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2011-09-01 2:35 PM

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Subject: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread
Giant Tortoise - 2011-08-31 12:44 PM

The "elite" waves in all of the local races are completely self-selected at registration.  You check the box on the online form and you're in.  That's the end of it.  There's no secret password and you don't need to provide any sort of credentials.  I've never heard of a single person being denied entry to a local elite wave for being "too slow".  The RD's are likely way to busy to bother checking the names registered for the first wave and tracking down credentials for the unknowns.

The only exceptions to this locally are Lifetime and Tristar.  The pro waves at those races require an actual USAT pro license.  As of right now the only people in town who meet that qualification are DKT and Devon Palmer.

LTF also has an "elite amateur" wave.  To get in you send a race resume to some dude at LTF and he emails you back a yes/no.  There's no hard and fast rule they follow, it's pretty much left to the discretion of the race organizers.  Judging by the size of that wave in the years I've raced it, they're pretty liberal with who they let in.

 

This is a little dis-heartening to me.  I did not know that.  I know i am not going to compete with the people doing an olympic in 2 hours overall.  I thought there was an "elite" group that was one step closer to pro.  I knew the only 3 pros are palmer, DKT, and yndestad.  I did not realize the only USAT elite, are pros....  

I also think that starting in the first wave or the special elite wave is a time benefit that should not be handed out so indiscriminately.

I am new to tris so someone tell me if i am way off base here.....please



2011-09-01 3:12 PM
in reply to: #3669487

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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

hehehehehe...let me be an Elite for a day!

Oh Yeah BABY! Laughing

2011-09-01 3:32 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread
USUALLY the "elite" category does not get judged within the AG category.  USUALLY, the elite men and the elite women are distinct categories.  Yes, they can win the overall, certainly.  So, if you put yourself in the elite category but are not in fact elite, you're kind of screwing yourself.   Don't know about you guys, but I'd rather finish 6/11 in my regular AG than 11/11 in elite (which is what would happen).

It's like the opposite of registering Athena/Clydesdale, which can often improve your ranking but is basically self selected.

The real downside for us regular folks is when these folks get to be in a special swim start, sometimes get better rack placement, and then end up in the normal age groups when it comes to results.   *cough* TwinCities Tri *cough*.    I thought Maple Grove was looking that way, but it was fixed.

Most local races, it seems, have an "elite" category of this nature.  Since we have so few pros, and don't have races that attract pros, even our pros will race in the same category as the elite.  I can't think of a race other than Lifetime around here that actually had a category called "PRO".   

By the way, Cathy Y is not racing pro this year.  SHe had gotten her pro card but then returned it when she had season changing accident.    I guess that leaves us with only DKT and Devon Palmer? I didn't realize they were the only locals who were officially "pros."
2011-09-01 5:21 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

My experience has been that the "Elite" catagory in MN has been selected by the racer and no real checking has been done by RD to see if someone "qualifies."  When I've seen it, there has been little done to recitify the benefits some of these people had at the race: Start in the first wave, so they don't have to swim around anyone struggling in the group ahead of them.  If a good swimmer, less need to deal with passing bikers who are slower and came out of the swim ahead of them.  Some times, a very convienent bike rack (old chisago transition set up and HOTL for overall results).

I don't sign up Elite, because the embarasment I'd feel for having a time that is signifiicantly slower then many of the "real elites" keeps me from taking advantage of some of the said benefits.

2011-09-02 7:56 AM
in reply to: #3669855

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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread
jrondorf - 2011-09-01 5:21 PM

I don't sign up Elite, because the embarasment I'd feel for having a time that is signifiicantly slower then many of the "real elites" keeps me from taking advantage of some of the said benefits.

Exactly.  Even if my projected time is faster than what the RD considers elite, I don't want to be 'that guy'.  Just stick me in with all the rest of the AG-ers. 

One thing I've always liked about Tris is that average schmos like me can compete on the same course right along with the pros - something that can't be said about baseball, football, hockey, etc.  That said, I'm torn on the whole elite issue. 

On one side, I think there should be some kind of qualification process for athletes to compete in the elite category.  At the very least I should have to show a race resume in order to qualify for a smaller wave and preferred rack spots.  I'm not sure how realistic this is with most RDs already having too much on their plates to deal with wave seeding.

On the other side, maybe elite waves should be done away with entirely.  If one is truly elite, then they should have no problem dealing with the human washing machine and crowded courses that the rest of us schmos experience.  (Pros are a diffent story - if my sponsorship dollars depended on my race results, I'd want every advantage possible.)

2011-09-02 9:21 AM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

The whole point of an "elite" wave is not to give certain people a time advantage.  It's to give the people contending for overall placings a fair race against each other. 

That's also why age groups start together, and in races where rack position matters, rack together.  To give the racers in that AG a fair race against each other.

The only legit complaint I see in this thread is the occasional race that allows elites to double-dip for AG awards.  That's pretty bogus IMO.  It's also an easily correctable issue, so tell the RD's your thoughts.  They'll change if enough people complain.



Edited by Giant Tortoise 2011-09-02 9:22 AM


2011-09-02 12:27 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread
I like it when Birkie races Elite.  It gives me a glimmer of hope of getting some bling.
2011-09-02 12:37 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread
leapdog - 2011-09-02 12:27 PM I like it when Birkie races Elite.  It gives me a glimmer of hope of getting some bling.


Ha, because he out of your AG?

Giant Tortoise - you're right and provide a good point (and I am glad my complaint still passes as legit).  I was starting to get worked out about this elite thing!      I did personally send my complaint to the TwinCities Tri race organizers about the elite situation and I hope I was not the only one. I am often the only one providing constructive criticism it seems, it's not so popular in MN...
2011-09-02 4:26 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread
I don't think checking is such a huge hassle for a race director. In the Twin Cities Marathon, if you want to be one of the 2500 in the first corral, you need a 1:45 in a qualifying half marathon or a Boston Qualifying time in the last two years. You email in, and the race director checks and emails you back if you are in. And they do this for everyone who asks, which is at least 2500 people.

I think the big difference is whether there is a judgment call to be made as opposed to simply something to check. But they could easily come up with a rule such as if you've placed in the top ten (or maybe five) for your sex in a triathlon in the last two years. Email the result to the RD and you are in. Otherwise, no. Not that much work for the RD.
2011-09-02 7:16 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

wow!  i am really glad i asked about this.  You all have brought up some great points, that i did not think of previously. 

All summer i thought the local "elites" had met the USAT elite qualifications.  That was actually a little discouraging to me, because that is something that is very out of reach.  However, some day i can set my goals/hopes on being a respectable "elite" in local races. 

2011-09-03 3:11 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

Pete. The way you raced today at St. Croix Valley Tri I would recommend sign up as Elite. Need to work on the run and you'll be PRO! Laughing

 

peteweb55403 - 2011-09-02 7:16 PM

wow!  i am really glad i asked about this.  You all have brought up some great points, that i did not think of previously. 

All summer i thought the local "elites" had met the USAT elite qualifications.  That was actually a little discouraging to me, because that is something that is very out of reach.  However, some day i can set my goals/hopes on being a respectable "elite" in local races. 



Edited by Me_Xman 2011-09-03 3:11 PM


2011-09-04 3:13 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

Found this in Square Lake short course. This guy declared as Elite so he can swim without getting clobbered on by common people. Smart move. Smile 

  271   6/6     257 Walt Johnson            E    56 M   St Paul            MN   94 15:07  1:44  6:28  167   54:19  18.2  2:50  336 50:47 10:10 2:09:29

2011-09-05 11:19 AM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread
Me_Xman - 2011-09-03 3:11 PM

Pete. The way you raced today at St. Croix Valley Tri I would recommend sign up as Elite. Need to work on the run and you'll be PRO! Laughing

 

peteweb55403 - 2011-09-02 7:16 PM

wow!  i am really glad i asked about this.  You all have brought up some great points, that i did not think of previously. 

All summer i thought the local "elites" had met the USAT elite qualifications.  That was actually a little discouraging to me, because that is something that is very out of reach.  However, some day i can set my goals/hopes on being a respectable "elite" in local races. 

Pete: regarding the St Paul tri, I posted this comment on your race report, just wanted to make sure you saw it, and I'm interested to hear your answer. Thanks:

Awesome race, Pete. Just looking at your race reports, you're obviously an awesome swimmer, but also have made great strides in just one year on the running. I have two questions for you: 1) How did you get to be such a great swimmer? 2) what did you do over the winter and spring to improve your run times by nearly a minute/mile? That is a fantastic gain for one year!

Congrats again

2011-09-05 8:25 PM
in reply to: #3673462

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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

Pete: regarding the St Paul tri, I posted this comment on your race report, just wanted to make sure you saw it, and I'm interested to hear your answer. Thanks:

Awesome race, Pete. Just looking at your race reports, you're obviously an awesome swimmer, but also have made great strides in just one year on the running. I have two questions for you: 1) How did you get to be such a great swimmer? 2) what did you do over the winter and spring to improve your run times by nearly a minute/mile? That is a fantastic gain for one year!

Congrats again

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for asking this in the forum.  I did not see the comment on my race report.  so sorry no response. 

The answer to the first question is an easy one.  I was a swimmer in college 16 years ago.  So picking that up again is pretty easy.  I just wish there were tri's with longer swims (proportionally

#2 is a little longer.  This might be more info than you want, but you asked so i will tell my triathlon story.

My partner signed up to to do Lifetime/ Mpls 2 years ago.  Her ability to swim was very lacking, so i started training/coaching her.  She did well in the tri, but wanted to improve the following year.  SO i decided that i could train with her, for quality time and to get into better shape.  We both entered lifetime last year.  I was 8th out of the water and the rest was very disappointing. I had a delusional perspective of what kind of shape i was in.  I walked a fair amount of the run.  This performance really upset me, made me angry , and motivated me. 

Then i started to get a little more serious with training. I gave up drinking pop (even though i work for coca-cola). started to mix in more vegetables in my diet.  By no means is my diet good or great, but better than it was.  I started to log my workouts in a notebook.  (i had not heard of BT yet) *sidenote* I think workout logs is the biggest thing anyone can do to improve.  It was easy for me to kid my self how much training i had done or not done in the past, until i started logging it.  Then it is right there. the numbers dont lie to me* Back to training after LFT/Mpls... I got more consistent with my training.  I would try workout 6 days a week. Of course things would come up and it was closer to 5 days a week.  an example of my workouts were:  mostly 2 mile runs bigger runs 4 miles (perceived exertion was harder than i run now, but i was slow).  Biking 18 miles and throw in some 40 mile weekend rides. 

then my next and only other race last year was st coix valley (in hudson).  I went 2:38 there.  I was so happy with a 16 minute improvement from lifetime. This also motivated me to push it in the winter.

Over the winter i tried to bike, but i mentally had a very hard time staying on the bike trainer, so biking was lacking.  However i was very consistent on running every other day.  The whole time i played a mental game of increasing my weekly mileage every week, by a little bit.  Then come January i started doing a 10 mile run once a week. 

Also over the winter i lost 25 lbs.  so that helped with my workouts. 

Once the weather got nice out i started biking a lot more.  I also continued to increase my run mileage.  Both running and biking are fairly slow to moderate efforts. I have almost doubled both my running and biking time/mileage over last year.  

I dont feel i am a hardcore trainer.  however i "plan" on doing 7 workouts a week.  Rarely do i actually do 7 good workouts.  on weeks when i actually do 7 workouts, at least one of them is a half hour easy/recovery workout.  My workout days are planned from various reading and info on these forums.  That being said i do not do Lactate threshold testing or specific time or interval workouts.  I just run and bike; sometimes hard mostly easy.  I think next year I am going to try to do some of that more specific training, to see if i can continue to improve.  

 

I hope this is not too much information.  I did not want to reply with the standard forum response of: "I put in more miles" .

 



Edited by peteweb55403 2011-09-05 8:37 PM
2011-09-05 9:28 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

Awesome response, Pete! That was exactly what I was looking for. I a diver in college 16 years ago (I did swim in high school), but watching Linda Gallo (the distance swimmer on our team) come out of the water at IMMOO a few years ago nearly 2 minutes ahead of the next woman and 8th overall (just behind Chris Lieto and less then 2 minutes behind the swim leader) got me intrigued in triathlons. 

I'm hoping I can do what you did over this winter, with the goal of doing some HIMs next summer. 6 days a week of training, approximately 7-9 individual workouts (a couple of days of bricks) with 2 long workouts per week, and lose some weight. I actually have lost 20 lbs since January when I signed up for the MG tri, but definitely still have work to do.  If you look at my logs, it's easy to see I still need to put in more time on the run, and especially the swim. 

Anyway, congrats on the great improvement, and thanks again for the thorough response!

2011-09-07 7:08 PM
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Subject: RE: did not want to hi-jack the maple grove tri star thread

One other thing that i think helped me, is stretching.  I stretch a lot, all day long! At our age i think it is important.  As a former diver, i am guessing you already know this.

 

feel free to ask anything at all.  I am a bit obsessive compulsive, so i have read everything tri related, that i can get my hands on.  I love to theorize about anything tri related....

 

 



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