ZackC. wrote:You seem to be ignoring the fact that she's injured. "However, a routine MRI scan last week revealed a lower leg injury that if not rested from running could potentially turn into a stress fracture and derail her entire season. After discussing her options she has been cleared to ‘walk’ the marathon."
I don't see anything in that article that would indicate she intended to "abuse" the system of her own volition. Nobody likes to walk--I'm sure if she had it her way she'd be running the marathon and collecting a paycheck at the end of the day. It would be very different if she planned to do the race with her husband and was with him stroke for stroke and stride for stride the entire way. The simple fact that she is a pro does not mean that she shouldn't be able to race whatever legitimate strategy will offer her the best long-term outcome.
Sorry everyone can't be as good and as injury-free as you, Mr. 8%'er...
I don't understand why you seem to be taking this personally. Then again, I'm more and more baffled as to why people on the internet (including me at times) take someone's general opinion about what is clearly not an issue of right/wrong so personally. It seems to be most true with regards to Lance, as the recent surge on this forum shows, where you're either a hater or a fanboy. Likewise here, why does the fact that I have a different opinion than yours about this particular statement - "The simple fact that she is a pro does not mean that she shouldn't be able to race whatever legitimate strategy will offer her the best long-term outcome." - make me some sort of high-and-mighty "Mr. 8%er?" And believe me, I've been injured. I've just never chosen to do a race where I was injured or where I thought I might deliver a sub-par performance. Dan encouraged me to go to Kona in 2010, because he thought it would be a great story for the media, coming back and "racing" Kona so soon after my crash. But I put the word race in quotations because it wouldn't have been a race to me. I was not prepared to do an Ironman in early October of 2010. Could I have done it? I think so. Could I have finished? I think so. But that was not how I - personally - wanted to show up in Kona. Now, that's obviously not the same as this scenario, but I do think it's proof that I'm not just sitting throwing stones from some glass house of injury freedom. Of course, this is probably a larger question for the internet at large, but whatever. I'm just baffled that you seem to take this very personally, despite the fact that you have no vested interest in Ms. Rollison's performance nor are you a professional triathlete. But anyway...
To be clear, I was NOT ignoring the fact that she was injured. I also posit that it's precisely the point that "nobody likes to walk," but that doesn't mean that people would chose to run if they "could." I think what many folks would chose to do is not to race. But they are not given that option. Now, do I think that's a flaw in the system? Yes. I think it was most "exposed" by Andreas Raelert walking/jogging the marathon in Regensburg last year, though I think he deflected it reasonably well with his money to charity based on the number of folks that beat him. But still, I think that what he did wasn't necessarily a positive thing. Does that make it "wrong?" No. I just didn't agree with it. But - as I think I've said - WTC has opened that door by making a policy that requires that you simply finish an Ironman between Konas. I think that policy was poorly conceived - just like the 8% rule before it - BUT, as I said about the 8% rule, that doesn't mean I disagree with the principle of it. I think the principle of the completing an Ironman in between Kona improve the participation of the top pros at races other than Kona. And I support that. In fact, because I think it's incredibly important that Ironman expands beyond one race in October, I think it's one of the most important policies that WTC has. BUT, I think it's poorly implemented. However, like a lot of what I perceive as "loopholes," just because one exists, I don't think that means you should take advantage of it. Of course, just because I don't think someone should take advantage of it doesn't mean that they can't, or doesn't mean that they don't believe the opposite.
I think that going in to a race like an Ironman anticipating walking the marathon is a bad thing. I think it reflects poorly on the professional race. And I think it contributes to this idea that Kona is all that matters, so much so that you'd give a subpar performance at another race just to get to Kona. Again, my opinion, and I realize that others may hold the opposite opinion. And I also think that it sets a very bad example for age-group athletes. I recall the woman in the walking cast featured in the NBC broadcast in 2010. As well as the man with the heart transplant, who failed to finish. I thought that both of those were poor choices to feature. I thought the former reflected the drive and power of Ironman taken to what I thought was an unhealthy degree. Sometimes, the more noble and brave decision is to say, "I can, but I won't." And I think that the focus on the fact that she "finished" undercuts the value of performing. I.e., she was remarkable - according to the broadcast - for finishing with the walking cast, but what about the woman who won that age-group, whose performance went unnoticed? I realize that there are way too many stories to cover, but I don't think that the idea of overcoming "anything" just to finish is always the right message. My $0.02. I recall the guy who walked in his socks the last like 10 (or more?) miles of the bike and then ran the marathon. I thought THAT was what Ironman is all about. Overcoming adversity on the day. But I thought the woman in the boot was a bit foolish, like if the fellow with the broken bike had started the race with a bike that had a huge crack in it. Somewhat the same sentiment regarding the man with the heart transplant. I think Ironman is incredible for what it has shown that people can overcome - Jon Blais being a powerful example - but I don't think that means it is the right thing for everyone. My own opinion is that if you are given the gift of someone else's heart, maybe you shouldn't abuse it. And I think it's becoming more clear that the act of Ironman itself - like most extreme endurance exercise - is likely not good for you. And may in fact actually be a bit bad for you. Now, on balance, does the training and the healthy lifestyle and the enjoyment more than offset that? I think it does. But I don't race Ironman because I think it's adding years on to my life. And there's nothing wrong with that. And I look at a total BAMF like Lou Hollander, and I think, again, THAT is what Ironman is all about. Is Lou "hurting" himself? I don't believe so. But I am not sure that you can say the same thing about that fellow with the heart transplant.
I think people are tremendously afraid to DNS or to DNF. I know people who've said, "I don't want to DNF, because I think it gets easier to quit once you've quit before." And I thought the same thing, until I finally DNFed an Ironman. And then I thought, once you quit once, quitting gets harder because you KNOW how bad you feel afterwards. I think there is already more than enough of both "finish at all costs" and "only Kona matters" without having someone noteworthy and extraordinary like Mel Rollison adding to it.
To me, I would have had incredible respect for Mel if she had said, "I'm injured, but I don't believe Kona is so important as to give a subpar performance at another race just to get there." She chose to do something different. It's not something I would have done. And I expressed that disagreement. So what? That's what makes the world go around. But the animosity on topics like this really baffles me. Like, you can't be critical without someone saying, "mind your own business," like somehow having an opinion and sharing it brands you as a self-righteous asshole.
If you want to tell someone to, "hop off," that's fine, but keep in mind that you are basically doing the exact same thing that you are getting pissed at me about - expressing a contrary opinion.
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