Saturday, November 15, 2008

Be a no-cheat triathlete.


Interesting story about this picture, taken at Ironman Florida, here.
You may already be sick of this story, or if you're a beginner, you might not have heard about it yet.

Apparently this guy was DQed from IMFLA and banned from competing in USAT events for a year.

To read the post, click on the link.

Oh, how I've been tempted....times when I noticed nobody was manning the turnaround, or how many loops you ran was on the "honor" system. When you're as slow as I am, there are many, many times where the course is pretty much empty. I could just run across the street and head back, I've thought. Nobody would ever know I didn't finish this out-and-back part.

I've also noticed shortcuts when driving bike courses, and goodness knows I'm a terribly cyclist. I'm so slow, in fact, that I could probably cheat and still finish in the lowest 25% of the field.

But what good is it to "finish" something that know that you haven't followed the rules? Are there people actually feel entitled to being a "finisher" when they haven't competed following all the rules? I know that if I did it I'd be wracked with guilt. I have a low-guilt threshold. Triathlon is that important to me that I have to feel like I've finished it honestly and completely.

Does cheating diminish us? I think it does. How meaningful is it to finish a multisport endurance event if "anyone" can do it by wearing fins, or drafting on the bike? I'm not talking semantics, here, like walking in the water instead of swimming. I'm only talking about people who violate clearly published rules.

Just my two cents.

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15 comments:

  1. My .02...

    Why DO IT at all if your gonna cheat?

    I just chant...."cheaters never win...cheaters never win...."

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  2. Hear hear!
    what's the point? The only satisfaction in racing as slowly as I do is doing it as well as I can - and that doesn't include taking shortcuts

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  3. I totally agree. I have also seen shortcuts and ways to cheat but who am I cheating----ONLY ME! What do you achieve and is there still satisfaction?

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  4. Heck I wish I'd thought of THAT!!!

    ;-)

    I'll have to stick to steroids and blood doping...

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  5. I would take dead last over cheater any day of the week. :-)

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  6. I lost count of the laps on the 40K bike portion of a duathlon 6 years ago. It was my first race every and friend I was visiting with talked me into going out and participating on one days notice. Since I didn't have a bike with me on the trip, he put a set of fat road tires on his mountain bike and used that.

    The course was a 5K - 40K - 5K and used the same 5K loop for the bike and running portion. I was so far behind by 35K that the marshal waved me in assuming I couldn't be going out for another lap. I realized my mistake when my friend past me on the last run. I ended up finishing 3rd from last any way. The 3 guys I beat had also skipped that last 5K

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  7. At my first sprint triathlon, I was convinced the bike loops was 4 and I did 4. When I finished the tri before my friend who is much faster than me... I knew smth was wrong. I went back to the bike map and read 5 loops of 4K and not the other way.

    I cried for a good afternoon, felt like a loser for missing a bike loop. It was a horrible horrible feeling.... I felt like a cheater even though I didn'T do it on purpose. And was sure I did the right thing...

    I got my revenge and did another sprint tri with all the loops. ;-) Crossing the finish I felt like I achieve smth that day. =)

    All of that to say, I do not understand the need to cheat. Yes you're going to get there faster, finish with a better time, but inside you're going to feel horrible... You're cheating yourself.

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  8. I think this guy should be tied to the top of a FORD at IM AZ in the hot sun and pummeled with gatorade bottles (full), GUed and feathered and left there until the last person crossed the line.
    THEN he gets to clean out the porta potties!

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  9. In my first (and only, so far) half marathon, I was so far back that I missed a race marker and I think I cut about half a mile. After the finish a woman remarked she had seen me just ahead of her on the course and then didn't see me again. I certainly didn't do it on purpose and I am always sure to check out the maps more carefully now! For me, I would never cheat on purpose. I can't imagine that achieving a certain finish, place or time, by cheating, would bring much sense of accomplishment.

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  10. Hi Misty-- I think this is an interseting story for a lot of reasons. Number one--i've been tempted to cheat before--cut the last part of the loop on the bike or run, use a little EPO before a race. But I never would do it. What is the point of doing the race? I've come in dead last and been disappointed but never disappointed enough to actually cheat. Be careful--this guy is threatening lawsuits against people who are naming him on their blogs--so you might get a letter from them.

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  11. Yes, I've heard that. That's why I deliberately did not name him or his number. I simply showed the picture.
    In a way, I feel for him. For a long, long time anyone who Googles this particular person - kids, potential clients, what have you - will get links to the stories that mention his name. I figure he'll be punished for a long time.
    Another question I have, though, is what you think of this statement: most of the time, when people are caught doing something wrong, it's not the first time they've done it, just the first time they've been caught.

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  12. I agree with that statement. Human nature being what it is, I think that people get away with small cheating here and there, and pretty soon it emboldens them to take more and more risks-- Getting to the point of carrying flippers into an IM is pretty ball-sy. So probably there were other incidents before this one that nobody knows about. Just my opinion--i'm not a psychologist or anything. But it seems to make sense to me.

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  13. I read the article about him - it said he did the Florida Ironman and then the NYC marathon the VERY NEXT DAY - less than 12 hours later. Is that even possible?

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  14. I completely agree with all of your comments, Misty. I am slow, and I set the goals of 1. having fun, 2. finishing and 3. preferably not last. Yeah, I have had a photographer ask me during a marathon "is there anyone behind you?" WELL JEEZ, I HOPE SO, BUT HOW WOULD I KNOW???? Anyway, yep, I'm slow. And I'd rather not come in last, but given the choice, I'd rather come in dead last with everyone in the world watching than cheat. And it is tempting when it takes that long to finish - I just figure, hey, it's that much more fun, right?

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  15. WTH? An Ironman is for one's self! :S

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