USA Triathlon Board of Directors Voting ends Oct. 15, 2016. Patty Peoples-Resh, USAT BOD Candidate for the Pacific Region, reached out to us and was kind enough to answer several triathlon related questions that impact California Triathlon athletes. Below are the questions and her unedited answers.
California Triathlon: Race directors are required to submit accident reports within 15 days post-race. Those reports are currently not available to USAT’s membership. Would you work to make this information publicly available so that athletes can make better decisions when choosing races?
Patty: There is probably a privacy issue with having names of accident victims publicized, especially if a suit is filed for whatever reason. However, perhaps there could be a safety rating scale that the USAT members can review for races. For instance - On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being great and 1 being poor, a race would receive a rating of 1 on safety if there was a fatality at their race due to a car accident or a rating of 5 if no accidents and a rating of 2 with non-fatal accidents, etc. Perhaps there could be an end of the year accident report for USAT Sanctioned Races and list accidents by type and the number of incidents per type at each race - no names would need to be involved. Yes, I do agree that the more information potential participants have on the safety and quality of a race, the better. I would do my best to help ensure that USAT Sanctioned Races meet a certain consistent level of quality and safety.
California Triathlon: The 1-day race fee is a flat $15.00 for adults. We produce Trick or Tri which has a sprint distance early bird fee of $50.00. The USAT one-day fee is a 30% increase. For a $750 race that would only be a 2% increase. Would you advocate making the USAT one-day fee a percentage of the registration versus a flat fee that disproportionately impacts short course and beginner races.
Patty: It would primarily depend on how the one-day license fee is applied by USAT. If there is a fixed cost per participant needed toward race coverage insurance then a percentage of the race fee might not work. For instance, using your example of 2% for your early bird fee of $50, the one-day license would cost only $1. I don’t think that would cover the cost of insurance. Plus, race directors often offer a variety of race entry fees throughout the year, which would change the one-day license fee just as often and could easily confuse the registrant and then the race director would constantly be put in the position to explain why the one-day license fee is different for different registrants. Having done many USAT SW Region Membership Rallies at events over the past several years, I can tell you that the one-day license fee isn’t deterring people from entering. If they say it is, it’s usually just an excuse for not entering, period. Most people that are doing the Ironman distances and paying those huge fees ($750+) are usually USAT Members, unless they have been doing primarily unsanctioned races and thus, never saw the need to become USAT Members. Personally, I look at the overall cost of a race. If I wasn’t a USAT Member and was considering a race to enter I would choose the one that cost the least. If I had to choose between a $50 sprint + $15 one day license or a $75 standard + $15 one day license, I would choose the sprint for a total of $65 vs. $90. Participants usually don’t think in terms of percentage, but rather the total cost.
California Triathlon: Having USAT National events in many different venues is difficult and expensive to attend for the athletes and difficult and expensive to support for teams/clubs. How do you feel about a week long format similar to what was done in Canada this year?
Patty: I like the Festival format for National Events. I believe the ITU Multi-Sport World Festival was a huge success and would be a good template to apply for our USAT National Championships. It would also keep the National Championships consistent in terms of time of year, most likely during June and July, when school is out.
A final note from Patty: If elected to represent the Pacific Region (CA/NV/WA/OR/HI/AK) on the USAT BOD, I would be very proactive in helping ALL members of USAT (age-groupers, race directors, coaches, youth, masters….). Each group is an important piece in the USAT organization and thus, need to have their voices heard and needs met! I welcome the opportunity to represent our Region and let our needs/voices be heard at the National Level. Having not taken up sports on a regular basis until my late 20’s and self-coaching myself, I personally know the challenges of trying to reach one’s potential. As a 30 year veteran of teaching fitness as the college level and seeing them excel and meet their goals, I would like to use my years of knowledge and experiences (high and lows) to help our Region and USAT in general. Thank you!