Monday, April 13, 2009

No Electronics on the Course Please

This weekend there were races.  I got some updates (but not all BTW) from Molly who was racing.  What the hell?  Turns out her friend was sending the messages on Facebook as if it was Molly.  I emailed back and said, "Please tell me you didn't have a phone on the course."

I mention it because recently iPods were deemed to be "legal" by USA Track and Field for marathons.  So get used to seeing iPod people at races.  The wording was clugi at best.  All electronics are legal: phones, radios, iPods, Gameboy.  

This has to be the single dumbest sports decision I've heard of.

At the California 70.3, I saw five iPods and three mobile phones on the run course.  The iPod people were in their own world but studies have shown that music helps athletes stay in rhythm and perceive less pain during exercise.  The phones were another matter entirely.  All older female users were getting information on their "Kona competition"  from different members of their entourage. 

I view this as blatantly unfair.  If allowed to survive, we'll get what we see in Kona every fall.  People on bikes with mobile phones and radios in the lava fields telling racers where they are.  I view this as different than a spectator in a static location.

Leave the electronics at home.  When you turn pro and race with Lance Armstrong, they will give you a radio.


  1. LOL! That's why I made sure to preface the day on Facebook with "I'm handing my phone over to Jenn for the duration!" I can't imagine racing with one - blech.

  2. I agree - absolutely awful. There should be NO phones on the course, and in my opinion - no ipods as well. There were a few people on the Oceanside run course with ipods, and when I yelled "on your left" to pass - did NOT hear. Its a safety hazard - both to them and to fellow racers.

    The phone is inexcusable. That person should have been DQ'ed. No sympathy from me...

    Right on about the Lance Armstrong comment! Here here!

  3. Molly - FYI - didn't get that message. I thought it was you sending those messages. I was so glad to hear it wasn't you. How did you do?

  4. Marit -

    Those iPods and mobile phones should have been DQ'd in Oceanside. This is poor race marshaling by the San Diego Triathlon Club, head official and the race director.

  5. Could have been better, could have been worse. :) But it was just a sprint and the 1st race of the year, so a good chance to work out the kinks. Big improvement on the swim, which was the best news of the day. Bent bicycle part meant some issues on the ride but chose to waste the time and fix it as best I could instead of DNFing so there's that. Onward and upward and feeling positive for the next one!

    Thought of you as the USAT official went around in transition checking the bikes for bar end plugs and such before the race :)