This week I heard some disturbing rumours about a friend of mine who is also a former rowing teammate turned triathalete. I feel the need to speak out for her, as I feel like the way she has been treated is a classic case of cyber bullying, defemation of character and it isn't ok.
In a nut shell, Julie had a timing chip error/loss which ultimately cost her result in the 2015 Ironman Canada race in Whistler. What she did not know what that what she thought was a glitch/unfortunate event in her race, would turn into a outright attack on her integrity as an athlete and a human.
Food for thought in a positive light: Julie Miller has a time from Whistler 2013 and 2015 to compare. One could “analyze” this, as what I would refer to not so lovingly as the Internet trolls like to call it. In 2013, her overall time was 10:56:15 and her run was 3:42:19 (the run being that which is called into question in 2015)
In 2013, she raced in the 35-39 category and came in 10th with this result. This result would have landed her in 7th position of the 40-44 category *winning time was 10:40:56 for 40-44 in 2013.
The winning time in the 40-44 category was 10:40:55 in 2013 and in 2015 it was 10:55:45. Year over year difference in time could be due to many factors. We could dig deeper here to average out the difference amongst categories and or the participants in said category. Either way, Julie’s 2013 time would have got her a second place finish in 2013 in the 40-44 age group (one might deduce that 2 years later with more training under her belt she would be able to compete with the time in the age category then).
Personally, I do not think the analysis of Julie Miller’s time from the Finisher Pix (race photos) would be a fair deduction of her time, and I believe Ironman Canada ultimately felt that it was not concrete evidence as well. Bush placement and angle of the sun is pretty random. Secondly, I also do not understand the validity of the comment:
“A look in to the history of race times threw up one or two red flags. Some phenomenal times in key races such as World Championship Qualifiers and World Championships putting Julie Miller in amongst, or well above Olympians, elite and professional racers - both on the bike and on the run - when other race results would seem to indicate that Julie Miller was not at that standard.”
- Are we comparing overall times under different conditions in this case? Phenomenal overall rankings and times are different. Can we be more specific? Was she flagged as an Olympic hopeful? Did Ironman Canada flag these results and call them into question at the time or is this a troll like cyber dream?
In 2015 her run time she was given/amended before being disqualified was 3:31:13 and her run time in 2013 was 3:42, so really not that far fetched to have such an improvement, if not more for a leg of the race that is her strength – also 2 years later in different conditions.
I have heard/read comments about her chip having also been lost in the 2013 event, however, why would she fake the lose of her chip to place 10th and marginally miss a qualifying spot to Kona? If one was going to ditch their chip to cheat why would she not being going to the top of the podium then too?
BIG PICTURE: Consider motive – fame and fortune? Not so much. You are shocked and ask why? Because there is none!! She is coming from a place of wanting to better herself as a woman and a mother and to compete/complete an event that she is passionate about. Please remember that when you are cyber bullying a real human and just let THAT “analysis” sink in.
Back to data! Comparing 2013 to 2015, one can see that her swim improved - 58:25 to 57:42 and her bike was a bike slower from 6:07:37 to 6:15:12 – so difference in time- 7:35 deducted from the bike portion and add 0:43 from the swim, giving a total difference of 6:52 going into the run. I think that this improvement plus some over two years with the races Julie has competed in and the training she has put herself through would be absolutely achievable. Despite having a chip mess up in the race, it is not at all outside of the possibility for Julie Miller to have been at the top of her age category at the Ironman Whistler 2015.