I ran across this finish of the Ironman European Championship on Twitter and found it to be an excellent source of entertainment.  The video shows pro triathlete, Mel Hauschildt, coasting toward her Ironman European Championship, but about 50 yards out an Age Grouper guy bursts by the camera crew and Hauschildt to claim his own glory (which turned out to be 25th overall and 4th in his AG).  I posted a few of the tweets below, including one from 2015 Ironman World Champion, Jan Frodeno, who was not impressed by this guy’s move.


https://twitter.com/LOKenyon/status/749613517905530881?replies_view=true&cursor=BCBVLOpGZwo

THE GOOD & BAD

The first thing is, most people really aren’t themselves when running down the Ironman chute.  I have literally been out of body in good and bad ways.  That said, there’s no doubt that guy has has been spraying “I beat the woman’s champion,” all over Deutschland.

This is clearly no longer a “race” at this point and Mel was just cruising in her glory, slapping hands with all the fans.  He’s just lurks in the draft ready to pick her off like Peter Sagan.

I’m also not sure about his “Let me hear you” arm pumps to the crowd.  It’s actually pretty hilarious, but frankly, most triathletes seem to think they’ve won the race no matter their finish position.

LET’S FIX THE FINISH LINE!

A few people in that string of Tweets suggested having two finish lines.  One for the pros and one for the age groupers.  To this I say, why stop there?  Let’s have a separate finish line for every age group!  It could look similar to the starting gates of the Kentucky Derby.  Maybe add turnstiles just to make sure people aren’t going too fast when they get their picture taken.

Someone else was a little upset by how narrow the chute was, and I have to agree.  The danger is really unfathomable.  Can you imagine if two runners moving the same direction were to exchange body fluid or inadvertently knock off someone’s race visor? It would ignite Twitter rants of exceptional proportions.

RACING WITH PROS

I have raced alongside pros several times and let me tell you, they are not necessarily the friendliest bunch while on the course.  In at two of my runs, everyone was winding both directions on a snake-like, out-and-back greenway and the pros would not hesitate to cut the corner by running right into my lane.  This, of course, forced a survival of the fittest moment and needless to say . . . both times I meekly stepped to the side and ate a banana on the grass.

While I don’t know this for certain, I have detected an ongoing friction between top age-groupers and pros.  Age groupers are like wild dogs creeping around a moonlit neighborhood while pros are on a peaceful stroll with their significant other.  Some of these age-groupers just can’t seem to shut off testosterone.

I love pro triathletes and wish they were in all of my races.  I think it adds to the fun and excitement, but the reality is, age groupers want to kick ass too.  It’s all relative.  By my count this guy finished ahead of 19 male pros that day, which is pretty impressive.  Can’t fault a guy for running to the wire.

Ironman isn’t yet the King’s sport, and I’m not sure we need to be so uptight about etiquette (with the exception of mass swim starts).  That said, it’s ultimately kind of a weak move stealing Hauschildt’s thunder and I fear it could spark a rash of inappropriate Ironman finishes.  At this rate we’ll soon have grown men doing summersaults across the finish line at Kona.  Oh wait . . .

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Ironman Finisher's Chute Etiquette

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2 thoughts on “Ironman Finisher's Chute Etiquette

  • July 13, 2016 at 10:47 am
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    I totally agree with you about not really being yourself in the finish chute. For my first Ironman I do think I passed a guy right at the end. I had one speed … slowly forward and I couldn’t control it to not pass him. He’s probably super annoyed by our photos. Oh well.

    • July 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm
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      Haha… yes, that’s funny… I’ve been in a few of those photos… He probably laughs about it now, tho… I know I am!

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