Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Well, after a big weekend of training, my body has responded unfavorably. I took Monday off and Tuesday was 3K in the pool in the AM. I came home and got a bunch of work done, went to take a nap before doing my 90 min run workout, only to wake-up with a sore throat. No run.

Wanted to ride long with my boy Mac today, but had to cut that out too. Luckily this morning the throat wasn't any worse, actually a little bit better. Hoping I can recover enough to get back in the pool tomorrow morning, and a big run workout in the PM. The days are counting down now until Madison, so hopefully this get resolved soon.

Speaking of sick, there is something which has been bothering me and I have really debated putting on this blog, but I think the time has come for me to make a statement. It deals with cheating in local races, such as drafting on the bike, course cutting, racking in illegal places, etc.

I had not done any local races this year until this past weekend, and it's amazing how much cheating is going on, without any care or concern for fair play. In fact, the days before the race, some local athletes told me exactly what to expect to see, and who would certainly be involved in the cheating. It was amazing how what they said happened like a pre-written script. These athletes know there are no officials out on the course, and therefore feel the rules don't apply. It's rather funny how much of a reputation they now have as cheaters.

I am not going to name the individuals, as that isn't important. They know who they are, and know exactly what I'm talking about. I didn't make a big deal about it at the event, because it's a local race, with no prize money. However, if there was money on the line, I most certainly would have spoken up.

It's sad really, because as an elite, I believe I help to set the standards of behavior in the sport. All elites do, and have a responsibility to be leaders in the sport. I am also a coach, and if I cheat, what does that tell my clients? How much integrity do I have then? If I had a client who was cheating, I certainly would have a problem with that, and I would expect the same response from my clients if I was cheating.

Some people may say, "Jim, it's just a local race, what's the big deal?" They're right, it's a local race and no big deal, which is why I didn't protest it at the event. But I would also respond with, if it's just a local race and no big deal, why not just play by the rules? What happens when it's not just a local race, and there is money on the line? If the precedent of cheating has already been allowed passively, by not confronting it, why would anyone suddenly expect the rules to apply? Trust me, when there's money on the line, the same behaviors are happening, I see it first hand.

It's really amazing how some people will cheat right in front of your face, and think you're cool with it. I am often asked if I think there is doping in triathlon, and I simply reply with, "People cheat in front of my face all the time in this sport, so why is it crazy to think they'll cheat when I'm not looking?" I'm not accusing any local athletes of doping, but rather using their behavior to draw a tangent. These are local races with no money, so what would you expect on a more global scale when there is money on the line?

Sorry for sounding high and mighty, but if playing by the rules is being high and mighty, then maybe I shouldn't apologize.

Train safe, and race fairly.

Vance - 2007 NFA


Steven said...

Excellent analysis Jim.

I am glad that you wrote about this topic.

It's true that character is defined by your actions when no one is looking.

Dave P said...

Say it proud, say it loud...CHEATERS SUCK!! That's all there is to say about that.
Rock on Jim.

Scott said...

I train in LA, but have friends from San Diego that have been telling me about a SMALL group of cheats that show up in the local races on regular occasion. The frustrating part for me is that purse or no purse, local or national, almost all of us have to pay our own entry fee and deserve the chance to race safely and fairly. I hate to say it but if race directors are not willing or able to enforce fair competition, then it falls on influential pros like you and age groupers like me to speak up in a positive way.
Good Luck in the Land of Cheese!

barndog said...

personally I would call it out on the infidels. just like people dropping butts out the car, we should have not problem saying something, who else will?