After reading Shane's sobering but entirely realistic concerns about doping yesterday, and my incessant accounts of course cutters and other cheaters, it's easy to become disillusioned and cynical about racing. Thankfully, this past weekend there were two examples of sportsmanship that were almost enough to renew your faith in humanity. At Sunday's New York City Triathlon, City Coach's Danforth Houle neared the 4.5 mile mark of the 10k when he noticed that the guide for a blind athlete was struggling with the heat and unable to go on, let alone keep up with the athlete he was assigned to guide. From there, Dan took over for the guide, leading the blind athlete through the last part of the course and through the finishing chute.
And sometimes it's the City Coach athlete who is the beneficiary of good sportsmanship. At Sunday's Maryland Olympic Duathlon, our own Nicole Sin Quee was struggling on the second (and final) lap of the 4-miler . She was passed by another competitor, Laura Bergman, who was on her first lap and saw that Nicole was walking, and wobbling. Ms. Bergman shouted back to Nicole asking if she wanted an electrolyte tablet, and when Nicole said that she did, Laura began to run back to Nicole, willing to lose time in her own race. (Nicole, recognizing that it was a race, urged Laura to throw the tablet on the ground.)
It's nice to see that in both these cases, athletes were willing to subvert their own goals to help someone else out. It may not make up for all the dopers and cheaters, but it's good to remember that some people have their priorities straight.