Girls Just Want To Have Fun

It is amazing the way life works.  One day you read something and then for a week that is all you see.  Similar to when you buy a car and then you notice it on the road at all times.  Or in triathlon world you buy yourself a Specialized Transition Comp and the very next day all you see are Specialized rides.

Last week I read a post by SUAR titles A World Record Is Not What It Used To Be.  This post referred to World Record’s and World Bests.  Do you know the difference between these two?  Before I give you the definition which do you think would be faster:  a record or a best?  Maybe there is no difference?  According to the I.A.A.F. there is a difference and there is no reason to be confused by the two.


Kara Goucher

The reason there are records and bests now is that the I.A.A.F. (International Association of Athletics Federation – that name alone is confusing) says that is a women sets a world record in race where men start at the same time as women it is considered a best.  If the time ran is set where there is a women’s only field (meaning that women start at a different time then men and not a women’s only event) then it is considered a record.

The difference they say is that it is somehow wrong for a woman to pace off a man in a race.  I don’t get this rationale and have sat here for a week trying to think of why this made sense to them.  I read the article two or three times and find nothing in it that tells me why.  Please read the article and comment here as to why they believe there is a need for a separate title to record/best.  How a woman running 2:15:25 while staying with a man, or ahead of a man is not faster than a woman running a 2:17:25 on her own is beyond me.  I know I’m just a triathlete and the people at the I.A.A.F. get paid quite a bit of money to understand this but to me this slaps or ridiculousness and further pushes women behind men.  Women do you still have the right to vote in an election where men are running for office?

Following on the heels of this article was a post by one of my favorite writers, Susan Lacke, titled:  Out There – Cue The Spice Girls.  This article is about men getting chicked in races.  Yes, it is true there are women that are faster than men.  Look above at Paula Radcliff’s man aided 2:15 marathon and understand that women can ACTUALLY be faster.

In typical Susan fashion she attacks the concept of getting chicked with humor and seriousness simultaneously.  In one paragraph she mentions that some men are cool with being passed by a female because men get to enjoy the view.  Not a bad idea if you are getting chicked by Miranda Carfrae or Kara Goucher.  For me when I get chicked it is usually by a woman that is just so much faster than me that all I see is a blur as she passes me and I do my best to hang on.  Maybe I need to focus on the view and ‘hanging on’ will be much easier.

In her next paragraph Ms Lacke states: ‘If they beat the woman, they gloat. If they lose, they throw a hissy fit that would rival anything a toddler could put on in the candy aisle of a supermarket.’  I have seen this and actually had men talk to me about it.  My first thought is who cares, did you beat your goal and did you hit the time that YOU had in mind?  Was YOUR training worth it in terms of preparing to run your race at your pace?  That woman could care less about you beating her and all the men that finished in front of you don’t care that you beat her in a 100y sprint to the end since for the first 26.19 miles you were barely moving.

To wrap up her article Susan points out: ‘Unless you’re the first-place runner, there will always be someone faster than you. Your competitive fire should burn evenly, whether that faster person is male or female.’  Nothing could be truer.  It is about how hard you work for your accomplishments and not that you were able to sprint past a women at the finish line even though she started 30 minutes behind you and her overall time was 29m30s faster than yours.


Paula Newby-Fraser

The last article in the trifecta of highlighting women and their abilities came this morning from Beyond T2 on Twitter (by the way if you are on Twitter follow them as they provide great updates for races and excellent questions about triathlon.)  The tweet simply stated:  10 Greatest Female Triathletes Of All Time.

Now picking a Top 10 Greatest anything is extremely difficult and open to argument.  Can you name the best 10 baseball players of all time?  How about football players?  It is nearly impossible and creates such discussion that can go on for forever until the next great comes along.

Competitor Magazine chose their 10 Greatest Female triathletes as follows (in no particular order):

  1. Natasha Badmann
  2. Erin Baker
  3. Miranda Carfrae
  4. Emma Carney
  5. Vanessa Fernandes
  6. Loretta Harrop
  7. Michellie Jones
  8. Paula Newby-Fraser
  9. Emma Snowsill
  10. Chrissie Wellington
I’ll get the arguments started by saying that in my mind Paula Newby-Fraser is the greatest female triathlete of all time.  Just like triathlon Paula’s career is a combination of speed and endurance.  She was fast enough to not win Kona once, but to do it multiple times (8 to be exact and earned the nickname ‘Queen of Kona’)
Winning it once and setting records each step of the way is very impressive (Chrissie Wellington) but to do that repeatedly to the tune of 8 Championships is unbelievable and that is why I think that Paula Newby-Fraser is the greatest female triathlete of all time even if she was able to run next to a man on the course during the marathon portion of an Ironman.  Oh yes, she chicked quite a few men along the way to those eight titles.

What Do You Think Of World Records Or Bests?

Ever Been Chicked or Chicked A Guy?

Who is your choice for Greatest Female Triathlete Of All Time?


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  1. Emz says:

    Love this post.
    I must say…if I have any juice left in my legs at mile 26 & I see a guy ahead of me….yep, I can think of nothing sweeter than passing him.
    Just what my dad actually taught me to do. No joke.

  2. CTER says:

    And why wouldn’t you? I’m sure you would do that if it were a female as well. It is the competitor in you and not just the fact that it is a man.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever not been chicked.
    The rock star recently posted..Your race proofs.My Profile

  4. Jim says:

    My “go to” joke while running a marathon as I pass a crowd of people watching is, “Have any girls passed me yet?” It always gets a laugh … so naturally I wear it out! The joke being … OF COURSE there are tons of women running much faster than me in every race!!!

    If a woman passes me at the finish line, I couldn’t care less – good for her … you go girl!!! She obviously had a kick at the end of the race that I didn’t – and it must have been important to her. But I can also tell you this … if I’m running up on a gal at the finish line, and I’m not trying to PR or something, I would most likely NOT pass her, just out of respect. I’ll usually take that approach with anyone though – not just a girl. I will gladly back off and let them have their moment. I mean what are we doing here? Is it that important that I come in 139th over 140th?

    However, in a shorter, faster race where I am against the clock – I don’t care who’s in front of me, I’ll go for it if means an AG placing or something. But in an average marathon – I don’t spend two seconds thinking, “Oh man, I’ve gotta beat that guy in the white shirt”, or “there’s no way a chick is gonna out-do me” … I’m a little more secure than that. But if that matters to someone else, I certainly don’t hold it against them … good for you dude! Or dudette!

    Great post as always.
    Jim recently posted..Cerner Kansas City 15K Race ReportMy Profile

  5. Jeff Irvin says:

    I don’t get the World record vs the World best thing either? I am sure a boatload of stats can be provided to back up the rationale of the governing body but in the end most of us probably do not care.

    Ha! I am definitely an enjoy the view type of guy when getting chicked. In running only races I am usually racing the garmin on my wrist and am oblivious to the happenings around me! In a triathlon the only thing I notice is the age on a dudes calf!

    As for the rankings: Agree with you on Newby-Fraser and also am surprised Miranda is ahead of Chrissie? Let’s do this list again in 5years and I bet Chrissie is sitting at #1.
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Rev3 Cedar Point Half Rev Race ReportMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      The rankings were not in order unless I missed that on Competitor magazine but I would say Chrissie is ahead of Miranda as of today. Now, if they do race in a few weeks and Miranda obliterates her then a discussion could be had but I think Chrissie is ahead of her.

      Now, if we have a Iron War or Iron War II but the female version with Miranda and Chrissie would be something awesome.

  6. Ed says:

    I was once chicked during my first half marathon….I was in the middle of nowhere all by myself when all I hear is a sweet little “hi Ed” as the girl over took me. I was so lost in the run I didn’t even see her coming. I thought it was great and pretty awesome. She ended up beating me by four minutes.

    I am currently under the determination that girls can do anything guys can do…and for 50% of the time it is better. Equality is the only thing that makes sense to me….

  7. Kovas says:

    I’m thinking the studies they are looking at are those that show drafting is more beneficial for faster runners than slower runners, so the faster females have an unfair advantage pacing off a faster man rather than running alone or within the homogeneous lead pack.
    Kovas recently posted..Midwest Trails: Lost Bridge Trail, Springfield, ILMy Profile

  8. I can certainly see your point for Paula N-F, but I still put Chrissie Wellington right up there with her.
    Carolina John recently posted..39 DaysMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      The people on the list are all top triathletes for sure. They are all amazing in their own way and thus my point about trying to figure out the Greatest is near impossible.

      The only sport I can truly not see an argument is boxing. Muhammed Ali is the greatest and I can see no argument being made about that.

  9. BDD says:

    I dont care if I get chicked, I know I am not the fastest person out there and when I get passed, I know the other person is faster, doesnt hurt my ego. All the girls on Team Roll are freaking bada$$ riders and will give alot of people their run for their money

    Chrissie is better then Paula, your basing Paula squarely on Kona, Chrissie has came in first at every 140.6 race she has ever done, paula cant say that.
    BDD recently posted..FailureMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Kona is the triathlon version of the Super Bowl and World Series correct? Using that rationale we all know the Yankees have 27 World Series wins, the Steelers have 6 Super Bowl titles but do you know how many AL East championships the Yankees have or how many AFC division titles the Steelers have?

      I can’t tell you that number without googling it so to me this is the same thing. You can win all the races in the world but when it comes down to it and the best are facing the best did you win? Paula’s resume says yes to the tune of 8x. Chrissie has not gotten to that point as of yet. Once she does then for me there can be a discussion.

  10. XLMIC says:

    Maybe times should only be counted as world records if run completely alone and in complete silence with no visible-to-the-competitor timing devices? Such b.s. People are such whiners. I see nothing wrong with the practice of pacing. And as far as chicking people or being chicked… honestly, whatever. Relish the competition and just run… or go run by yourself. And Paula is the only female triathlete I even know of… but I am really old and am not a triathlete… I just run and used to row.
    XLMIC recently posted..Water + Ice + Naked = AWESOME!My Profile

  11. I still don’t get it either, but “anonymous” folks on my blog tell me I’m stupid and clueless. Am I missing something? If it is that hard to understand and not so black and white then that makes even less sense to me. Can’t we all just run as fast as we can and see what happens? There I am being stupid and clueless again.Must be the blond highlights.
    Shut Up and Run recently posted..Someday…A Sub 2 Hour Marathon?My Profile

  12. Absurd. Someone must be being paid by the amount of exceptions they can think of when writing policy. I suspect I will get chicked every time I step up to the line of a race, unless it’s all guys. Totally fine with me.
    Patrick Mahoney recently posted..Getting RippedMy Profile

  13. lindsay says:

    actually that list appears to be in alphabetical order, which is an order. :-p

    i don’t like to be chicked! (because it takes away from my overall placement and possible age group award of course). it is funny how most men react though… tantrums or ego.

    as for the “world best”… it’s crap. i think the record was given back to joan benoit, right? i would assume she ran marathons that had men athletes in them, and she did not run a 2:15 in those with the penis pacers.
    lindsay recently posted..friday freebie: uprint labelsMy Profile

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