Monday, July 16, 2007

Taking it to the next level

I love the tri community! It has given me so much more than I would have thought when I first began. It’s ironic that such an individual sport produces such a strong community of people who are not only committed to fitness but also committed to each other and to the sport.

I am big on reciprocity…when I receive something I always want to give back. Along those lines I took up the mantle to captain the New Mexico Outlaws Triathlon Team when asked and it has been a labor of love to bring in new members, try to get sponsors and try to rally support for fellow teammates at all the races.

Still, I think there is a little more that I can do to give back to the sport we all love and to that end I’ve decided to become a certified USAT race official. I’ve been talking to the head ref in New Mexico for a couple weeks now and have taken the plunge and will be attending the USAT race official training clinic being held in conjunction with the Prairie Man HIM. My training will begin with some home study and then it is off to some classroom work the night before the race and then the day of reckoning on September 9th when I will be an assistant race official at the Prairie Man under the supervision of a senior race official. If all goes well I “graduate” after the race and receive my USAT official’s uniform!

I think this is a pretty good way to give back. To keep up your certification as an official, at the basic level at least, you have to officiate at two races per year and take a recertification course once every two years. The gigs don’t pay at first but when you gain head ref status you get some allowance for travel, you get our hotel and you get a small fee like $75. However, you don’t have to accept all of the compensation. I’m thinking that I might ask for some of the moola and then get comped an entry into the race for next year.

Besides, if I become an OFFICIAL official I can just penalize everyone racing against me until I have the winning time…that’s how it works, right?

16 comments:

  1. sweet.. sounds like fun..

    Don't think I'll be at the PrairieMan tho.. won't be ready.

    rockon`

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  2. Very cool Brian! I've thought about doing it for a couple of years but just never seemed to have the time
    -bones

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  3. Okay, that sounds great and all, but I'm not so sure if I like the idea of race officials being TRAINED at my first HIM. :( And make sure you synchronize your watch properly for the time zone...I don't want to be pulled off the course ONE FREAKING MINUTE before my 8 hours are up. I have this sneaking suspicion I might need all 480 of those minutes to finish.

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  4. It's too easy to just take from the sport without doing something in return. So you have my thanks.

    I've been trying to get certified as a H.S. rugby ref for a little while, but time conflicts (a semester in Italy) keep getting in the way. This year is the one though!

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  5. Very cool. You can also allow all of your friends (us) to cheat and penalize everyone else, right? :)

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  6. carry a portable scale - when you see a suspect clyde, stop him in the middle of a race and weigh him - asses a 10 min penalty if too skinny.

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  7. The skinny tax, great idea Bigun.

    You are crafty one Myles, be careful karma doesn't bite you if you implement the plan! ;-)

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  8. I too love the too skinny penalty. Utmost respect to you for giving back to this sport. I have not been a triathlete very long but I do tell every volunteer or official I see at every event (whether they are just directing racers or passing out water) THANK YOU very much for volunteering. I know triathlons would not exist if it was not for volunteers and officials and behind the scenes people. I feel fortunate to be able to participate in such an arena.

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  9. Good for you! I think that's a great way to give something back and think you'll make a great official. Karma baby!

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  10. I got to thinkin last night (dangerous, I know)-Carry .99 double cheeseburgers from McDonalds and force any underweight clyde to consume as many as it takes until said weight becomes legal. Or is that cruel and unusual punishment?

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  11. Good luck this weekend at the HIM.

    If I'm ever at the race with you officiating, can you lead me on the motorcycle and have a sign saying RACE leader, that would be so cool.

    Congrats on becoming an "official" draft buster.

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  12. Oh oh, can you be the ref at races I direct when I get finished at RD school?

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  13. Oh, now this is scary! Aren't officials those bad people you want to yell at?
    :)

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