With all the interest (and, I might mention, verbal "pummeling")
associated with the "Mrs. T's/Swim Saftey" thread, I'd like to suggest a
solution that would tie together the swim safety issue with that other
issue that won't go away easy, that ugly "d-word".
Swim starts can be better controlled, and the drafting on the bike
minimized, if more races adopted some variation of the starting routine
used at both Memphis in May this year and Bally's US Swim & Fitness in
Minneapolis for each of the past three years. The starting routine
involves sending off a very small number of athletes at one time (any
number from 1-12 would be fine), with a relatively short amount of time
between "mini-waves" (say, 20-60 seconds).
Now, before you go crazy with the math and indicate that this is
unmanageable from a timing point of view, work through it in your mind.
Psychologists will tell you that people are much more likely to behave
aggressively if they can act anonymously--when else during any kind of
race can you hide quite like a mass-start swim? Remove the anonymity and
folks will tend to behave.
And the benefits of being spread out at the start of the bike cannot be