Gerry Rodrigues is a top swim coach, and here is something he sent me, and I encourage you all to voice your opinion. Gerry has highlighted how to do so. You can read below my email as well...
This past weekend several of our Tower 26 members raced the Alcatraz Triathlon. Additionally other pros and amateurs whom I either: coach, consult with, or attend our camps, also participated. They all did well, receiving a heartfelt congratulations. One reason for their performance is they were prepared.
Unfortunately, a participant passed away; yet another triathlon related swim death. The water temp was 51-52 according to race officials, however, credible unofficial sources stated it being 49.
It's finally time for me as coach, former open water athlete, and a recognized leader in open water to take a position. In my 31 years of coaching triathletes and 41 years of open water experience, this is my first stand, and it's an important one. If you are unaware of my background, you can find quick details in these links, and in by bio on our web site:
Story on Tower 26 beach workouts: pg 16
I have authored the following piece on our blog, titled:
"The Open Water Grave".
I'd like your support in contacting the National Governing Body to voice your concern, IF you agree with my position.
Let them know your name, your affiliation with Tower 26 if any, and your support with what I believe they need to instate. Here's whom to send your emails:
President of the board of directors
Southwest region chair (regional chair in CA.)
Link to find the email for the chair of your Region:
My email to them:
Rob, Bob and Elizabeth,
I urge you as leaders of the governing body of triathlon to make swim temperature collars, both high and low, a priority. As the head coach of a High Performance Team, coaching many youth and juniors, I believe it is especially important we take action, and proactively prevent the possible death of not just more adults, but children as well.
The water temperature guidelines from the ITU below are not stringent enough, especially for our juniors, and clearly weren't followed in Alcatraz last week. I realize there are many contributing factors in a serious situation like an athlete dying in a race, but we must do all we can to eliminate the factors we can control.
I also urge USAT to put in place requirements and standards for race directors and coaches to better prepare the athletes for the conditions they might face on raceday.
Thank you for your time and consideration. If I can help in this cause, and be a part of the solution, please let me know.
This is your chance to help your sport and your fellow triathletes. Please voice your opinion.