In the other drafting triathlon thread, I asked if anyone had problems with people drafting in a non-drafting event.
I was sent this utube link from the 2007 Ironman Florida race - um - I'd say clearly drafting...
While this peloton was caught on video - anyone else have problems with wheel leeches not caught on camera at a non-drafting race? Are all of your racing compatriots honest, rule-abiding racers?
I see not too many people have followed this thread! Does that mean that we honest triathletes are few and far between? I have seen many situations to include a young man here in FL drafting a CAR in an open road triathlon! He was, of course, in the lead, but was completly disqualified after posting an insane time and average speed of 30+ mph!
Hey Neo ~ It is a relatively new thread, so maybe people haven't seen it yet. I've heard other triathletes tell of other racers drafting cars or motorcycles. This is where I question the logic of some athletes. They want to be tested against the best and tested one-on-one...but...given the opportunity to cheat to gain an advantage, they will.
Podium performance? Beating a training partner? Why not, if you don't think you'll get caught? I'm sure there are other reasons people justify cheating...
Glad to read the FL guy got DQ'd...
Honestly I figured that it was a new thread, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to throw a joke in! In all seriousness though, I watched the video you had linked on You tube. Were the riders coming out of a turn? One of the tri's I competed in had a U-turn on a two lane road. So there was a large number of people bunching due to the imperfections of the course. So I know that it would be considered drafting on the video, but would officials be forgiving due to "real world" conditions? Oh and in my U-turn tri, the people were pretty good about spacing back out and the officials were on the ball. Overall a great little race.
It did look like the riders were coming out of a turn at IM Florida. I'm not sure what the percentages are, but I would like to believe that at least half of the races are 100% clean. I also think the higher the potential return, the higher the temptation to draft (Ironman slots or ITU World Championships for Age Groupers). I think it also depends on the course layout. More hills, the less drafting. The more congested the course (narrow roads, flat courses or lots of turns) more drafting.
It's great to read your personal experiences have all been good. Give your race a plug - which one did you do?
I raced in the Jacksonville Tri Series Races. They were put on by DRC Sports. All three races were excellent and the final race was a completely sold out event. Great fun and great exoerience. Oh they were sprint distances as well.
I just saw it at my race this weekend! I watched two guys draft eachother for about 1/2 mile. This is only my second triathlon, and it really got me fired up. I wanted to ride past them and say something, then I remembered, I did this race for me, not for them. Passing them was sweet enough.
I have raced in events all over the country and have seen full out pelotons in races. I don't think you see drafting in races that are sprint or international distance in more than a few instances and most likely it is by accident or caused by passing a slower rider. (Got my first drafting penalty in 6 years of racing at the Chicago Triathlon this year, caused by narrow passing lanes and slower riders from the sprint distance causing me and another elite athlete to be too close together) I sucked it up and took the 2 minute penalty in stride and went harder for the rest of the race because of it.
I am from Chicago and Steelhead 1/2 IM and Spirit of Racine 1/2 IM have huge packs of people drafting (20 people). These 2 races in my opinion are some of the worst drafting races out there in the midwest. IM Florida is another race where groups form and they stick togther for a long period of time. Rather funny when they hear the rumbling of a motorcycle engine they are correctly spaced out. If only these people were so attentive to follow the rules as their acute ability to hear things in the distance.
I think people should monitor themselves better and know that triathlons are an individual sport. Drafting in a group is cheating and should be penalized by a time penalty or even DQ if done multiple times. Most of the same people that are in the groups drafting on the cycling portion are the ones being passed by the honest racers on the run!
Your "rumbling motorcycle" comment reminded me of Ironman Wisconsin. I was at that race about four or five years ago - on the back of a motorcycle. I was with a friend and we were out along the course cheering people on - it was really interesting to watch how many people suddenly quit cheating when they thought we might be race officals. I could see it happen numerous times. If there is room to behave when you hear a motorcycle - then why not behave when you don't think anyone is looking?
I wondered if they went back to drafting after we went past...
Unfortunately it is just like when you pass the cop through the speed trap. Once you know you are clear and your heart rate drops after about 5 minutes, you begin on the same course or speed.
Until you see the next "cop"....
Ironman 70.3 Cancun was ridiculous. Packs and packs of riders would blow by you, most of the time with a "marshall" drafting off of them on a beat up mo-ped. It was pathetic display of cheating. This stuff is hard enough without having to try to make up the time of the cheaters. I was a little hoarse after the bike, I did my own "marshalling". Probably won't do that race again until they figure it out.
I will be the first to admit I have a heavy foot...had the experience you described just this morning on the way to the pool.
But...I wasn't racing anyone else at 5:15 am and I gained no advantage for the podium or anything else by my speeding. Those that draft are essentially causing harm to others by cheating them out of a podium position or a higher ranking in the race.
I wonder how people would act during a race if the race director announced at the beginning of the event that cameras would be running on various (undisclosed) parts of the race course. Drafting penalties would be assessed by doing a random sampling of parts of the video - kinda like the speeding trailers with no police car. The camera inside the trailer snaps a photo of the speeder and a ticket shows up in the mail. Maybe that's how we get a fair non-drafting race?
Every sport has cheaters, and I'm sure it won't change in triathlon. Although not the responsibility of the athlete to be vigilantes on the course, I know of at least a half a dozen times in Cancun where my own "policing" of race rules made a difference, at least for a little while. I guess screaming "cheater" with a nasty look on ones face is understood by all nationalities. I don't recommend it, but it felt good as they went by me at 30+.
I let a person pass me through a speed trap on the way down to Memphis in May and the cop sure enough got them for speeding and not me. (too bad it was another triathlete driving down)
I love the idea and was seriously thinking about it earlier today. I bet the results on the bike would be much more true to everyones personal abilities rather than the group. Put a little scare into the competitors that you might get caught and not even know it!
Athlete policing on course does seem to help in some situations. And...you're right in that every sport has cheaters - I just wish there weren't so many drafters in non-drafting tris...