Tri Gets Soft
Here we go again… to whom it may concern,
The softening of our sport continues. When I first got into endurance sports, I often worried whether or not I would finish, but I never worried about the cancellation or shortening of an event due to heat. Until now.
I got into this lifestyle because it was a challenge, because it took effort, because it was HARD. I wanted to see if I had what it took to get into real shape, toe the line, suffer, and finish something that few people could.
Now marathons are being cancelled because it's too hot. Triathlons are being shortened due to the heat. Swims are being stopped because the water's too cold or there's too much wind. WTF?! Nut up, people.
If you want easy, shuffle your way through a county fair fun run. If you want to be a marathoner, a triathlete, an Ironman, then do the work. Yeah, it hurts. It's supposed to. It's not for everyone. It wasn't meant to be. You want perfect weather? Bowling is great, I hear. And you can do it all year long, indoors where you'll be safe and pain-free.
Hell yeah, I'm pissed. I don't train hard to show up on race day and find out the race was cancelled or shortened because the RD was worried about some pansy throwing down a lawsuit that blames the universe for his/her own laziness.
Years ago I did a tri where the weather was so hot, the road tar stuck to my racing flats. My head felt like it was going to explode on the run. I toughed it out and finished… everyone did. It was hot, REALLY hot. So what?! The whole idea is to conquer your demons and prove that you are tough; tough enough and in shape enough to kick the race's butt AT YOUR OWN RISK. That race, once an Ironman qualifier, was cancelled years later due to some lawsuit-happy jerks.
Have some pride, people. Bust your tail and get into shape. Deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at you. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE HARD. If you're only in it for the finisher's shirt and bag of swag, buy a T off eBay and brag to someone who cares. The rest of us will earn it…in any conditions. I've run in -30 degrees and 100+. One was cold, the other was hot. Nothing more, nothing less.
Hot, cold, rain, drought… it's weather. Deal with it. Read the waiver, sign it, shut your yap and compete.
Pete Ylvisaker is a seasoned (i.e. old) endurance athlete now sporting the Team TwinSix kit. Find out more at TwinSix.com.