When it comes to smells, a couple of adventure races come to mind. My first one was advertised as Run, Bike, Kayak. They didn't mention the run was through a swamp. The water you ran through might have been only a foot deep, but the sludge beneath it was wast deep. I'll take the smell of chlorine to swamp sludge any day. Anyways, triathletes are the toughest around. Were not going let a little ordor slow us down, are we?
Yah, either it stinks or not, nothing can stop us. I personally love it when i become stinky because it motivate me that i worked hard today.
The smell of the rubber in the wet suit is what I associate with the tri. Yeah, chlorine, sweat, chain lube all are great tri smells, but I rarely wear a wet suit unless it's race day.
Yes the smell of the pool sticks with you but on race day usually the first thing I smell is peanut butter which is typically one of the staples of race day breakfast. Additionally, the smell of the fresh swim cap is pretty telling.
"If you're not gettting better you're getting worse."
I'm only 5'2" and I'd have to say body odor. On hot, non-wetsuit race mornings, when showers are neglected and competitors are nervously sweating/waiting for their heats, it is a tough time for a shorter person whose nose is perfectly at arm pit level! And of course the finish area where everyone is just crusty with salt and sweat; that smell to me is unforgettable!
Chlorine just reminds me of pool workouts not really triathlons which are in open water. The wetsuit smell is more associated with tris. I love the smell after a rain when it has been dry for awhile. It's like the whole earth took a deep breath. The not so nice: ranches and feedlots in the spring thaw (it snows here). The worst: riding up a long (20+ miles) canyon with a down canyon breeze bringing the scent of a several-day-old dead deer and having to smell it for miles!
Triathletes (and all athletes for that matter) rock! Way to get out there and off the sofa!
It's easy to imagine you navigating through that sea of smelly armpits! :-) Thanks for sharing that 5'2'' perspective.
Sara Cox Landolt
I get that. I worked as a camp counselor and one of the camper favorites was the bog jog. Sometimes it was pretty vile.
Sara Cox Landolt
Yes most tris are in openwater, though some have pool swims. Sometimes it's because of the climate, and other events are smaller and offer new triathletes a less intimidating swim. And some triathlons are all indoor, but I haven't done that yet. I easily see the smell association being stronger with neoprene though.
Your canyon ride sounds interesting! What other neat things have you seen while riding?
Sara Cox Landolt
I come from a cycling background from racing to cross-country touring to triathlons, so tens of thousands of miles under my bum. I always keep my eyes out for interesting things while on the road (it helps pass the time). From Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Sandhill Cranes, hawks and owls, there are always birds around. Also have to watch for deer (live), moose, elk, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, dogs of course and other critters on the road. Other than the smell of the dead deer for miles related above, the most disgusting incident on a ride was when I was being passed by a vehicle who was well clear into the other lane (thank you very much). Unfortunately, the right side tires ran over a dead, bloated ground squirrel (commonly called a "potgut" around here) that exploded over on to me! I was able to keep upright after nearing hurling myself and stop. I had a bandana with me and used the rest of my water to wipe off (yes, I littered that bandana) but the stench stayed with and on me for another 40 miles or so. I climbed into the shower clothes and all. Thirty years later the memory of that still turns my stomach.
My most memorable experience was on an early warm summer evening, while riding along ranchland in Montana. A couple of horses nearby decided that running along side me, but on the other side of a fence, would be great fun. I think it was for all of us for the couple of miles until a cross-fence stopped them. That still brings a smile to my face.
My most memorable starts out lousy. I'd thrown a chain and it had wrapped around the axle. By the time I was able to get back on the way, it was dark. I'd ridden about a mile when I heard what I thought a horse galloping up behind. I looked over my shoulder and to my surprise, it was a whitetail buck. He slowly gained on me, eventually pulling even for a few seconds. He then looked over at me, put on a burst of speed enough to pull about 10 yards in front of me.and then jumped across the trail and disappeared into the dark. All because I'd thrown a chain.
This is funny!! Just a couple of what I thought were unique smells.
I was a competitive swimmer in the late 60's and early 70's and the chlorine content was so strong then that, even with unsophisticated goggles, one's eyes were bloodshot closed for a full day of school after a 2 hour morning workout. For years I could smell a pool from 1/2 mile away and would begin to sweat as I hurried away from the source of the repellant. Now, the smell seems to be tempered or my memory softer, but the chlorine is a bit inviting and not a trigger for flight.
How about those lines upon lines of port-a potties at each event. Whew!! Talk about an untapped renewable energy source.
And then there is the pile of sweaty clothing in my closet that has a life of its own but is a lingering testament of work done and a reminder of work to be done. I am sure my recently purchased running shoes are somewhere under there! Oh and I found something growing roots under front seat of my Sequoia which can only be a partially eaten apple from a couple months ago that rolled out of my snack bag before a brick. I thought it was air freshener but then, that too, tells you how bad my equipment truck must smell.
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