Monday, August 13, 2012

Triathlon Swim Deaths and A Lesson in French

Deaths in triathlons has been a hot topic for the past couple years and the discussions emerged all over again with a death during the IMNYC swim. Many people have very strong opinions about the swim portion of the triathlon and just as many dread the swim. This begs the question, why do you love triathlons so much if you hate the swim?

Personally, I love the swim as much as the chaos that goes with it. I'm a firm believer that if you're not properly prepared for the swim, you shouldn't even bother showing up for the race. You can't always rely on your wetsuit as a crutch since we've been experiencing record high temperatures. In a recent IM in Europe, I heard there were people in tears because they weren't going to allow anyone to wear a wetsuit. Seriously? You should know that there is always the possibility, even a one in a million chance, the water temperature might be too high. If you need a wetsuit, Idaho has some nice races as long as you can stand the cold.

Dan Empfield was a pioneer in the triathlon world. He designed the first triathlon wetsuit and the first bike "built from the aerobars back." Recently he wrote a detailed article about swimming deaths in triathlon. It's worth reading the whole article. The first article may be what prompted Dan's article.

Death During IMNYC Swim

Limiting Deaths in Triathlon 

Yesterday, whilst running, I heard something I've never heard before in St. Louis...a bike trail riding lesson in French. I had a little kid coming past me on his bike and I hear: Continuer a guache, continuer a gauche...allez vers a droit. (Keep to the left, keep to the left, go to the right.) While St. Louis is a fairly diverse city, you'd really never know it. I realize St. Louis founded by two guys from France, Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau, named for the King of France then bought from France by the US. There are also many towns and cities with French names (that failed to retain their French pronunciation) but, I don't think I've ever heard French spoken since I moved here.

So, if you'd like to teach your kid how to pass on a trail in French, now you know.

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