Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Fairness in Me Needs to Speak

I have participated in quite a lot of event/races:  ultras, running, cycling, skiing and triathlons to name a few. These races require money and a whole lot of time in training.  I need to budget the costs of these events just like everyone else and we all have the same 24 hours in a day.
My point is not to deliberate the fees vs the "what you get" or analyse what company puts on a better event.  For triathlon in particular, I have participate in both Challenge Family  and Ironman branded events.  Both have different things about each other.  Again, not the point of this post.
If you missed my post on my 2017 training schedule here, you will see that one of my main events this year is Ironman Canada at Whistler, British Columbia.  This will be my 3rd time there, 1st time as a participant.  I have biked the roads, swam in Alto Lake, ran the course.  I long to see the beautiful scenery, challenging hills and picturesque lakes.  I can't wait to be there myself as a competitor.   I have been looking forward to it.

Until now.

There was a massive controversy surrounding the 2015 Ironman Canada event.  We were there for the event for the first time and my husband was the only one who had even been to Whistler so the rest of us were doing our best to take it all in.  It was a really hot day- temperatures in the 30's C and of course it goes without saying that an Ironman (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles) presents a host of challenges.
The controversy surrounded a local lady who finished first in her age group 40-44 but was without her timing chip.  She insisted she lost her timing chip.  And for any of you who don't know what a first in your age group at a full ironman event means- it's a well-earned, coveted ticket to participate at the World Championship in Kona.
As the next couple weeks unfolded, it was discovered that this wasn't the first times she lost her timing chip and won an event.  Add to that the forensic detective work of others utilizing various pictures and videos taken which shows the people, details, place and the time of the day, it became obvious that she did NOT cover the full run distance.
You can read more about this story here, here and here.

Cheating is nothing new.  Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones to name a few.

The definition of cheating:

gerund or present participle: cheating
  1. 1.
    act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.

    "she always cheats at cards"

This was announced last week by Ironman.

IRONMAN Canada to Feature Bonus Kona Slots

Calling all Japanese athletes: Race in Whistler this summer to increase your chances at toeing the line in Hawai'i.

Live in Japan and still undecided on your A-race for 2017? Keep it simple and with a solid training plan and a 10-hour direct flight from Japan to Whistler, British Columbia.
This year, IRONMAN is offering an additional 20 qualifying slots to the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai'i, for Japanese nationals racing IRONMAN Canada. These slots will be allocated based on the athlete's Age-Group Ranking upon conclusion of the race.
If the promise of competing with the world's best triathletes on the wild and beautiful island of Kona isn't enough to inspire you to sign up, check out everything the region has to offer visiting athletes—with personal recommendations from local athletes: The ABC's of IRONMAN Canada.

Originally from:

I am not expecting to qualify for Kona when I toe the line at Ironman Canada.  It takes amazing perseverance, time, dedication and determination and those who are that committed to training and improving their times DESERVE the opportunity to go to Kona; they have worked for it and earned it.

I feel  Ironman has made a mockery what qualifying for Kona means.  Now, apparently, you don't need years of hard work and dedication, you just need a 10 hour flight, show up and finish.

If Ironman wants to offer more slots, then be fair and offer them across the board to everyone.

And let me clarify that I am not prejudice against anyone or any country, any organization or event.

 But this isn't fair.  How can such a big deal be made only a couple years ago with an individual who gained an unfair advantage for herself to win, to get that Kona slot: the outrage from the other athletes trying to qualify, seeking for themselves the opportunity to go to World's and the intolerance from the organizers.

Only to come to this place where the organizers themselves are putting athletes on uneven playing grounds.

So why didn't aren't the extra Kona spots open to everyone at Ironman Canada?
A good question.
Perhaps to involve more athletes from a certain ethnicity, country or area.
Perhaps because it is all about the money.

Maybe and maybe.

The idea of an Ironman Triathlon was born in 1977 with the question between the runners and swimmers as to who was more fit.  15 self supporting men started this quest to see who was the fittest on Feb 18, 1978.  The popularity of this event skyrocketed in 1982 due to an emotional, tear jerking finish from Julie Moss.  The Ironman mantra "Ironman athletes prove anything is possible"  seemed to be found.
Dare you to watch the video and not be inspired, encouraged and amazed.

That is what I though Ironman was about.

It is sad when the rose colored glasses are gone.


No comments:

Post a Comment