Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Just a Matter of Time: Triathlon Inevitables

2010 has been a year of many firsts for me. But after receiving my first drafting penalty at Ironman 70.3 Clearwater -- after many years of "clean" racing behavior -- I've come to realize the longer I'm in this sport of triathlon, the more likely it becomes that everything I never thought WOULD happen, CAN and WILL happen. No matter how prepared I am. No matter how tough I am.

Thus I thought back to all the "natural" and "man-made" mishaps I've dealt with to come up with a list of things (read: Disasters) that are inevitable for triathletes the longer we continue to toe the line. These are things that when I tell someone else, 90 percent of them will say "OMG! That happened to me once!" This list is by no means exhaustive or conclusive -- it's just based on whatever I could remember. And face it, my memory is not what it used to be, so feel free to add your own "race inevitables" to my list. Hopefully we can have a little fun with it and maybe I'll have new disasters to look out for heading into 2011.

It starts with a statement. Sooner or later, this WILL happen to you during a triathlon race:
  1. You'll get a drafting penalty (take it from me).
  2. You will need to make a pitstop at the porta-john -- if you're lucky, you'll find a real bathroom -- I won't tell you what happens if you're unlucky (and I'm talking "number 2" because we all know "number 1" follows its own rules).
  3. You'll have a "mechanical" -- a flat tire, blown spoke, or thrown chain (in the case of the last one, I hope that Alberto Contador is not right behind you).
  4. The race course will be reconfigured due to natural disasters or inclement weather.
  5. The swim will be cancelled due to natural disasters or inclement weather.
  6. The RACE will be cancelled due to natural disasters or inclement weather. (Yes, 4, 5, AND 6 have happened to me.)
  7. You'll have to do the entire race in the rain (or snow).
  8. You will crash (even though I've not experienced this, almost everyone I know has).
  9. You'll launch your water bottles (and it will be the ones with your critical race nutrition in them).
  10. You'll have to serve yourself at an aid station or water stop (because, there are only a finite number of volunteers in the world).
  11. You'll get lost on the course.
  12. You'll DNF.
  13. You'll DNS (even the phenomenal Chrissie Wellington couldn't avoid this one).
It seems almost appropriate that I came up with 13 things.

Your turn.


  1. You meet some amazing people & make some great friends. I can't believe you forgot this one ;-)

  2. PunkRockRunner - i forgot that one because it's not a disaster, well not usually ;-)