Friday, July 23, 2010
Good News for Ironman Arizona Athletes!?!?
This week, the dam that holds the water in man-made Tempe Town Lake burst. That may seem like bad news for a triathlete. Unless you have ever been swimming in that lake.
There is a reason that they don't let people swim in the lake right next to the University campus. The stagnant water is just plain filthy. The first time I went for a dip there was in 2007 at Ironman Arizona. The day before swim practice began I walked up to the edge and saw a two-foot long carp munching on some pond scum.
I asked another athlete about the water quality. He said, "My understanding is that the city has organized a method to fight the stagnation in the lake by allowing 2000 athletes to splash around in the water this weekend." Great.
During the swim I made an effort to leave the water in the Lake. A guy a met at registration was not so lucky. He took in a couple of accidental gulps. That small error led to several bouts of vomiting out on the bike course.
Although I do hope the dam is repaired in time for Ironman Arizona 2010, I have to say that I also hope the unintentional draining of the lake will mean the cleanest water conditions on record for the race. But even if the water looks clean, I plan on keeping my mouth shut during the swim.
Dr. Christopher Segler is a sports medicine podiatrist in San Francisco currently training for Ironman Canada and Ironman Arizona. He makes house calls in the bay area to treat stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, and other triathlon-related injuries. Learn more at San Francisco's best running injury prevention site.