Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Go Here

After tomorrow...or today...just go here for updates. It may take a couple of weeks to get it up to speed so to speak, but go here.

Happy New Year all.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Change of Direction

Here are some thoughts of mine. They will mostly come across as rants. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Post Game DeBrief

The last blog was about the sidelines, so I'll call this one post-game.

Well, I don't like the fact that a somewhat negative blog is sitting at the top of my not so updated blog. I've got 2 that need updating. I'm just not sure what to update with.

So, I had breakfast with one of the committee after I wrote this blog. I didn't say anything he didn't know. He just didn't like seeing it in writing...on the whole interweb thing. I emailed one of the race directors as the committee member suggested as a follow up. I don't have an "angle" like one of the esteemed Austin reporters needed when he wrote the story for the statesman...I haven't read it...sarcasm there in case it doesn't translate. If someone has a copy, I'd like to read it. If it's online, apologies, just point me in that direction. I try to stay away from the news. That might make me one of the uninformed Americans. I say that I don't have an "angle" other than being about triahtlons...that's my "angle".

Hopefully the issues will be fixed for 2012. Hopefully CapTex will remain part of the Toyota Cup. The swim issue was a non-issue for the other waves. Registration and timing were for everyone.

I don't guess...I know that it should be about "triathlon." At least that's the way I see it. I'm about triathlon whether it is in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, or anywhere else for that matter. I'd like to think that the others in the "triathlon" world are about triathlon, but the fact that some of the statistics like "the average triathlete makes $161,000 yearly" are commonly thrown about shows otherwise.

Triathlon is a great sport. Having been in the sport since 1988, it's difficult not to reminisce about the "old days" or bring up how it "used to be". The fact is, things change. Rick of R&B was one of the early pioneers if you will of triathlon in Texas, Austin in particular. People don't remember or even know that since there are so many new faces in triathlon (pick up the June issue of Texas Runner and Triathlete for some history), and to a degree it is unfortunate. I was going to say that like most things, change is required. But, I think that 'growth' is a better term. And I'll let you decide how you define growth whether it be triathlon, personal, or whatever related. Day to day, month to month, or year to year improvement is how I chose to define growth. That goes to being an athlete, a coach, or whatever other hats I (or you) may wear.

Wow, closing on possibly a philosophical note.

Monday, May 30, 2011

SideLine Ramblings

Unfortunately, I wanted to write this blog a few years ago. Unfortunately, this year I've been laid up with a hip flexor issue that is now history. I don't know that I would have raced CapTex this year, but it would have been very tempting. I love the race...or rather I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love racing in Austin. I hate that the event has been on the cusp of being a national caliber event. I hate that seemingly every year, it falls a little short. I know why I didn't write this a few years ago. Balls, that's why. It's been on the mind of more than a few triathletes in Austin. But, I'm that kid who spoke up in class. Some have voted with their feet, and that is why you don't see more local pros racing CapTex. Maybe I am old and grumpy right now...certainly a bit grumpy. Even though the Mrs. just won IM title #4 and #5 if you count the Rev Irondistance race...that's coverable TriRags. Right now I'm Mr.GrumpyPants.

The Capital of Texas Triathlon is always one of the more popular Austin events. Why? Well, it is probably the oldest triathlon in Austin, one of the more longstanding races in Texas. The guys who put the race on aren't rookies...they've been race directing for quite some time. This year it was one of the stops on the LifeTime Fitness "Race to the Cup" series. For the first time in its existence, The Capital of Texas Triathlon really had the opportunity to put itself on a national stage. Because this race is in my backyard and because the folks from Slowtwitch.com are covering the LTF series, I volunteered my eyes, voice, and phone to help with the spotting of the pro racers. So, I woke up and headed down to the race.

Hunter Kemper, Cameron Dye, Andy Potts, Ben Collins, Matt Reed, David Thompson, Filip Ospaly, and Andrew Starykowicz were a few of the men lined up at the start. Sara McClarty, Sarah Haskins, Alicia Kaye, Becky Lavelle, and Jasmine Oenick were some of the women lined up. Anyway, this is less of a race report for the pros...you can find the results. Andy Potts won with Hunter a close 2nd. Hunter is in an elite group of about 4 or 5 men who may be able to qualify for the 4th Olympic Triathlon...so it's great to see him back. Sarah Haskins won the women's race.

This is more of me lamenting about the race. Maybe this should go over at the TeamTBB site...it is known as the no-nonsense site. We try to provide straightforward coaching to athletes that works. Brett wants improvement from all of us, but at the end of the day at the pro level...sport is judged by results. I don't want to say you need thick skin, but honesty is spoken and sometimes it is not dumbed down. Triathlon is somewhat of a fringe sport. It has grown from the very fringe beginnings to a lifestyle sport that overpowers some athletes. They are identified by triathlon. The sport is more popular than ever. Why do I say all of this? It is simple. In the US, athletes pay good money to race triathlons. Olympic Distance races are upwards of $100 or even $150 to race. An official Ironman will set you back over $600 not including travel and such. What does that get you? What should it get you? If you are a pro and racing for your share of over $50,000, what does that get you? What should it get you? So, in my longwinded way of writing, which is faster than my speech, I'll get back to the point.

CapTex is part of a bigger national series to provide professionals with the way to make a living. When you are competing for lunch money, mortgage money, etc. there is a certain amount of responsibility that falls upon the athlete to know the course. But, there is also a responsibility that falls on the race director, the race committee, all the way down to the volunteers...though I will say that the volunteers are exempt from a LOT of that responsibility. I say that because they are volunteers. They are doing it to give back. Some have not participated in a triathlon, so they are not 100% sure what to do. Digressing...

This year CapTex failed to deliver on a number of fronts. The first issue came, unfortunately, at the expense of the professional men's wave that started first and that was competing for their share of $50,000. All but 2 swimmers were essentially forced off course costing them between 2 and 3 minutes. To top it off, Andy Potts, who was one of two swimmers who basically said...I'm going this way because that is where the course goes...was led off course as he exited the transition area. The dynamic of the race was changed 2x within the first 20 minutes of the start...actually the biggest change was forced within the first 5 minutes of the race. Would Hunter Kemper have won had he not been forced off course? Who knows, but it's possible that it was a $6,250 mis direction...depending on how the race organization decides.

I don't want this to come off as race director bashing, but there were also significant issues at the race registration on Sunday. In the day and age of computers, sometimes I wonder how far ahead we are. Or, have we become too dependent on the technology? Racers should not, under any circumstance, have to wait in line for in excess of 1.5 hours the day before a race...not these days. I don't know how it was all handled...you hear the negative more than the positive.

With the advent of chip timing, as athletes, we've become spoiled. Not to reminisce about the old days, but timing used to be using pull tags on race numbers and a timing print out. There was a reason that results took a few hours to compile...they were done by hand. There was usually more than enough beer or beverage to go around while we all waited 2 hours for awards. I don't know what the timing issues were on race day, but there were timing issues as we are still waiting for the official results. And to my knowledge, no awards were handed out after the race and the 'awards ceremony' was essentially cancelled.

I've helped with a ton of races. I've co-directed exactly 1 race, and I co-directed that race with the other half of a very successful and very good local Austin Event company...High Five Events...before they started. It was hard work. I for one am glad that I do not direct a large downtown triathlon in Austin. But, given the number of years that the event has been going, there are certain items that seem like they should be handled. The Capital of Texas Triathlon had the potential to really showcase Austin and really provide a first class event. CapTex 2011 should not have been to iron out the kinks or figure it out. CapTex 2011 should have been the year that everything ran seamlessly or at least appeared to run seamlessly. A race that is part of a national series should not have the issues that were experienced in 2011. I am sure there is more to the story...there always is. I am simply writing this as I saw it. I'm not a 'journalist' or a 'reporter' who has a need to put a spin on things or twist and turn comments to make their point. I'm just simply writing things as I saw them and heard them. Right or wrong I don't know.

And, while these comments may come off a bit harsh towards CapTex, the same complaints been voiced on numerous forums and websites about other races or other race series.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Post #2

I've started post #2 like 5 times. I have 5 drafts up, and I can't figure out where they should go or exactly what they should say. I've got 3 blogs of sorts...if you don't count Facebook and Twitter.

But, reading a few of the links that I have over to the left made me realise that I do like writing, whether anyone cares what it says or not. I've been injured for about 6 weeks now. You'd think that I'd have more time to write. I probably do, but I also probably waste more time.

So, I've got this blog...my TeamTBB Blog...and my FirstEndurace Blog. I'm supposed to do 1x a week on my Team and sponsor site. We'll see. For now and for today, just some random ramblings. I don't tweet these posts, it's just random how people find them.

In the pipeline, since that's a cliche that people like to use now, I have...
- Bike Lanes
- Comments about the WSJ and IMNYC
- Something about being a Cynic that most likely won't make it published
- Responsibility

For now, stay tuned until I get a wild hare and post up again. I say wild hare, but some folks use wild hair. I used the JFGI method to find out what it should be and even wild herr came up, so take your pick.