Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Down but not out!

Lukey had an up and down day out there on Sunday. He had a great swim and was off on the bike with a smooth transition. Cam, Luke and Terrenzo make a couple of break away attempts but the boys behind thought they would race like it was an ITU race. They were getting away with some pretty blatant drafting. Clearly this was the team tactics that were spoken about in the pre race media. 
Personally my view is that just because the race marshal is lacking in the ability to make the hard call of pinning 4-5 guys at once it should be a self regulated choice to race clean. Doping is cheating and just because someone might not get caught it doesn't mean that they don't know it is wrong. But hey that's just me. 

The race went on and Lukey hit the deck. Some white paint was his undoing. He was on the front and was lucky not to take the lot of them down. However he shook it off and got back up and made his way back to the front of the pack by the end of the next lap. Terrenzo had had enough of pulling the freight train and had sat up in protest. The pack had nearly come to a stand still....none of the others wanted to take a pull. Funniest part was when an age grouper went to the front. Rhodsey was blowing up as well as he had enough of it.  

Cam Watt managed to break away on the last lap and got about a minute up into T2. Right behind him it was game on as Luke, Robbo, Thommo, Terrenzo and Pete went out on the run together. It was a smack down flat out running race from the get go. Actually it was pretty exciting to watch Terrenzo go step for step with Thommo. I thought he might punch him out he was so frustrated. In the end Thommo's team race plan worked well and he broke away in the last km to take the win. Luke ran in a solid half run for 6th place. He showed a lot of gumption in getting up after the fall and finishing off strong and steady.

This race has got me questioning the trade off of a 3 lap course in half IM. Clearly the up side is that the formula is very spectator friendly but the down is the the ability for the athletes in teams like the one that debuted in Sinagpore to cheat. These words sound like a whinge but I worry that if these questions are not asked now we will end up with the 70.3 series just like the ITU series....... a splash around, a roll around and then a foot race. Personally it is VERY disappointing that these athletes don't have the desire to race the true honest individual race. Obviously this will make it easier for one of the athletes on these teams to win. If they cant ride hard on there own they should stick to the drafting races. No balls ... no worries bring your mates to that race and they can pull you around there for the win. It's allowed.

For years the best individual athletes in the world left the drafting formula to come over to the non drafting races.  Macca, Crowie, Craig Walton to name a few. Our Ironman and half Ironman racing is unique because it means that the true "TRIATHLETE" not best 10/20 km runner wins the race. Natasha Badman won a stack of Iroman world championships with what can be described as a "weak swim" but came from behind with her incredible bike run skills. It makes the race exciting. I have nothing against good runners.... if you bike on your own and you lay down a sub 3 hour marathon or like Mirinda or Sam you can run 1.18 or less for a half  "god dam" thats super awesome. Bring it.

If not F#@k off and race ITU.

Now that I have that off my chest.