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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [JimVance] [ In reply to ]
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This is NOT accurate at all. She HAS to race a certain course which is identical to the pro's and finish within 10% of the winner's time, with a certain required prize purse.
You misunderstood what I was saying. If you're in the category of requalifying, then you are currently competing as a pro and thus stipulating this is redundant (i.e. as a pro she is obviously racing on the same course as the pros), therefore I didn't include it.

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No race, then after 2 years her license would expire. I speak from experience on this.
We were both wrong on this. You do have 3 years, but you have to finish within 8%, not 10%. It's been a while since I read the document...(http://assets.teamusa.org/...ension_Form_2011.pdf)

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So if she has no unfair advantage, what is the issue? What's next, if you have a coach and/or know how to train without being stupid or getting injured, then you shouldn't be eligible for any races, except elite? Does anybody on this board understand the f-ing difference of competitiveness and commitment requirements that the elite level has over age-group? Susan just smoked the field, and if you put her in a WCS race next weekend, she would get smoked, and she knows that, it's why she retired in the first place! She understands the difference, that's why she said there was no pressure at this event.

I don't think there is an issue, but I'm guessing this is more directed at others, and not me. I agree with you here...
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So, if you're actually deserving of competing for an age-group national title, you shouldn't be allowed to? If you're just barely good enough to be considered elite, then you should have to go get your ass kicked in the elite ranks? You do realize that this would continue to lower the bar further and further, and eventually, we'd all be elites. Maybe then the bitching would stop.


Fundamentally, I think that athletes that are good enough to be pros shouldn't be competing at AG Nats. I don't feel too strongly about this, but it's just a thought on how to increase fairness a bit. Here's why: dudes like Duffy can get away with sandbagging for years by racing at the AG level when they should be racing at the pro level. I think there need to be additional rules in place to prevent certain people from competing as age groupers indefinitely. I don't personally have a problem with it, but there are a lot of people that do, and the stink that has arisen as a result of Susan's win is proof that it at least matters to some people. Why not move up to the pro ranks as soon as you're able? What's the worry about getting your ass kicked as an elite? It's like you're arguing that it only matters how badly you get beaten if you're racing with the pros. If you do a race that has a pro and amateur field, anyone (pro card or not) going a 2:00 when the winner goes a 1:50 still loses by 10 minutes. I took the opposite route from Brian. Instead of waiting, collecting ridiculous quantities of accolades for my accomplishments as an age grouper, I got my pro license as soon as I possibly could, and I've been getting my ass kicked ever since. I understand Brian's rationale for not moving up now (wants to race Kona, and qualified as an amateur), but several years ago when he raped every Olympic distance race there was he probably should have moved up. The bar may be lowered a bit, but technically Rudy and Brian have both been qualified for their pro licenses for forever now, so the next 3 guys could have qualified had Kahsar and Duffy decided to take a pass on AG Nats...


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"Excuse me, you're disqualified for being good."
No. You'd be disqualified because while you're not violating the letter of the rules of amateurism, you're violating the spirit. The level of devotion it takes to become successful enough to reach the point where you can qualify to be a professional is the same level of devotion it takes to be a professional, the only difference is that the latter has opted to fill out the paperwork while the former has not. Can you see my point here?



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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [kny] [ In reply to ]
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Touche...so she would be another (edit:) **example** of someone who is sandbagging. I do find that annoying...

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Last edited by: ZackC.: Aug 21, 11 18:06
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [ZackC.] [ In reply to ]
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She hasn't raced since SavageMan 2009. She had another child in the meantime and is 42 years old. This makes her a sandbagger, because she races as what she is right now, an age grouper? Maybe triathlon needs another category: former pros who are getting a little long in the tooth, don't race enough to keep a pro card, but can still kick everyone's ass their age. You can lump in Steve Larson (RIP), Dave Scott, Ned Overend, ...

Get over it.
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [kny] [ In reply to ]
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I guess didn't really think before posting. 2009 keeps getting further and further (farther and farther?) in the past and I now that I think about it that is quite some time. It seems though that she has pretty consistently been racing well enough to keep her pro license...pregnancies, injuries,etc, are one reason they have the 3 year rule. It seems a lot more like she has chosen not to keep her license instead of being unable. Honestly, I don't know who wouldn't want to keep the license though...racing as a pro you get a bit of special treatment, and is kinda fun.

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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [ZackC.] [ In reply to ]
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I think the problem is many on this board have no idea what a true "elite" or "pro" is. Just because you win all your local races, and maybe even contend for a podium spot at AG Nationals, doesn't mean you're elite.

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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [ZackC.] [ In reply to ]
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Uh.....it's triathlon....who's losing money because a former pro gets an AG medal? That's utterly laughable.
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [Tone Deaf] [ In reply to ]
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Don't think money has anything to do with this really. It's about what some would call "sporting" behavior and the spirit of competition, or something like that.
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [greg'n] [ In reply to ]
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greg'n wrote:
Don't think money has anything to do with this really. It's about what some would call "sporting" behavior and the spirit of competition, or something like that.

Isn't the spirit of competition and the sport actually about participation? People don't want her participating, despite all the challenges she faces just to get to the start line trained. I don't think that is in the spirit of competition, or "sporting" behavior.

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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [JimVance] [ In reply to ]
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JimVance wrote:
greg'n wrote:
Don't think money has anything to do with this really. It's about what some would call "sporting" behavior and the spirit of competition, or something like that.


Isn't the spirit of competition and the sport actually about participation? People don't want her participating, despite all the challenges she faces just to get to the start line trained. I don't think that is in the spirit of competition, or "sporting" behavior.


No, the spirit of competition is about competing in a sportsmanlike manner...unless those elite athletes you coach are all about THIS "sport." Oh, and I think they "scored" it as a tie.

***edited to add***

For the record, my thoughts on the matter are quite similar to those expressed by TriYoda in his original post, especially regarding competing at AG Nats.
Last edited by: greg'n: Aug 21, 11 19:38
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [ZackC.] [ In reply to ]
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I tend to agree with you on a number of points. If you've qualified for your elite license in more than one event in a calendar year, it's probably time to move up. That's something Kaleb VanOrt did last year. He finished out the season as an amateur (I think there were probably 6-7 instances where he met elite card requirements) and then moved up for this season.

Duffy is a great example of a sandbagger because he's met the elite qualifications on probably 30 occassions - basically every time he races. Unfortunately, based on the crazy system in triathlon, he's not doing anything wrong. I think he was top 5 overall (including pros) at Philly last year, close to, if not beating, guys like Matty Reed. Unfortunately, there's no automatic upgrades like in cycling (though I think maybe there should be), so really he's not doing anything wrong, and wanting to go to Kona is legit - even if he is annoying as hell. That said, there's also a number of insanely fast old dudes like Doug Clark. Is anyone really going to force a 45 year-old dude who (I'm assuming) has a full time job to turn pro? Of course not.

The solution is rather simple, of course, and yet would likely disrupt the t-ball "everybody wins" mentality of triathlon. And that is to simply mimic cycling rules:

Categories based on ability, with additional masters and grand masters categories. Create 4 overall categories (pro, fast amateurs, medium amateurs, beginners) then have optional masters categories in ten year increments starting at 40. Have automatic upgrades like in cycling and a very tiered cash prize system for overall categories (like in cycling). Problem solved. That would even make Kona qualifying perfectly fair. Plenty of pro slots, plenty of fast amateur slots, and plenty of masters' slots, plus some lottery and charity slots thrown in for good measure.

That would be brilliant. So brilliant in fact that another sport has already figured it out, and it works smoothly, amazingly, and no one can get upset because there's little grey area. Having this system would also eliminate the problem of ag nats being a time trial and not a race. I was in one of the last waves to go off yesterday and had to swim, bike and run through over a thousand people over the two hours. Maybe having to slow down in all the corners, weave around people on the run, and losing the front pack on the swim once we caught the wave in front of us cost me a few seconds and a couple places, but more importantly, it was really dangerous.

I doubt this will ever happen - it makes too much sense - but it's certainly something they should be considering as the sport continues to grow and races get more and more unwieldy.

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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [greg'n] [ In reply to ]
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greg'n wrote:
No, the spirit of competition is about competing in a sportsmanlike manner...unless those elite athletes you coach are all about THIS "sport." Oh, and I think they "scored" it as a tie.
OK, so help me out here. We have a 40 something year old former female pro, that won an olympic medal 7 YEARS ago, has 3 kids, one of them within the last year. Few would argue that she would get her ass absolutely handed to her, in a BIG way if she were still trying to compete at the ITU level and you think she's being unsportsmanlike?

And then you go and post a link about kindergarten? Hey pot meet kettle. You're asking she not compete so someone else can win because we're all winners, right? Here's a tip for everyone that finished behind her, if you want to be a national champ, go faster.

Quite the irony that we have on the front page this thread and another saying how the pro fields suck. How do you feel about that one? Guess what, throw Williams into an ITU race and she'd probably be nearly last, but I suppose that would be more sportmanlike in your eyes.
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [MeltingPot] [ In reply to ]
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You could always choose to disagree with something I've actually written rather than whatever it is you have rattling around in your head at a particular moment.
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [snackchair] [ In reply to ]
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     Dude, you are so lucky; I keep reading here that having to pass hundreds or thousands of folks on the bike is a big advantage!
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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cerveloguy wrote:
I honestly don't understand why any top level pro would want to come back and race as an AG'er. Isn't it time to move on and find something else in life instead?

They really like to swim, bike and run?? Against other people?

One of the dumber statements I've read lately.


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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [kny] [ In reply to ]
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Get over it.

Racing is racing and competition is competition - who cares what label someone has or age someone is.

There was a pretty competitive woman's race here in Ontario recently over the Olympic distance, that had the top 4 women all finished within a minute of one another. They all started in the open wave at the front of the race - their ages spanned 4 decades. The winner was 50(a former National Champion), 2nd pace was in her 20's( and on the national development team), 3rd place was in her 30's( a former national team member), 4th place was in her 40's( podium finisher at numerous IM races) and 5th place was also a women in her late 40's, and a number of years ago finished 2nd at the IAAF World cross-country running championships.

It was simply great to see these women out competing and going head-to-head with one another. Because of their past accomplishments, should they have been in some other category? Whats the statute of limitations on this. Where are really good people supposed to compete? Shouldn't they be competing against one another?

Great stuff!

On our Thursday night hard ride with our club, I am hammering towards the sprint line trying to overtake a guy who could be my son, while the National 60+ Master's champion is trying to come around me!

It's the competition that matters!





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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [Tone Deaf] [ In reply to ]
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I don't recall saying that....

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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [JimVance] [ In reply to ]
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many on this board have no idea what a true "elite" or "pro" is.

That's just it though. As Fleck (or Fletch or someone with a handle like that) pointed out, the distinction between pro and amateur is blurred by the almost complete absence of prize money in the sport. It's just not very well delineated because there are so few people that can truly make a "profession" out of triathlon and thus there are very few true professionals in the world.

I train as well as I can (some weeks at what I'd consider the pro level, others, not so much), eat as well as I can (ditto), and race as well as I can (lately not doing so hot due to med. issues), and I have yet to make money...not that I deserve any, but there are at least a hundred pros out there that are faster than me, but also don't make any money, so in a sense it doesn't matter. Am I a professional? Maybe. Some would say yes, some would say no. A piece of paper says I am, but I think you and I both know that it's about so much more than that...

Technically off-topic, but relevant nonetheless:

I think that at the end of this year USAT, RD's, WTC, and some major sponsors need to sit down and have a talk about how to make the sport more worthwhile for the pros and sponsors and RD's. Within any sport, people will inevitably look to the best for inspiration, entertainment, leadership, etc. and I think in a lot of ways triathlon as a whole isn't doing a good job of turning talent into cash. As much as I hate the idea of unions, I can understand the appeal of collective bargaining on the behalf of elites to negotiate in matters such as doping control, marketing, race payouts, etc. Currently it seems to me that too many pros are settling for too little. Put pressure on the RD's and sponsors to get more money into the sport, and it automatically becomes more interesting.

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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [ZackC.] [ In reply to ]
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ZackC. wrote:
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Technically off-topic, but relevant nonetheless:

I think that at the end of this year USAT, RD's, WTC, and some major sponsors need to sit down and have a talk about how to make the sport more worthwhile for the pros and sponsors and RD's. Within any sport, people will inevitably look to the best for inspiration, entertainment, leadership, etc. and I think in a lot of ways triathlon as a whole isn't doing a good job of turning talent into cash. As much as I hate the idea of unions, I can understand the appeal of collective bargaining on the behalf of elites to negotiate in matters such as doping control, marketing, race payouts, etc. Currently it seems to me that too many pros are settling for too little. Put pressure on the RD's and sponsors to get more money into the sport, and it automatically becomes more interesting.

The problem with that is, that even if you have a union you will have zero power. A unions power is based on the employer, or in this case RD, needing the members of the union. Unfortunately for the pros, races are filling to capacity in hours and sometimes minutes, it has zero to do with the pro who may or may not be racing.

I would love to see more support for the pros like there is in cycling. However, I don't have a good answer as to how to accomplish that in the current environment.



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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [Jeff Spicoli] [ In reply to ]
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I would just like to highlight to everyone that she had a baby LESS THAN A YEAR AGO! That's pretty freaking awesome!! Now you can go back to your quibbling about unimportant matters.
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
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I'm hoping a complete revolt against a big race like Kona might give pros some power. That, or someone could pay one or two pros an unprecedented amount of money, thereby artificially inflating the values of pros from the top down....

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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [DawnT] [ In reply to ]
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DawnT wrote:
I would just like to highlight to everyone that she had a baby LESS THAN A YEAR AGO! That's pretty freaking awesome!! Now you can go back to your quibbling about unimportant matters.

I'm probably one of the biggest fans of pro triathlon as a sport and when BrianPBN posted on the other thread about USAT age group nationals and someone complained about Susan Williams racing I piped in on how cool I thought it is that ex elite athletes still have enough passion to do this sport long after their "playing days" are over.

I watched this thread and let all the responses sink in and suddenly found myself leaning the way of triyoda...specifically for the USAT nationals (not for any other race). Susan Williams does not need to win the USAT age group nationals to build on her tri career....some up and coming young age grouper probably needs that more. There are tons of competitive age group races like Oceanside, St. Anthony's , or St. Croix or Wildflower that she can win overall amateur at....or Savageman where she will thump everyone anyway :-)

I understand that she's a year removed from a baby, and she's truly living the age group life now. I think the question that Triyoda and others had is "does she really need to win this race?". Sure she can, but perhaps that is not the point. The point being there are a ton of other races to pick from and maybe someone needs this more. At the same time maybe she was just trying to win her wave and had no clue that the younger F20-39 could produce no one faster than a 42 year old who just had a baby.

Also if she wants to go to ITU Age group worlds and compete in F40-44 this is her only path to that....I supposed she could sandbag the race and just cruise through and get a slot, but like most of us, she's probably competiting with herself and seeing how much she can get out of her body TODAY and not really competing against others or her former self.

So ideally as someone else said above (I believe KNY) that there would be a Masters Elite category...have that race at the same time as the Elite Nationals and really package that thing up into some type of a marquis event as I am sure this would have a big draw for sponsors too. Would love to see Michellie Jones and others compete in this division not only at USAT nationals and ITU worlds, but also in Kona....and I'm fine with taking Kona or ITU slots away from 40-49 to make room for an elite masters division...and I am sure that there would be many former pros who would LOVE to compete in such a division. Right now, they are stuck a grey zone between not being fast enough to race pro, but so fast that they are just toying with the rest of the field

Dev
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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If someone needs it more they will just have to, you know, actually get fast enough to beat a 42 year old.

this isn't charity.

devashish_paul wrote:
I think the question that Triyoda and others had is "does she really need to win this race?". Sure she can, but perhaps that is not the point. The point being there are a ton of other races to pick from and maybe someone needs this more.



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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [JimVance] [ In reply to ]
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I thought we were all in this sport to get better than ourselves. The cool thing with racing with pros is that you
always realize how room for improvement there is. If at the local bike races Evans, Contador and the Schlecks
showed up and killed it, it would be awesome. I guess many people race more for their own ego than anything else.

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. " W. Faulkner.

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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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ah yes, this is another situation where you ask: "What would a crit racer do?"

and you get the answer.


Francois wrote:
I thought we were all in this sport to get better than ourselves. The cool thing with racing with pros is that you
always realize how room for improvement there is. If at the local bike races Evans, Contador and the Schlecks
showed up and killed it, it would be awesome. I guess many people race more for their own ego than anything else.

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. " W. Faulkner.



Kat Hunter reports on the San Dimas Stage Race from inside the GC winning team
Aeroweenie.com -Compendium of Aero Data and Knowledge
Freelance sports & outdoors writer Kathryn Hunter
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Re: Susan Williams.??????????? [ZackC.] [ In reply to ]
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ZackC. wrote:
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many on this board have no idea what a true "elite" or "pro" is.


That's just it though. As Fleck (or Fletch or someone with a handle like that) pointed out, the distinction between pro and amateur is blurred by the almost complete absence of prize money in the sport. It's just not very well delineated because there are so few people that can truly make a "profession" out of triathlon and thus there are very few true professionals in the world.

I train as well as I can (some weeks at what I'd consider the pro level, others, not so much), eat as well as I can (ditto), and race as well as I can (lately not doing so hot due to med. issues), and I have yet to make money...not that I deserve any, but there are at least a hundred pros out there that are faster than me, but also don't make any money, so in a sense it doesn't matter. Am I a professional? Maybe. Some would say yes, some would say no. A piece of paper says I am, but I think you and I both know that it's about so much more than that...

Technically off-topic, but relevant nonetheless:

I think that at the end of this year USAT, RD's, WTC, and some major sponsors need to sit down and have a talk about how to make the sport more worthwhile for the pros and sponsors and RD's. Within any sport, people will inevitably look to the best for inspiration, entertainment, leadership, etc. and I think in a lot of ways triathlon as a whole isn't doing a good job of turning talent into cash. As much as I hate the idea of unions, I can understand the appeal of collective bargaining on the behalf of elites to negotiate in matters such as doping control, marketing, race payouts, etc. Currently it seems to me that too many pros are settling for too little. Put pressure on the RD's and sponsors to get more money into the sport, and it automatically becomes more interesting.


If there were NO PROS in triathlon it wouldn't deter the popularity of the sport to the collective masses one bit. In fact, it wouldn't even cause a ripple. Someone would still be the fastest at Kona or wherever and some company would still give gear to the fastest to promote their product, but the people who run the races wouldn't care less, nor would 99% of the paticipants.. As has already been stated, the races everyone wants to run fill up in hours, if not minutes. That's NOT going to change if all the "pros" dissappear.

I have a really good career with excellent earnings and I run Triathlons. I get zero money from Triathlon competitions and sometimes win a prize. The only difference between me and the majority of Pros is that I can buy almost anything I want, whenever I want, because money isn't an issue.

FREE SUSAN WILLIAMS!!!
Last edited by: Tone Deaf: Aug 22, 11 8:01
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