Friday, 25 October 2013 10:51

Bend It Like Beckham. Or Race Like Ramsay?

    [caption id="attachment_9084" align="alignright" width="275"]beckham - ironman - kona - triathlon Wonder What Triathlon Tips Ramsay Is Giving To Beckham
Source: Parade Magazine[/caption] David Beckham is going to be the next 'celebrity' that will be able to go to Kona, Hawaii to race the Ironman World Championships without having qualified.  Typically we do not hear about these celebrities garnering entry into the premier triathlon event until the summer prior to the event, but this time we are hearing about it weeks after Fredrick Van Lierder and Mirinda Carfrae crossed the finish line as the first male and first female competitors.  I have not hidden my displeasure of the entry of the celebrities into Kona.  The 2013 version featured Hines Ward and Gordon Ramsay and the year prior featured ??????  I really have no clue so obviously this form of marketing is lost on those that are in the sport so how can it be effective for those not in the sport. Hines Ward got in due to a sponsors exemption (don't forget to refuel with chocolate milk) and so WTC cannot be blamed for his entry.  Gordon Ramsay on the other hand was given not only a spot at Kona but also in Vegas for the 70.3 World Championships.  There will be those out there that will stress their point that the celebrity showings is good, if not great, for the sport because it brings attention.  That the pros will get more money because sponsors will be paying more money to be affiliated with the race.  That the ratings will go up and thus allow WTC to sell the rights to the broadcast for more money.  The problem, as I see them, with these theories are:
  1. If the ratings go up then you will only know that after the race has occurred and it will be another year before the race is broadcast again and by then that celebrity will have been forgotten and the idea of racing a triathlon for those not in it may be lost.
  2. If pro purses were growing because of the celebrities participating then why are there pros out there that are writing articles about why they choose to DNF so that they can race again rather than putting themselves at risk of injury.
Having been in marketing my entire adult life I have a bit of experience about what it takes to promote.  The way that WTC is going about this is not completely wrong but they are not asking enough of the celebrities to whom they are granting free access to Kona.  These celebrities are not promoting the sport year round.  Instead they are discussing their entry one month prior to the race and then a week or two later you never read another article about them recovering or preparing for the next one.  It happens and it floats off into the ethos of the world never to be seen from or heard from again.  Do you remember Joe Bastianich racing Kona?  How about Rocco DiSpirito racing 70.3 Cleremont?  Oh, and how about that woman from Biggest Loser racing in Kona?  Yeah, me either so how well was the promotion of the sport if a person like myself who consumes all things triathlon can vaguely remember any of these athletes? My ideas are to require those that are interested in participating in Kona on a WTC exemption slot to do the following:
  1. Make guest appearances at triathlon shops across the country on a monthly basis.  Speak to those that are in the sport and bring in those that are just dipping their toes in the water.
  2. Participate in two 70.3 races throughout the year in whatever race they choose.  It does not have to be in the United States but they do have to participate so that they are not just showing up in October for one race and are gone after that.
  3. Raise money for the Ironman Foundation, bring attention to the Ironman Foundation including a donation to the foundation.
These are just a few of the ideas that first popped into my head about how WTC can actually leverage the celebrities that they are granting access to race in Kona to work for them and garner attention for the sport.  By just giving away slot after slot year after year they are not generating anything other than drawing the ire of those that want to race in Kona but miss by 10 seconds or the athlete who is passionate about the sport and wants to protect the sanctity of the Ironman World Championships because qualifying is how you should earn your blue wristband.  Your blue wristband shouldn't come because you caught a football in the Super Bowl, can cook a beef wellington or married Posh Spice.

What Would You Require Of David Beckham To Participate In Kona?

Published in Race
Triathlon is my chosen endurance sport.  Ever since I decided to do a sprint triathlon in Grapevine, Texas I fell in love.  The sport meant the world to me and not just from a physical standpoint.  There were the mental hurdles that had to get cleared.  There was the science behind nutrition and sleep.  The thoughts of proper recovery.  Everything about triathlon worked for me because while you measured yourself against yourself you could also measure yourself against the competition.  Then, just like the marathon of years ago it seemed that every Tom, Dick, Harry, Susie, Joan and Tina was doing Ironman.  It didn't seem to be special anymore. There were races popping up in every corner of the country.  WTC was launching new races almost daily.  Rev3 was adding their races.  HITS joined the party and Challenge Family came to the USA.  I started to question the motives of those getting into the sport.  Were they here to embrace triathlon the way I had and make it a lifestyle or were they here so they could plaster another sticker on their car right next to the 5k, 10k, 15k, 13.1mi, and 26.2mi stickers they already had.  Just a conquest to get a sticker and nothing more.  I resented these folks for trampling on the sport that I loved.  I mentioned this on a ride to a buddy of mine a year or so ago and he said:  Take your blinders off it is already happening.  I chose not to believe him at the time but as the days on the calendar were torn off the reality was setting in. Last night while sitting on the couch dreaming of what is to come from Lake Martin 100 (ok, I was watching Grey's Anatomy and Elementary) I got a text message from Jeff.  It was sent to Kevin and I so I did not read it right away as those conversations usually end up in nothing but roaring laughter and I was enjoying my removal from reality at the moment.  I finally picked up my phone and it was a link to this article titled Stakeholders on Slowtwitch about the rapid expansion and now contraction of triathlon.  I read it with a mix of emotions. Part of me was upset by the fact that the numbers were not continuing their upward climb.  Of course, the trajectory that the expansion was on could not be sustained long-term because this is a hard and also quite expensive sport but the arrow pointing upward and to the right was what I wanted to always see.  The other part of me sort of fist-pumped that those that were not serious about the lifestyle were not jumping in to 'show-off' to the world that they did an Ironman.  I think of triathlon as a lifestyle and less of a sport because of what it does for you outside of the swim, bike and run and those that were not embracing that thought were just 'in my way' when it came to the sport I love. After thinking about this though I thought:  Are ultra-runners thinking the same of me?  Are they thinking to themselves that this dude is not a true ultra-runner.  He is just jumping into our sport because triathlon was pushing him out?  They have a valid point in their thinking and I'm not sure where you draw the line.  Does the fact that I will have raced 4 ultra distance events by the end of March qualify me for being an ultra runner?  Does the fact that I am already planning on doing a 50k just one month post Ironman Chattanooga make me an ultra-runner since I am going to keep it up? Or do I need to grow an awesome beard and be more laid back as is the stereotype of the ultra runner. Obviously, mindset comes into play when we are giving titles out.  Maybe instead of calling myself a triathlete or an ultra-runner I should just call myself an endurance athlete.  After all I do not limit myself to the events I participate in and next year I am most likely going to be crossing the Gobi Desert with a 30lb backpack with Jeff and thinking:  What would those that crossed this desert before us be thinking? In the end it would seem that the sport of triathlon is bonking, but like any triathlete it may just need a shot of flat coke to reinvigorate itself.  The sport could go back to its roots and re-invent itself again to show greater growth down the line.  Or maybe this is where the sport is going to go and more people will become ultra-runners or better yet extreme endurance athletes.  I for one can see myself headed in that direction as I continue to push the boundaries of my perceived abilities.

Where Do You Think Triathlon Is Headed?

Published in Uncategorized
[caption id="attachment_8794" align="alignright" width="300"]triathlon - road map - no meat athlete No Meat Athlete Triathlon Roadmap is available today by clicking this link and making a purchase NMA Tri Roadmap[/caption] Triathlon can be an intimidating sport with all of these fit people walking around the expo and transition as if they have been swimming, biking and running since they were in the womb.  Lucky for me I never noticed these people, nor did I have a clue about what I was really getting myself into.  Fortunately for me, being naive about the sport of triathlon played into my favor as I had no expectations and immersed myself into the sport I have grown to love. I consider myself lucky to have been able to get into the sport the way I did but maybe you have been reading my blog for a while and wondering if this sport is for you.  I mean stories of riding my bike for 6 hours and then running for 2 hours doesn't sound like a lot of fun to most.  Maybe that person is you, but I have something for you.  Yesterday, Susan Lacke released her first book and the title alone should set your mind at ease.  Susan's book is called No Meat Athlete Triathlon Road Map.  That is correct this is a book that will take you from sitting on your couch to racing in your first sprint triathlon and showing you all the fun along the way in your training and racing. Yours truly had the honor to be contacted by Susan about helping out with the book.  I don't know if I ever responded to an email faster but if Susan asks you if you want to help you don't care what it is you just say yes.  Reality is that it is going to involve only a few things and none of them are bad.  The topics are going to be triathlon/endurance sports, cupcakes or embarrassing stories about yourself.  You can see how easy it was for me to say yes because I am up for all three of those topics. Before I tell you a little about the book, let me tell you about how I came across Susan and Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete. It was when I first started my original blog and was reading a blog post from Mandy Farrar of Caratunk Girl that had a link to an interview that Susan was involved in.  I clicked on it and at first I couldn't really tell what I was watching but I was intrigued. Here was a person talking about triathlon and endurance sports.  She didn't look like the athletes you see everywhere at a race.  She discussed her foray into IMWI and how it went and I was hooked.  This sport was no longer intimidating but instead it was fun. I was hooked and started reading everything that she wrote because there was a lot of humor and reality to the sport. We all have great days but we all have horrible days too.  Every swim, ride and run isn't going to get 5 gold starts and more often than not it is going to suck. It is going to be hard and you are going to question what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Reading an article from Susan and the feelings you were experiencing were not unique to you.  There was an entire world going through what you were going through.  This made the whole concept of training and racing triathlon a bit easier to do. It was at that point that I decided to run the Cupcake Marathon.  The idea behind this was nothing big.  Just a simple challenge to run a half or full marathon distance over a number of days.  As I was putting this together I got correspondence from Susan regarding a logo and t-shirts and all the sudden this was a real thing.  Susan even said that she would see if Matt would offer up a prize, in the form of two free e-books, for winners.  This was my first introduction to Matt and No Meat Athlete. From that day forward I have relied on Matt and his blog posts to help guide me through the decision to become a plant-based athlete.  To this day I rely on Matt and his insight into being a plant-based endurance athlete.  He has written two blog posts recently that have really stuck out to me.  The most recent one was titled Why Vegans And Paleos Should Stop Hating Each Other and the other was That's WHAT's in my rice? How To Kick Arsenic's Ass.  These two stood out to me for different reasons but they still left a mark.  In the Vegans and Paleos blog post Matt takes a realistic view to eating in these lifestyles and how they are more similar than different but when you read through the comments some people just don't agree with him.  The article about arsenic was a real eye opener and to this day when I think about buying rice I think twice.  Do I really want to buy the rice and do the work that is required to lessen the amount of arsenic in it.  Read this articles and all the others on the No Meat Athlete site and get a world of lessons to being a plant-based athlete.

No Meat Athlete Triathlon Road Map

As I said earlier I am honored to be a contributor to this book and when Susan sent me an advanced copy I was ready to fall asleep as I had a later stint in the pool and swimming just wipes you out. I clicked on the PDF (no shipping involved so when you buy it you get it. How awesome is that?) I could not stop reading.  From the introduction to the training plan to the recipes to the meal plan.  It is all here for you to be successful and have fun doing it.  You can tell immediately that Susan wrote it as there is a respect for the sport in terms of safety and preparation but simultaneously a humorous crack along the way as well. I cannot guarantee that you will be qualifying for Kona after reading this book but what I can tell you is that the sport of triathlon and the idea of a plant-based lifestyle will no longer be intimidating. If you are interested in the sport I highly encourage you to purchase the roadmap now (pssst.....they are offering $10 off between August 12th and August 16th so don't wait) and get yourself started down the road to crossing the finish line of your first triathlon. Thank you Susan and Matt for allowing me to contribute. I truly appreciate it.
Published in Train
[caption id="attachment_8492" align="alignright" width="211"]performance enhancing - baseball - triathlon Is He The First To Break Maris' Record Of 62 Home Runs Or Do You Discount It Due To Performance Enhancing Drugs?[/caption] Performance enhancing drugs are all over the news of my favorite sport when I was growing up.  I use the caveat of when I was growing up because I'm not sure that baseball is my favorite sport anymore and part of that is due to the performance enhancing drugs.  A few years ago, after the players strike, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire wowed the world of baseball by hitting balls farther and more often than anybody else in the history of the sport.  I was right there with everybody else being glued to my TV and wondering if either of them would reach the record of Roger Maris' 62 home runs in a season. I will remember the day that Mark McGwire hit the record tying home run.  It was during the broadcast by Fox with Tim McCarver and Joe Buck.  McGwire's home run was a line drive over the left field wall.  He was so excited that he forgot to touch first base.  He ran the bases and his opponent on the day Sammy Sosa gave him a hug and greeted him like a long-lost cousin.  It was all so surreal.  The Maris family was there and McGwire embraced them and the chants were loud.  I remember thinking about who the pitcher was and that I better remember his name because I love baseball trivia and that will be handy one day.  By the way, the pitcher was Steve Trachsel and as life would have it he ended pitching for my favorite team the Mets. I bring this up because during the 2013 Major League Baseball season Chris Davis has hit 32 home runs prior to July 4th.  Only three other people in the history of the game have done this.  This morning on my way to an open water swim I heard an interview with him and he blatantly said that the HR record belonged to Roger Maris and not Sosa, McGwire or Barry Bonds.  These three all hit more than 62 home runs in a season with Bonds hitting 70 but it is widely accepted that they did these things while using performance enhancing drugs. At the same time that Chris Davis is hitting these home runs there is an investigation into players being connected to Biogenesis which claims to have provided performance enhancing drugs to players in today's game including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.  I shouldn't be surprised but I am that this discussion is still taking place.  I guess people will always turn to the path of least resistance when it comes to fame and fortune.  Unfortunately, I don't think that my new favorite sport of triathlon is immune to this epidemic. In this sport we are looking for ways to improve performance at all angles.  We are buying aero helmets and wheels.  The lightest bike and the most aerodynamic water bottle setup.  The easiest shoes to slide on.  Wetsuits that can cost thousands.  Swimskins with carbon material.  Sports drinks and the mixes.  Nitric Oxide, creatine, whey protein and the list can go on and on.  If there is a study that says it improves performance you can be that triathletes will be all over it.  It is like we treat our bodies like science experiments while looking for that 'free' speed. [caption id="attachment_8494" align="alignright" width="276"]performance enhancing - baseball - triathlon - lance armstrong - oprah winfrey Lance Armstrong Didn't Use Performance Enhancing Drugs Until He Did.[/caption] I would love to bury my head in the sand and say it doesn't exist but I am cynical these days thanks to stories about age groupers taking medication for low testosterone even though they do not suffer from this.  I hear about these weekend warrior going from 12 hour Ironman finishing times to qualifying for Kona in a year.  Can that be done?  Probably, but I would also think that performance enhancing drugs are involved.  I am skeptical that such a big leap is possible and that leads me to the pros. In baseball it is nearly impossible to make the majors even if you are taking performance enhancing drugs.  There just aren't enough roster spots compared to the number of people who play baseball.  Triathlon is a different story.  This sport brings the pros and the amateurs and puts them on the same playing field and says go to work.  Today's elite age grouper can be tomorrow's pro.  When they hit that pro field is when they decide they are good enough to compete and qualify for their card.  This isn't baseball or football where there are only so many roster spots available so the opportunity to cheat by taking performance enhancing drugs exists and this possibility can be real for more athletes in this sport. Do I believe that today's pros are taking PEDs, HGH or anything else?  I have no idea.  Yes there is a testing protocol but how tough is the test?  How hard would it be to circumvent the process?  We are seeing times drop quite dramatically and unfortunately I question how these things are happening but I do err on the side of natural ability and hard work.  Maybe I'm naive or I just want to pretend like it doesn't exist at the pro level of triathlon but I also would not be surprised if an elite pro was found guilty of taking any of these performance enhancing drugs. This is the world in which we live and I hope that whatever tests are being administered today are the toughest they can be and if not that the organizations running the sport of triathlon are putting testing in place to combat any cheating that may or may not be taking place.  Cheating in any form, including drafting on the bike is not acceptable and should be stopped as quickly as it can be.  

Do You Think Performance Enhancing Drugs Are Prevalant In Triathlon?

Do You Care?

Published in Train

Triathlon Anatomy by Mark Klion,MD and Troy Jacobson Book Review

  [caption id="attachment_7703" align="alignright" width="301"]triathlon - book review - troy jacobson - mark klion Troy Jacobson - Triathlon Coach[/caption] Triathlon Anatomy has a great title and authors.  The lure was cast and the hook went in deep and I purchased as soon as I could based on these two items.  Unfortunately I could not wiggle off the line and finished the book more disappointed than happy to have purchased it.  The book has terrific illustrations and great ideas but there is nothing new in the book that is eye-opening.  Knowing Troy Jacobson from the Spinervals DVD set and reading article he has written I was very excited to read some new insight into the sport of triathlon but that was lacking and was the source of my frustration with the book. If you are new to the sport this book is worth it as you can get terrific insight into what certain exercises should be done and why.  The book is terrific with illustrations as well to showcase what muscles are impacted by a certain workout as well as how it affects each specific sport.  I enjoyed reading this section but after a while the phrase (I am para-phrasing):  This is good to help with swim efficiency while building swim-specific strength and endurance.  The other exercises that are pointed out display how they affect the body for the bike and the run and the same type of catch-phrase is repeated in terms of how it benefits the body for that sport.  I found myself on the plane to and from Puerto Rico flipping the pages faster and faster as I was getting bored and at one point fell asleep mid-sentence. Now, let me say that this book is not all bad.  I think it has its place on a triathlete's book shelf but that triathlete is just getting started.  There is a discussion about triathlon distances, transitions, biomechanics of triathlon and training considerations.  One chapter goes over putting together a customized triathlon training plan and then the exercises and how they benefit triathletes.  All of it makes sense and would be a terrific read for somebody just getting started.  For those that have been involved in the sport and are truly practicing the art of triathlon this book is nothing more than a reminder of what to do but not earth-shattering. Once section that I did find to be beneficial for me was the section titled Stretches for Injury Prevention And Treatment since I am a non-stretcher.  I do my dynamic stretches before my training but when I am finished I am finished.  Essentially the only stretching I do is on Friday's at yoga and I have been fortunate enough to not sustain any injuries but I am going to take the stretches in this book and incorporate them into my evening routine.  Right now I am doing 15 minutes of core work at night so adding in 15 minutes of stretching afterwards means that I am getting in a solid 30 minutes of core/stretching to end the day and relax me before going to bed. I wish there was more good that I could say about this book but it just was not there for me.  As a person who lives the triathlon lifestyle on a daily basis this book was nothing more than a reminder of how and what training workouts benefit a triathlete and why.  For a person who is just getting started in triathlon or has done a Sprint or Olympic and is wondering how far they can go in triathlon this book will enlighten them to the workouts and reason why they should incorporate the workouts into their triathlon training plan.  The preface contains the following sentence which I think may be true for some experienced athletes but if the sport of triathlon is your lifestyle and you aren't dabbling in it then I don't think it makes sense to purchase this book:

The information presented in this book allows both novice and experienced athletes to obtain a better understanding of how the musculoskeletal system functions and responds to triathlon-specific exercises and training.

Have You Read Triathlon Anatomy?  Thoughts?

What Triathlon Books Can You Recommend?

Published in Product Reviews
[caption id="attachment_7548" align="alignright" width="398"]physicals - triathlon - racing - ironman - death - doctor Source: Triathlon Magazine[/caption] Physicals - do you get one every year?  I know I do and especially as training for Ironman starts.  The question of physicals is coming up again because of the tragedy that occurred at Escape From Alcatraz in which a competitor died during the swim portion.  As it would seem to be, most of the fatalities in triathlon, occur during the swim portion and there are theories.
  1. Athletes are not prepared for the start of the swim and heart rates rise rapidly.
  2. Athletes are not prepared for the frigid temps of some of the races.
What I have not heard is that the athletes are not prepared for the event.  This has brought me to as a few questions about our sport.

Physical:  Should They Be Required

The first question is are physicals necessary as evidence that an athlete is in shape to handle the rigors of the event?  If physicals are required at what level should they be required?  Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman, Ironman.  Where do you draw the line?  Who is responsible for disclosing an issue if one is detected:  Doctor or Athlete? Our sport is expensive and thus requiring a physical would only add to the cost but would it save lives and yet another question evolves from this.  Let's take a look at my race schedule from last year: Prior to which race should I be getting a physical?  All of them?  The first one for the year?  I went to the doctor prior to San Juan and was given a clean bill of health and I didn't even think of going back for any other race including Ironman Arizona.  I mean why would I?  I was healthy and only getting healthier with all the exercise and clean eating I was doing. What you don't see here though is the nerves that climb as the timing of the race gets closer and closer and I'm not sure a physical can detect that.  For example, let's assume I went to get a second physical prior to the race in October.  Assume I was given a clean bill of health and was told I could race.  Those tests could not have predicted that I would freeze up in the water and have to swim kayak to kayak for the first 400 meters of the race like I did.  My mind got in the way and I panicked and gave myself a curse filled talking to so that I could swim the remaining 1100 meters to get on my bike. That day in October was the coldest day I have ever raced in and as I was running to my bike I contemplated DNF'ing, putting my sweat pants on and heading inside the hotel to grab some coffee and let the others race away.  No physical in the world would have predicted a complete panic attack in the water but that is exactly what happened. [caption id="attachment_7547" align="alignright" width="283"]physicals - triathlon - doctor - racing Source: NY Times[/caption]

Physicals Would Eliminate The One-Timers?

For argument's sake let's say that USAT required physicals but only prior to Half-Ironman and Ironman races.  Would this eliminate those that want to do these distances as a bucket list check-off and is that fair? The popularity of triathlon has been booming for a few years and I love that so many want to get involved but if they are getting into the sport to just say they did it are they risking too much and is it worth it?  Would you exchange your life for the chance to race a 140.6 event if you weren't prepared?  I don't know about you but to me it isn't worth it, but I have also decided to make this my lifestyle and consider myself to be an ambassador of the sport. I want as many people to get involved as they can but I also want them to do it safely and commit.  This means that if you are not fit to go 140.6 or 70.3 miles within the given time frame then you should probably not register for the race.  Start with something smaller and work your way up to see if you even want to attempt the distance because you may find that you don't want to. Now all that being said would a physical determine how prepared somebody would be prior to the event.  If you get a physical in January and your race isn't until May how would the physical help, and again, would that push people away from the sport even though they truly want to change their life?

My Thoughts On Physicals And Triathlons

I have asked lots of questions but have not given a definitive answer to this question, until now.  My answer is NO to mandatory physicals.  There is so much that can change between the date of the physical and the event date.  There is another added cost that may not prove anything not to mention the logistics of providing that information to the race director when you register. We all know the inherent risks when we push "register" and that is that this is a physically demanding sport that requires training and preparation.  If you fail to do your part then you are not only risking yourself but also the competitors around you.  A physical cannot determine how much you have trained after that specific point in time so making them mandatory doesn't make sense to me.

What Are Your Thoughts On Mandatory Physicals For Participating In Triathlon?

Published in Race
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 15:18

Cheating And The Lance Armstrong Saga

[caption id="attachment_7131" align="alignright" width="289"]cheating - lance armstrong - triathlon Lance Armstrong has confessed to cheating but what else has his confession meant.[/caption] Cheating is cheating so let's get that out-of-the-way to start.  Do not tell me there are levels to cheating because there aren't.  It is just cheating.  If an athlete uses testosterone, EPO or HGH OR they are drafting on the bike they are cheating.  Either way they are gaining an advantage over the other competitors that isn't fair and I don't like it.  I have never condoned cheating and never will.  It is not acceptable in sports where you are putting your ability (or team's ability) against another person or team.  You may win, you may lose but either way play fair.  If you don't play fair you have already lost even if you have won. Lance Armstrong, and this post is less about him and more about cheating and my feelings about cheating, went on the Oprah Winfrey Network and confessed to something we already knew.  He wasn't breaking new ground with his admitted use of blood doping, etc.  He wasn't coming clean for the sport or for any other reason than to clear his conscience and I am not sure he did that.  I found him smug and actually turned off the interview on Thursday within 30 minutes of it airing.  I couldn't take it and did not watch the Friday interview until Saturday on the DVR where I could fast forward through his non-sense.  I was/am in no mood to listen to a cheater and a liar confess to the TV screen.  He has no place in sports and he has no right to my time since he wasted it for all those years perpetuating something he isn't. As you can see I cannot stand cheating and as the week leading up to the interview was unfolding I was caught off-guard by my thoughts about Tyler Hamilton and the others who had already confessed to cheating.  I had originally forgiven them for their wrongs and applauded as they did the right thing and confessed but what makes these guys any different from Lance?  Nothing.  Not one single thing other than, it seems, they weren't bullying people but they were still cheating.  Their bans from the sport are much shorter (not hard considering Lance Armstrong is banned for life) and have the ability to get back into the sport but I say:  Let them get to work doing something else.  They cheated the sport, the fans, the sponsors (although some sponsors may have known and allowed it to happen) and they don't deserve another chance at this sport that many have grown to love.  Also, don't go out and buy Hamilton's book or Landis' book when it comes out or anybody else that cheated because all you are doing is putting money in their pockets for doing something that was against the rules. I have read Nicole Cooke's retirement speech and was moved by her brutal honesty and ability to stand up for what's right.  She called out Lance Armstrong and the others as well as governing bodies for allowing this to happen. It was a bold move on her way out of the sport but a bold move none the less.  It stood out as a guiding light through the darkness that has overcome the sport of cycling, and what I fear will cloud the sport of triathlon.  More professional athletes need to stand up to the few that are doping and not allow it to happen or fall into the trap of having to use cheating as a means to gain ground on those who are evading the rules.  Push those cheaters out of the sport by calling them out and putting them in the spotlight to answer questions about how they went from an 11 hour Ironman to 9.5 hours in one year.  If they are clean than so be it but let's not allow this virus to spread throughout our sport(s). In the end Lance Armstrong's confession to cheating has done two things for me.  One I am happy about and the other I am very frustrated with.  On the one hand his confession has shown that you can cheat but you will get caught and when you do it will be far worse than if you had never cheated at all. I believe this will give some people pause before they make that decision and that to me is a good thing. The other result of his confession, and one I am more upset about than anything else is that I am more cynical than I have ever been.  I am a trusting person and I want to see the good in people and all that they do.  I am now faced with having to question everything and I mean everything from the start.  What does this person want from me?  What are they really asking me for?  These types of questions very rarely entered my sub-conscience but they are there now and that is something I can never forgive Lance Armstrong and his cheating ways for.  Maybe in time I will become more trusting again but for right now my view has been tainted and I don't like it one bit.  Thanks, Lance.

What Do You Think Of Cheating In Terms Of A Hierarchy?

Published in Race