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Should Age Groupers Be Allowed To Race The Pros? | The GTN Show Episode 107

Should Age Groupers Be Allowed To Race The Pros? | The GTN Show Episode 107

– This is the GTN show, welcome. This week we are opening up the debate of pro or maybe I should say
ex-pro in Fraser’s case. First is age group racing, when it comes to long course, and we’re going to be
looking at it literally from both sides of the fence. – Yeah and we’ll also be discussing some new challenges coming up. We’ll be glancing over
the upcoming World 70.3 Championships start list. We’ll also be ticking off
one of the predictions from our own list that’s
been ongoing this year. Not forgetting caption
comp and also having a look at all of your wonderful pictures too. (upbeat music) (crowd cheering) – With two major world
championships on the horizon, both the Ironman 70.3 and
the full Ironman World Championships coming up, age groupers and pro athletes
are all going to be starting to focus on their A race for this season. Now these races are on the
same day for the age groupers and the pros. They will have had equally
tough journey to get there and qualify and to get
ready for that race. But why when it comes to race day, are those two races so different? – Yeah I mean the largest
difference that you can see with the races is the field size. With pros you can, I mean not at World
Championships to be fair, but in lots of races you
can have as little as maybe, ten athletes in a pro start list. And that’s a fundamental
difference straight away. Because with a mass age group
start going after you’ve got literally thousands of athletes going. And then in terms of that start, with the pro waves they
literally have pro men almost always going first and
then sometimes two or three minutes up to five minutes
literally you have the pro women wave go off. And that again is a small wave of athletes and then a portion of time
to the age group mass start. And previously you would
literally have had a mass start. But over the last few
years we’ve now seen the adoption almost across the
world of the rolling start where athletes self seed
themselves depending on how well they think they’re going to swim. And then they put themselves
into pens and such to see whether they
think they can swim fast or swim slower and then
they roll themselves into the water as they please. And there’s usually about
a 20 to 30 minute window for the whole age group
field to allow themselves to do that and get going with the swim. So I suppose that’s the
biggest difference because in the pros there’s fewer
athletes to have to worry about having a fight with
essentially at times in the swim. And the age groupers they
have a lot more people to have to contend with. And that’s certainly a
big worry for age groupers when they go swimming isn’t it? – Yeah but it could make
it I guess a little bit of an advantage if you’ve got
more people to draft off of and find the right pace if
you miss one set of feet you might get on another. But then when it comes into
transition for the pros, it’s really essential to
have a quick transition because you’re trying to
make the pack on the bike. We’ll talk more about that in a moment, but when it comes to the age groupers, it makes a bit more sense
to actually sit down, get your breath back before
getting on your bike, so you’re really comfortable for that. Because like we said, there are more athletes
so there’s more people to be able to ride with once you get out onto the bike course. – [Fraser] Yeah and then
once we’re out riding, that is another big
difference between pro racing and age group racing. Although the drafting
distance is certainly still the same there’s that
12 meter wheel to wheel difference between athletes. There’s much more of a dynamic, especially in the pro
racing for that concept of being with other athletes. And I say with in the
sort of looser sense. They’re not supposed to be
drafting and that 12 meter, certainly should be adhered to, but there is definitely
a benefit can be had from being with them. So athletes- the pro athletes
are very concerned about trying to get out of the
water and onto their bikes to hopefully make the most
of pacing off of other athletes. In the age group you just
have so many more athletes out there the density’s much bigger. And that can cause problems
because we’ve seen it time and time again and we’ve
talked about it in the show fairly recently that
drafting can be a big problem on race courses. And unfortunately that does
sometimes mean that you actually have age group
athletes posting quite quick times unwittingly because
they’re getting sucked along by that potential drafting effect. So that can often impact
on how times are seen when you look at results
after a race is finished, between age groupers and pros. – [Heather] Yeah and then
the feed stations as well can be slightly different
obviously if you’re at the front of the race and there’s
less of you it’s much easier to negotiate a
feed station on the bike. You don’t have to try and
get around other age groupers who are in the way, so if you’re a pro, and I know I think you’re
saying that Ironman World Champs that they actually, pros can have their own
drinks for the bike course. So you can make that up and
have it there ready for you. But that is only specific
to Ironman isn’t it? To world champs? – Yeah and certainly Ironman
Hawaii that’s allowed on the run and the aid stations
that the pro athletes can add extra hydration and
nutrition that they might want at designated tables that
are sectioned out on the run course prior. But that is a fairly unique difference, but it is certainly a
good benefit of racing pro and it can help you. – And finally the run, obviously that’s probably
the one with the least amount of difference
because it is very much your own race and it’s nice to
have other people around you, but the draft effect
in running is very slim and you’re unlikely to find
someone that you’re going to be exactly the same pace for. So I think the main differences
are the swim and the bike. – Yeah absolutely. But depending on how
you’re going in that run, if you’ve got a nice
little shoulder to sit on that can always make a difference. And you know, with a pro race that’s
always something that athletes are mindful of too. – [Heather] Anyway Fraser
I know that you’ve gone from obviously racing as a
pro to now being one of us, a bogstarted age grouper. How does it compare for you? – Yeah you’re right Heather, I mean this year I did
Celtman in the summer, which is the first race I
did after stopping racing Ironman events and such as a pro. And I suppose when you
are racing a pro and you get so bogged down in
pressure from sponsors, wanting to try and earn a
living and make some money, or earn points to try
and qualify for World Championships and all of that can, it’s a great goal to
have and it’s motivating, but I do find that quite wearing, so moving away and now just
being able to go and do a race, for me at the moment just to
go and see how well I can do on that day on that course is great. That being said, down the line who knows, I might want to be like
one of the many very competitive age groupers
out there who is absolutely going for the slots for World
Championships in age group positions too, so who knows, maybe I’ll come back
towards that in the future. – We might see you back
at Kona in the start. – Maybe. – But you know 20
minutes later. We’ll see. – Yeah. – Well hopefully that’s
clarified a little bit more of the difference when
you look at results from age group and pro racing, why sometimes the times
can’t really be compared, but obviously it depends
on the course and how the race actually pans out. But with that in mind we
want to know if you guys would like to see pros and
age groupers racing together. By that I mean starting
on the same start line at the same time. And that leads us to this week’s GTN poll, where we’re asking you that question. And it is going to be a
simple yes or no answer, so just click on the poll
up here to enter that one. And now it takes us on
to the results from last week’s poll when Mark asked
you guys whether you think myself, Fraser or Mark, or all of us, should do another epic challenge. Obviously Fraser’s just
done Celtman and Mark’s done Norseman and it was a pretty
unanimous answer wasn’t it? – [Fraser] It was Heather. Now whether we all go
and do something like you did with comrades in a really long race, I don’t know but you guys
definitely want us to do something. 98 percent of you said that we
should be doing a challenge, which is obviously just two
percent of you thinking we shouldn’t bother. So. – [Heather] Yeah. – [Fraser] I think
that’s quite encouraging. – And we had some great
suggestions as well. Obviously we’re going to
filter these when it actually comes to our next challenge. (Fraser laughs) But we had quite a few, someone suggested Super League, Ultraman, they’re two extreme
opposites of the spectrum. Enduraman as well, which is another epic distance triathlon. It kind of puts even Celtman
and Norseman into significance. – Sure does. – Then we had a very
specific suggestion here from RobG109 says, “I’ve always
fancied the Man versus horse race in Wales.” Now I’m keen for that one as
long as I get to do the horse riding part of it. (Fraser laughs) – Yeah. – But yeah, we’ve had a few more suggestions as well. – We did. We had an interesting
one from John McLaughlin. And his challenge was, train for and participate
in triathlons on a budget of he said a hundred dollars per month. A totally serious challenge
and triathlon has a reputation as being an expensive sport, which it does so I think
something around a budget race or of capped… – And we have quite a
few suggestions on that. – Yeah, whether that be our kit or
things that we don’t have as really expensive cutting-edge. Which I like the idea of. – Yeah. (upbeat music) – So now moving on to tri
news and we must admit, with all the drama that
happened just over ten days or so ago in Tokyo at the test event, we completely forgot
to tick off one of our predictions for 2019. – Yep it was Flora Duffy
getting a win on her first race back and she did it. And in some style. There was a little bit
of controversy around it, but having been out for a whole year, she came back to her very
first race and ended up taking the win. Admittedly it was as a result
of two disqualifications, but a wins a win and
that’s another tick for our predictions. – Now last week Mark discussed
the fact that the World Championships slot
allocation had finished. All of those available
slots had gone and in the meantime we actually bypassed
the fact that the World 70.3 Championship start
lists have been released. And my word, what a packed set of fields
those are aren’t they? – [Heather] Yeah it really is. The women’s especially. As the medalists, three medalists from last
year who also happen to be the three medalists at Kona
are on the start line, including Daniela Ryf
who’s actually aiming for her fifth title at 70.3 Worlds. But she’s still going to
have competition because Lucy Charles, runner-up the last two years
is going to be there again, and we’ve seen that
gap closing every year. And then third place from last year, Anne Haug, has just had a tremendous performance at Ironman Copenhagen getting
the win and the course record. So she, even though she’s been out from injury, she’s obviously back and
in very strong form indeed. And you’ve also got Holly Lawrence, who other than Oceanside, when she came up against Daniela, finished second, she’s been unbeaten in the
rest of her season and very much focused purely on 70.3 and you know, the list goes on, but those are probably
the four to watch in the women’s side at the moment. – Oh absolutely Heather. The list really does go on and on, as it does on the men’s
side of things as well. Now last year’s winner, defending champ, Jan Frodeno, has actually opted out to
focus purely on going back to Hawaii where he’s had
some problems over the last few years. But that being said, we have just got name
after name after name. We’ve got second place last year, Alistair Brownlee. Third place, Javier Gomez, who will be coming off the
back of ITU Grand Final Lausanne actually. There’s also a whole host
of other top athletes. The likes of ex-champion, Sebastian Kienle. Ex world champion, Patrick Lange. Runner-up in the past, Ben Kanute who’ll also
probably be in Lausanne. We’ve got another ITU athlete
moving up for his first 70.3 World Champs in
Christian Blumenfeldt. And he happens to be
the world record holder. So it really is an incredible
field by the looks of it. – Yeah and I am super
excited because I’m actually going to be heading out there
to cover some of the bits that’s going on, speak to some of the athletes. So if you do see us with GTN, come and say hi if you’re out in Nice. (upbeat music) – Well it’s time to have
a look at your pictures and we’ve got a wonderful
selection again this week. This first one we’re going underwater for. Sent in by Ramir from North
Carolina in the United States. Says, “Getting ready for
Ironman in Wilmington. Having fun whilst training.” – [Fraser] Yeah I wonder if
he was doing some sort of like underwater doggy
paddle drill or something, but he’s done well there. I like it. – I think he was just posing
for the camera Fraser. (Fraser laughs) But we can you know, I mean if that’s a drill
then please do let us know. We’d love to add that to
our collection for sure. – Yeah and then we’ve got Mark, who’s sent in a really nice story here. So he’s sent this in from
Sudbury in Ontario, Canada. And Mark says that, “It was
inaugural Xterra Sudbury Conquer the Creature. My first one and I was the
last one to cross the line and most of the competitors waited for me, cheered me across as it was
a hard but awesome day.” – [Heather] That’s cool! – Yeah really nice. – And he’s still running
at the finish line as well, so you know, hats off to you for that one. – Mm-hmm. – And hopefully it’s the
start of many more triathlons as well. Our next one comes in from
Aradeep on her Cannondale Synapse and it’s from Chennai in India. It’s a bit of a montage of photos here. – [Fraser] Yeah I mean I
just love the fact that we’re getting some content in from India. I mean I’ve never been there
and I can’t ever imagine having a race there, but it’s obviously growing and growing. – [Heather] Well I have been there, when it was the Commonwealth Games… – Oh yeah. – …In Delhi and I think
the triathlon was canceled. – Well it wasn’t canceled,
they just said we’re not doing it. – And they didn’t have it okay. – It would be a little bit too
dirty to swim there I think. – So yeah hopefully that
means triathlon is growing in India. – Yeah absolutely. – It’d be cool to see. Next one from Alexei on his Villia Blade, apparently out riding
on the Olympics 1980’s Moscow bike race track. – [Fraser] Yeah taking
in a TT in our city. So yeah I mean that’s, I’ve never been to Moscow so don’t know, but it looks great. – [Heather] Yeah I definitely
haven’t seen that much greenery in Moscow (laughs)
so yeah it’s good to see. – You’re well traveled
aren’t you? (laughs) – Well it sounds it, but not really. Just not to triathlon
destinations like you Fraser. Our final one comes in from Edward, but you might spot that it
isn’t Edward in the photo. – [Fraser] No and Edward
sent this in from Sheldon in South Devon. And he said, “This is my girlfriend enjoying
our Penketh on a beautiful morning in South Devon. It sees Zwift action 365 days a year.” That is quite a lot of zwifting. – Yeah. It’s impressive but this photo
caught my eye and I was like oh my goodness where is that? I would love to live there. And I’m actually from- I’m from Devon. (Fraser laughs) I was like wow where did they
get that wonderful weather. So yeah nice! – [Fraser] It looks beautiful. Absolutely. – [Heather] Nice to see. Well as you can tell, we do love looking at your
pictures and sharing them. So make sure… – Especially if they’re from Devon. (Heather laughs) – No I think you know we
like them from all around the world Fraser obviously. But do carry on sending them
in and you can do that by just using the uploader and
the link is on the screen right now. (upbeat music) – So now I’m moving onto
our race news for this week. And first up is a brand new
Ironman 70.3 event actually, which was in Michigan. Traverse City was the name. And this attracted a really
top quality men’s and women’s field. Largely of athletes from the
North American continent. And indeed in the men’s side of racing, we had current world Ironman
fastest time holder in Matt Hanson. He took the victory, but very close run of affairs
with second place going to Taylor Reed from Canada. Only 12 or 13 seconds in arrears. And then the final podium
position went to fellow Canadian, Stephen Kilshaw. And over on the women’s side
we also had American winner there with Jackie Hering taking
the win from Linsey Corbin of the US in second and
Alissa Doehla in third. Now moving over to Europe, we had some racing in Southern
France at Ironman 70.3 Vichy, and on the men’s side of racing
we had an inaugural winner on the circuit in home favorite, Yohan Le Berre who took the
victory from David McNamee from Scotland, my good friend there who’s
in his last lead up race for Ironman Hawaii. And then in third we had German athlete, Franz Loeschke. On the women’s side of things
we had very fast racing with American athlete, Jocelyn McCauley taking a
five minute lead into T2, which you would think
would have been enough, but unfortunately this didn’t hold off the exceptionally fast charge
from Britain’s Emma Pallant. Who took the victory with
a 1:16 half marathon from Jocelyn McCauley who held
onto second and then home favorite Manon Genet took
the third spot with a fast half marathon as well in
1:19 for her third spot. And then moving a bit
further north in Europe, we had Ironman 70.3 Dun
Laoghaire in Ireland. And this race attracted
a lot of attention, most notably because of
who was racing on the men’s side of affairs. And that was dominated
by Alistair Brownlee, the current Olympic champion. He’s using this race as his
final tuneup before World 70.3 Championships in
Nice in two weeks time, and he put on a show. He led from start to finish
and took the victory by ten minutes over the defending champion, also from the UK, Elliot Smales. And to round out a UK clean
sweep on the podium was, Adam Bowden in third place. Now in the women’s racing we
had another victory for UK’s, Nikki Bartlett who took her
second consecutive victory after a win earlier in
the summer at Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire. She did so by overhauling on the run. The long time race leader, Lucy Hall, who was making her debut
at the longer non-drafting distance format. Former Olympian doing very
well on the swim bike, but struggling a bit
with the half marathon, but still hung on bravely
to take second place in Dun Laoghaire. And then third place went
to America’s Lisa Roberts, who ran through with a
very fast half marathon. Now the ITU circuit is hotly
anticipating the grand final in Lausanne this coming weekend. But that doesn’t mean that
there wasn’t any racing. In fact there was a World
Cup level of racing in the Czech Republic at Karlovy Vary. And still a very good
quality field racing there. Many athletes probably
still going on to race in Lausanne in the coming week as well. We had a really great race for
the Brits in the men’s race, with Sam Dickinson taking
the victory from a very fast French athlete, Raphael Montoya in third and
then very pleased for me to see a Scot actually in Grant
Sheldon taking the third after it’s been a tough year for Grant. So really pleased to see Grant
run very well to hold onto that third place race
in the Czech Republic. Now in the women’s side
of racing it was all about home athlete, Vendula Frintova hoping
to repeat her victory from last year in the Czech Republic. But she was pushed all the way. It was a head to head battle
on the ten kilometer run with American Tamara Gorman. And in fact it came down to a
sprint in the finish straight, which is very exciting for the home crowd. And indeed Vendula Frintova
took that victory for the second year running. Tamara taking that second place, and third place going for
Caroline Pohle from Germany. (upbeat music) So now it’s time for
our caption competition. And in last week’s show, Mark chose this rather
unique aero position from Ironman Kalmar in Sweden. So our comments that we’ve
got here start off with Henry Masters, “Fabulous is the new aero.” Which I would definitely agree with Henry. I like that one. Thank you. We also had one in from Jimm Borja, and Jimm says, “I hope the picture looks
good as I told my wife that I’m having fun when I’m doing triathlon.” I think he looks like he’s having fun. But our winner for this
week comes from Paul Nagel. And he says, “It’s not aero, and I don’t care-o.” So well done you Paul for
managing to get a little bit of rhyme in there and we’ll
get a cap off to you if you just get in touch with us
on the social channels. So that takes us onto this week’s picture. And this is a rather
interesting one I’d say that we’ve chosen, which is from this weekend’s
rather ITU World Cup in Czech Republic Karlovy Vary. And well I think we’ve got a
little bit of floating water bottle action going on here, so please drop in your comments
down there below and we’ll get a winner next week. So that brings us to the
close of yet another GTN show this week and my word do
we have a lot of exciting racing to look forward
to in the next few weeks. So please click on that globe, subscribe to the channel
to make sure that you keep abreast of all our chat
about the races coming up. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this video too, so please hit that thumb up
like button and if you want to see a video that we did on
three essential swim workouts, well you can have a look at that here. And if you want to see a
exciting video that Heather did unboxing some part tools
where you can win those tools, well you can get that here.

72 comments on “Should Age Groupers Be Allowed To Race The Pros? | The GTN Show Episode 107

  1. Should age groupers be allowed to race the pros? Don't forget to enter the poll and leave us a comment!

  2. PROs should ofc be at the front but there is no reason not letting a local triathlete trying his/hers best to catch up with the pros.

  3. As long as the pros prefer it, they should be starting in their own wave. It's part of the perks for working hard and becoming a pro. The only other way to do it is if you have everyone staged for the same start time but call up the pros to start at the front similar to what they do in cycling races like The Dirty Kanza.

  4. My question is… when the signal (air horn or shot) is given and the age groupers start, does the time start ticking for all, or do they have to pass a sensor whit there ankle bracelet in order to start the time? And how do they determine how far back you start in the pack of age groupers? Because some athletes have to wait a few seconds up to minutes before they hit the water or pass the start line, and sometimes seconds is a lot of time. Because if the time starts ticking on a certain point everybody can race the pro's based on times, But if someone has to wait two minutes before he hits is water while the time has already started than those minutes are lost with waiting. Which means someone in front could be seconds slower than one in the back.

  5. Yes, yes you’d think that’d be enough time… apparently I need to work on transitions as it would have been much much closer if I didn’t take a nap in them 😂

  6. Absolutely, as long as they meet the qualifying regs. If density is a problem resort to starting waves in order of pros, then in qualifying times. Swim comps often are scheduled from fastest to slowest qualifiers in their heats. Can’t see why this shouldn’t be any different. Numbers should also be capped making it a mini comp to get into say, the top 100 age groupers that can take on a pro.

  7. #Caption : when you try to drop the bottle and it doesn't want to leave your hands so it crosses the finish line with you to get a massage

  8. I'm not so sure about long course, but in Xterra there is often not a great difference between elites and AG's. In fact, a few races this season have been won outright by AG's who set off at the same time as the elites in the Xterra series. The big difference is that only elites get a share of the prize money, which must be a bit disheartening for a winning AG to witness at the prize giving, I'd imagine.

  9. Pros are racing for their livelihood, AG are not. Pros absolutely deserve their own dedicated waves. The sheer number of people in an IM race means that if Pros had to race alongside AG, there would be a fairly high amount of interference. A lot of that interference would be unintentional, but it would mess up the pro race. We don't let amateurs race alongside pros in other sports, so why is this even a topic worth considering?

  10. Caption: "Race day checklist: (1) Wear my super bowl rings (for intimidation) (2) get my nails done (for more intimidation), (3) drink water out of the air (max intimidation)."

  11. Caption: that look of fear when you realise the speed force is about to be unleashed [only fans of 'the Flash' will get this]

  12. Perhaps having the pro women and pro men leaving at the same time?

    It’s the pros livelihood and mixing amateurs in the mix is high risk and the pros have earned the right to have their categorised wave start. If age groupers have what it takes then get a pro licence instead of putting vast skill sets in the mix.
    Many yrs ago at the Noosa triathlon here in Australia there was an ‘open category’ where the best age groupers in the country went head to head in the same wave. It was very popular!

  13. Begs the question… if an age grouper gets the fastest time of the day, do they take the winners portion of the prize purse?

  14. That's me at @10:10 .Not a doggy paddle lol, doing a front crawl and thought it was a good photo op, Heather was correct. I LOVE THIS CHANNEL SO MUCH!!! Without you guys I would be lost!

  15. CAPTION: Research shows long nails make athletes lose grip on reality and water bottles! But increase your hand's surface area during the pull phase of your swim 😜😂

  16. Better question…should certain age groups (and “teams”) be racing at the pro level when they finish a full IM in sub 9hrs

  17. Better question…should certain age groups (and “teams”) be racing at the pro level when they finish a full IM in sub 9hrs

  18. Better question…should certain age groupers (and “teams”) be racing at the pro level when they finish a full IM in sub 9hrs

  19. Pros have to prove themselves in order to become pros. If age-groupers want to line up with them they should have to prove it as well. Otherwise it may slow down or potentially increase the risk of incident as the pros as they weave through the other athletes.

  20. This is sort of a silly topic. If an age grouper wants to race the pro, they should qualify, get their pro license and then race the pros. I’ve done many races where there is an “open” field (where both pros and faster age groupers race together) and there are always a handful of AGers who put themself in that field who simply can’t compete there. I can only imagine what would happen at a large IM race where AGers raced up front.

  21. It would be pretty cool, if the last year age group winners/ below sub 30 (60) minutes after first pro in last years race could race with the pros

  22. Is it "fair" that Fraser as an ex Ironman Pro could potentially try for an AG spot at Kona? I'm not sure. We are seeing quite a few ex pros, mainly from cycling becoming AG triathletes qualifying for Kona. I'd like to hear other peoples comments and opinions about this.

  23. Caption: TYR's Swimming fingernail paddles grant you extra feel and control of the water, regardless of the discipline!
    Do a triathlon, they said. It'll be fun, they said. We'll take your picture, they said…

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