I’m currently reading Blitzed by Norman Ohler. This fascinating book is all about the use of methamphetamines during the Nazi era, and how everyone from soldiers and workers to grandmothers and children were using the widely available meth drug Pervitin (also available in chocolates) to stay alert for longer and maintain their positive moods.
This goes a long way to explaining how the army at the time could move at such speed (with tank drivers and infantry able to go all night) and that the soldiers could be numbed to the effects of war. The book shows that the German army and the SS were using performance-enhancing drugs as they blitzed Europe.
Ohler’s book was very much on my mind as I got blitzed during the Auetal Triathlon, the winner of which was born in 1964 and was almost four minutes ahead of second place. I was back in tenth, a good twelve minutes behind, and I was beaten by another 50 year-old.
While in former years I would’ve been very angry about this, these days I’m disappointed and confused. There’s no way someone who is 53 years old can be almost as fast as a professional triathlete. That does not compute.
For someone in their fifties to win a sprint triathlon with such a time, blitzing a strong field, should be a feat worthy of being reported in the local news. I mean, taken for what it is, it’s amazing. “Super-granddad wins triathlon”. He should be on television; he’s some kind of medical miracle.
It’s much more likley he’s mad. Because it would take a serious program of magic beans, special sauce, vitamin “D” and hard training to even get close to posting such times. A small motor in the bike would help as well.
Every weekend, I seem to end up in triathlons racing against a few guys like this. It’s such a shame, because these races, including yesterday’s very enjoyable Auetal Triathlon, are organised by volunteers with a passion for the sport. They run these races with the best of intentions, and then these amateur athletes show up pumped to the nines and posting pro times. These shameful athletes make a complete mockery of the fun weekend sport triathlon is.
If you’re stupid enough to fill your body with chemicals, that’s your problem. It’s a real shame that you then bring your madness to the race and ruin it for everyone else.