A triumphant David at Mont Tremblant 2012.

The Races….wait, let me say that again with the proper emphasis and reverence….THE RACES.

Simply put, they are the reason we are here.

They are the reason the three of us met.

They are the reason our tri-guys live, breathe, and obsess.

Frankly, they are the ultimate force that our lives seem to orbit around!

All of our other posts and topics have life here, because of THE RACES.

What are THE RACES you may ask….or more specifically, what constitutes the designation of A RACE?

Well, as I’m sure you’ve started to experience or have experienced full-force already, they come in many forms and distances. Maybe you will recognize and relate to some of the following:

  • The Ironman – the ultimate endurance triathlon covering 140.6 miles, but also the most prestigious and competitive brand of races, including 70.3s and 51.50s. There are “M-dot” races all over the world, but Kona, HI, is the Super Bowl, granddaddy of them all! To qualify for Kona is what gives motivation to those 4am runs on the treadmill in the basement in the dead of winter. Wearing the Kona finisher’s jacket is truly a badge of honor.

Not my idea of jewelry, but it’s his diamond bracelet….

  • Other branded races like HITS, Rev3, etc. all have domestic and international venues and various distance triathlons from iron distance to halves, to Olympic and sprints. These are a fun, well-run, less expensive, and less competitive option than Ironman. They are often used as training races for a full Ironman.
  • USAT sanctioned races are important for assuring official documented lengths and to achieve a year-end overall USA ranking. It’s not enough to just race each race separately….but wow! We can now add all the results together for an overall score to see our placing for the season! (Read with a bit of sarcasm…. or not – either way is appropriate).
  • Local sprint triathlons or various individual running and biking races are usually a part of the “How I Got Started Story” – the stepping stone to feed the addiction.
  • Training races – you know, the small moments of craving victory over a training partner during the course of a workout together.

My computrainer’s faster than yours…..

  • Family and friend participation races can involve simple competitions, such as racing home from church when having driven separately. There is usually no disclaimer, assuring that the other “participant” is not even aware there is a race.
  • Other – this is the slush category that catches all of the other race circumstances that may come up unexpectedly and often times involve a stranger. Perfect example: An unnamed athlete is giving blood in the hospital. He congenially turns and smiles at the man next to him who is also giving blood and says, “I’ll race you to see who can finish first!” (Yep, true story. They just can’t help it and I can’t make this up).

So you see, it is not the brand, distance, location, or prestige that makes a race A RACE; it is just a timed goal in the mind of a person – nothing more and yet all consuming. It’s pure perceived competition at its core – the driving force that makes life interesting, motivating, amusing, and worth it. Some say life is a journey; I say it is A Series of Races!