Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Big Swim Changes at Ironman Triathlon Races

Interesting news coming from Ironman in regards to the swim leg in their races:

Check it out here at Triathlete. Also, the Ironman site has a comprehensive list of plans here.

In a nutshell, they're testing out some new swim start ideas at various race locations to get rid of the odious mass swim start. Some of the ideas include: a "rolling" start across a timing mat (they'll try this one at Coeur d'Alene), wave starts by age group and self-seeded starts. Finally, some races will continue to use mass starts. I guess they'll get feedback from the different groups and figure out which way to go.

And one brave new idea is "rest" buoys where swimmers could actually stop and hold on until they're ready to continue their swim!

Of course, these changes will have two nice features. One, it will make the swim safer. That's good. And two, it will bring in new athletes that have been afraid of the mass swim starts to the point where they've just said "no thanks" to triathlon altogether.

Hey, even to a guy that loves the swim leg like me, there's nothing fun about a mass swim start. It's about time they figured out a new way forward.

Nice job, Ironman.

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