Dreitz & Lange

Its what happens when you are coached by a coach who fails to study and improve as a coach.

Its what happens when you are coached by a coach who doesn’t adhere to the same expectations that they place on their athletes… improve day in day out, progress everyday in some sense… be it physically, mentally, emotionally or all of the above.

If your coach relies on training philosophies from when they were an athlete, or are dependent on stealing race tactics and strategies from other coaches in order to have something to teach their own athletes then what can you possibly expect to always be coming in second?

If your coach is relying on last years playbook in coaching you to try and win this year… then you are both living in a fantasy.

Case in point…

In 2016 I wrote the blog titled “Is Sanders Stuck?” Undoubtedly Sanders is stuck based on his results in Kona in 2018, but that’s not the point. The point from that blog was about how fellow Canadian triathlete Kyle Jones trained with Simon Whitfield ahead of the 2012 London Olympics anticipating team tactics to come to play.  Kyle was to wait for Simon after the bike and since drafting is legal in triathlon in the Olympics, Kyle was to lead out Simon for as long as possible so that Simon remained as fresh as long as possible into the race.

In 2016, I asked… how long before team tactics come to iron distance triathlons, how long before team tactics come to Ironman World Champs?

I also asked whether in 2016 Kienle and Frodeno ‘worked together’ while on the run (perhaps not a premeditated cooperation, but cooperation nonetheless)? It wasn’t a stretch of the imagination to ask whether two Germans would work together… why not. Kenyan runners do it all the time in international competitions to ensure that Kenyans stand on the podium.

Well, now we know the answer… it took no time at all because the moment the rules were rewritten, those who study the sport, those who truly seek to excel, to outperform, to win… saw the opportunity when it arose, seized it and won.

In 2012 at the London Olympics, an evolution in the sport of triathlon was demonstrated for all to see. Evidently few took notice – with the exception of Dreitz and Lange or their coach Faris Al-Sultan – as this year they introduced the world of iron distance triathlon to team tactics.

What happens when you are first with an idea? The ‘discussion’ starts with you being accused of cheating, bending or outright violating the rules. That’s what happens when you train and race using last years playbook, when you depend on a coach who doesn’t study the same way you as an athlete trains: when you are caught mid-race with your bib-shorts around your ankles.

Today triathlonmagazine.ca – ignorantly – asks the question whether Andreas Dreitz and Patrick Lange “violated rule 2.02” (click to link to the article) as in, did they cooperate as teammates where Dreitz sacrificed his race in order to be Lange’s lead on the bike, with the intent of delivering Lange to the start of the marathon fresher than any competitor?

An aside… after this article, if I was Lange, Dreitz or Al-Sultan, I wouldn’t give triathlonmagazine.ca a chance at an interview ever again.  Its simply rude to tear down an honest winner with an article written solely to steal limelight (especially when written as a smear campaign).

Triathlonmagazine.ca is sensationalizing the issue because rule 2.02 was re-written BEFORE the Ironman World Champs this year, so there was no violation. Below is the rule as it was in 2015 and how it stands now and was prior to 2018 IM World Champs.

Rule 2.02 in 2015 (re: an athlete receiving Outside Assistance)

(a) An athlete may not subordinate his/her race ambitions solely for the benefit of another athletes race ambitions. The penalty for this will be disqualification of both athletes; (DSQ of both athletes).

Updated Rule 2.02 (in place prior to IM WC in Kona 2018)

Click here to download the IM competition rules

(a) Assistance provided by Race Referees or Race Officials (including official Event volunteers) is allowed, but such assistance is limited to providing drinks, nutrition, mechanical and medical assistance, and other necessary assistance (as may be approved by the Event Director or Head Referee).

(b) Athletes competing in the same Race may assist each other with incidental items such as, but not restricted to: nutrition and drinks after an aid station, pumps, tires, inner tubes, and puncture repair kits;

(c) Athletes may not provide any item of equipment to an athlete competing in the same Race if it results in the donor athlete being unable to continue with his/her own race. Such equipment includes but is not restricted to: shoes, complete bicycle, frame, wheels, and helmet. The penalty for this will be disqualification of both athletes; and

(d) Unless otherwise preapproved by the Event Director or Head Referee, no athlete shall intentionally cause the physical forward progress of another athlete on any part of the course during the Race. The penalty for this will be a disqualification.

Triathlonmagazine.ca goes on to ask: “is Ironman turning a blind eye to team tactics?”

I suppose those who write for triathlonmagazine.ca live under a rock, because apparently they have no idea that sport evolves and that is the responsibility of those ‘in’ the sport to stay up to date with rule changes, changes to the WADA list, etc.. Thank goodness triathlonmagazine.ca is not in the business of coaching triathletes, as that would be downright embarassing… not to know that the rules of the sport have been rewritten, yikes! Actually, its equally embarrassing for a writer who claims to be know and write about all things triathlon not to be up to date on what is undoubtedly the biggest event in triathlon in the West.

Congratulations to Patrick Lange, World IM Champion who now is also proud owner of the Hawaiian Ironman course record going sub8 hrs for the first time in Hawaii.

Considering no-one picked him to repeat as World Champ in a triathlonmagazine.ca survey, and with Holly Lawrence throwing him under the bus as a one and doner… his win is even sweeter.