Pro triathlete Andreas Jung criticizes Ironman Texas: “T1 not the same length for everyone”

(Foto: Instagram Troy.timmons.9)

While organizations usually make an effort to at least try to create a transition area that is approximately the same length for each athlete – specifically the pros – that was clearly not the case at Ironman Texas last week. While some athletes reached their bike in no-time, others had to run a few seconds further. And it’s exactly seconds that can make all the difference in T1, pro triathlete Andreas Jung, says. The German athlete is not only critical on the length of the transition area, but also on the bad communication prior to the event. “All this would have been bearable if T1 was set up fairly – meaning same length – for all athletes to get to their bike and get out of transition.”

“Despite always enjoying Ironman events and having a good time in all the nice places that they take place, there needs to be some words spent on the organization of the event that not many athletes talk about after the race”, Jung, who finished seventh last week, started his statement. “All races that I’ve done in the US so far were probably the best organized races I participated in. This was not the case last Saturday. The main subject of the pro meeting was explaining the important drafting rules and showing the three maps of the course. All this is important, but a lot of questions remained unanswered. They sometimes referred to the 2019 race, but this doesn’t help athletes who are new to The Woodlands. Apparently this was also the case for the Age Group briefing, as I saw many athletes looking for support from officials during bike check in. Until today, I couldn’t find a map of the T1/T2 setup.”

Jung may have figured it out by asking fellow athletes, but he would have preferred to have a clear picture after a briefing. “That’s what briefings are for, right?”, he continues. “Taking stress off the athlete’s shoulder. All this would have been bearable if T1 was set up fairly – meaning same length – for all athletes to get to their bike and out of transition. One would think that this is given fact for an event like an Ironman. Even as an Age Group athlete, this ‘little’ thing could have a huge impact. We’ve all seen people not getting a Kona slot due to a few seconds.”

While Jung was told that everything would be sorted on race day, that turned out not to be the case, he says: “It was clear that pros with higher bib numbers had to run all the way to the back of the row to grab their bike. That was difficult to let go, and that’s why I want to share it with you. I personally lost only a few seconds, but there were guys having to give away much more. Knowing the race dynamics at the beginning of the bike section, this makes a difference.”