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Pawnee Annie composes special rules for Ironman
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After having an inspiring and fascinating interview with Marcy Wagner, the Pawnee County gal who is running in the Indiana Ironman 70.3 triathlon this weekend, I experienced some flashbacks.
Those flashbacks were, well, not necessarily memories to remember.
You see, Fred and I were once runners!
No, excuse me! Not runners. Joggers.
Fred jogged at an acceptable man’s pace, and I jogged at MY pace. The definition of my actions commonly referred to as “jogging” is this — bouncing up and down, slowly, with the intent of moving slightly faster than a walk.
However, I did run once in the Fourth of July two-mile event. It taught me that I didn’t want to try that ever again.
While reading the Ironman rules that Marcy has probably read 10 times (so that she doesn’t miss anything), I came upon some interesting, well defined prohibitions for runners.
No doubt, the WTC which sponsors Ironman competition, has had to define in great detail every iota of action that could be taken by athletes during the competition! There are always some who think of some new way to get the advantage.
Here’s a few interesting rules that apply depending on the race — swim, bike, run.
To break them would mean likely disqualification.
• Fair play, equality, and sportsmanship are always the first rules printed out for any competition. Respect for the authorities , referees, volunteers and spectators is written and explained thoroughly. (Being rude, challenging the authority, or shooting off the mouth results in erasure of your existence)
Now said, keep in mind that the following rules have no doubt evolved over time because of infractions. Let your mind imagine.
• Avoid indecent exposure and public nudity at all times during the event. Such displays may result in disqualification. (The less clothes, the less friction, the faster one goes?) They don’t need to worry about me breaking that rule!
• Athletes may run, crawl, or walk the course. (I would definitely be crawling!)
• Swimwear must not cover the neck, must not extend past the shoulder, and must not extend past the knees.(Whatever they could be hiding, they would try)
• Swimwear must be 100 percent textile material (natural or synthetics) and may not be rubberized material such a polyurethane or neoprene. (Don’t you just know someone had floaties inserted in the clothes somewhere?!)
• Wetsuit can be no more than five millimeters thick. (The more the rubber, the more it floats?)
• No using communication devices during the competition
• No wearing of headsets, or headphones. (what possibly could be talked about during such an exhausting race?)
• No drugs (well, shoot. Killjoys!) I’ve got to bear the pain?
• No bare torsos. (Can’t you imagine that someone didn’t consider that rule of nudity applied here?)
• Must wear official (color coded by group?) swim caps during swim competition. (Unless it accidentally gets kicked off by some enthusiastic swimmer flailing by)
Failure to follow prescribed course. (shortcuts anyone?)
• No helping other athletes with a complete bike, a frame, wheels, helmet, bike shoes, etc. (They’ve tried everything in the past obviously. Fred would not be able to even pump up my tire!)
And did you know there is a disciplinary tent for those who commit infractions that do not lead to disqualification.
The tent discipline confinement adds five minutes to the competitors time, plus the time they lose sitting there.( The naughty competitor can eat his own snacks but cannot use the time to go to the restroom. That is a separate time-sensitive break on him. Kind of like being made to sit in the corner as a kid!
Reading these rules confirms to me that I didn’t break any of these back then. But maybe I would have taken a short cut had I thought of one to take!
And once again, I am reminded of how devious our little minds can be in trying to get ahead, and find a shortcut!
It’s just the way mankind is!

“Woman’s View” is Judi Tabler’s reflection of her experiences and events. She is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, grandmother, and even a great grandmother.