:43 PM, Bored@work said:

That & if ppl collapse they can easily roll down the embankment and not be seen. 

They only part i thought was dangerous was if there were Croc's at the waiting. That could be a real possibility up there from what I heard. 

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No, Bored@, I'm not looking for an argument, but it's certainly something I quite obviously feel very strongly about.

Why?

Because many of the same authorities (police, councils, National Parks, etc) who review risk assessments and mitigations that allow triathlon to continue, also have the documentation for events from other sports sitting in their in-tray. And when the bar for safety in endurance events gets raised unnecessarily to ridiculous levels, other events and other sports suffer, particularly for events operating on smaller budgets than the corporates like Ironman or Fairfax. And although I haven't been on the course at Carins after dark, as a race director what I describe is certainly a road I've traveled.

As I said, our perceptions are different, as are our personal experiences.

I don't doubt you a moment when you say Cairns changed to a safer course.

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18 minutes ago, Mr Flower said:

Define 'run'. We call most ultra runners 'bush walkers with a number pinned on' 🙂

 

That sort of happens when you have long races that actually have hills. :wink1:

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I didn’t think the flying fox at the local park was dangerous. Plenty of ppl used it & didn’t break their arm.

A few kids broke their arms. They removed the flying fox.

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3 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

They only part i thought was dangerous was if there were Croc's at the waiting. That could be a real possibility up there from what I heard. 

I'd pay extra if they could guarantee crocs on the course.

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32 minutes ago, Paul Every said:

That sort of happens when you have long races that actually have hills. :wink1:

So its ultra Walking then?  LOL 😂

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9 minutes ago, Peter said:

So its ultra Walking then?  LOL 😂

BOP at IM isn't even that. It's just walking. ;)

You should have a crack at one of really long ultras. You're actually allowed to have sleep mid-race without suffering social opprobrium. :thumbsup:

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20 minutes ago, Paul Every said:

BOP at IM isn't even that. It's just walking. ;)

You should have a crack at one of really long ultras. You're actually allowed to have sleep mid-race without suffering social opprobrium. :thumbsup:

Running 100km interests me as much as you wearing a suit.  
 

sure we would watch others do it, but zero interest doing it ourselves. 

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13 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

They only part i thought was dangerous was if there were Croc's at the waiting. That could be a real possibility up there from what I heard. 

Far esplanade turn around on the run heading towards the airport..(mangroves) They often go for a wander after dark.😀

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19 hours ago, Mr Flower said:

Define 'run'. We call most ultra runners 'bush walkers with a number pinned on' 🙂

 

And if you were in the canefields at night on the old course, chances are you were doing a fair amount of walking too. A quiet stroll on a sealed road. 

And yes, I did that course. Some of it getting a bit dim. 

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21 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

They only part i thought was dangerous was if there were Croc's at the waiting. That could be a real possibility up there from what I heard. 

Here's a summary of the number and circumstances of known fatal croc attacks in Australia dating back to 1869. Crocs hunt from the water.

31 Swimming

10 Fishing

8 Bathing

8 Other shallow water activity

6 Running on road through canefields during triathlon

3 Collecting water

2 Harvesting resource

2 In boat or canoe

1 Camping or sleeping

1 Dog or livestock involved

1 Standing or walking bank

http://www.crocodile-attack.info/data/map

 

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2 hours ago, Paul Every said:

Here's a summary of the number and circumstances of known fatal croc attacks in Australia dating back to 1869. Crocs hunt from the water.

31 Swimming

10 Fishing

8 Bathing

8 Other shallow water activity

6 Running on road through canefields during triathlon

3 Collecting water

2 Harvesting resource

2 In boat or canoe

1 Camping or sleeping

1 Dog or livestock involved

1 Standing or walking bank

http://www.crocodile-attack.info/data/map

 

And all 6 of those were In the Ironman at Cairns too. 

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28 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

And all 6 of those were In the Ironman at Cairns too. 

I'd hate to see the stats for gator fatalities in US Triathlons. :)

Seriously though, they pulled a big one out of the lake we swam in for the Worlds in Orlando, a couple days prior to the race.

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Species Name

Activity Class

 

OK. Once again, I may have fudged one stat on the list.

You do have to wonder about the "provoking" incident. Famous last words or what?

https://metro.co.uk/2020/05/06/beautician-58-mauled-death-alligator-tried-pet-12662979/

     
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On 06/06/2020 at 11:25 AM, Paul Every said:

I haven't raced Cairns, but the description of runners having had a sealed lane or shoulder to run on, marked by witch's hats, aid stations every 2 km, marshals patrolling.....If everyone has a headlamp and a reflective vest, it is in no way unsafe by the standards of many endurance events.

Queensland drivers mate. Having been out there in the pitch black, pissing rain and some idiot comes belting past at 100kmh I definitely felt unsafe. If the highway had street lights, even well apart, the whole way, and some better policing of the idiots in their utes, I’d feel different about the experience altogether. In fact, if they could police it better it would be my recommendation to switch back the run course - at least whilst we are expected to socially distance. In fact, I actually started this discussion.

 

... and another thing Paul. It might be a bit ‘vanilla’ by your standards but cairns is a great course and great experience. Do yourself a favour and add it to your bucket list mate. 

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On 06/06/2020 at 11:25 AM, Paul Every said:

With rogaining, competitors are racing out in bush all night, admittedly most often in pairs, but there isn't even a set course and they're looking for unmanned checkpoints, often located well away anything that even resembles a trail. The only way to access a control might involve scrambling along a rocky creekline for an hour, or navigating through the bush to a point at the base of a cliff, (best not screw up nav and approach from the wrong direction).

 

I’ve done rogaining. I’ve done multiple day solo bushwalking where I’ve been blindfolded for hours driving to some spot, only to be dumped with a map, campus and pack about 30 minutes before dark and given a piece of paper with a grid reference and an ETA of 48 hours. That all felt safer than the shoulder of that highway after dark, no street lights, and raining. Just saying ...

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12 hours ago, Andrew #1 said:

I’ve done rogaining. I’ve done multiple day solo bushwalking where I’ve been blindfolded for hours driving to some spot, only to be dumped with a map, campus and pack about 30 minutes before dark and given a piece of paper with a grid reference and an ETA of 48 hours. That all felt safer than the shoulder of that highway after dark, no street lights, and raining. Just saying ...

I fully understand that. I appreciate there were risks on the old course, I just don't understand how they can't be effectively mitigated to within acceptable limits without abandoning a course that some preferred.

The principle safety consideration is a traffic management issue, including driver behaviour and runner visability to drivers.

Effective traffic management (effectively promoted, displayed and enforced speed limits), traffic marshals, separation of runners from traffic with witches' hats supplemented with sections of hard barriers, reflective vests and headlamps for runners....... none is that difficult.

Satisfactory lighting for runners is a secondary consideration and is simply solved by with runners having a mandatory headlamp in a dropbag.

The dangers of fatigued runners ending up off course in the canefields is negligible.

In the overall resources that IM throws at an event, it's basic and manageable. I'm not suggested anything revolutionary. These are regular Traffic Management Plan and Risk Management Plan issues that all event organisers deal with.

Yes, maybe the new course is safer, or subjectively "better" or preferred by many, but it's near impossible to believe that the old course couldn't be managed within acceptable safety parameters.

I've had too much involvement in long endurance events as a competitor, RD, volunteer, committee member, etc to believe that section of highway near Cairns poses insurmountable difficulties that haven't been effectively solved elsewhere.

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13 hours ago, Andrew #1 said:

I’ve done multiple day solo bushwalking where I’ve been blindfolded for hours driving to some spot, only to be dumped with a map, campus and pack about 30 minutes before dark and given a piece of paper with a grid reference and an ETA of 48 hours.

And Andrew, I want some of that. ⬆️ :)

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13 hours ago, Andrew #1 said:

I’ve done multiple day solo bushwalking where I’ve been blindfolded for hours driving to some spot, only to be dumped with a map, campus and pack about 30 minutes before dark and given a piece of paper with a grid reference and an ETA of 48 hours.

Were you on Naked & Afraid?

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1 hour ago, Paul Every said:

I fully understand that. I appreciate there were risks on the old course, I just don't understand how they can't be effectively mitigated to within acceptable limits without abandoning a course that some preferred.

The principle safety consideration is a traffic management issue, including driver behaviour and runner visability to drivers.

Effective traffic management (effectively promoted, displayed and enforced speed limits), traffic marshals, separation of runners from traffic with witches' hats supplemented with sections of hard barriers, reflective vests and headlamps for runners....... none is that difficult.

Satisfactory lighting for runners is a secondary consideration and is simply solved by with runners having a mandatory headlamp in a dropbag.

The dangers of fatigued runners ending up off course in the canefields is negligible.

In the overall resources that IM throws at an event, it's basic and manageable. I'm not suggested anything revolutionary. These are regular Traffic Management Plan and Risk Management Plan issues that all event organisers deal with.

Yes, maybe the new course is safer, or subjectively "better" or preferred by many, but it's near impossible to believe that the old course couldn't be managed within acceptable safety parameters.

I've had too much involvement in long endurance events as a competitor, RD, volunteer, committee member, etc to believe that section of highway near Cairns poses insurmountable difficulties that haven't been effectively solved elsewhere.

A change in course to a multi looped course normally equates to cost saves ie: less people/marshalls, less aid stations, less witches hats etc etc.. Thats why Port went to a 4 lap course.

Edited by IronmanFoz
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On 08/06/2020 at 11:40 AM, Ex-Hasbeen said:

Were you on Naked & Afraid?

Nah, I was trained (or so I believed) and keen. The naivety of youth. I was 16 at the time and this was an ‘Advanced’ Duke of Edinburgh camp. In hindsight, it was pretty mad of the school to sanction the activity. 

I had food, a woollen jumper (you can be warm and wet in wool), a ground sheet and a tent fly. I slept in a cave, only to be woken by bats coming in just before dawn. The next morning, the first order of business was to hike to the highest nearby land point and use visible land marks to determine where I was exactly and then map out out a route to the rendezvous two days later. This was up in the Central Mangrove-Mt Yengo-McDonald River area north of Sydney and west of the central coast. Part of they Great Dividing ranges. The terrain can best be described as mountainous - lots of parallel running ridge lines, with deep gorges in between. The slopes would often be a broken line of cliffs.

I actually made an error - wrongly identifying a ridge line as my route, when in fact the correct ridge was the neighbouring one (which was running parallel to it without much to distinguish the two (at least initially). I keep reinforcing that navigational error in my mind for the next 28 hours until I realised the mistake. It meant I had to come off the ridge I was following and straight down into a creek and up and over the next ridge - instead of being about 3 hours ahead of schedule I only made camp right on dusk. There were some steep landfall and broken cliffs to navigate both up and down along the way in fading light. That illustrates perfectly how things can easily go wrong and how important it is to have redundancies in place. Luckily I had a two way radio, which kept the organisers appraised of what was happening, but that really wasn’t an adequate backup IMO. 

Edited by Andrew #1
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On 08/06/2020 at 11:19 AM, Paul Every said:

I fully understand that. I appreciate there were risks on the old course, I just don't understand how they can't be effectively mitigated to within acceptable limits without abandoning a course that some preferred.

The principle safety consideration is a traffic management issue, including driver behaviour and runner visability to drivers.

Effective traffic management (effectively promoted, displayed and enforced speed limits), traffic marshals, separation of runners from traffic with witches' hats supplemented with sections of hard barriers, reflective vests and headlamps for runners....... none is that difficult.

Satisfactory lighting for runners is a secondary consideration and is simply solved by with runners having a mandatory headlamp in a dropbag.

The dangers of fatigued runners ending up off course in the canefields is negligible.

In the overall resources that IM throws at an event, it's basic and manageable. I'm not suggested anything revolutionary. These are regular Traffic Management Plan and Risk Management Plan issues that all event organisers deal with.

Yes, maybe the new course is safer, or subjectively "better" or preferred by many, but it's near impossible to believe that the old course couldn't be managed within acceptable safety parameters.

I've had too much involvement in long endurance events as a competitor, RD, volunteer, committee member, etc to believe that section of highway near Cairns poses insurmountable difficulties that haven't been effectively solved elsewhere.

I agree with all of that. Remember I actually suggested going back to the old run course to spread out the field. I suppose my main point is that the organisers would have to do a better job in managing that than they did in the first three years that they had the run course coming in from Yorkeys. 

Edited by Andrew #1
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