Tuesday, April 24, 2007
A cool blog about the Ironman Florida (IMFL) race posted this photo from the swim segment of IMFL 2006. The open water conditions were very rough with a strong current pushing swimmers to the left of the yellow buoy that they were supposed to go around. With very few race support crew out there, and primarily to make sure people didn't drown as opposed to making sure they did the entire course, quite a number of folks chose to short cut the course. I've seen a similar thing happen in marathons that had really tough conditions and no timing mat was at the turn, which is typical for small marathons.
Just because many others are doing it and it appears you won't get caught, do you do it too because you can get away with it?
I don't know why cheating bothers me so much, but it always has. In fourth grade, I challenged a girl who was cheating in tether ball, got into my first fist fight and we were both "benched" during recess. In college, I caught a guy who had blatantly plagiarized my computer program and reported him to the professor who gave him an 'F', though I'd hoped he'd be thrown out of school. When the Jean's Marine team cut the 2005 Marine Corps Marathon course in order to make the 14th Street bridge cut-off, I was one of probably many who sent an email to Rick Nealis, the race director, to request that he uphold race rules and take away their race medals and disqualify them, which he eventually did.
Why can't I just look the other way and do my own thing without caring what others do? Why can't I applaud people that accomplish incredible things while breaking rules? I guess it's just the way my parents raised me that honor is everything.