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Do you really win if no one else turns up?
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I've seen women come 15th in the local crit but being the only woman they are awarded a win.
or
I've seen old guys in their AG at a Triathlon and still get the medal
or I've won my local parkrun's age group but come 11th overall.

Is it still a win or a hollow victory?
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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Most of us put our wins (or places) in perspectives. Very few wins mean much and then it only means something to you. Do you think the public cares about who won any local race or even did well at Kona.
I think most are happy if their performance reflects their effort for their talent.

Team Zoot/Canyon So Cal
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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My opinion:

To "win" you need to beat someone, but if you are the only one in your AG you still finished 1st.

No victory is hollow (though some are more significant than others), and you can only race the people who show up.

It's a bigger accomplishment for an 80yo to finish a local sprint tri than for a 20-something to win it.


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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [Karl] [ In reply to ]
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Karl wrote:
Most of us put our wins (or places) in perspectives. Very few wins mean much and then it only means something to you. Do you think the public cares about who won any local race or even did well at Kona.
I think most are happy if their performance reflects their effort for their talent.

no, there are people who purposely seek out shooting fish in a barrel races, so they can brag 3rd place AG on facebook/strava and add hashtag... #teamZoot


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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Anyone can enter and compete. Whether there are 30 people in my age group, on just me, doesn't matter (although more is better). Can't control who shows up, all I can do is make sure my training base is solid, my preparation is solid, and my race execution is solid. If I do the best I'm capable of that day, I win, even if a medal doesn't come my way. In addition to triathlon, my other passion is Masters Track. There's not a lot of masters sprinters in my age group, and many times not a lot of 40+ masters in total. Sometimes there's only one heat and everyone competes in it. I know going in that I'll medal in my age group (only me in it), but it's the thrill of the 'last call', shaking hands with the other runners, taking my lane, the butterflies, the 'runner take your marks', the satisfaction that I'm out competing and doing something that truly makes me happy. I won before the gun even went off.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [synthetic] [ In reply to ]
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There are always those who sand bag in any sport, and those that it bothers. I could care less about either of them.

Team Zoot/Canyon So Cal
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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It is still a win, absolutely.

The young guys/gals always bemoan how 'easy' it is for a 65 year old to win their AG - because nobody else usually shows up. The reality is that there are tons of health limiters that young people aren't aware of that cause a massive dropout in participation as you age up. Arthritis is the one that fells most diehard athletes in their 40s-50s. Then all sorts of other ailments from cancer to heart disease and on and on. By the time you've aged up to 65+, it takes favorable genetics and a good history of not injuring yourself in the past just to toe the start line! Granted, it's definitely a DIFFERENT kind of 'win' than the M20-25 guy who wins his AG by speed in a field of able-bodied athletes, and yes, it's entirely possible that the M65 could win it by being minimally trained and just surviving race day, but percentagewise, the attrition is real, so it's just a slightly different selection process for the age groups.

I'm only in M40-45, and until I was 41, I honestly felt like could train and race forever, even if I wasn't dominating anything. Then out of nowhere, I started getting really debilitating ankle pain when I ran which turned out on MRI to be accelerated arthritis. It literally got so bad that it hurt even at rest and I couldn't run more than 2 miles per week for over 2 months since any more than that would inflame my ankles even at rest the next day. This is coming from someone who has no problems putting up 70+mpw of running during pure marathon training blocks, so it's not a matter of me being wimpy in my older age.

I've been lucky in that with nearly 5 months of seriously reduced running and a big switch of shoes, I've gotten a lot of my run ability back with minimal of the pain that was plaguing me before, but I'm wayyyy more careful with mileage, intensity, and importantly, recovery with running - for example, I will never run 2 days in a row if my ankle even gives me a hint of soreness - and for the past 3 months, that has meant nearly zero days of back to back running. And I know my run/tri days are seriously numbered - if I'm still doing sprint tris at age 55+, I'll consider it a win even if I come in last place, no joke!

Aging up does mean there's less competition to mow you down, but it unfortunately often comes with the sobering realization that you may very well be next in line to be mowed down by father time.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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1/10
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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Yes. It was raining, the Froyo 10k had people who were fast show up the year before. It was raining. I showed up, I was fat and slow and undertrained. I took home the big spoon because they didn't care to run in the rain.

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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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"Two best words in the English language! De! Fault!"
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [Karl] [ In reply to ]
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Don't think it counts as sand bagging to enter and complete a race in which you happen to be the only competitor in your AG. If you actively seek out those events and then brag about your win or podium then yes you're a douchebag.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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TheRock wrote:
I've seen women come 15th in the local crit but being the only woman they are awarded a win.
or
I've seen old guys in their AG at a Triathlon and still get the medal
or I've won my local parkrun's age group but come 11th overall.

Is it still a win or a hollow victory?

I always enjoy sticking around for the end of AG medals when I have time to see the winners for 60+ groups, because I'd love to be racing still at that age. Who cares if they're the only ones racing that group? It's awesome and I like the recognition they get.
Same with the women - there's no reason that they shouldn't get recognized just because other people aren't showing up. There should be a focus on "why aren't more women here?" rather than "why did the woman that showed up get a medal?" The latter attitude is the sort of thing that I think discourages people from participating

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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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TheRock wrote:
I've seen women come 15th in the local crit but being the only woman they are awarded a win.
or
I've seen old guys in their AG at a Triathlon and still get the medal
or I've won my local parkrun's age group but come 11th overall

Is it still a win or a hollow victory?
Silly question - you're surely not asking sincerely?
If there are AGs and you win in yours, of course it's a win. What do you suppose is the reason for an AG? Same thing for male//female groups.

As for whether it's a hollow victory... You decide.
Why are you asking us?

You could win the race overall and still consider it a hollow victory if you didn't feel you deserved it, or that the win did not reflect a significant achievement for you. "Winning" and having meaning are not the the same thing.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [Ai_1] [ In reply to ]
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I just won my first race since the 3rd grade - a local 10k. I ran under 50 for the first time. I took four minutes off my PR. At no point did I think I’d win my AG or even podium ever. Not this race not ever not any race. I thought I wasn’t able to do that

There was an out and back at the end at 8.5 km I realized that there just weren’t that many people in front of me so I found out I can run even faster than i was running this far

When I was done I almost just left like always but I chatted with a friend a bit and decided to see if maybe I got third. I am 50 years old

I saw that I had won and it was an indescribable feeling

There were 38 runners in my AG. I realize in a bigger race I wouldn’t have won but I trained, came out and ran faster than I’ve ever run before

It matters. I may never win again. You can only control yourself
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [Animalmom2] [ In reply to ]
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Well done!

Sure, that certainly matters to you and probably would to me. But it's all relative and no-one else can tell you it matters. Just from reading your post I'm guessing the fact you beat your PB was a big part of WHY winning mattered to you. If you'd been slower than usual and still won, would it have meant anywhere near as much?

I'm saying the OP is silly, not that caring about winning is silly.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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In most of the masters swim meets I do, there are anywhere between 1 and 3 guys in my AG. I can't think of a race that I haven't won at the local level.

Is that a hollow victory? Well I don't really care about the placing, per se, because I can't control who shows up. There are plenty of guys out there who are faster than me, but they aren't in the race.

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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [Animalmom2] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats AnimalMom2! Great post as well.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [turdburgler] [ In reply to ]
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I look at races like playing cards. You play the hand you are dealt. If you are in a race and 1000 people show up or 10 people show up that is who you race.

I think my issue is there are a few people I know who reach out to every company they can think of asking for sponsorship's and use their results as leverage. The reality of it though is they purposely seek races with small turnouts where there might be 2 people in your age group and you brag about getting second in your AG to potential sponsors.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
It is still a win, absolutely.

The young guys/gals always bemoan how 'easy' it is for a 65 year old to win their AG - because nobody else usually shows up. The reality is that there are tons of health limiters that young people aren't aware of that cause a massive dropout in participation as you age up. ....

Aging up does mean there's less competition to mow you down, but it unfortunately often comes with the sobering realization that you may very well be next in line to be mowed down by father time.

I'll be 62 this year and hope to make it to M65. There is still competition in your 60s in most local short course triathlons, but for independent long course the effect of time is apparent and devastating. If you want any level of competition, you have to go to branded races. And even at most Ironman races, less than 2% of the entire field is over 60 years old.

I've watched a number of people near my age drop out of due to recurring injuries and declining capability. Somewhere around your late 50s, it's going to feel like someone tossed you a grand piano to carry on all your runs. That's when a lot of people throw in the towel. So yes, if you can get to the starting line and still finish when you are a senior, it can be quite fulfilling.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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I put it this way, a win is a win. That’s not to say that some wins might mean more... however you can’t control who shows up. I’ve been in races where I PR’d all over the place and came in 11/11 in my age group just to 2 weeks later race again at another venue (more slowly I might add) and come in 2/10. I surly didn’t see anyone giving me extra credit because this one local race must have a handful of monsters that live nearby.

Also one of the reasons I’ve argued for USAT to change the way they do grouping. I’d like to see more of a category based like cycling with less AG’s. I’d like to know more of how I stack against my peers rather than getting the wide swings of who signs up in my five year time block.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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TheRock wrote:
I've won my local parkrun's age group but come 11th overall.

Congrats on winning your age group!
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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Is my 10K placing not valid because Mo Farah didn't show up?


I think sometimes just getting to the start line and putting yourself out there rather than just staying home on the couch is a victory. OP needs to think about why there aren't more people in those categories competing. Aside from overcoming the barriers of cost, time commitment, access to facilities, someone in a group with low numbers wont have peers to train with, motivate, or share experiences and knowledge with. And aside from the glory of a podium picture and a Facebook post, nobody is getting rich by doing this. And if they are, maybe it's because brands see value in trying to inspire an under served demographic.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [TheRock] [ In reply to ]
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Your first post in 8 years and you choose to lead off with this weak troll?

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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [ In reply to ]
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I'm a simple guy and don't think much.
You train, show up, deliver and you win.
As simple as that.
It doesn't matter if your competitors show up or not.
I know a couple of old athletes and they are 67 and over 70.
They do great and give everything they got every single time.
That's whom I will be and if I win, that's great.
If not, I will do better next time.
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Re: Do you really win if no one else turns up? [ChrisM] [ In reply to ]
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ChrisM wrote:
1/10

Are you trying to win the internet today?

1/10 ;)
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