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2013-05-29 12:32 AM

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Corvallis, Oregon
Subject: Interesting race day experience
After finishing my second sprint yesterday my GF and I were checking out my times; an 875 yard outdoor pool swim with a disappointing 15:43 time... I was hoping for around 14 minutes or faster! While I was swimming I felt really good... I made several passes on everyone in my seeded lane... Turns were good, breathing was good... What gives? As I grabbed some grub provided by the race my GF hears the swim coordinator talk about how some swimmers may have done extra laps. The race said they would provide swim caps so no swimmers sharing a lane had the same colored cap to help lap counters, but when I got there they acted like that wasn't the case... Race Website and email says differently... But I digress, Fortunately I packed my regular dark gray swim cap which matched everyone else... I ended up placing 3rd in my AG, but was 1:42 away from 2nd... And swimming 50-100 yards less may have been enough to get me up there! (assuming Mr. 2nd place didn't swim extra as well). I'm pleased with my overall time on a pretty difficult course and feel I did a good race. I'm not bitter about it, just wish my time was accurate! Anyone else experience anything similar?


2013-05-29 5:43 AM
in reply to: Tribreitz

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience
You didn't count as you were going?
2013-05-29 6:14 AM
in reply to: FuryUs

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience

Originally posted by FuryUs You didn't count as you were going?

x2 

Mark

2013-05-29 7:55 AM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience
X3 I would think counting laps would fall on the athletes.

The pool swims I have done are snake swim - go up and back lane 1, under the rope and repeat. Get out at the end of lane 3 or sometimes 4. It would be impossible to swim too much or not enough unless you swam the same lane more than once.
2013-05-29 11:47 AM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience
I understand where you're going with the "count your own laps" thing, but it's not as straightforward as you think. I've been swimming my entire life. Going up and down a pool, it is very easy to lose track of your laps. By about 350, I am focusing on one particular thing (pull, kick, hand entry, etc), and I'll suddenly find myself wondering if I am at 350/400, or what. Beyond that, it is extremely easy to lose focus after so many pool workouts.

Unless things have changed since I was a competitive swimmer in high school, when you swim a 500 yard race, you don't count your own laps. You have a teammate who uses a lap counter and signals to speed up (raise and lower the counter), slow down (move it side to side), or hold steady (hold it steady). Otherwise, trust me, there would be incidents with swimmers not hitting the right distances. Beyond that, the counters are also for the official's benefit. Unless you are doing the up/back and then change lanes type of indoor triathlon, I would very much want to have counters on deck, both for the athlete's benefit as well as for official reasons. Not saying it would be easy to stage them, but...

And the indoor triathlons I've done (it's been a while, honestly), have utilized counters per lane as you swim for a designated time rather than a designated distance.

In the long run, you are correct, that like everything else in the race, it is the athlete's responsibility to know the course, the distance, etc, but surely this could be made *far* easier by having someone counting.
2013-05-29 12:22 PM
in reply to: #4759792

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Corvallis, Oregon
Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience
Yes; I was counting, but like Brad said I wasn't 100% sure I was accurate, my mind focused on technique. Because the swim wasn't a serpentine each lane had a lap counter who stuck a kickboard in the water at 850 yards indicating that after you swim the 25 to the other side you may exit. I stopped ( also effecting my time) and inquired how much further I had when I reached the wall on my self counted 850 yards and they said I had 75 more yards; I figured they were more accurate than I was. I think it should be the responsibility on the athlete as well, I've always thought of lane counters to be for the officials benefit to ensure no one is skipping laps. This is my first season of triathlon and I'm hoping to move to OWS and stay there!


2013-05-29 12:29 PM
in reply to: Tribreitz

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience

I am also not sure if the RD would care if you said "I know I swam extra", they have to rely on something and this case it was a faulty system.

Yep, OWS is a lot more straightforward and fun.  Then you can screw up your own race by swimming sideways and no one other than yourself to blame - ha ha.  Great job on your race!

2013-05-29 12:36 PM
in reply to: #4760308

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience
Brad, things have most definitely changed, swimmers are expected to count their own laps in all races , longer races such as 800 or 1500 a bell is rung on the last lap, but you still do well to count yourself because I have seen lane timers miscount laps and ring the bell too early or too late. OP - just as it is the responsibility of the athlete to know the course in a race I would assume it is the responsibility of the swimmer to count their own laps. Volunteers at races do a great job but there is always some human error even in the best organized races
2013-05-29 12:50 PM
in reply to: #4760334

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience
As it is the athlete's responsibility to count laps should I have argued and said that I was at 850? Should athletes exit the pool even without hearing the bell, seeing the kickboard, or whatever indicates that the athlete is on their last lap? Bikergrrl, for about 30 seconds after learning my time I was planning on talking to the RD, then after the 30 seconds I realized that even if he totally believed me and somehow changed my time to be more accurate that would do absolutely nothing for me; sure I'd be a few positions closer to the top, maybe in my age group, but I wouldn't have podiumed or anything. It's all arbitrary and I'm still happy with the time I got.
2013-05-29 1:21 PM
in reply to: Tribreitz

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience

Originally posted by Tribreitz Yes; I was counting, but like Brad said I wasn't 100% sure I was accurate, my mind focused on technique. Because the swim wasn't a serpentine each lane had a lap counter who stuck a kickboard in the water at 850 yards indicating that after you swim the 25 to the other side you may exit. I stopped ( also effecting my time) and inquired how much further I had when I reached the wall on my self counted 850 yards and they said I had 75 more yards; I figured they were more accurate than I was. I think it should be the responsibility on the athlete as well, I've always thought of lane counters to be for the officials benefit to ensure no one is skipping laps. This is my first season of triathlon and I'm hoping to move to OWS and stay there!

IMHO, from a practical standpoint, a 875yd triathlon pool swim is probably too long and is just asking for confusion.  Sorry if you got jobbed, but you could almost see it coming.  Unfortunately stuff happens sometimes.

Overall you still had a pretty good result.

Good luck with the rest of your season.

Mark      

 

2013-05-29 1:42 PM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Interesting race day experience
Ive got a Sprint this weekend with a 750m pool swim. It very clearly says that they will having people counting your laps to let you know when you are on your last one, however it the the swimmers responsibility to count their laps and if they are 100% sure they have completed the laps then they can exit the pool. It sucks that I may have cost you a spot, but its on you to count.

Ill be sure to reply again this weekend after I do an extra lap or two as Im day day dreaming about how im gonna tear up the bike leg, lol.


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