Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly **UPDATE day two races
Quote | Reply
SO this weekend is the 1st of the national HITS races, and tidbits have been keenly watched by many of you here for when they come to your town. I want to say up front that i want my comments to come off a constructive criticism, as it became painfully obvious that this really is the 1st triathlon they have ever produced. I hope that they read this and take it as a way to leap frog the many mistakes new RD's make. Horse shows are not triathlon..

First some of the good. It is great that two guys that have never put on a race, have put up so much to try and launch a national series. They really needed to hire a real race director, or at the very least make Dave Scott earn his money and be at the venues to give his 30+ years of triathlon racing input. I love that they are doing the small free race to get 1st timers, it will be a great feeder to their pay events if they can get their shit together. I just looked and they have results up online just hours after the finish, but need to get the timers to add a run split to their software..

Went to the pre race meeting last night, and it was a total bust. Spent about 20 minutes on how great it is to have the series, the founders stories, ect., which is ok, but that was about it. They did figure out that you cannot start the sprint and olympic races at the same exact time on the same courses, and announced that there would be a 30 minute delay now between. I did ask one question about a swim warm up, and got a little stink for it, so left the rest of my questions alone.. Nothing about any of the courses, intersections, race details, ect. Meeting over. I saw Charlie Crawford in the corner(top refree from USAT and all round nice guy), and he was also suprised that he was not called up to give a little rules lecture. Oh well.

Race morning was brisk, they announced the water was 60. It was at least 57, one guy i say said he measured it at 54, it was butt cold. This i do not care about, but i just like it when they say what it is, i'm sure colder than the worlds they cancelled in vegas last month. And to all you folks that were there, for gods sake, get in and warm up when it is that cold, I along with about 6 others were the only ones to get in before the start on do a proper warm up. Took nearly 10 minutes to get rid of the ice cream head and face ache for me.. And teenagers in kayaks are not lifeguards. I hope everyone was ok, a friend said one of the kayaks had so many people hanging on that it was nearly swamped. Swim course was not good either, a straight out and back on a single turn buoy, so for sure lots of folks just turned around when they felt gassed. I lead the swim with a few friends of mine, Michelle Jones was there and a guy in the 50+ that is an old timer too. There was no swim staging area, and since the turn buoy was at an angle to the beach, it made sense to move up the beach. You have to have an inner stop if you have a beach start like this. So all the folks just followed me up the beach until someone finally said stop. Four of us were in line until Mike the leader got tangled in a loose rope, then i hit it, and i'm sure many others later one. Another rookie mistake, you need one rope and one heavy anchor for buoys, not several with loose ropes surrounding them. And please do not put up the next days buoys and tell us to just ignore them, it gets really confusing on the water, especially since there was no lead paddler. Lucky for them i was 1st to the turnaround and i was about 60% sure it was it, but figured if i turned everyone else would too, so that was the course.

I won the swim prime(glory) but was already depressed as I knew that i was going to lose 40 seconds for no reason. They set up one of the old style transition areas, where folks at one end get a huge advantage over the folks a the far end. I was in the last row, and looking at the T1 splits of the guys i was running up with, lost exactly 40 seconds. Another rookie mistake, just needed a 100yd channel along the fence to make it the same for everyone.

Got on the bike after riding the entire course just before the race. Not a mark on the road, cone, sign, or anything just before the race, so was really hoping they had a plan. When i passed the big truck with all the cones and signs at 3 miles, I knew then something was bad. Guy in the truck almost took me and Michelle out too, think he was panicked with bikers passing him, and he lost his mind. Good thing i can ride a corner in the dirt. So im sitting 4th or so, know the exact course as i live there, and take the last turn fast to what is supposed to be the turnaround on the bike, only to see nothing for a mile, and then looking back and seeing the cop waving his arms wildly at me. They decided to change the turnaround to the intersection, good call since it was still in the back of the truck we passed earlier. So now I'm down a 1;10 for mishaps. Course was completely open, which is ok, just would have liked to know, something for the pre race meeting next time. ANd thank goodness for the local cops, they got to the intersections just in time, and did all the heavy work until the volunteers and cones arrived. The 4 of us up front probably have over 2000 triathlons under us, so we all took it in stride.

Run transition was good, worked out the way it is supposed to for both of them. Not sure if there was supposed to be any aid, none that i could see, no mile markers, and the run turn around was very confusing. Almost all of us in the lead 10 crossed the road in front of traffic, and had to cross back. No one was there, just a cone on each side of the road with a sign, so it looked like you needed to do both, but still not sure. And I do not think races olympic and under need aid, but someone said there were supposed to be one every mile.

Finished the race struggling with my fat ass trying to remember how to run, not sure of a time, no clock i could see. Hung around for a bit, not a calorie to be had at the finish aid station, just water, and something i had to spit out. One of those jugs where they put 5 times too much powder i think.

All in all glad i raced, but certainly they need to get their shit together before they get any big numbers. Really lucky for them the fields were small. I hope everyone was ok in the water, probably a very high rescue rate for a small sprint. I could see the awards were going to be late, so didn't hang around. I'm sure others here who raced can chime in on how that went.

So i was stoked to have won the swim, having only had to pull water for about 200yds, but i got passed in the last mile by a guy in my AG who was 2nd at nationals. Unlucky for me, it was a lot less than the time i had to give away for nothing, but that's how it goes. I should just lose 10 more lbs and run faster, that's my real excuse. For all of you that were waiting to see if it was really going to happen, i hope you give them a try in your respective towns. Let us see if they are willing to learn from their mistakes, and forge ahead with new gusto. And hopefully others that did the other races will get in here and give their takes too, it can only help them to see where they can do a better job

And lastly, I love the shirts that you guys have done for yourselves, the kind of rainbow design ones, do one like that next time. People can tell when you try and save money on the shirts. (-;



DAY TWO observations: So i just got back from watching a lot of the 1/2 and full races, still going on for most folks. I rode the entire run course, and there must be 5000 cones, man what i would have given for just one of them for yesterdays bike turnaround..A great overkill today, and i talked to over a dozen of the racers to see how they felt things went today. Only complaints about the course were that there was no calorie drink on the bike ride, just plain water. Several of the top 10 guys were completely fried from this, hope the ironfolks stop for some hard calories.They did have mile markers out today, but unfortunately the were almost all off. That was really pissing folks off, as the only reason to have a marker, is to be able to use them for your pace. Couple guys i rode with did a 6;30, then a 7;20 without any pace change. I guess i'm glad i didn't have any yesterday after all.

The day here is beautiful, bit chilly in the morning, but perfect running weather. They only had to be ready for a few dozen folks in each race today, so hopefully they will be well stocked. I did notice bananas, cookies, and pretzles at the aid stations, same stuff i buy at costco for my camps. Stopped to talk to some of the aid folks, but over half of them don't speak english. Looks like they robbed the horse venue of many of the employees for the aid stations. This is where having a good local presence would come in handy, a local volunteer force to really do the heavy lifting on the course. No one seemed to be lost, so that is a good thing, just complaints about the rough sections of road. Not really in the RD's wheelhouse, just one of those things we all deal with on courses.

It was super spread out today, one of the rare races you really just get into your own head and just grind it out. I will be interested to hear some more of the RR's of the 1/2 and full, couldn't find Jay out there though.
Last edited by: monty: Dec 4, 11 13:33
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Based on the report its a total pass for me. Too many good races around to go to ones that don't know what they are doing yet.

-----------------------------------------------------------
De Soto Sport Athlete
Formerly Draketriathlon
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [Grant.Reuter] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sorry to hear that, but hard to blame you..If they could only take 2 things away, i would give them this advice.. Hire real lifeguards, and lots of them, and listen to them when setting up the courses. 2nd, every corner, turn, turnaround, ect, should have 4 things. Chalk arrows pointing which way to go, cones angled in the direction of the turn, a sign ahead of each intersection saying which way to turn, and lastly a cop or volunteer there working traffic and pointing folks the right way..I have put on over 60 races, and this has saved my butt more than a few times. If a volunteer does not show up, no problem. If the cone guy does not get there in time, no problem. And even if someone stole your sign, no problem because there is still chalk on the ground and people can figure out which way to go.. It is the quadruple backup system, and not really that difficult. Makes your course really idiot proof..
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I can deal with poorly run races, but 150 dollars for a poorly run race just is absurd.

-----------------------------------------------------------
De Soto Sport Athlete
Formerly Draketriathlon
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Monty,

First of all, congrats on your race. Thanks for posting the report. It "sounds" like many of the areas of concern can be easily alleviated with some attention to more detail and hiring some guys who have previously directed races, or as a bare minimum, experienced racers.

Personally, I am glad that another organization is willing to invest in the sport. I hope for them, that it is a profitable venture, however, I believe a lot of the points you bring up, that were perhaps almost acceptable when we did our first sprint tris in the 80's are no longer tolerable....the expectations of the consumer also has been lifted as entry fees grew from $25 to several hundred $$$.

You should perhaps synch up with these guys and offer your services as a 3rd party consultant. You could really help them lift their game.

Dev
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Let me just say dev that they had every opportunity to use my knowledge, and i know the other local RD in town who has been putting on races for 30 years here was also recommended. I never got a call, and don't believe the other guy either. They were so sure of themselves, that they completely isolated themselves from that end of the sport, the nuts and bolts end. They did hire Dave Scott, but it appears it is a figurehead position, as i did not see Dave there anywhere. He is a very smart guy, and i'm sure got paid good too, but they need to add to his job description, course production. Just like many of the racers this morning, they were way in over their heads. I hope they got the hint, i know some of the screeming people that almost drowned did..
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Here is the deal about a national series in any sport coming to the "local community". They need to engage the local sports community. The NHL, NFL, NBA, they get it. The WTC generally gets it too. You need someone on the ground who can link the local franchise to the local influencers/shakers/leaders. This is the fastest path to success, because then you are aligning to the local leadership, which results in more local groundswell support. They can't successfully run a national series by parachuting in and out of the various local communities without big local involvement.....basically put down local roots.
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I believe they thought that their horse show experience and connections in each town would get them through. Like i said, a triathlon is not a horse show, and i think they know that now too.
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It is crazy how poorly they executed the event. Considering how much money they spent promoting it, you'd think they would spend a commensurate amount of time and energy planning a good race and anticipating and addressing problems. But they really did a piss poor job across the board. No P.A. system or even bullhorn for the race director when giving instructions prior to the swim start. Inadequate number of lifeguards on the swim. No aid at aid stations. Total lack of visual aids for racers to identify course directions. Crappy post-race food/drink. I do think you guys are spot on about including the local race community in the planning, but a lot of the problems seem so basic that I think this can only be explained by having totally incompetent people at the helm.
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I hope they have better support for the long course racers tomorrow.

2018 Races:
INJURED

Favorite Gear: Dimond Bikes | Desoto Sport | Hoka One One
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Monty:

It's too bad we didn't bump into each other, but I did cheer you on as I did the other early cyclists.

As you say, course marking was almost non-existent. Me and my friends were just up the hill from transition, and there were no signs and no chalk. HITS had run and bike in/out on the same path up the hill, and oddly, they even drove event trucks on the road during the race. Four different paths side by side and no chalk, just small orange cones. Most of the time, there was one guy giving directions, but it was so confusing that a pair of runners collided hard, and many cyclists on the way to T2 looked lost and needed help from the crowd.

The context here is hard to miss; this is the same venue as for the Desert tris, and planning should have been expected to be in the same ballpark. I *hope* these will be seen as rookie mistakes when HITS makes a major set of corrections. I want a new series like this to succeed. But today, I'd not optimistic.
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [GMAN19030] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
GMAN19030 wrote:
I hope they have better support for the long course racers tomorrow.

The aid stations were out or water early, as if they were already out of tomorrow's supplies. Drinks ran out on early oly people.
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thanks Monty......Are you going to go to any of their other races? The reason I ask is it would be good for someone to post in a way to show if there is a positive evolution,,,,,ie.....are they learning from their mistakes and improving.
I still plan on doing the Ft Collins full, its not till the end of July. I am not going to base my decision on their first attempt. Also I am not looking to be pampered, most of what you posted can be taken care of by the athlete themselves being responsible.........by no means do I mean carelessness on their part is accepted.

Thanks Again........................................................If you are observing tomorrow, please post
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Wow that's crazy! So let me get this right, there is a HIM and Full Distance tomorrow? That was disaster wrote all over it!



"Keep those feet moving!" Me
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm signed up for the Naples race next month - it will also be cold. Hope they learned something from their first event...

.

Remember Luddites are people too...
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Still contemplating the half in Naples next month. Based on the feedback, the only way I would race is if they offered the 2-for-1.
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
their web site is nice.


that's really unfortunate. Seems like a lot of details were missed. I was a bit worried when I signed up for Orangeman this year, as it was his first race director experience. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. The race was very well done.
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [runnerwv] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
So far, I felt pampered as I sat on the folding stool provided for tomorrow's long course event.

An improvement I can suggest is to improve lighting. I was literally among the last persons to enter and my bike is racked dead last, furthest away from everything and in the dark. Being able to see in the morning would be nice.

DFL > DNF > DNS
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [SallyShortyPnts] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I always take a crappy headlamp just in case....good luck!



"Keep those feet moving!" Me
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
OK, despite the somewhat negative feedback to date, I might try to do the Napa event in mid April assuming I am able to bike properly by then (fingers crossed the body comes around). I have a week of biz at my corp HQ in San Jose the week before this race, so it would make it easy to do. I'm fairly self sufficient when it comes to race support, assuming they can get the safety issues sorted out. Does anyone have some feedback on the proposed Napa course....and also, how cold is the water in Napa in April....seems like it might be sub 60F which could be a turn off (for me). Some years, the temps at Wildflower are not even to my liking and that place is much warmer and a few weeks later.
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
This is just mind boggling to me. I just don't understand the priorities of some race directors.

It seems to me that the three most important things to have a race are:

1. Safety
2. Properly and well marked course
3. Correct and timely results

That's what the race is....everything else is just BS. Unless you have those three things, how on Earth do you justify anything else? Plus, once you have those three things covered, you will rarely see a complaint. I mean, all complaints come from unsafe or confusing conditions. Has anyone ever complained because they didn't have a stool in transition?

I'm totally in favor of more series and more options for racing, but RD's and promoters are losing site of the basics and trying to hard to be the next big thing without any kind of foundation. Start with the basics and then add the BS....not the other way around.


-------------------------------
I'm faster in Kilometers!
Wattie Ink Triathlon Team
Powered by Accelerate 3
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [runnerwv] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
runnerwv wrote:
I always take a crappy headlamp just in case....good luck!

Thanks; I packed my headlamp for just that reason. I got into town late. I have not driven what may be a poorly marked course ( and I HATE that) If I get lost on my bike and you never hear from me again, it's been nice to know all you fellow ST'ers!

DFL > DNF > DNS
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
monty wrote:
It is great that two guys that have never put on a race, have put up so much to try and launch a national series.

I can't tell you the race schedule, but this was not their first race. They raced most of 2011. Just FYI. Hope it gets better - Mark is an awesome guy.

________________________________________________
Don't Just Live, Thrive!
Thrive Kinematics Physical Therapy - http://www.facebook.com/...8178667572974?ref=hl
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [tridana] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I can't tell you the race schedule, but this was not their first race. They raced most of 2011. Just FYI. Hope it gets better - Mark is an awesome guy. //

They raced, or actually put on races?? I said putting on races..And I do not know Mark, but he sounds like a great guy, with his heart in the right place..But look, I have put on over 60 triathlons myself, virtually all of them from scratch. But I would not presume for 1 second that i could put on a great horse show, why would I? I would screw it up royally if left to myself. If I chose to do such a thing, first thing is i would hire an expert in the field. And I would not consider someone that teaches riding an expert in staging events with over a dozen rings/venues going on at the same time.. that is what happened here but opposite. I knew it was going to happen, and everyone in this sport that knows anything knew it too. We have been talking about it since this was 1st announced. We hoped that it would not be this way, and somehow they would pull it off. But just like I could not pull off a horse event blind, they cannot just come in here blind and put on a world class event that they are used to. Having raced a few triathlons does just about nothing for your resume to put one on, different animal all together. They have some time now to reflect and get ready for their national tour, let us hope that the success they have had in the horse world, will point them in the right direction in the tri world..
Quote Reply
Re: 1st HITS triathlon, the good, the bad, the ugly [runnerwv] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
runnerwv wrote:
Wow that's crazy! So let me get this right, there is a HIM and Full Distance tomorrow? That was disaster wrote all over it!

I'll let you know tomorrow night. Doing the 1/2. Seemed like less than 30 doing the full. 138 total between the half and the full, so a very small field for sure. I'll be expecting to be "on my own" out there after reading Monty's report.

------------------
My business-eBodyboarding.com
Quote Reply

Prev Next