I raced this past weekend but I made sure to watch the entire Collins Cup before driving the four hours to Nashville. I have mixed emotions about the event, I don’t really know if it was a success or a failure, and at the very least they didn’t deliver on some of the promises that were made.
My beef was with Team US:
First of all, the US team was the weakest of three (but finished second). It felt like a rag tag bunch that used a couple of replacements who weren’t top tier pros. Honest to god I think Justin Metzler got the nod because he already had a plane ticket to watch his wife race. He tried to shit talk Joe Skipper and got smoked, he finished with the slowest time for the men. Starky can’t run, but somehow got the right match up to where he could keep things pretty close and prevented a time bonus for Lionel by 9 seconds, so way too go Starky!.
Sam Long…man did the captains get that wrong. They threw him out with Jan and Sam Appleton ( he had just beat Sam at Boulder 70.3). He wasn’t going to beat Jan, he never had a chance and got last. If we look at match up 6 you see Sam Long would have won. I know this is all in good fun (and don’t forget the money too), but the strategy was subpar for the US, I’d gladly serve up Metzler as a sacrifice to use Long to win elsewhere because winning one match is better than not winning any matches (which the men didn’t).
My beef with broadcasting:
The second thing I wanted to address is was the broadcasting issues. I felt that the bike had the weakest coverage if you were to compare it to the ratio of actual time it takes up in a race. I get last place in a match is not that interesting, but early in the bike they started to get completely ignored. I’d like to have seen all that, footage is footage! This brings me to my next point: why did we not get to see a lot of split screens?
If I recall correctly, we were supposed to be able to see all this live data of the triathlete during the race. I know it can be done because they did it for Tri Battle Royale but they didn’t use it here.
Another promise was that the triathletes would be mic’d up and we could hear the conversation between them and the coaches. It would have been cool. They did have bumps on their back under their kits that I thought were transmitters but I guess I was wrong?
So was it a success?
It’s a success in the sense that it was a completely functional race but didn’t live up to the hype and provide the same level of competitiveness that a real race has. I would say the experience of the Collins Cup was milquetoast, it certainly wasn’t must-see-TV.
In the last 6-8 weeks it looks like Lionel magically figured out where the light switch was to swim faster because he had two great swims a week apart. He even hung with Starky in his match and Starky is no slouch on the swim and the bike.