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2013-09-16 3:14 PM

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Subject: Did anyone else see this blog ?

(Written on Sunday, Sep 8, 2013)
I did the Toughman triathlon today (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run), serving as a guide to my friend Dan Berlin, who lost his sight to macular degeneration. My friend Alison Berna did the race too, her first ½ Ironman (showing off her knowledge of the periodic table, she called it her first 1/2 Feman). It’s a well organized event in a beautiful setting. Here are some highlights & lowlights from the day:

Most impressive: watching Alison breeze through the race, as if it were no big deal. Dan and I saw her several times throughout the event, and she was always smiling and moving smoothly. She even assisted a deaf athlete during the 1.2-mile swim who asked her to stay by his side, in case he needed help.


Most anger provoking: Blair Cullen of Ossining, NY, age 35, took 2nd in his age group in the race. He was running hard toward the finish line as Alison was headed in the other direction. Alison turned to wave to her cheering kids and got in his way. I've been in Blair's situation before and understand how frustrating it can be to have to dodge another athlete as you're pushing hard at the finish of a race. I've yelled sternly, "Watch what you're doing!" or "Be careful!" Blair chose to hit her hard with his right hand – see pics. Hey Blair, the woman you hit had volunteered to assist a disabled athlete in the swim, caring more about helping others than setting a PR. Look at the anger in your face as you knocked her over and think about why you race. Hold up your 2nd place medal and consider the value of that piece of hardware to your ego compared to how her kids, ages 8 and 3, felt watching you hit their mom.

Alison’s husband and friends captured everything on film, and the race director has reported the incident to USAT, the governing body of triathlon races. So hopefully Blair will face a consequence for his action and appreciate the opportunity to reflect on his priorities. In an example of something good coming from something bad, Alison met Dr. Bill Begg. A fellow competitor in the race, he saw her crying after she had been hit and asked if she was okay. The two ran together for the next 8 miles. The director of medical services at Danbury Hospital, Dr. Begg treated victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and founded United Physicians of Newtown, a group of doctors that came together with a single platform on gun control after the attack. Cool dude and now another of Alison’s many friends.


2013-09-16 3:16 PM
in reply to: dan king

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
2013-09-16 3:25 PM
in reply to: dan king

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
lot of questions here. why was she walking the wrong way in the finish chute? the image shows his hand in a fist and looks like she got hit/shoved, but doesn't prove she was punched in the face.  i could see this same image resulting from him shoving her aside as she walks in front of him while he is going 100% and couldn't stop.
2013-09-16 3:31 PM
in reply to: Clempson

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?

Originally posted by Clempson lot of questions here. why was she walking the wrong way in the finish chute? the image shows his hand in a fist and looks like she got hit/shoved, but doesn't prove she was punched in the face.  i could see this same image resulting from him shoving her aside as she walks in front of him while he is going 100% and couldn't stop.

Perhaps she was starting her run as he was finishing? 

2013-09-16 3:40 PM
in reply to: lisac957

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
2013-09-16 3:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?

i looked up the blog. the OP here decided to leave out the image that clearly shows them going in the same direction and the finisher pushing her aside as she most likely walked directly in front of him before he passed along side her.

although to the OP's credit, the clenched fist and flailing woman paints a better picture of what he wants to describe.

 

edit: yeah the blog posted above now



Edited by Clempson 2013-09-16 3:40 PM


2013-09-16 3:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?

Not defending any bad behavior, but I think it's inappropriate to condem anyone by name on a public forum without hearing both sides of the story first. 

Took a look at the blog photos.  Obviously there was some contact, but I find it hard to believe the guy deliberately tried to hit her.  I would think she bears some degree of responsibilty if she inadvertently wandered into his path while he was in his finishing sprint.  Situational awareness deal.

Mark



Edited by RedCorvette 2013-09-16 4:02 PM
2013-09-16 4:19 PM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Originally posted by RedCorvette

Not defending any bad behavior, but I think it's inappropriate to condem anyone by name on a public forum without hearing both sides of the story first. 

Took a look at the blog photos.  Obviously there was some contact, but I find it hard to believe the guy deliberately tried to hit her.  I would think she bears some degree of responsibilty if she inadvertently wandered into his path while he was in his finishing sprint.  Situational awareness deal.

Mark




If you read the comments, to the second blog linked, she does take responsibility and apologizes. At least according to her account, the man did not apologize. It also seems he got DQ'ed.

2013-09-16 4:21 PM
in reply to: dan king

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?

Originally posted by dan king  He was running hard toward the finish line as Alison was headed in the other direction. Alison turned to wave to her cheering kids and got in his way.

Okay, so she turned without looking first.

Blair chose to hit her hard with his right hand – see pics... Alison’s husband and friends captured everything on film,

I see one pic that is likely carefully chosen for the most dramatic effect. Where's the rest of the story?

So hopefully Blair will face a consequence for his action and appreciate the opportunity to reflect on his priorities.

And hopefully Allison will look first next time. And not hold some one else responsible for her inattention.

2013-09-16 4:25 PM
in reply to: briderdt

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Originally posted by briderdt
And not hold some one else responsible for her inattention.




Why are you suggesting she did? Here are her comments posted in the second linked blog:

I am "the woman" who was shoved by Blair Cullen. I am also the woman who remembers a great race with my friends Charles and Dan. I am also the woman that asked for nothing to happen to this man when both Toughman and USAT race organizers asked me for a statement this week not just based on these photos, but also based on several spectators that told them about the story (none of whom I knew).

After several emails and phone calls this week by both Toughman and USAT, I decided to take the high road and asked them to please let this go and not do anything. That doesn't mean I don't think he was wrong -- a bruise and scratch on the left side of my back were there to prove he was. I just see him exactly the way I see most egocentric individuals who view life through their singular lens of narcissism. Despite that, it doesn't mean I wanted him to suffer. I teach my kids that two wrongs don't make a right, and that forgiveness and compassion are much better choices than vindication and retribution. That is how I truly feel and I don't even drive a prius with an Obama sticker on it! I was simply aiming for maturity, empathy (even for ), and a desire to remember what, for me, was an incredibly fun and enjoyable race.

I intentionally asked both the Toughman committee and the USAT committee NOT to penalize him too severely. I told them that I was indeed in the wrong backing into the finishing lane having crossed the line to kiss my family and friends who drove up to see me, as well as get my watch from my husband who then took a photo. However we were nowhere near the finishing chute and indeed there were several feet around us with not a single other person in either lane. According to the Commissioner of the USAT and most of the normal people who compete in these races, stopping to high five a friend, kiss a family member or take a photo are par for the course. The normal people are what keep these races alive. It's also standard to use your voice (not your body) to someone in your way and say "get out of my way." Apparently this is the 3rd time in 27 years that a man has touched a woman's body in order to complete a triathlon race. Not surprisingly, the first two times (both of which were over 10 years ago) garnered sincere apologies from the runner admitting a poor decision "in the moment."

I told the committees this past week that I forgave his actions, choosing to believe that sometimes people make decisions in a harried moment. I believed that since a rewind button is not possible he must have, in his narcissistic goal to achieve some piece of hardware, simply made a mistake.

His unapologetic letter back to Toughman after learning he was disqualified only showed the USAT that his ego is more important that being human. I wasn't even looking for an apology but it would have been nice to receive one, Here is my apology: Blair (or "anonymous"), I am sorry I backpeddled into your lane as I kissed my family and got back into the race. I do these races for very different reasons than you do, and according the USAT, I am with the majority. I asked the USAT not to mandate what they will - and then they actually asked me why I had to be "so nice" and "so forgiving". I clearly moved on but this sadly won't go away. At the end of the day, one little word would have solved this problem.
2013-09-16 4:28 PM
in reply to: 0

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.

Edited by Fred D 2013-09-16 4:29 PM


2013-09-16 4:38 PM
in reply to: 0

Champion
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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?

Originally posted by Goosedog
Originally posted by briderdt And not hold some one else responsible for her inattention.
Why are you suggesting she did? Here are her comments posted in the second linked blog: I am "the woman" who was shoved by Blair Cullen. I am also the woman who remembers a great race with my friends Charles and Dan. I am also the woman that asked for nothing to happen to this man when both Toughman and USAT race organizers asked me for a statement this week not just based on these photos, but also based on several spectators that told them about the story (none of whom I knew). After several emails and phone calls this week by both Toughman and USAT, I decided to take the high road and asked them to please let this go and not do anything. That doesn't mean I don't think he was wrong -- a bruise and scratch on the left side of my back were there to prove he was. I just see him exactly the way I see most egocentric individuals who view life through their singular lens of narcissism. Despite that, it doesn't mean I wanted him to suffer. I teach my kids that two wrongs don't make a right, and that forgiveness and compassion are much better choices than vindication and retribution. That is how I truly feel and I don't even drive a prius with an Obama sticker on it! I was simply aiming for maturity, empathy (even for ), and a desire to remember what, for me, was an incredibly fun and enjoyable race. I intentionally asked both the Toughman committee and the USAT committee NOT to penalize him too severely. I told them that I was indeed in the wrong backing into the finishing lane having crossed the line to kiss my family and friends who drove up to see me, as well as get my watch from my husband who then took a photo. However we were nowhere near the finishing chute and indeed there were several feet around us with not a single other person in either lane. According to the Commissioner of the USAT and most of the normal people who compete in these races, stopping to high five a friend, kiss a family member or take a photo are par for the course. The normal people are what keep these races alive. It's also standard to use your voice (not your body) to someone in your way and say "get out of my way." Apparently this is the 3rd time in 27 years that a man has touched a woman's body in order to complete a triathlon race. Not surprisingly, the first two times (both of which were over 10 years ago) garnered sincere apologies from the runner admitting a poor decision "in the moment." I told the committees this past week that I forgave his actions, choosing to believe that sometimes people make decisions in a harried moment. I believed that since a rewind button is not possible he must have, in his narcissistic goal to achieve some piece of hardware, simply made a mistake. His unapologetic letter back to Toughman after learning he was disqualified only showed the USAT that his ego is more important that being human. I wasn't even looking for an apology but it would have been nice to receive one, Here is my apology: Blair (or "anonymous"), I am sorry I backpeddled into your lane as I kissed my family and got back into the race. I do these races for very different reasons than you do, and according the USAT, I am with the majority. I asked the USAT not to mandate what they will - and then they actually asked me why I had to be "so nice" and "so forgiving". I clearly moved on but this sadly won't go away. At the end of the day, one little word would have solved this problem.

That is one of the biggest pieces of double-talk I've seen. Doesn't want to judge? Then what's with all the negative language there?

When some one steps backwards into your path with.. HOW much time to react? You're running full tilt for the finish. You MIGHT just have a hard time coming up with an appropriate phrase. You MIGHT just put your arm up to PROTECT yourself.

And then you MIGHT just get DQ'd for it.

If some one makes a left turn in front of your car on the highway, and you hit them, who's at fault?



Edited by briderdt 2013-09-16 4:38 PM
2013-09-16 4:41 PM
in reply to: briderdt

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Originally posted by briderdt

That is one of the biggest pieces of double-talk I've seen.


OK, but you said she was holding him responsible. It seems, despite the negative language, she accepts responsibility.

2013-09-16 4:42 PM
in reply to: briderdt

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?

Meh

2013-09-16 5:07 PM
in reply to: #4856868

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Mixed feelings on this one. I've been in 5Ks where people stop right in front of you, which is very frustrating as it can be hard to stop or maneuver, but I never thought about shoving somebody.

Clearly there is a video, which is not being shown for whatever reason, which would give insight into this case.
2013-09-16 5:34 PM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Originally posted by RedCorvette

Not defending any bad behavior, but I think it's inappropriate to condem anyone by name on a public forum without hearing both sides of the story first. 

Took a look at the blog photos.  Obviously there was some contact, but I find it hard to believe the guy deliberately tried to hit her.  I would think she bears some degree of responsibilty if she inadvertently wandered into his path while he was in his finishing sprint.  Situational awareness deal.

Mark

Agreed. Her friend blogging his name, age and hometown was vindictive and shallow IMHO. She admits some blame in this, so let's put away the pitchforks and torches and move along. Hopefully this thread gets pulled.



2013-09-16 5:39 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Originally posted by chris00nj

Clearly there is a video, which is not being shown for whatever reason, which would give insight into this case.


Is it because the blog says "on film?" I guess that could also mean pictures, at least to us old people.



Edited by Goosedog 2013-09-16 5:40 PM
2013-09-16 6:05 PM
in reply to: dan king

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Its fairly obvious reading from those posts that she is a better person and he's evil. I'm not even sure why he showed up in the first place.
2013-09-16 6:45 PM
in reply to: #4856868

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Regardless of fault, after you finish(if you didn't stop right then), a normal person would apologize. IMHO.
2013-09-16 7:11 PM
in reply to: 0

Master
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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
I am hesitant to wade in to the fray on this one, but.......

There are several pictures of me running where I don't look so different from that guy. Fortunately there has never been a woman standing, facing the wrong way next to me, when they were taken.

If she stepped directly in front of him, without warning, as she absolutely admitted to doing, while he was going full sprint to try to finish, his flailing attempt to avoid her might look exactly like that picture. Her complaining about him when she was admittedly negligent is like the car driver yelling at a bicyclist after running over said cyclist. It just doesn't make sense.

The original blogger implies that the runner had time to just yell at his friend instead of "hitting" her. We don't know that this is true.

If his follow up letter to USAT is not apologetic enough for her......maybe it is because he is angry as hades at her for being so completely in attentive and self absorbed tht she never even thought of how her actions on the course might affect other racers. And, due to her actions he ended up DQd from his A race for the year.

I'm starting to sound like an arrogant, win at all costs triathlete. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have stopped to help injured athletes on course. I try to be considerate and courteous and friendly to everyone on a course from racers to volunteers to race employees. I am just cognizant of the fact that we have only heard one side of the story. Savageman is on my life time to-do race list. I know that if I had spent a year training for this race only to end up DQd because someone was not paying attention (no matter how great a person they are) I would be quite frustrated. She clearly was racing for fun, not time. Would it have been so hard for her to look left and right before stepping in to the lane of traffic? With that simple action this whole kerfuffle could have been avoided.

Edited by wannabefaster 2013-09-16 7:20 PM
2013-09-16 9:38 PM
in reply to: wannabefaster

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?

I'm still "meh"  on the whole deal....but this sentence from her blog cracked me up... " I just see him exactly the way I see most egocentric individuals who view life through their singular lens of narcissism."  HA!!!  So says the woman who is so self absorbed in her carrying on with herself and her family that she is oblivious to someone who is still racing.....perfect!!! LOL

You always have to be watchful with "the good people".  Laughing



2013-09-16 9:42 PM
in reply to: Goosedog

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Originally posted by Goosedog

Originally posted by chris00nj

Clearly there is a video, which is not being shown for whatever reason, which would give insight into this case.


Is it because the blog says "on film?" I guess that could also mean pictures, at least to us old people.




If you look at the 2nd photo with the tag, " Just as Alison was being hit" , it clearly looks like a still from a video as opposed to the photo, the #3. Based on the angle, there were at least two people with cameras rolling.


PS., as a guy who has a freezer full of 120 film and a cupboard full of HC-110, I appreciate what film is.
2013-09-16 9:42 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Originally posted by Left Brain

I'm still "meh"  on the whole deal....but this sentence from her blog cracked me up... " I just see him exactly the way I see most egocentric individuals who view life through their singular lens of narcissism."  HA!!!  So says the woman who is so self absorbed in her carrying on with herself and her family that she is oblivious to someone who is still racing.....perfect!!! LOL

You always have to be watchful with "the good people".  Laughing




I thought the exact same thing. Pot, meet Kettle.
2013-09-16 10:41 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?
Originally posted by Left Brain

her blog cracked me up...


I'll keep going. I don't think she had/has a blog, does she?

2013-09-16 10:45 PM
in reply to: Goosedog

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Subject: RE: Did anyone else see this blog ?

Originally posted by Goosedog
Originally posted by Left Brain her blog cracked me up...
I'll keep going. I don't think she had/has a blog, does she?

OK....whatever it was you posted from her highness.....it's all a blog to me. Laughing

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