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Is this what the sport of Triathlon has come to?

Here’s the story…

I attended The Canadian this weekend which is a huge event in Ottawa run by Somersault Events. They had about 16 different events going on throughout the day some of which included the Iron & Half-Iron distances. I competed in the Half-Iron Triathlon.

For those of you that are not familiar with the sport of triathlon, prior to the race, athletes (and athletes only) are permitted to enter the transition zone to set up their area for the race. This area is supposed to be secure and safe for athletes to leave their belongings during the race. No one, other than the athletes are permitted to enter this area at any time and there is usually security at the entrance and exit to this transition area.

I set up my transition area with all my equipment: biking shoes, running shoes, helmet, bike, sunglasses, nutrition…and left for the beginning of the race with my wetsuit down by the beach.

After the swim I ran to the transition zone, got changed, grabbed my bike and headed out for the 90km ride.

I returned to the transition zone from the bike and dropped off my helmet and bike, switched shoes and headed out on the half-marathon run.

The run took WAY longer than expected as I had some issues that is for another blog post.

When I returned to the transition zone after the run at the end of the race, I found my towels, wetsuit, helmet, shoes…but my bike was gone! My bike was gone!

I searched the rest of the transition zone to see if maybe it was moved for some reason…nope. I began to panic…I found the race director immediately. Of course they couldn’t understand how this could happen and that it has never happened before. Without putting it into words, they said they couldn’t be responsible for the bike. They said perhaps someone took it accidentally and will return it once they realize. That would mean there should be a left over bike at the end of the night (which there wasn’t). They said they’d send out an email blast to all participants asking them to check if they took home the right bike. They said they’d contact all bike shops and send them a photo of the bike in case it turns up.

So that’s what happened.

Here’s my issue…my bike has been stolen!
I now do not have the bike…to make it worse, the wheel set I had on the bike did not belong to me, I borrowed them from a friend! There is a lot of value to the bike and now it needs to be replaced!

Here is what I don’t understand:
How could someone walk out with the wrong bike…I mean seriously? You put your bike on/in your car and don’t notice that it’s not the bike you came with? Why didn’t security match bikes to bib numbers as people left the transition zone after their race? There were no left over bikes at the end of the night. Why did this happen to me?

This is cruel, unfair, unjust, violating, deflating…I can go on and on. I am greatly disturbed that in a sport with such camaraderie and honesty amongst participants, that this could happen. I did some research only to learn the following:

This is becoming a problem. I am not the first victim of this crime. It seems that this has started happening even on the grand stage…at Ironman events and they are now photographing bikes with athletes so when they leave the race, they are taking the correct bike home with them.

What has this world come to?

I then thought…if a criminal really wanted to take a bike…they actually could quite easily. All they need to do is purchase entry to a race (which gives them access to the transition zone and only costs a few hundred dollars – if that), scout out the transition zone, wait around, and when an athlete drops off the bike, walk into the transition zone, choose a bike and take it home. A simple way to make thousands of dollars.

Somersault Events sent out an email blast last night asking people to check their equipment to ensure they didn’t accidentally to the wrong bike. I have heard nothing as of yet.

This is a photo of my bike & here is the description:
Cervelo 2012 P2 Ultegra Carbon Black with red & white stripe
Xlab Sonic Wing
Xlab Gorilla cages on the back
Garmin quick release mount on aerobars
Garmin cadence/speed sensor
Speedplay Light Action Pedals
Xlab mini bag on frame
Cobb V Flow Plus Saddle
Progile Design AeroBottle with mount
Front wheel: Zipp 808
Back wheel: Zipp 1080 with PowerTap

If you come across it, please let me know. I really appreciate all the support and help I’ve been receiving so far.

Thank you!

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