Shannon and gang
I wanted to offer you a few pieces of feedback from today’s SORT race.
First off I am a huge fan of your races. I have done SORT 5 times now, and have done the TTT 4 times, and plan to do it a 5th next year. Up until this year I considered SORT to be equal to or only slightly behind Ironman races in terms of quality, organization, and support.
The first was the swim. Why was it so short? Why was it so shallow in places that while swimming I was able to touch the bottom? As I told a friend, if I wanted to be able to walk the entire swim, or a large portion of it, I wouldn’t sign up for a race in Lake Michigan. At a race of the stature that you promote Racine to be, a short swim is unacceptable (in fact at any race IMO). Last year – no issues as the fog was crazy and you did the best you could. This year, inexcusable. If I wanted to swim 1500 meters, I would have done an Olympic today.
Second, the drafting today was horrendous. Words simply cannot describe what I saw when I was at mile 2 of the run, and I saw two groups of riders, 2 wide 15-20 deep cruising towards transition. I only imagine what else was happening out there. Up in the elite wave it was pretty honest. Obviously a boatload of USAT officials giving out 100+ penalties didn’t do jack. You can’t count on the participants to be honest, so YOU need to do something. Smaller waves, larger intervals between waves, a smaller field, something. Fix the problem by preventing it.
Third, I am not sure if there were timing problems in some of the waves, or if it was a sheer effect of drafting, but some of the Female bike times were insane, I haven’t looked at the Men’s times close enough to form an opinion there. I observe that an female AG “winner” rode a 2:21, nearly 24 miles an hour. Out splitting me by 2 minutes; last year at IMWI I rode 31 minutes faster than that participant. Just 3 or 4 months ago she rode a 2:39 at NO 70.3. Not only that, but she rode 4 minutes faster than Lisa Bentley – the year she was 3rd in the World at the Ironman.
Give. Me. A. Break.
Lastly, I was personally disappointed in the lack of a deep competitive pro field that we have seen in years past. It would have been fun to see David Thompson, Luke Bell, Chris Leigh, Jordan Rapp, or any other speedy guy out on the course dishing out the hurt with Blake.
While I fully intend to return to the TTT again next year, I am currently doubting my return to SORT, despite it being in my backyard and the timing of it in my usual training schedule,I see a lot of potential in taking a drive up to the Door County half and hopefully enjoying a much fairer race.
I am disappointed to have to send an email of such a negative tone to you guys, but the things I mention above were a HUGE spoiler on a day that saw me execute my best “half” in a couple of years. See you next year at the Triple T, and hopefully when I will feel confident that SORT return to its past form next year when I chose a race for this weekend.