At Barb's race, I passed about two or three people in the river. Not because they were slowly swimming, but because they were walking. I'd heard a couple people talking ahead of time about their intent to walk during the swim if they got tired.
Last week at Socorro's pool swim, I thought I noticed someone walking in another lane. Another participant confirmed this later: a competitor was walking down one of the lanes.
Earlier in the season, I saw people stand up and walk around the buoy at the Milkman Sprint.
I also saw people walking during the Jay Benson Triathlon. Now, I know that swimming is hard. and I don't have a problem with someone stopping and resting. I don't have a problem with someone getting to the end of a lane and stopping for a breath.
But walking down the river? down the swim lane?
how can this be legal, or fair?
I googled this and found the following:
USA Swimming Rules and
Regulations stated, “...a swimmer must not leave the pool, or walk, or spring from the bottom.”
USAT, meanwhile, states: "...Excluding the bottom, a participant shall not use any inanimate object to gain forward progress."
so is this USAT's way of saying, "Go ahead: you can walk"?
So am I really bitchy for saying, dude, if you can't swim, why aren't you doing a duathlon? then I thought, okay, I walk during the run, and I've walked my bike up a hill, so should I even care about this? but then I thought, that's not even comparable.
The original intent of the triathlon was to see which was the better athlete: the swimmer, the runner, or the cyclist. Triathlon, then, is about being able to handl three sports: swimming, cycling, and running. I have to say that I feel a little cheated that people who can't swim then hop on their bikes and then procede to beat me in a "triathlon" when they haven't finished the swim.
As far as I'm concerned, they didn't beat me in a triathlon, they're just better cyclists and maybe better runners than I am. How can you call yourself a triathlete if you can't do one of the three things that are in the event?
or should I care?
I've been perseverating on this for a couple weeks now, and it still bugs me. I'm worried that, if we don't nip this in the bud, that we'll just see hoards of people walking during the swim and we'll have to swim around them.
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