#40: It's pronounced Rote
But make it sound extra German.
issue #40: June 21, 2023
This week’s issue is presented by:
My only announcement is that I spent last week in Boston for the Female Athlete Conference—and summed up the research findings for paying subscribers. I also struggled with extreme jet lag when flying from California to an East Coast conference that started at 7 a.m. each day. (Why are we awake right now?!)
Rager in Roth
Why is the biggest party in triathlon this weekend? Isn’t it usually on the first weekend of July instead?
Good question. I believe it’s part of the Challenge Roth-Ironman agreement to not have two huge triathlons in Germany at the same time. IM Frankfurt will now be next weekend, and this weekend instead we get to focus on the big hitters in Roth (pronounced Rote, but roll the r), which is in Bavaria, which is like the Texas of Germany, complete with over-the-top heritage-inspired outfits.
I know we keep saying every weekend is a big weekend, but.
Daniela Ryf v. Chelsea Sodaro v. Laura Philipp v. two-time champ here Anne Haug. (And also Fenella Langridge and Lisa Norden.) That’s just, like, a lot of world champions at the distance in one event. I think it’s safe to label this as the biggest Iron-distance race of the year so far—may end up as the biggest one-day of the year, period. We’ll withhold judgment for now.
Personally, I’m rooting for Chelsea—and only a little bit because I always root for the Americans. (Also rooting for her to beat her coach, Dan Plews, who’s racing the age-group event.) But, it’s hard to pick a winner. I think Anne will be very very hard to beat right now, especially here, on her home turf, where she’s a star. And, of course, I have to imagine Daniela and Laura are both over whatever illness they had in Ibiza.
WATCH: Challenge Roth Youtube @ 9:15 p.m. PT on Saturday/12:15 a.m. ET Sunday — or just wake up at, like, 4:30 a.m. my time and catch the finish?!
OK, yes, also there are men racing. But it’s just not quite quite as stacked. I gotta cheer for Ben Kanute, just because I actually do always cheer for the Americans, especially in Europe. However, in this case, the race is most likely between Magnus Ditlev (who would have definitely broken the course record last year if he had known he was just eight seconds off and hadn’t slowed down in the stadium), Daniel Baekkegard, and Patrick Lange. I imagine Joe Skipper will do something crazy, and I would pick Sam Laidlow but he seems to still be recovering from his liver infection. So: Money on Magnus.
Last year, I went to Germany to answer the question: Does Roth live up to the hype? And, why the hell are Americans so confused here?
In short: I’d say yes and no. Nothing can live up to the kind of hype you hear, but also I did start to cry while biking through the middle of screaming crowds on a Tour de France-like hill. So that’s something worth experiencing at least once.
P.S. It sounds like Chrissie Wellington will be handing out medals at the finish (if you’re there) and a special guest has been promised on the broadcast, so.
The translation gap
This is what researchers call the gap between what their findings show/what is known and what the general public thinks: the translation gap.
It came up a lot at the Female Athlete Conference last weekend. If we know that light aerobic exercise is good for concussion recovery, then why do doctors prescribe complete rest? If we know there’s a deep link between injury and not eating enough, then why do coaches still tell so many athletes to lose weight?
It’s really really hard to get lots of medical professional to agree. It’s also really really hard to get everyone to listen to them. (Which is why, btw, if the American Medical Association finally says BMI is not a good standalone metric, then it’s seriously really not.)
I summed up the key research from the Female Athlete Conference over the weekend, but you can read the consensus statement on concussions yourself (and everyone probably should). And I’ll share this one story:
Mary Cain—yes, that Mary Cain—gave a keynote speech in which she explained why she hasn’t run professionally in seven years. She had a bizarre undiagnosed issue where her leg went numb after a certain amount of running. It got worse and worse until it happened even when she was walking. Turns out she had a DVT and artery entrapment syndrome that cut off blood flow under exertion.
But the crazy part is this: She could not get it diagnosed. She got blown off by some doctors (like so many of us), and told maybe it was in her head, and dropped between the cracks. And if that happens to Mary Cain, then let’s be real: There are people who are not Mary Cain who are dying because of the failures of this system.
Thanks to UltraSwim 33.3!
Excited to have UltraSwim 33.3 sponsoring this month’s newsletters. If you’re looking for a new adventure, check out UltraSwim 33.3’s organized four-day event in Montenegro this September. You’ll cover 33.3 kilometers total over the four days. Because that’s the iconic distance across the English Channel.
Results from the weekend
Ironman Cairns: I saw an IG post of a shark swimming around pre-race, but now the story has disappeared, so let’s just say: Braden Currie was very dominant because he is very good at this, as was Kylie Simpson.
Ironman Austria: Lotte Wilms won, the party looked epic, and most importantly Cam Wurf finally locked down his Nice qualification—so we all get to see if the 40-year-old pro cyclist will hack it this September.
World Cup Huatalco: Let’s talk about Mexico. Most notably, Gwen Jorgensen kept her Olympic dreams alive with a second place at a World Cup and the U.S. (with both Gwen and Katie Zaferes) won the mixed relay. I was ready to call my picks for the U.S. Olympic team, but now this keeps it interesting.
The rest of the weekend’s results—including Luxembourg 70.3—are on our Results page.
Mark your calendars
World Triathlon Championship Series - Montreal: Speaking of the road to the Olympics! No Alex Yee or Hayden Wilde leaves me slightly uninterested in the men in Montreal. (The only question worth asking: Is Kristian Blummenfelt finally back in form?) But, on the women’s side, we have all three of the winners, all British, of the series races so far this year (Georgia Taylor-Brown, Sophie Coldwell, Beth Potter), plus Taylor Knibb is back on the circuit. Fun! As long as they all get their bikes.
WATCH: On TriathlonLive - women race at 8:20 a.m. PT/11:20 a.m. ET on Saturday, men at 10:20 a.m. PT/1:20 p.m. ET; mixed relay goes off Sunday morning.
Ironman Coeur d’Alene: The Americans are doing what Americans do best and lining up at home! I was there when Sam Long won CDA in 109-degree heat two years ago, and I think he’s probably the favorite this weekend—but Chris Leiferman and Matt Russell will be tough. On the women’s side, I believe Haley Chura can do it; this is one of her favorite races.
WATCH: On Ironman.com/live and Ironman’s Youtube at 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Mont-Tremblant 70.3: While Elsinore 70.3 is the one airing on Outside Watch, I think the more interesting race is actually in Canada. Lionel Sanders v. Jackson Laundry, the two keep swapping places this year (and Tim O’Donnell). Tamara Jewett running away from everyone. Canadians in Canada.
Honestly, there are more races, but aren’t you exhausted already.
This was going around the last few weeks: A list of fatalities in triathlon. (Wikipedia)
Did you know athletes at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth are greeted by a woman actually dressed as an old-fashioned grandma? That’s among the things I learned this weekend. (Fast Women)
The U.S. announced their marathon team for the World Championships. (LetsRun)
Western States is coming up this weekend too and the ‘all sports’ community around here is fully absorbed (it’s about three hours from where I live, so vibe is intense). Shoutout to Heather Jackson on her first attempt! (iRunFar)
The fastest man without a country. (Outside)
Super League announced their outdoor (ie. Championship series) races: London, Toulouse, Malibu, NEOM. (Super League Triathlon)
World Triathlon announced prize money for the Paris Test Event—including for the para-athletes racing. (World Triathlon)
French police raided the offices of the Olympic organizing committee; it sounds like over financial fraud investigations. (BBC)
Taylor Knibb is officially on the pro cycling team Trek Segafredo. She talked to ProTriNews about how she’s going to do it all—call it the Cam Wurf Method. (Trek/ProTriNews)
Chrissie Wellington won a big ultra trail race. (Twitter)
Four athletes with intellectual disabilities, including Chris Nikic, became the largest contingent to race a 70.3 when they finished Eagleman. (Endurance.biz)
Payton Manning surprised Johnny Agar to let him know he and his dad will be racing at Kona next year. (CBS)
What constitutes a faring? It’s probably time triathlon sorts this out. And, while, no, I do not think the athlete in that video actually saved time, there is some evidence that shoving things down the front of your kit does work. (Twitter/Ero)
Can women’s sports grow without the problems of men’s sports? (Global Sports Matters)
Allyson Felix wrote an op-ed for TIME about the rate of deaths in black women giving birth. (TIME)
And there was a “controversy” this week in the wellness & health space over whether you should debate flame-throwers who are scientifically wacko (for lack of a better term) or if it just gives air time to the wackos (for lack of a better term) and drags everyone into the mud. And all I kept thinking about was this line: “They believe, because the belief is soothing, that the marketplace of ideas cares about the value, durability, and quality of its wares rather than how shiny the packaging is, how catchy the jingle, how many times it shows up in your peripheral brand awareness until it’s the one you reach for on the shelf.” (The Growth Equation/Longreads)
One last thing
Do you all remember back when I started making fun of announcements of announcements. And now it’s, like, a whole thing.
Pretty sure it’s this story they’re teasing, btw.
This issue was brought to you by UltraSwim33.3: UltraSwim 33.3 is the ultimate adventure race. Swim 33.3km over four days, in a point-to-point open water ‘off-road’ format in stunning Montenegro. With varied and challenging conditions—combined with an incredible coaching package included in your entry—you'll feel rewarded when you cross the finish line, and be a better swimmer.
Register for UltraSwim 33.3 #2Montenegro (Sept 29-Oct. 2)