The Worst Of Triathlon


That is my question to the triathletes headed to Ironman 70.3 Lubbock this weekend. 

I am waiting for one single athlete to articulate any reasonable reward that might outweigh the real risk of participating in this event.  

Houston’s hospital ICUs are 97% full right now. Houston is only an 8 hour drive from Lubbock. Combine the rising Texas COVID cases with the hundreds of senseless triathletes coming into town from various locations, the opportunity for COVID to be transmitted through the field of athletes is incredibly high. 

The healthy and active lungs of triathletes are ripe for COVID-19’s spread. The outcome of getting the virus could just be a bad few days or weeks in bed – or – it could mean compromised lung function that keeps you from racing. ever. again. 

Those racing on Sunday represent the worst in triathlon. The selfish, short-sighted, and single minded behaviors I loathe in multisport are brought into high relief as athletes and race organizers desperately try to salvage a race season that should have been cancelled in March. 

I say this well aware that I have friends set to toe the start line. The choice to participate in this race demonstrates an absence of personal responsibility, respect for your community, and respect for your body.

If you are bored and “just miss racing” – you have exposed your lack of discipline to go one season without an external goal to glorify and justify your identity as an athlete.

If you are trying to qualify for 70.3 Worlds hoping “the fast people do not show up” – you are not a serious competitor at Worlds so what is the point of risking your life to experience an ass kicking on the world stage?   

If you are racing to hang out with your friends or “triathlon family” – you are egregiously neglecting the health of the pod that awaits you upon your return home.

If you are incensed by my words, look in a mirror long and hard and consider why you feel that fire. Then reconsider racing.

Mark my words, when the day comes that my squad and I can toe the line with you, safely, in a post-COVID world, there is not one ounce of my body or my athletes’ bodies that we will not shred to pieces to beat you across the finish line. You know how I know this? Because we are doing it daily – with zero races on our calendars and with no outside affirmation of our daily training.