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Rolling swim start
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Hey guys I am doing my first rolling swim start 70.3 in a couple of months . Done mass starts previously .

Now I am facing 2 problems . When I originally signed up for the race it asked what speed do I swim at and asked for me to provide proof which I did and is fine . Since then though I have actually started to train my swimming from 1 of that swim sessions a week to at least twice a week . Obviously I have improved a bit so is there a way to update my estimated swim time ? What times do they group you in as it may not even be a problem ?

The second problem is I have been reading a couple of reviews and blogs of previous races and I am reading about 45+ min swimmers jumping in the sub 30min groups . Will me having to provide proof of my previous swims combat this or is this just an ongoing problem and something I will just have to put up with ?

Cheers in advanced guys
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Re: Rolling swim start [Woodsyaufc] [ In reply to ]
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What race is this for? I have never had to provide proof of my swim ability for any race, let alone an Ironman race. Did they give you a seeded start corral or anything like that?
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Re: Rolling swim start [Woodsyaufc] [ In reply to ]
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At Ironman Virginia 70.3 they had volunteers with swim times on them (30-33 min, 33-36 min, 37-40 min, etc) and you just got in the group around whatever swim time you estimated it would take you, and as you got closer to the start it got more organized so you were starting 2 swimmers at a time. I can't say for sure that your race will be the same, but it worked well and would be much less work than assigning starting times for every swimmer
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Re: Rolling swim start [Woodsyaufc] [ In reply to ]
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with the rolling start, course congestion isn't nearly as big of an issue as a mass start. Don't worry about, you'll just be passing people.

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Re: Rolling swim start [cappelwsu] [ In reply to ]
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That's been my experience at every swim start I've ever done. You just get in with the placard that has your estimated swim time. There is no advantage to seeding yourself in a group above your ability and being swam over again and again. Ironman posts this in the FAQs on most of it's races websites.

Do moderate swimmers have any advantage by starting in the front part of the field?
No, it is quite the contrary. If a moderate swimmer starts in the front part of the field, she/he will be passed by hundreds of fast swimmers which poses a needless risk for all involved parties. The cut-offs stay the same (2h 20min swim) and all athletes with a finishing time of more than cut-off time do not appear in the results list.
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Re: Rolling swim start [g_lev] [ In reply to ]
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g_lev wrote:
What race is this for? I have never had to provide proof of my swim ability for any race, let alone an Ironman race. Did they give you a seeded start corral or anything like that?

Cebu 70.3 . Yeah I was a little surprised with having to provide a link of swimming a similar distance and similar speed , but like I said I had read a couple of blogs/reviews with the person being a fairly slow swimmer and jumping the queue so I just assumed maybe they were trying to combat this ?
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Re: Rolling swim start [Woodsyaufc] [ In reply to ]
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People will seed themselves higher to avoid waiting to get in the water. I know this happened at Ironman Augusta 70.3 last year. People jumped in the front groups to avoid standing in line for over an hour.
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Re: Rolling swim start [Parkland] [ In reply to ]
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I have a 70.3 in 3 weeks and am a good swimmer and generally in mass start or wave start swim about 27 flat and end up first few out of the water and riding solo for 30km then a pack catches me and my watts drop so much back in that group and it feels easy. So I amthinking of starting a little further back in the swim so I get out with these larger bunches.

Anyone ever had a go at this type of tactic? How did it play out?
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Re: Rolling swim start [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
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Gilliga wrote:
I have a 70.3 in 3 weeks and am a good swimmer and generally in mass start or wave start swim about 27 flat and end up first few out of the water and riding solo for 30km then a pack catches me and my watts drop so much back in that group and it feels easy. So I amthinking of starting a little further back in the swim so I get out with these larger bunches.

Anyone ever had a go at this type of tactic? How did it play out?
It would probably play out how you think it would, adding a little slower to dodge people. But....integrity. If that’s how you want to race, then that’s on you. But basically trying to get an advantage through legal drafting (assuming all legal), while effective, is kind of BS on integrity.
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Re: Rolling swim start [Culley22] [ In reply to ]
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Yer that is a fair point on integrity, its tough though when a pack of 20-30 riding 3 meters apart catch me every race after 30km, so there is no integrity from those behind, it is a sad state of 70.3 racing in Australia at the moment. I will be making an effort to ride legal but I need to game the system somewhat to be at least around others to work legally with. I had the same issue when I raced Kona a few years ago, top 100 swim overall, rode first 1 hr solo, then as a first timer thought the draft marshals would do their job so I tried to stay 12m and ended up being past consistently for the next 140km by bunches of people drafting, so integrity has not served me well.
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Re: Rolling swim start [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
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If YOU have integrity, you will race clean. If you worry about your place and how others race, does integrity become subjective.
I know your frustration, I have dealt with drafting since drafting became an issue in the early ‘80’s. If your place in a race is more important than integrity, you will cheat.

Team Zoot/Canyon So Cal
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Re: Rolling swim start [Karl] [ In reply to ]
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I know a lot of people now he see it as a strategic game plan, like take the 5 min penalty risk, usually they don’t get one and even if they do the faster split and lower watts works out for their race. So anyways that’s a bigger issue, for me I will start a little back in swim and do my usual best effort to ride legal but hopefully have more around me to pace off from the legal spot. I am actually more of a fan of the old mass start or age group waves to be honest, then these sort of tactics thoughts are not even in play.
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Re: Rolling swim start [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
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I don’t hang around with that group and I let them know that it is just cheating.
I also know I do not place as well as I could if I drafted. I am happy with who I am.
I am a big fan of shaming 😜

Team Zoot/Canyon So Cal
Last edited by: Karl: May 16, 19 23:09
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Re: Rolling swim start [Karl] [ In reply to ]
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Karl, at the end of the day it’s a race... are you racing or participating? I agree there is an ethically and place for personal values of what the rules of the race are, however, we are in a Sport that celebrates results and I am also very competitive and I want to go toe to toe on a level playing field. Despite paying $450 to race a half here we do get many marshals and the amount of people pushing the limits is insane, so either you play the game or use it as an excuse why your results “aren’t as good as they could be”
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Re: Rolling swim start [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
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Gilliga wrote:
Karl, at the end of the day it’s a race... are you racing or participating? I agree there is an ethically and place for personal values of what the rules of the race are, however, we are in a Sport that celebrates results and I am also very competitive and I want to go toe to toe on a level playing field. Despite paying $450 to race a half here we do get many marshals and the amount of people pushing the limits is insane, so either you play the game or use it as an excuse why your results “aren’t as good as they could be”
To be clear you are 100% correct, AND I wouldn’t blame you if your goal is your placement (though, make it legal drafting). You’d be gaming the system (Lange comes to mind) and that’s perfectly legal. You’d just know that YOU didn’t beat them, it took a “group effort” to beat them. Yes, maybe it’d be a level playing field, but really as long as your fine with it and you don’t do something illegal...have at it. It is a game/race, and you are within your right to play it (legally) as you see fit.
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Re: Rolling swim start [Culley22] [ In reply to ]
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Legal drafting doesn't mean you don't have integrity, it's what you should be doing if you can. It's part of the tactics and a skill to make sure you get out of the water with the right people and are able to stay as close to 12m as possible.

If you refuse to legally draft on the bike, you probably shouldn't do it on the swim either and you should stop and wait for everyone who gets a flat, so you don't have an advantage over them. It's a race, the idea is to get to the finish as fast as possible while following the rules.

In 2019 attempting to run 52 marathons, in 52 countries and set 52 Guinness world records.
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Re: Rolling swim start [42point2] [ In reply to ]
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42point2 wrote:
Legal drafting doesn't mean you don't have integrity, it's what you should be doing if you can. It's part of the tactics and a skill to make sure you get out of the water with the right people and are able to stay as close to 12m as possible.

If you refuse to legally draft on the bike, you probably shouldn't do it on the swim either and you should stop and wait for everyone who gets a flat, so you don't have an advantage over them. It's a race, the idea is to get to the finish as fast as possible while following the rules.
Good strategy: yup. Legal: yup. Integrity: nope.

This is just my opinion. Others may be fine with it for whatever reason they'd use to justify it. But YOU did not earn your result as it required you to use others to achieve it. If you're fine with that (it is racing after all, and the goal is to win), then that's all that matters. And I wouldn't blame you if that's the goal. That's just not how I would want to do it.
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Re: Rolling swim start [Culley22] [ In reply to ]
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You can obviously race how you want, but I wouldn't say someone following the rules lack integrity.
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Re: Rolling swim start [MRid] [ In reply to ]
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MRid wrote:
You can obviously race how you want, but I wouldn't say someone following the rules lack integrity.


Someone seeding themselves in a slower category then they actually swim, who will be swimming over some swimmers because of his incorrect decision AND is making that decision to gain a benefit, from a group, that he wouldn't normally have by this incorrect seeding...

Yeah, I stand by my lack of integrity comment.

But again, if winning is what matters, I understand this. Maybe if I was at the very pointy edge i'd do the same. Maybe many do this and we just don't hear about it. It is a strategy for winning, but KNOWINGLY seeding yourself slower to gain this advantage is my issue. But if no one ever knew...it would look just like a smart move (ala Lange and Mark Allen).
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Re: Rolling swim start [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, it is a race and doing your best is the goal. Often times others are just better on that day.
I have no problems with “legal” drafting and I know it is challenging in some situations to stay out of the draft zone.
Deliberate drafting is just not acceptable. These groups have always been theee and I get upset that there are not enough marshals. If I lose a place or 3 because of drafters, I am happy with how I raced. As an old guy, I can tell you 20 years from now, it will not matter if you won or were 4th. Know one really cares or will remember.

Team Zoot/Canyon So Cal
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