The often maligned triathlon swim. Dreaded by most, loved by a few, but almost always performed in toxic sludge. It doesn’t seem to matter what body of water the race spans, the water quality is almost always substandard. Funny that as a group we actually care about our physical fitness and well being, but our chosen athletic pursuit does actually put our health in jeopardy. Also, don’t forget we share most of these liquid ecosystems with critters that probably don’t like us swimming in their living room.
Speaking of bodies of water – I’m counting 4 types of swim vessels for our little review. Pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Now this is obviously a first world problem. After all, there are large groups of this earths population that actually have to drink from some of these water sources. Sorry, but not my job to worry about those BIG issues. I only dwell on things that could hamper my pursuit of triathlon mediocrity. (however, if unlike me you do have a heart and care about people having clean water to drink, go to www.water.org and donate some of that money you saved for a new SILCA air pump)
Now, this is the fun part about doing the weekly poll for TRS Triathlon. I don’t have to do any research about the affect of flooding at IMTX or the % of fecal matter or pesticides in your local reservoir. I just get to start an argument and let people fight it out on the forum. Better to leave the real journalism to guys like Jim Gourley, who actually know what they are doing. I’m just a tri dork that likes to pick fights and then let others throw the punches. So let us begin!
Pools: Probably the cleanest of our 4 choices, until you consider that you are intentionally swimming in a mix of water and chemicals. Also, completely my point of view, but pools are great for exercise practice, but are not really acceptable for triathlon races. So, if your experience with triathlon only extends to the local YMCA Try a Tri you officially have a face in need of slapping. (or as the cool kids say, backpfeifengesicht)
Lakes: One of the most often used swim courses. They have the benefit of typically calm water and lack of apex predators. Unless you live in Australia, because everything wants to kill you in Australia. Or Kansas, because of this cute little death machine:
Rivers: Definitely a bonus if you get to swim with the current. However, if you ever wondered where your shit goes when you flush the toilet, well let’s just say there’s a chance you’ll get to swim in it later. Also, for some reason chemical plants always spring up around rivers, probably for the scenic beauty, right? Oh, and snakes.
Oceans: Sharks, sharks, sharks, and sharks. It’s not that I’m afraid of sharks. They are incredibly majestic (swimming in aquariums) and I’ve heard their fins make a fine soup. I just want to swim, bike, and run. Not swim, bleed, and die. Also, let it be known, that several of my tri friends (so, people I don’t really know at all) who swim in the ocean, all the time, say that jellyfish are a much bigger pain in the ass. (literally) In reality, I actually struggle more with swallowing salt water and getting sick. My delicate tummy just can’t handle that salty mix and I don’t care to try and ride a bike while puking. I’m just not that coordinated.
So, what do you think? Do you care? Which is your favorite body of water? TRS Triathlon wants to know!!!