Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Mike Llerand » Thu, 07 Sep 1995 04:00:00


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
overstated.

-Mike Llerandi

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by BDPLA » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Here's any easy answer to the problem, reverse the order of the triathlon.
Run, Bike, Swim.

what do you think?

_______________________________________________________

Bruce Platt


 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Marcus S Per » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

: 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

I think a good way to reduce drafting on the bike would be to lengthen th
swim. I think adding an extra kilometre would be enough. It would also
help with the inequities of the sport regarding the fact that swimming is
merely a formality and has no real bearing on the outcome of the race. By
only adding 1000m it wouldn't put off too many people, except maybe first
timers, in which case, the sprint distance would make more sense.
Personally I'd like to see the time of each part of the race be
approximately equal. But that is hoping for too much.
As far as the start is concerned, I think either racers leaving at set
intervals (10sec apart?) might work. Having smaller waves but more of
them might work well. Have a really wide starting area so only one row
leaves at a time, with the first turn fairly far out to let things settle
down. Or having people seeded by anticipated finish time (past races
could serve as a good indicator, and for newbies, a best estimate would
be OK) rather than age. Lotsa older people pass me by the 1/4 or 1/2
points in a swim. I pass a few younger people too though.
These are just a few suggestions (raw and unrefined)that I thought I'd
throw out. Personally I've never been beaten up in a race but my biggest
wave was around 200 people. Also people here in Canada seem to be very
polite and apologetic. I've even heard the occassional "sorry" while
swimming, from people inadvertantly bumping into others.
Jsut something to think about.

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Rolf Aran » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Quote:


>> Here's any easy answer to the problem, reverse the order of the triathlon.
>> Run, Bike, Swim.
>Please, please, please ... don't start this again. We've already decided
>here a million times, it's just safer the way it is.
>John (Been around here so long to see all the threads repeat many times) K.

I here ya, John.  Let's see - next will be wetsuit weenies, drafting
dirtbags, Tri-Fed blues, Triathlete magazine complaints ...

Life is good, ain't it?

-Rolf
--
Rolf "Ironman" Arands, Ph.D.     |
 (Back by popular demand...)     |         "Do."

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Marcus S Per » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

: Here's any easy answer to the problem, reverse the order of the triathlon.
: Run, Bike, Swim.

: what do you think?

: Bruce Platt

Bruce,
  would you be the first to volunteer to fish the belly up racers out of
the water? Personally I'd go for it except I already take ages to get
into my wetsuit and I'd hate to do it while the clock was ticking. Good
to see you are able to think of all options though.

TriDork

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Kaze » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

In article


...................etc.

In response, I now write:
My arm has been twisted.  A handle has been forced on me, so unfitting
and non-descriptive, and facile, that I will have to insert one of my
own.  I will now, immodestly and only slightly accurately, sign
myself.....

Ruth "IronGal" Kazez

Ruth Kazez

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by John Kruempelstaedt » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

> Here's any easy answer to the problem, reverse the order of the triathlon.
> Run, Bike, Swim.

Please, please, please ... don't start this again. We've already decided
here a million times, it's just safer the way it is.

John (Been around here so long to see all the threads repeat many times) K.

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Mark J. Greenle » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Mike's suggestion is a good one, and as the timer of the Hawaii Ironman, I can
speak for myself only when I say that it would not be a nightmare for the
timing from a certain point of view. I know that my crew could handle this
situation even better than mass starts due to the reduced density of finishers
through the swim chutes. And rewriting the software would be no problem at
all. There is one nagging point whenever wave starts of ANY kind are brought
up. Just exactly how do you know who started in which wave? Now, I would never
suggest that anyone would start in an earlier wave than assigned to gain an
unfair advantage. However, it has been my experience, (in the hundred or so
tri's I have timed) that it is difficult enough to get folks to figure out
which wave they're supposed to be in with only two waves. I'm sure you're
quite familiar with the customary pre race confusion that everyone has
experienced. The point is, it would be impossible to get 1000 or so folks
staged properly for such small time delays between waves. You'd end up with
folks missing thier start times or starting early every time. I time Cycling
time trials and it's impossible to get folks staged correctly when there's
only one rider going off at 30 second intervals. We always have to make
corrections for the late guys. Who's gonna be the guy to write down all the
numbers of the folks in the last 4 or 5 waves that missed thier assigned
waves? I won't even go into what a nightmare it would end up being once the
finish data was collected and everyone started yelling "Where's the results?"
I realize the problem that faces the better triathletes out there when newbies
seed themselves incorrectly. (Lucky for me, I'm not that fast and avoid the
problem entirely by seeding myself properly at the back) The fat lady with the
stroller standing 50 rows back at the start of the Honolulu Marathon was
really funny, until it became dangerous. I would like to be able to offer a
better solution, but I'm still working on it.


 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Curt Simki » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

   Marcus S Perry writes:


|> : 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
|>
|> I think a good way to reduce drafting on the bike would be to lengthen th
|> swim. I think adding an extra kilometre would be enough. It would also
|> help with the inequities of the sport regarding the fact that swimming is
|> merely a formality and has no real bearing on the outcome of the race. By
|> only adding 1000m it wouldn't put off too many people, except maybe first
|> timers, in which case, the sprint distance would make more sense.
|> Personally I'd like to see the time of each part of the race be
|> approximately equal. But that is hoping for too much.

   Things deleted.

   Yeh, I'm with Marcus....

   Ironman swims should be in the 4-6 mile range.  Dreamin' I know.

   But I do agree that swim distance could be increased to bring them
   more in line with the times spent at the other two stages.

   Not likely to happen though since more time and practice is required
   for developing proper/efficient swimming technique and longer swims
   would definitely keep away too many newcomers.

   Oh well,

   Curt "Mom, why do I have gills and the other kids don't" Simkins

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Michael A. Donchesk » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
> In article



> ...................etc.

> In response, I now write:
> My arm has been twisted.  A handle has been forced on me, so unfitting
> and non-descriptive, and facile, that I will have to insert one of my
> own.  I will now, immodestly and only slightly accurately, sign
> myself.....

> Ruth "IronGal" Kazez

Uhhhhh....I like l.o.l. from PA better.  Let's take a vote!

                                            Mike

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+


"If it's not worth overdoing, it's not worth doing!"

this is my .sig file...live with it

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by Karl Watana » Fri, 08 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

> Here's any easy answer to the problem, reverse the order of the triathlon.
> Run, Bike, Swim.

> what do you think?

Probably not a good idea - especially for me since I can't swim very well.
I've seen many people dying at the end of Tri's.  If someone were to push
the bike and run, they might not have much energy left for the swim.  I
can just see the lifeguards pulling people out of the water due to fatigue.

---

 
 
 

Swim Starts & Drafting: Kill Two Birds?

Post by BDPLA » Sat, 09 Sep 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
>Please, please, please ... don't start this again. We've already decided
>here a million times, it's just safer the way it is.
>John (Been around here so long to see all the threads repeat many times)

K.

I know but i thought it might be fun for the newcommers :-)

_______________________________________________________

Bruce Platt