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"more stringent swim rules" coming soon?
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I just received an email from a RD asking for post-race feedback. In the letter, he mentioned the "rumor of more stringent swim rules" for future years' races, which might increase the time between start waves.

I got the impression that the "rules" might be coming down from above, i.e. USAT. My guess is that it might have to do with recent drownings at races. More time between waves might allow for better spotting of struggling swimmers, I suppose.

Anyone heard anything in regards to this?

Thanks,

mm
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [mullinsm] [ In reply to ]
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I hope swimmers have to pass a red cross swim course before being eligible to race in triathlon.



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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [mullinsm] [ In reply to ]
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At one of our local races this year, the county required a 10 minute gap between waves this year...
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [mullinsm] [ In reply to ]
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I'm amazed the IM races still get away with a mass start. I know it's tradition but if you think about the choppy water at cda and 2000 people in the water at once, what are the odds of a life guard spotting trouble in the first minute or two of that start?
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [kblahetka] [ In reply to ]
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I love the aquabrawl for some weird reason but you are quite correct (even taking into account the divers on the bottom).
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Last edited by: cooterbob: Jul 2, 07 10:55
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [kblahetka] [ In reply to ]
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Seriously. IMFL had ~2170 all rushing off into the ocean at once and someone did die.

I'll tell you part of the reason for the mass start: the coolness factor. It makes one hell of a photo.

It reminds me of how my college made a big deal to the freshman about being able to have their graduation comencment on the White House lawn.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [Learn] [ In reply to ]
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No doubt, but when does the sheer insanity over rule the coolness factor.

I don't care how well you train, if you take a sharp blow to your body it could render you pretty uselss in the water quickly.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [Erik Clark] [ In reply to ]
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Extra time and effort = bigger barrier to entry = less one-day and yearly licenses = less money = not gonna happen.

Also, it's not a very good idea. We need to stop with all the hand wringing and hand holding. Triathlons have inherent dangers that are printed right on the waiver. Treat adults like adults and let them sign up and accept the risk. An adult can make the call whether they're up to the task, be it a 1/4 mile sprint swim or a 2200 strong mass start IM - there's no reason to "rule" everything to death.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [one_lap] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Extra time and effort = bigger barrier to entry = less one-day and yearly licenses = less money = not gonna happen.

Also, it's not a very good idea. We need to stop with all the hand wringing and hand holding. Triathlons have inherent dangers that are printed right on the waiver. Treat adults like adults and let them sign up and accept the risk. An adult can make the call whether they're up to the task, be it a 1/4 mile sprint swim or a 2200 strong mass start IM - there's no reason to "rule" everything to death.
AMEN.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [one_lap] [ In reply to ]
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I agree, I'm a big believer in the indiviula right to be stupid. I don't think you should be forced to wear a bike helmet. I wear one, as that's the comfort level I prefer, but if I didn't want one, I shouldn't have to wear one.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [mullinsm]MuM [ In reply to ]
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Hello Mullinism and All,

I was picturing the reverse of the mass swim start - a mass finish.

With timing chips it doesn't matter when you start.

Seeded starts allowing for a mass finish with everyone crossing the finish line at the same instant (2000ft wide) would make great TV.

Some trampling possibly - but death not so likely as drowning.

2000 runners sprinting for the finish line ..... and it would give the pros a chance to pass everyone entered in the race.

Insanity ....... perhaps.

What do you think?

Cheers,

Neal

Cheers, Neal

+1 mph Faster
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [Learn] [ In reply to ]
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I think the "Coolness" fact or has something to do with but is only a minor component.

Mass starts add the the challenge, but most of all you know that everyone on the course started the same time you did. Makes for a very different experience, at least for me.

~Matt
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [mullinsm]MuM [nealhe] [ In reply to ]
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Yes reverse TT style start. That way pros could start later and I could sleep in. THis first wave stuff is killing my sleep.

Besides helping my sleep, the idea its silly as pros would run people over in the swim and off the road in on the bike. It only takes one pro going 24 mph smashing into someone on a mountain bike going 12 mph before that idea starts making mass swim starts seem like a good idea.

On a big beach like IMFL can't people seed themselves and avoid getting hurt? I dont' know, I never lined up MOP of BOP so I don't know so I am just asking.

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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [Learn] [ In reply to ]
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Go GW.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [one_lap] [ In reply to ]
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you are right. just let people drown. if that is the case, just get rid of the lifeguards and everything.



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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [John Hirsch] [ In reply to ]
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"On a big beach like IMFL can't people seed themselves and avoid getting hurt? I dont' know, I never lined up MOP of BOP so I don't know so I am just asking."

Based on at least 20 years of racing the answer appears to be no. A lot of runs actually post pace signs at the start so people can get it right. Either people think they are a lot faster than they really are or they can't read - perhaps both.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [Erik Clark] [ In reply to ]
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I think they ought to just go ahead and cancel the swim because it is dangerous, and probably go ahead and cancel the bike because it's not fair, and dangerous, due to all the drafting, and the run is usually pretty darn dangerous as well because it is in the heat of the day.

But if they did this, how would they determine the winner? And how would you train for a race like that!?
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [cooterbob] [ In reply to ]
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I agree. Why do we need lifeguards if we have to sign a waiver? I would also get rid of aid stations--participants can eat each other. The weak should know not to sign up.

I'm not sure how dangerous the mass start really is, but if something as simple as a wave start would save lives, it's hard to argue against.

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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [Erik Clark] [ In reply to ]
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c'mon dude, no one is saying that. The risk of serious injury is FAR greater on the bike than the swim. Should we do the entire bike leg on a stationary trainer??

He's right, there is legit risk inherent in the sport. I have found however that the faster I swim, the less congested and less dangerous. In IM, the mass swim is part of our sport, just like the peloton is part of cycling. It's dangerous, but its a part of the sport and I actually love it and hope it stays.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [Erik Clark] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I hope swimmers have to pass a red cross swim course before being eligible to race in triathlon.

Then Paulo would never race...


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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [John Hirsch] [ In reply to ]
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[reply]Yes reverse TT style start. That way pros could start later and I could sleep in. THis first wave stuff is killing my sleep.
Besides helping my sleep, the idea its silly as pros would run people over in the swim and off the road in on the bike. It only takes one pro going 24 mph smashing into someone on a mountain bike going 12 mph before that idea starts making mass swim starts seem like a good idea.
On a big beach like IMFL can't people seed themselves and avoid getting hurt? I dont' know, I never lined up MOP of BOP so I don't know so I am just asking.[/reply]


Can you really be a pro going just 24 MPH ? :)


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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [mullinsm] [ In reply to ]
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I agree that lifeguarding for a triathlon would be a nightmare, and I would not want the responsiblity - as a lifeguard - to watch over the safety of 2000+ people at once. Separating the waves a little is a good move if it is done to help the guards check the water.

However, I have personally seen people who start at the back of an IM race and are backstroking within 1-2 min of entering the water. I have seen people at the start of an IM who do not have any forward motion in the water - not because they are panicked - but because they cannot swim. IMO some people have no business trying to race when they can't swim, and there don't need to be rules to accommodate them. They need common sense.
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [cooterbob] [ In reply to ]
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The "divers on the bottom" concept intrigues me. If someone ends up in trouble anywhere but at the very back can they really help? Any sort of midpack trouble, heart attack, kicked in the face/semi-concious, panic attack, whatever, and I doubt anyone can help too much till the pack passes. Unless of course someone in the pack saw and stopped.

I picture a diver surfacing into a pack getting a pretty good battering unless the water is very clear. Maybe nearly surface, grab the victim, stick a reg in their surprised mouth and re-descend? Anybody ever volunteer to be a safety diver in a race?

Kevin
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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [hammydad] [ In reply to ]
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Any one who has not been diving is going to have a serious panic attack (assuming they're conscious) at having something crammed into their mouth and then being dragged under.

I remember my first diving class in the pool. Lesson one: learn how to use a regulator. I put it in my mounth, and descended (sat on the bottom of the 3.5 feet deep section). I sat there, slowly panicking, until I took that emergency inhale... Then thought "hey, this is pretty cool!" And I KNEW what was going on. I can't imagine being surprised by that coming out well...

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Re: "more stringent swim rules" coming soon? [austin79] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I agree that lifeguarding for a triathlon would be a nightmare, and I would not want the responsiblity - as a lifeguard - to watch over the safety of 2000+ people at once. Separating the waves a little is a good move if it is done to help the guards check the water.

However, I have personally seen people who start at the back of an IM race and are backstroking within 1-2 min of entering the water. I have seen people at the start of an IM who do not have any forward motion in the water - not because they are panicked - but because they cannot swim. IMO some people have no business trying to race when they can't swim, and there don't need to be rules to accommodate them. They need common sense.

I understand that. If you can't swim, you shouldn't be there. I guess what makes it more dangerous in that mass start is that there are so many bodies and so much contact for so few life guards. This has nothing to do with swimming ability, you could be a great swimmer and get a good hard kick to your nose that makes you inhale quickly.

I'm not sure what the divers are there for, I would imagine the most contact is durring the first 100 yards where it's shallower water anyway.
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