USA Triathlon News Articles Best of 2014: Triath...

Best of 2014: Triathlon's Funny Moments

By USA Triathlon | Dec. 22, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

In its Best of 2014 series, USA Triathlon lists funny moments from the past year. Find links below to the top videos, stories submitted by readers and social media posts from January through December.


Arizona State used the home course to its advantage in producing the top video in
the Jaybird Journey to Nationals contest at the Collegiate National Championships.

After being challenged by IRONMAN CEO Andrew Messick, USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach
steps up to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.


“While leaving T2 [at the Marco Island Triathlon] I heard spectators yelling, ‘your helmet is still on.’  I was wondering who they were talking to but being focused on getting out quick on the run I ignored them. Then as the comment kept being repeated as I ran past spectators, I finally realized they were talking to me.
Yes, I exited T2 with my helmet on.”
–Brian Burgan, 50, Venice, Florida

“The 2014 XTERRA Lock 4 Challenge in Gallatin, Tennessee, was a soggy event. … At one point I dismounted and moved to the outside of the trail so faster riders could pass without danger of falling into the lake. Seeing a break in traffic, I clipped in one foot and took a step to push off and mount. Unfortunately, the ground was so soggy, my push caused my foot to sink some and I tumbled headfirst down the rather steep embankment in the undergrowth, bike between my legs, one foot still clipped in, miraculously stopping with my face about 8 inches from the water. I wasn't hurt, so I tried a pushup, thinking to wiggle this way back up the embankment since I couldn't get my legs disentangled from the bike. The underbrush was thick and the ground wet so all that happened was my hands sank and I went nowhere. I was absolutely stuck. Realizing how funny this must look, I started laughing. Other riders by now had stopped and were asking, ‘Are you OK?’ I was laughing so much I think they thought I was crying!

“It took three men to get me out: one lifted the bike and twisted my foot loose from the pedal, then pulled the bike up which got stuck on my bike shorts, so the other two grabbed a leg each and hauled me up along with the bike! Everyone was still inquiring as to my well-being, but that's the way XTERRA folks are! By then there were probably 15 riders stacked up behind us. I let them all remount and go past, then joined the queue.
In the end, due to a fast approaching severe storm front, the race was halted before all of us stragglers finished the 4-mile run. Definitely an event I won't forget!”
-Charlotte F. Mahan, 69, Lenoir City, Tennessee

Chris Thacker“Here I am at the start of IRONMAN 70.3 Vineman — they are starting without me! My wife got this picture when she realized it was me. She hadn't seen me head to the starting corral or head out to the water. We got separated when I went to transition and didn't see her until the swim finish. She had a good laugh when she realized it was me running to the beach and hitting the water on a run.

“It had been a crazy morning: traffic was a bear, transition was full of people (who shouldn't have been there yet) and the port-a-potty line was crazy even at 7 a.m. Everybody showed up early and I apparently missed the call to the start. I realized it was my wave out in the water, pulled up my zipper, strapped on my goggles and just started swimming from the beach. I actually ended up having a pretty good swim, was 24th out of the water out of 210 starters in my age group and even PR'd the course that day. Was a crazy start but great finish. I'm sure there are some fellow athletes out there who can relate to the day's events.”
-Chris Thacker, 48, Redwood City, California

“I did IRONMAN Lake Placid this past July, my first IRONMAN. In the anxious moments in transition before the race I could not find my Profile drinking straw. When I returned to my hotel room to tell my wife I must have sounded frantic. She woke my 22-year-old son who jumped out of bed and ran in his shorts to the lobby where he secured a roll of duct tape. Then he ran to the breakfast room and after a couple of minutes explained that he needed some straws and not coffee stirrers. He secured two soda straws, which he then duct-taped together to make a long drinking straw. He then ran barefoot in the rain to find me in transition and have me use his homemade drinking straw! In the meantime, I found my Profile straw in the mud; it must have fallen from my transition bag when I arrived! If my son could go through all that trouble for me then I could finish the race for him! He and my wife were a great inspiration and it was a terrific bonding moment with my son Ethan.”
-David Salem, 59, Columbia, Maryland

“Few will debate how boring trainer rides are. I watch movies, use an iPod and even enjoy IM videos from the Internet. But last summer I found the perfect solution. The Tour de France was on TV! It was very motivational. I was riding along (in my mind) with the best cyclists in the world. I did OK until I came to the one part of the course. As you know downhill can be scary when you’re trying to stay off the brakes and these guys had to be moving 50+. As the cameraman would get right on the back wheel of the rider in front of him I could almost feel myself drafting him and I starting getting in a more aero position. Not realizing it on one particular steep turn while leaning very hard along with my competitors, my bike dislodged from the trainer. Fortunately I was alone so no one is left with memory of flaying arms and legs or disturbed by the thud of my contact with the floor.
“Normal, no! But yes! We really do get into our sport. Gathering what was left of my dignity off the tile, I laughed, I had to shake it off and get my bike reattached … the riders were beginning a climb!
-Gerald Alvis, 55, Bethpage, Tennessee


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Visit USA Triathlon's Best of 2014 page for more top moments, tweets and photos of 2014.