Speed Cheating

After leaving the training center on Tuesday I stayed with my best friend since 7th grade, Noah, who lives in Denver proper and works for the National Renewable Energy Labs in Golden. He is the brain behind the newest developments in ethanol production – mainly making it feasible as a source of energy.

His house is called the Tea-House, and true to it’s name, while I was there we made Kombucha, which was much better than the $4 a bottle stuff you can buy at health food stores.

During the day, while he was working, I drove up to Boulder to visit another good friend, Rory, who I know from living in Hawaii. Rory is in the middle of his world tour, but is waiting for summer to begin in New Zealand before he continues. He took me inner tubing down the Boulder Creek, which is the only memory I have of my family vacation to Boulder 15 years ago.

I think boulder is populated by people who don’t work, but have really nice laptops, which they bring to coffee shops to enjoy a soy latte with vegan brownies (my vegan brownie was not very good). It’s a really yuppee town, and while I didn’t really do any training there, I didn’t quite see the appeal of living there.

From there I flew to Seattle, where I wrote last night’s post from the comfort of my own bed. It was the fist time in 50 days that I’ve been in Seattle, but it was not for long. This morning I flew to Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada (I <3 BC) where I was picked up by my host family, the Rule’s. My hosts are really nice people and are trying hard to make me feel at home. It’s working. I took a wonderful nap this afternoon that may be the first good sleep I’ve gotten.

For some reason my Garmin Edge 705 didn’t figure out that I’m no longer up at 1800m elevation, and it tried to convince me that Kelowna was really high up. WRONG! I just checked google, and it’s only 344 meters here. It’s pretty hot though, Sunday is supposed to be 36 degrees when we race at 2pm. That’s 96.8 F according to google, with water temperatures of 24c (75.2F which is wetsuit Illegal). I’m learning to love the heat. It’s becoming apparent that it’s no coincidence that every race I’ve done this year has been unusually hot. The fact is – I bring the heat. I’m not sure if it’s my boyish good looks, my magnetic personality, or my heart-stopping smile, but I am obviously radiating like plutonium.

The Olympic coverage in Canada is much less US-Centric, which is refreshing, until you realize that all you get to see is Canadians losing! I feel bad, they had a few really good athletes and it’s just not working out for our Northern Neighbors.

Still, almost everything I’ve seen of the Olympic coverage has been amazing. Like Phelps .01 second victory in the 100m butterfly, followed by a quick loss of a Canadian woman wrestler.

Speed-walking is amazing in a different way. It’s not very original to make fun of the sport of speed-walking, but seriously, why is it in the Olympics? They have a rule that you must always have one foot touching the ground, yet judges are not allowed to use video playback to verify. They “walk” in a pack, so judges have no clear sight of everyone’s pair of feet, and they don’t have judges watching each athlete all the time. I figured they were probably pushing the limits, but I was way off. Coming back from a commercial the Canadian Broadcast Channel showed a slow motion clip of the “walking” group. It was just a short intro back into the regular coverage, but it showed about four steps. All three athletes visible in the shot made obvious leaps. There was NO question that those three “walkers” had BOTH feet off the ground between strides. Why is a sport in the Olympics where the object is to cheat discretely? That is infuriating to me. It’s like making a rule that doping is illegal, but, rather than testing athletes, they have to be caught in the act.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. i was going to comment on something you wrote but the trampoline is on the olympics right now and i’m mesmorized by this chinese girl who is getting like 20 feet of air.

    ok, agreed on your description of boulder. it takes a special type to be able to stand living there year-round. The training is pretty good though.

    what i don’t get about speed-walking is that I can’t see any practical point to it. The best guys do around like 6:30 miles which is impressive for walking but fairly pedestrian for running. just run. but yes, there’s that very thin line between speed-walking and running and like you said it gets crossed all the time.

    good luck in the race.

  2. I <3 BC too, but Boulder, Colorado and not British Columbia (because I have never been there! But who knows, I [might] <3 [that] BC in the future.)

    But see, my Boulder experience sounds like your BC experience so far… picked up by gracious hosts, whisked off to an awesome house, and then a glorious NAP! And a TV for Olympics-watching. Plus, unlike what you might have tomorrow, I had beautiful racing weather last weekend. I loved Boulder.

    Hmm. But every meal I had in Boulder was crap, and yeah what’s with all the laptops?

    So this is suddenly the pointlessest comment.

  3. Tubing Boulder Creek. AWESOME. I still remember that day. Did you try to go through the drain tubes to the drop off this time?

    I <3 BC [ben collins]

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