The recent craziness in Philadelphia with two idiots running on the field and interfering with the game got me thinking about triathlons, Ironman, and marathons and risk management. One thing for sure, I blame the parents. My dad always told my brother and I, "If you ever get into trouble at school or with the police, the punishment you get from them will pale in comparison to what you get from me." Understood. Say no more. He meant "indentured servitude" when under punishment in the Mitera house. For something like this... I think we probably would have cut the lawn with nail clippers one blade of grass at a time on our knees. Let's hope that the courts are harder on this guy and another idiot who ran on the field last night. Taze them all. Then put them in stocks in front of the stadium to be taunted by over-served fans.
In football, we don't see this as often as the men on the field are HUGE and in pads. I forget who did it, but during a Monday Night Football game a linebacker knocked out an idiot on the field with a great clothes line. When questioned about it he said, "He shouldn't have been on the field." (and grunted)
On a tangent, one thing for sure, BP is learning (or should be) regarding risk management. How do you work in oil exploration and NOT have an IMMEDIATE response for HAZMAT situations? We have them on our roads. Why not on our (the World's) oceans? Current planning is like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic. My hope is that BP as an "ethical corporation" (according to their documents) will pay for the clean up.* (Recent revalations have shown that means $75M according to their insurance and the law. A far cry from the full bill, but I digress.)
Ironman (WTC) took a HUGE step forward when they banned family and friends from crossing the finish line with athletes. I am a huge fan of what WTC did. They offered the fans entry BEHIND the finish line so family could present the medal to their family. It is actually better (in my opinion) than "crossing the line" with the family.
I encourage ALL Kokua athletes to race HARD all the way to and THROUGH the finish line. At Ironman Canada (2001) I crossed the finish at 11:07:00 but magically my race "official time" was 11:07:11. Huh? The timing mat was in the BACK of the finish area. It didn't matter regarding a possible Kona slot, but what if it did? I crossed the line. Took three steps and stopped. The guy behind me went right through to the finish area exit while I gasped for air. He was credited with a faster time. Even with the roll down, we missed Kona, but think about the what if situation.
In 2004, at Ironman Wisconsin, one of my athletes qualified in 5th place because she ran to the line. My athlete here is Nicole. Nicole and Jodi were side by side coming to the finish. Jodi reached to grab her child to run through the finish with her. Nicole's brother Jeff (also a client of mine), her husband and I are screaming at her to SPRINT! Jodi hears us over the crowd and now is racing Nicole who wasn't blowing kisses to the crowd quite yet. The initial results show Nicole NOT going to Kona. Tuesday after the race. Nicole got a call from Ironman officials as one of the gals in front of her was DQ'd for having her husband run with her during the marathon. Apparently a group who she isn't friends with sent pictures to officials and got her DQ'd. The beneficiary? Nicole, who went to Kona the following year.
Can you imagine training that hard, racing all day, and then allowing someone to take Kona from you because YOU didn't race?
|TOTAL TIME||FIRST NAME||ST/PROV||DIVISION PLACE||SWIM TIME||BIKE TIME||RUN TIME||HAWAII QUALIFIERS||PENALTY|
World Triathlon Corporation will implement a new finish line policy for all do domestic Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events. Beginning with Ironman 70.3 California, friends and/or family members will no longer be permitted to cross the finish line or enter the finish chute with participating athletes.
This is GREAT! The reason is people ARE racing to the finish. Another? Well, how about shaken baby syndrome? Every year before this ban we watched infants bouncing around while some racers sprinted by. My personal favorite happened in Kona. A grandmother with a walker (I'm not kidding) tried to keep up with her son across the line. Large purse, walker, and enormous bottle of water in tow. She stumbled and nearly fell right in front of a sprint to the line by the M50-54 race for the WIN in Kona. What if she fell? What if she interfered with the guys racing to win their age group in Kona? What if she broke her hip? What if she fell into her grandson and broke his arm?“Safety is paramount at all Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events. Allowing non-participants to cross the finish line compromises event security, serves as a distraction to other finishers and disrupts our secure finish line operations. Family and friends are encouraged to reunite with their athlete in the photo/post-race area just beyond the finish line,” said Steve Meckfessel, Ironman’s Chief Operating Officer.
In response to ongoing athlete feedback, Ironman has chosen to adopt this policy to ensure the safety of all participants, volunteers and fans. As with other sporting events, Ironman strives to provide a competitive and memorable event, one that allows all parties to enjoy the entire Ironman Experience. This policy will allow each competitor adequate time to celebrate their accomplishment without interfering with other finishers. Athletes who choose not to respect the new policy will receive an automatic disqualification (DQ).
What if someone interfered? These courses are all open. Leaders get an escort with a mountain biker (usually a volunteer). Should this person be armed with pepper spray? Should we use a police officer? Maybe.
In the my finishing picture from the 2006 FL 70.3. Notice anything missing? Like me?! The guy in front of me jogged across the line with his daughters as I out sprinted three men (look to the left of his shoulder in the picture). I am behind the girl on the right. This was 2006 FL 70.3. We were racing to qualify for Clearwater. The three of us did (via roll down - nobody wanted to go to Clearwater that first year in FL, now it takes a 4:30 to qualify.) I went to the left and gasped for air against the fence and caught a nasty look from 2XU guy. The other guys got a tongue lashing from him right before he got yelled at from an official right in front of his daughters.
Remember these examples?
Fan getting run over by a media moto.
Death of a spectator trying to cross at the wrong moment.
Same kilted man disrupted '03 auto race