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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The anti-littering rule applies to triathletes too!

Endurance athletes like marathon runners and triathletes rely alot on gels for quick replenishment of lost energy into our body systems.

The gels come in 'handy' packets with pre-determined 'shots' of contained carbo/protein/electrolyte mixes. Tear the top off and gulp the eecky gel into one's mouth and swallow with water. You squeeze 'em gels into the mouth and you throw the wrapper away while on the bike or run segments. Yep, we litter on the race course. I admit to doing that almost religiously in every race.

In long races, gels such as Powergel, E-gel, Carb-boom, Hammergel, etc. can be a life saver to keep a triathlete from bonking. There are usually no strategically-placed recepticles for a shagged out triathlete to throw the empty wrappers, unless we take the trouble to stuff the gooey wrapper into our bento boxes (if available) or stuff them into the teeny pockets of our tri-suit (if available). In other words, there aren't many choices to store 'em up for later disposal.

I just found out - by chance - that some races actually penalise triathletes who litter! If caught by the race anti-litter patrol, the offending triathlete can be penalised for up to 2 minutes. (this means an extra 2 minutes is added onto the final time taken to complete the race) 2 minutes can affect the overall standings!

Alright, I will make it a conscious effort to store my used gel wrappers for disposal at the finishing line. Not that the additional 2 minutes will matter much to me. I'm just going to try to be a civilised triathlete. Perhaps that is a greater challenge in itself eh?

Here's an article by Mountain Man, a writer for the Triathlete Magazine.

I quote him "Pick up after yourself; your mother doesn’t work here!"

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