General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Worst Race Stories Rss Feed  
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2007-11-25 11:58 PM

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Master
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Long Beach, CA
Subject: Worst Race Stories

OK folks, today was my fourth triathlon and by far my worst. Here's a short recap of issues (long version is in my race report, if you dare):

Swim

  • too cold
  • goggles came off three times
  • couldn't catch breath
  • worst time

Bike

  • forgot gloves
  • had to walk three hills
  • chain came off rear derailleur
  • second worst time

Run

  • bad asthma
  • sucking on dirt from mountain bikers
  • pain in hips
  • severe pain from plantar fasciatis
  • sick stomach
  • almost DFL
  • worse time by a long shot

So, make me feel better please. Tell me your worst race story!



2007-11-26 12:49 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
whether its a tri or any other thing in life, bad days happen. its what you do now. are you going to settle for what happend or do what you can to prevent it from happening again. ive only been in one tri and it went well but i played baseball in hs and college and trust me for as good as i was there were days out there i thought to myself it cant get any worse for me, im terrible. but there were other games to be played. so you learn and apply. get out there and kick some @ss next time.
2007-11-26 2:16 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Pro
4206
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Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
DNF'ed because I didn't make a swim cutoff. The RD was right at the swim exit and took my chip. That's my worse race story...

Edited by auto208562 2007-11-26 2:17 AM
2007-11-26 2:41 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Melon Presser
52116
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Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
My own fault ... ran a marathon four days after I was discharged from the hospital. Incredibly stupid and would never do anything like it again, but I learned how deep I could dig. Even the greatest races will have tough moments--that's when you pull out the Turbo Juice you earned during the carpy races. Way to go for not giving up.
2007-11-26 8:09 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Supersonicus Idioticus
2439
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Thunder Bay, ON
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
The best stories are from mountain biking races:

Out in 2nd place... chain gets stuck in my rear cassette. I'm in last place. Catch up to about 20th... chain gets stuck again. Fall a few times because the rain is making things muddy. Ran my bike in for 4km.

But the worst story I'd have to say is the guy I was chasing down for 5 minutes - he wouldn't let up! Man he was giving it... until we went up a hill and his chain split apart and laid flat on the ground.
2007-11-26 8:28 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Champion
16151
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Checkin' out the podium girls
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
My worst Tri was my first tri: 2005, a corporate only sprint tri. I had been training hard all summer b/c you work with everyone in the field. You don't want to look bad. I'm all jacked up and really want to race well.

Swim was great; something like 8th out of the water. Cool. I get through T1 NP. Start out on the bike on a 6 lap course. I'm killing this! On lap 5, I'm picking up places hammering along and, suddenly, there's a huge bang and the lights go out!!

I hit the rear of a parked car, riding head down, in the drops, and simply didn't see it. Slight uphill section (false flat), probably doing 20-22mph.

Seems someone parked a car (legally; course not closed) on the race course. I must have passed it on prior laps (or so the accident report says). After I "come to", I fall off of the car onto the pavement. Another rider stopped and sat with me through the entire thing (God bless him). I nicked an artery and lost a good amount of blood. The paramedics came, backboarded me (that's horribly painful BTW) called my wife and took me to the hospital. CT scan came back OK, after morophine, they stitched me up (45) scrubbed the glass out after stopping the bleeding and I had an overnight stay to stabilize and 5 bags of IV fluid. My back was bruised in the shape of the bike's main triangle; guess I un-clipped when the bike hit me.

The bike was toast ($2700), $8000 damage to the Audi A6 I hit (rear quarter, bumper and tail-light, rear window, C-pillar, blood clean-up), about $5000 medical bills. Homeowner's insurance covered it.

Really embarrassing part of the tale: I had the exact same accident 6 years before in exactly the same spot. I totalled a Subaru because the roof integrity was compromised. That one broke my collarbone.

Really, really embarassing part: The road is wide open and straight. Absolutely nothing blocking your sightlines.

Edited by pitt83 2007-11-26 8:52 AM


2007-11-26 8:47 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Expert
670
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Bucks County
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
I did my worst tri last september.
after starting the bike I started to puke on the bike. after heaving my breakfast on the side of the road I felt better so I started riding again. After an hour I started to see spots as I climbed up a nasty little hill and decided to call it quits. It was my first DNF.

It was the smart thing to do but definitely hurt.
2007-11-26 9:18 AM
in reply to: #1067955

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Expert
702
500100100
Manchester, NH
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories

pitt83.. Oh....my....God....

Wow......... Thanks for sharing!

Mine is pretty mild - puked a couple times due to illness and dropped out 10 minutes into the bike. Worst part was coming back into T1 and people thought I was winning the race and cheering for me!  Felt like a DB...

2007-11-26 9:56 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Champion
5781
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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
Shared mine here not too long ago--

Second tri (at Bonelli, just like yours, sealiongirl), steaming in to T2, volunteer waving at me to dismount before the line...yeah, yeah, I got it...no, wait, I'm coasting in a bit too fast, getting a bit too close to the dismount line, better jump down...foot caught in toe cage...over I go onto left hand. Just about take the volunteer down with me. Leap up with a powerful mix of embarassment and adrenaline...shout "I'm fine" at the volunteer...and run my bike into transition...and proceed to rack it on someone else's rack. Wrist is swelling...I'm looking around for my gear...I'm thinking, "WTF...someone's moved my stuff!"--until I realize I'm at the wrong rack. Drag my bike over to my rack and can barely get it racked. Somehow I get my shoes switched and do the run. But sitting there trying to convince myself I didn't just break my wrist falling off a bike at about 1 mph sucked pretty hard. And then I get out on the run and get reacquainted with the mysterious pain in my left arch that I'd experienced before the swim and forgotten about. Almost made the broken wrist feel okay.

(And, to add insult to injury, when we left the site to head for urgent care, I forgot to retrieve a favorite pair of shoes I'd had for years that I wore over to the swim start because of the arch pain.)

Edited by tcovert 2007-11-26 9:59 AM
2007-11-26 10:02 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Champion
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories

SLG,

So it wasn't the race of your dreams.  (Are they ever?)

You showed up
You raced
You finished

You're healthy and motivated enough to show up
You're able-bodied enough to walk up the tough climbs (not everyone has that option)
You're determined enough to finish in spite of the pain and setbacks. 
You didn't detour to the medical tent or nearby hospital

You lived to race another day. 

2007-11-26 10:07 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Elite
3371
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Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
Mine actually came during a 5k. It was part of a series. The first mile was in a field and fairly flat. I took off the first mile in just under 5 minutes. (Yes, I used to be good!) The second 2.1 miles were in a narrow wooded trail. I was in first by probably about 30 seconds. I stepped on a root and rolled my ankle. Hurt pretty bad. Me, having never recorded a DNF, limped the rest of the race and wound up finishing 31st. By then my ankle was the size of a grapefruit. It was sprained and put me out for 2-3 months. Looking back now, I should have probably just taken the DNF.


2007-11-26 10:24 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Champion
34263
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
MY fun story comes to us from the '06 Chicago Tri -- my first one in the city. I jumped into the water and treaded for about a minute. I thought `I'm a slow swimmer so I'll just get to the BOP and start there.' I got about halfway back and they blew the horn. Everybody, including me, takes off and we start swimming.

I get elbowed in the head, which knocks my goggles off my eyes and up on my forehead, then kicked just above the eye. I surface and use my one protected eye to try to sight the side so I could stop and fix my goggles when some guy who was in obvious distress grabs me and uses me as his personal buoy. After what was about two seconds, but felt like two minutes, of being underwater I regain my composure, kick the guy in the chest to get him away from me and just start swimming.

I finally got far enough away from the pack that I could stop without getting drowned and fix my goggles. Thankfully I only had a minor gash over my eye and blood was coming down over my goggles. It was OK by the time I got out of the water.

After that, life was good. I just put my head down and swam. So while it wasn't ideal, I swam, I biked and I ran, and most importantly, I FINISHED! As did you, so don't worry about that race. The fact that you didn't quit says tons about your character.
2007-11-26 11:36 AM
in reply to: #1068134

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Expert
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Bucks County
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
mr2tony - 2007-11-26 10:24 AM



I surface and use my one protected eye to try to sight the side so I could stop and fix my goggles when some guy who was in obvious distress grabs me and uses me as his personal buoy. After what was about two seconds, but felt like two minutes, of being underwater I regain my composure, kick the guy in the chest to get him away from me and just start swimming.



um any clue if the guy made it to the kayaks?
2007-11-26 1:02 PM
in reply to: #1067827

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Expert
750
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Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
Have yet to do my first tri...looking to do one, or two, in August '08 (you responded to my post about time between tri's), but I already have an embarrasing moment.

I was talked into a short, local bike race (9 mi.) as part of a local charitable event. Never raced before, but had been working out on my hybrid bike, increasing distance, shorting amt. of time. My first taste of the world of competition. I was in an unfamiliar area, and only glanced at the available map of the course. I thought I might do alright until half a dozen 'professionals' w/their $$$ road bikes pulled right before the strart of the race. The day was windy and I was fighting a horrific head wind on the first leg of the race. I was soon on my own with the 'professionals' way ahead and out of sight. Got some speed up on the third leg of the race, but I wrongly assumed that the last turn would have somehow been marked by an arrow, a person, something. Ended up missing that final turn, and realized by my watch that something was wrong, and ended up taking a tour on the back roads in the bowels of central PA.

And I had to stew over the weeking knowing that the co-worker who talked me into this race was going to expecting a report on how I did early Monday morning.
2007-11-26 1:15 PM
in reply to: #1067827

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Master
1281
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Long Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories

Thank you for all of your stories. I feel better now!

I totally understand that it is important to show up and important to just finish a race. However, right after a tough race it is hard to look at things that way. I've had a day to feel better and reflect on it, and yes I'm happy to have finished. I just think that at a bad race it is hard to look around and see that others have had bad days too. I think it just helps us all feel better as triathletes to know that we're not the only ones who have bad days out there.

Thanks again!

2007-11-26 5:28 PM
in reply to: #1067827

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Folsom, CA (Sacramento Area)
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
One more for the books.... My first Tri ever after months of preparation.... I started the swim (I grew up swimming competitevily which gave me a false sense of security) and I suddenly found myself hyperventilating, trying too hard and not being able to get into a rithm but I did not quit, after all this was supposed to be easiest leg of the race.
T1 went ok, I jumped on my bike, rode about 4 miles and the left crank falls off. I could not find the nut that jolds the crank in place so i walked 2 miles back on my socks before a guy picked me up and took me back. the volunteer mechanic did not have a replacement nut so I could not finisht he race. I still run the last leg but Oficially got a DNF


2007-11-26 6:03 PM
in reply to: #1067827

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Pro
4228
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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories

Chicago marathon 2005 - I was well trained and READY.  I was there with several other BTers having an absolute blast.  Of course we were running late b/c the lines to the port-a-johns were really long.  There was a fence on both sides of the road forEVER.  To get in with our pace group area, we decided to hop the fence like the 100s of other smart people hopping the fence (instead of starting with the 16 min/mi group).  Trixie was over first, I was next.  But when I came down, I rolled my foot and it hurt.  Broke the fifth metatarsal, 10 minutes before my first marathon. 

Even worse, I could not get out of the chute.  I had to walk about 3/4 mile to get help.  Even more mortifying, the cop called an ambulance. 

Even worse than that....I was planning to go to Kona the next day to spectate for the IM and volunteer in the medical tent.  Couldn't go.  I couldn't be on crutches and get my luggage, laptop, etc around Hawaii myself.  No trip to Kona.   

BUT, ZAPPO.....since I had nothing else to do, I got pregnant almost immediately after this fiasco.  Then I missed an entire year of triathlons.   

Crazy stuff, crazy stuff. 

2007-11-26 6:54 PM
in reply to: #1067827

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Master
1655
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NJ
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
Worst was DNF'ing at Escape from Alcatraz this year - the chop and current were way more than I thought and I basically just broke down and cried on the nose of a kayak, only to talk myself into finishing and letting go, swimming another couple of minutes and just not being able to mentally make myself swim. I haven't been that disappointed in myself in a LONG time. It was the mental game that got to me.
Other worst race was my first tri when I decided that just stripping out of my bathing suit in T1 into a supportive running bra and shorts was a good idea. DUH! Is there anything tougher to do than get into a jog bra while soaking wet?? I would have been better off bouncing around on the run in my bathing suit.
2007-11-26 11:35 PM
in reply to: #1067827

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Master
1281
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Long Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories

Thank you for all of your stories. I am very humbled. My race yesterday was not bad at all, I now realize. It wasn't good, but so many worse things could have happened. It just goes to show how your head can really mess with you during a race.

I'm sorry for complaining! I'm back to feeling normal today and realizing that all was not as bad as it seemed! Thank you everyone for sharing!

2007-11-27 8:29 AM
in reply to: #1069539

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Extreme Veteran
1106
1000100
, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
I am a terrible person - just laughed at some of your wonderful, painful stories!!

I didn't train like I should have and had a second sprint season with same times as my first. Had to not even show up to the oly I signed up for as I knew I couldn't do it. RD said I could show up this summer.

Fell into a real slump. Then realized that was normal. Also, had no luck in finding a job, so depression was reasonable. Seems like people do tri's for many years. I'm writing my bad year off to lazy training and staying focused on my long term goal of an IM at 50 (three years to go).

MM
2007-11-27 8:59 AM
in reply to: #1067827

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Elite
2515
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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
Mine was the one I never started. I was on the way to the race and had a tiny, tiny little fender bender. The problem was that the person's bike was on the back of his car. Not much impact between two vehicles to trash a bike. Worse yet, he was part of a relay team so I had just ruined the day of three people. In the end, it worked out really well as the cyclist on the team was about the same size as me. I insisted that they use my bike since the accident was my fault and I'd rather have one guy's race ruined than three. Even better was that their team ended up third in the men's relay division. That's as close to the podium as I'm ever gonna get.


2007-11-27 2:38 PM
in reply to: #1067827

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Worst Race Stories
Mine is a story of the terrible 2's...

My second triathlon:
I got 2 flat tires
While looking at the 2nd flat I got stung by a bee 2 times. (Right on the butt and then on my hand)
With 2 miles to go I got waved the wrong way by a younger volunteer...
Got back pissed and decided to run the final 3k anyways
Puked 2 times on the run.

I had better have good triathlon luck for the next 100 years.
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