Our goal is a straightforward, we hope to help eliminate cheating at races by highlighting your stories of cheats from the race. So if you raced this weekend and you have a story to share please do so in the comments section below. To help get the ball rolling we're highlighting a few stories from the slowtwitch.com forum from this weekend's Ironman in Florida.
Really, SCUBA FINS, Really:
This one is from Race Bannon:
"No, I'm not talking about the 500+ people that cut the first buoy on the second lap of the swim course. I'm talking about the guy I saw walking through the knee deep water after going over the timing mat to start his second lap.
This guy was inside of the main channel of swimmers (walkers) wading through the shallows, holding something down in the water in his left hand. I was thinking what has that guy got that he's so intent on keeping in the water? He was having to lean over to his left to accomplish this so he was standing out as having something strange going on.
When a wave rolled by and revealed what was in his hand it was a pair of SCUBA FINS!!! A lifeguard noticed this as well and lit up on him, dude dropped them immediately and was looking around trying to play it off like "No that wasn't my crack rock I just tossed down the culvert".
Lifeguard motioned him to come over and talked with him briefly, but allowed him to continue swim. He then walked over and picked the fins up and put them under the seat of his wave runner then he got on the walkie-talkie and hopefully turned in this clown. Many of us on the beach saw this and couldn't believe a new low had been reached."
Zen and the Art of Drafting
This is from Itri2008 who was on a motorcycle
"I was a motorcycle driver for a race marshall (I was going to be a marshall but they needed motorcycle drivers) and all I can say is that we were overwelmed by the packs as well. First the construction on 79 was bad so we were told to be kinda lenient until after the construction. But once we hit 20 I was assigned a 11 mile stretch and we wrote up 45 people, there was only one marshall assigned to this stretch but we had 3 working it until they hit their area of responsibility.
I was amazed at the people that watch for the marshalls. Yes they are blatantly cheating. I did the race last year and was able to ride a clean race by dropping back or passing and riding a little harder than I had originally planned so I know first hand how bad it is out there. The big problem we had was that the media took 7 of our motorcycles, leaving 7 marshalls without rides. We would have had a much bigger presence if that had not happened, we are also required to watch a person comitting the infraction, and I would pull up to see people start to pass, knowing they were probably drafting before
I got there but not able to do anything about it. I have been racing for over 20 years and this is not what the spirit of Triathlon is about. I will do the race again and I will do it legally again but if I'm not racing I will be out there working to make it a fair race. If you were written up and feel you didn't deserve it, think about the fact that we just watched you for about 30-45 seconds and have to make a decision. That may not seem like a long time but it is, and we are trying to do our best. We don't get paid (except for our gas) we work all day long and without volunteers it would be much worse, so don't beat up on the refs too much. But to argue when you are caught is just petty.
I had a AG man drafting off a Femal Pro on Front beach and when we carded him he was outraged, the pro told us thank you, my son worked the penalty tent the last 2 years and said there were twice as many people this year as last. We will do our part but you must do yours. Congrats to everyone who finished. And if you thought the bike was bad did you see the swim? We have a picture of a guy with fins"
We feel a DRAFT:
This one is from Mark in FL:
"Well, since they weren't listed I'll put myself out there for retribution and humiliation...I got a drafting penalty at IMFL 2008. First one ever, and it was a stupid mistake on my part. However, the time in the tent let me see a different side of the race and I don't think I'll be back for this one anytime soon even though I really like this race.
I was out of the swim in 57:40 so things were pretty spread out in the beginning of the ride. I passed a few people on Front Beach road and then as we turned north to head out of town a guy comes rolling by me standing on his pedals to get in front of me...then proceeds to sit up and grab a snack from his back pocket. I sat up and stopped pedaling waiting for him to start going again and move off, but he was struggling grabbing his snack and instead of hitting the breaks like I should have I just glided there slowly moving back from his wheel. I looked to my left to see a draft marshal and a few seconds later she shouted my number and flashed the red card.
I was disappointed because I didn't feel like I was trying to gain any advantage, but I made the mistake of not hitting the brakes to drop back and re-pass. the marshal was absolutely right in giving me the penalty according to the rules.
With the 4 minutes I got to see what a lot of people who exit the water around 1hr talk about. At about mile 30 or so a pack of 50+ rolled by me, as I dropped back 1 by 1 as I was passed. Not long after I got caught by a pack of 30 or so and experienced the same thing.
As I got rolled out the back I just put up my hands and when I looked over there was another draft marshal. I said to her "this is getting ugly"...she replied "I know, but don't worry we'll handle it" and proceeded to write people up. One thing I noticed is with a pack that large its impossible for 1 marshal to catch everyone. They have to pick out 1 person at a time and count the time they are in the draft zone.
Out of 30 or so people, the marshal I think gave out 3 penalties in that stretch and the pack spread out a bit only to reform as soon as they were gone. Another thing I witnessed was people who were riding in the packs SCREAMING at the refs when they got carded. I watched a guy get a red card, flip off the marshal, then hammer to catch up to the motorbike as it was riding next to the pack and yelling at the marshal. It was really sad.
I know its competitive at the front and everyone works hard with a goal/dream of getting to Kona, but if you are riding along with 30+ people you are making the decision to be there and should be willing to pay the price."
If you raced, specatated, and saw cheating, please share your stroy below ro help stamp out the weasels.