To many outside observers, triathlons seem less like a sport and more like a bar bet gone too far.
That's because it's literally the result of a dare between runners, swimmers, and a Navy Commander. In most triathlons, they have a series of bike racks with assigned spots for the athletes to setup their gear for all three disciplines.
What is her idea of the very best way to enjoy a triathlon? Now that triathlon is a paralympic sport the rules have become more strict, because of the advantage you would have if a man captained a tandem for a blind female competitor. CG: Lately, the past few years, I have put guiding first, I ask to do certain races, that's my focus.
I'd like to become competitive again as a solo athlete, but I find it hard to do both.
She is attractive, young, accomplished, athletic, driven, well spoken and full of life. She's also, in her spare spare time, co-director of Team RWB (red, white, blue), along with our own Brad Williams (afbadbrad on the Slowtwitch Reader forum), creating "local opportunities for veterans and the community to connect through physical and social activity."SLOWTWITCH: First, you need to help me with nomenclature. CAROLINE GAYNOR: Depends if you're talking about guiding, or all physically challenged athletes. ST: That encompasses everybody, regardless of disability, including blindness? CG: A friend of mine was looking for a guide in 2008, last minute, I jumped in, that's how I got started. A couple years ago I met a girl, Rachel Weeks, we did Ironman Texas last year. I've been trying to make it known that I'll work out with men. Are you telling me that you can't legally enter a USAT race if you're a woman and a man is guiding you, or vice versa? ST: I presume you have your own athletic ambitions.
She could be perfect raw material for the prototypical self-absorbed triathlete, but she followed a different trajectory. The athletes with whom you work, how do I best refer to them? But you're not allowed to compete with a member of the opposite sex. CG: In running races it's a little more flexible but as I understand it under USAT rules you must race with a member of the same sex. CG: I was a runner and water polo player in high school, a collegiate rower, and I wrote my college entrance exam on what it was like to train to do my first triathlon. How many races do you do a year, and how many of these races do you subordinate your solo ambitions in order to partner with another athlete?
ST: Have you ever been in a situation where you are the weak partner in a race with a blind or challenged athlete?