Monday, October 15, 2007

Mini Triathlon and the Art of Balloons

This weekend I was talking to people at in my reserve unit and I had forgotten what it was like not to understand triathlons. I am not talking about the intricacies of Yantz laces, or the difference between a road bike or a tri bike, or even the science of picking the right balloon to mark your rack. I am talking about the basics—“There was a triathlon in DC?” (meaning an Ironman). “Oh you do mini triathlons.”

I haven’t done an Ironman and I am not sure I will do one. I am happy at the Olympic Distance. However, I do take offense to the term “mini”. Especially, when talking to people who find it hard to run 2 miles.

So, friend of mine and I were talking about biking and racing in general, and I mentioned a race and some Nosy Ned, asked if I did triathlons. I told him that I did, and that was when the mini triathlon was brought up. I went to explain there were sprints; international and they were also called Olympic distance; Half Ironman; and finally the Ironman distance.

So my friend (who had ridden a century the weekend prior) and I were trying to explain that even a sprint for a normal person is at least 1.5 hour endurance event and takes some preparation to do. Well, we were not getting through to this individual and it was becoming more and more obvious that he just had to put others down.

After Mr. Low Self-Esteem walked away to get a 24 oz bottle of Coke and some chips, my good buddy and I continued our debate over which balloon was better, Mr Incredible or Barbie!!!


Rainmaker said...

I've heard the 'mini' wording before - and I despise it. Especially as you said, from people who probably couldn't run across my front yard (which for reference is that of a townhouse, or roughly 19 feet).

Oh well - I think in due time people will better understand the sport of triathlon similiar to how people know that a 'Marathon' is a long race, but that there are shorter races that have differences but still must be trained for (i.e. a 400m sprint in Olympics).

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

Barbie or Mr Incredible...that is a TOUGH debate. The other issue with the "mini" man...well, he's probably the sort who would choose an anatomically correct Ken doll... just sayin'