Thursday, April 19, 2007


I am going to vent.

So I found out that for the Siouxperman Tri that Kori and I are doing in May, they are starting the fastest people first (based on your estimated swim time). This just seems wrong to me. They start the swimmers one by one in the pool. Right now there are 50 people registered or so and I am sure more will register later. I don't know how often they are starting swimmers, but since you have to go out and back in the same lane (then you move over a lane), then something in the range of a minute maybe? So that puts the fast people an hour ahead of the slow people, who already will probably be finishing the whole thing an hour slower than the fast people.

This is a small town triathlon. A good chunk of the registered participants are from this said small town (the website where you register lists all the participants, their ages, and where they are from). So I imagine there are a lot of first-timers. What could be more discouraging than being one of the last people to cross the finish line?

I actually gave a conservative swim time of 7:30 for 300m. At the indoor tri in February, I did that distance in about 7 minutes. Had I known what they were doing, I would have skewed my time fast instead. Unless there are huge gaps in swim times, catching someone who might be 15 seconds slower than you with a minute head start isn't going to happen.

The only benefit I can see is that it might loosen up congestion on the bike course. And who knows, maybe they are starting people every 30 s, so that difference will be much less skewed. And of course, someone can be a really slow swimmer and be fast on the bike and run. This is the first time this race has been put on though, so I imagine there will be lots of little logistical things that don't work out quite right.

Of course, everyone has probably seen through this to my own insecurities about being the person to finish dead last :-) I'm just saying that my triathlon career might end pretty quickly if I crossed the finish line last. Some people are awesome and motivated and see that as a challenge to improve. Not me. I came in second to last in the first and only 10k I ever ran back in 2003 and I haven't run one since (admittedly it was a very small race). I run 5ks, half-marathons, even a marathon, but never that 10k distance. So yeah, I'm totally petty like that.

And because in addition to being petty, I am competitive (for better or worse); thus of course I have looked at the registrant list to see how many women in my age group are registered. Quite a few actually! But this isn't because I want to beat them (well, I would like to beat them, but I don't plan on doing so). I figure that the more people registered, the less likely it is for me to finish last in my age group (which I would hate almost as much as crossing the finish line last).


Audrey said...


ahhh, the pool swim start. got to love it. i think they do it this way out of necessity so that the slower swimmers don't clog up the pool as the faster swimmers try to get by them. and while that means someone who swims slow has to start later, if they are a fast bike rider and runner they could still win (not win across the starting line but win in the results) b/c your start time is neccesarily later.

and yes, i was 8/10 in my age group in my tri last year. officially 8/10, including my later start time. i was naturally not amused, but still loved the race!

anyway, i think if you have to be slow at something it's best for it to be the swim b/c that is the shortest amount of time for these things. so yeah us!

but yeah,it still sucks to have to wait so long to start.


(oh, and in my pool tri they started people about 10-15 seconds apart)

Audrey said...

oh, and the swim time i gave was too fast (i really tried hard to be accurate but was still off) and i ended up clogging things up a bit (other people clogged things up too). i had race guilt, so i don't think it's good to give too fast of a swim time!

Laurie said...

Channel your Siouxper powers and I am positive you will not finish last!

Phoenix said...

I'm with you on the "Dead Last Phobia". I think that will be my mantra on race day - "Please God, don't let me be last, please god don't let me be last." But you know, at least I could only go up from there!

I bet you're not last. Even if you are, you're a stud for doing a tri. That's my proclamation and so it must be true.

Cycle said...

I'm in the petty boat with you girl! I'm so petty I asked my ex (before he was an ex) to run one step behind me if he ever joins me on a run time trial test again. He thought he was running alongside, but he kept one step ahead of me the entire time, and all I could think about was plowing a shoulder into him and sending him flying into the bushes. LOL! Guess that happened afterall. ;P

Coach Tammy said...

Ok, that's ME above. I have no idea where that profile came from. Must be cuz I was signed into Cycle U email. weird. At least you get two comments now instead of one :)

Danielle in Iowa said...

A: 10-15 seconds? Okay, then it makes sense to put the slow people last. And maybe there will be a lot of people even slower?

L: Thanks for the faith :-)

P: I am glad others have this phobia!

T: Good riddance if he wouldn't stay behind you :-)

Al Dimond said...

I don't mind finishing last. When I was in college there was a track meet held at my old high school for the opening of their new indoor track, where anyone could come run an event for a small fee. I figured there would be lots of sunday joggers and parents of track kids. Instead it was all the elite high schoolers in the region, plus random fast dudes from local colleges. My family entered a team in the 4x400m relay (I was the only one with any track experience). By the time I took the baton for the anchor leg all the other teams had been done for about a minute. They all finished well under four minutes; we were pushing six minutes. Now *that* is finishing last.

Audrey said...

Also, if you think the time you gave it too slow you might be able to change it. I know I changed mine for my pool start b/c I just guessed when i first registered and then actually started swimming and figured out what my estimated time for the swim really was.