Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Am Triathlete ... Hear ME ROAR!!!

Unless you are a resident of North Korea, or my friend Bobby, you have heard about Lance Armstrong being notified by the USADA that they will be investigating him for doping.

This was a text from yesterday!

This story broke on Friday and the triathlon community was in an uproar because WTC, promoter of Ironman branded races, has a corporate policy that states (paraphrased) that an athlete cannot compete in any WTC race while being under investigation for violations of doping.

After many meetings were supposedly had about possibly changing the rule, WTC decided to stand pat by what was written and suspend Lance from racing all future events until the investigation is concluded.

People were pissed. Everyone wanted to see what Lance could do in the upcoming Ironman France (June 24th) and then at Kona in October. We wanted to see him going head-to-head with Crowie and Macca. The anticipation of such drama had us triathletes foaming at the mouth and randomly breaking into uncontrollable shakes! 

So when Dan Empfield, Slowtwitch Editor-in-Chief, released the details of the WTC decision and them upholding the suspension the comments that followed were overwhelmingly in favor of Lance Armstrong. Many of the replies focused on the stupidity of WTC and ranged from a full out Boycott of all WTC races to signing a petition to reinstate Lance. 

Here is a small snippet of the 129 rage-filled comments:

Summary: Boycott WTC, Free Lance, Go F yourself WTC, Doping is cool ...

Then to make matters worse WTC goes and announces on Friday that a brand new Ironman race was going to take place at Lake Tahoe in September of 2013. The timing of this announcement really had to have WTC shaking in their shoes because triathletes were SO UPSET by the Lance decision. I mean just looking at the above Facebook posts would lead you to believe that the people had had enough of the antics of WTC and would stop supporting them, amiright? AND THEN to add insult to injury, the Lake Tahoe Ironman was going to open for registration on Monday morning. Burn. Can WTC really be this arrogant?

Triathletes would surely ban together in a sign of solidarity by channeling every Rage Against the Machine song ever penned and stick it to WTC with their wallets, hells yeah!!!!!! Screw Ironman Lake Tahoe!!! Down with WTC!!! 

Take the Power Back!

So What Happened?

Ironman Lake Tahoe (@$675) sold out in less then 24 hours. 

Do not go gentle into that good night, 

Old age should burn and rage at close of day; 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

What did I learn from this saga? 

I want to be more like Bobby.

Thanks for Reading,


P.s. - For what it is worth, I actually am happy WTC stuck by their guns and followed the rules. The rule may be stupid, and that can be argued at another time, but people are always bitching about how WTC has zero integrity. I'd point to this decision the next time one offers up that argument. 

Ray @ DCrainmaker had a nice write up on this earlier today and is exactly how I feel.


  1. Nice write up Jeff.

    I betcha WTC already had the announcement scheduled for Friday. I think the whole lance saga just got in the way. You do realize they did the same exact thing 12 months ago with IMNYC & IMMT. I believe we signed up for IMMT tomorrow 12 months ago.

    I wonder what they will announce in another 12 months? The first space triathlon?

    1. Wonder how many watts we could push in space?

  2. LOL @ the convo with Bobby!

    I'm glad you linked to Ray's article. Read that this morning and just nodded my head in agreement the whole time. The rule sucks and is stupid, but it is the rule that everyone agreed to. I bet it gets changed at the end of the year when they review it, but for now, they have to stick to what was agreed to (this isn't congress after all).

    Per Jon's idea, maybe we can swim in the Sea of Tranquility??? haha

    PS: Guerrilla Radio is on my pre-race mix.

    PPS: No strava lawsuit rant???

    1. The Strava lawsuit is so stupid I cannot even poke fun.

  3. Thanks for keeping me up to date with the Lance vs. WTC deal. I hadn't heard what the final call was. I agree that it was a good thing for them to stick to their guns. I haven't listened Rage in awhile. I'll have to cue some up!

  4. Thanks...got a laugh out of me. I agree it was good for them to stick to their guns. But definitely bummed about him not competing... I was *this* close to signing up for Lake Tahoe...until my hubby saw how much the race was because I never correlated WTC and Lance to my dream of being an ironman...duh!

  5. I don't agree with any ban until an athlete is proven guilty and NOT proven guilty in a one sided kangaroo court. Not sure who "They" are at the WTC that made this rule but the majority in general i believe would never agree that that decision to ban an athlete that's under investigation before being proven guilty is a bad one. Therefore given the circumstances, I think it should be overturned and now would be a good time. He is good for the sport in so many ways and no one at least for now will have the same ability to impact the sport as much as he can.

    1. Anon - I've seen this argument stated ad nauseum, and in the screen shot above, and, being frank, it is rather short sighted, if not altogether ignorant.

      Here is why:

      One, WTC is not a court, it is a corporation.

      Two, A corporation is not run by "majority rules", a Democracy runs under those rules. Corporations with shareholders are not a Democracy. Therefore, the "majority rules" defense leaves much wanting.

      Three, How good for the sport would it be if Lance is found guilty? If he had won Kona would it be good for the sport to have his title stripped away? Would the shareholders at WTC be reaping the financial gains of throwing their full support behind a convicted doper?

      These are the questions that need to be asked by those responsible for running a profitable corporation and if Lance is found to be guilty then the decision by WTC to suspend him only makes them look better.

      Everyone always bitches about WTC being greedy and lacking integrity. They finally make a decision which disputes both these claims and people are still pissed? Guess haters like to hate, right?

      If Lance is found innocent then he races next year. Either way, WTC wins in the long term. If Lance is pissed then he can go to a non-Mdot race, just as other long course triathletes can too. Based on how quick IMLT filled up I'd say the "majority" has spoken.

  6. I was wondering where you stood on the situation. I totally agree with you. While I would have loved to see the results of a shoot-out against Crowie and Macca, it is what it is. If Armstrong is guilty, and I am not saying he is, I would hate elite triathletes doping because they think they need to do it to compete against cyclists like Armstrong. Our sport is mostly clean and I would like to keep it that way. Maybe after all this stuff gets cleared up, then we will see the competition.

    1. I am really surprised WTC didn't change/review the rule before they got in bed with Lance. I mean it isn't like this was not a foreseeable event?

  7. I am a Bobby! :) News to me but we South Africans are a bit isolated from the world. We also had news yesterday the this year's Comrades Marathon winner tested positive for a banned substance. Seems it was something in flu/cold tablets he might have taken.

    1. I saw something about the Comrades winner doping on another blog. Does everyone cheat nowadays? geez.

  8. Ha! "I want to be more like Bobby" ME TOO

    Its a shame...really wanted to see how Lance would do in the full this weekend

    Pretty solid buisness model WTC has setup - create sellout events and get paid big premiums by the host cities

  9. I am a big Lance fan, I am disappointed he in not allowed to race, but do you really think WTC isnt going to have Lance at Kona??? I dont for one second, they have a potential TV deal in the works, the WTC is all about the money, TV equals money and free promotion, advertisers will flock to have their brand up with Lance, watch, its going to happen

    1. He will probably still end up in Kona, or not, either way I train and race and it doesn't effect me.

      The thing I find amusing is that triathletes are always bitching about WTC with statements like,
      "They only care about profit!",
      "WTC has no integrity, all about the cash!"

      Well, they just made a decision that hurts them financially and everyone is like,
      "Such as stupid decision WTC is losing money!",
      "Let Lance race, screw your rules!"

      Does any one else find this blatant hypocrisy amusing?

  10. I agree that the rule makes no sense (just being investigated is enough?) but also was surprised that WTC didn't back down,

  11. Lance is to triathlon what Tiger is to golf. After Tiger blew up on Sunday I turned it off.
    It appears that 99% of the IM community doesn't give a shit and is going to race WTC IMs anyway. I am one of those people (even though they didn't like my video), but I think as a business decision WTC is making a bad call. They probably could have sold out Lake Tahoe in 20 hours.....

  12. This whole mess epitomizes the triathlon community's relationship with WTC. They hate the organization, but love their races. So all they end up doing is bitching and complaining, but don't do what they should and support local or independent race management companies.

  13. Rule stupid? Yes, but it's the fucking rule. Give me a break. It's there, he signed the paper and he has to deal with it. Who gives a shit? I woulda love to see Hume race but he will not this year and we will get to see a Crowie v Macca rematch and I am going to bet on Macca because I am an asshole and so is he. go Macca!

    WTC did the right thing. Let Lance go race Rev3 and HITS as that will only help the sport in the long run. Once people race those events that have less fanfare than Ironman they will go to the M-Dot and races will sell out in5 minutes and not 24 hours. Smart move WTC.

    Long Live Bobby!

  14. I sometimes wish that I could just go in a bubble, talk to my amigos when I need to, ride without cars on the roads, run downhill routes in 55 degree sunshine and just forget about the whole Lance thing.

    I was told by a very knowledgeable person in the cycling industry that "if you are winning, you are doping". That's enough proof for me.

    I'm kind of to the "who the hell cares" point.

    How's training going??? :)