>> Thursday, May 06, 2010
....Since you're very experienced with running races (umm, duh, that's given), I'm curious what's your opinion of this.
I'm deaf. This is my first season of anything. I have my first 5k this weekend, and first Tri in a couple weeks. And no...this is a FUN race, First race, and I just want to finish! No A/B/J/Q/Z crap. :-)
Now, I am wondering if it's valuable, not just for me, but for other racers, to know that I'm deaf by wearing a sign on my back that says "DEAF".
While I'm proud that I'm deaf and to do races to prove that I can do anything, but I don't want to be such a huge showoff (although, the center of attention would be nice). I'm doing it because I've often ridden around town and have people sounding like they're whispering, "On your left", and they get ticked off...they didn't realize that I'm deaf and you have to yell. I do have cochlear implants (two of them..hence why I'm Cyborg), and I can hear very well, but with the wind and extra noise, I can't seem to filter them out or hear exactly what is being said.
Again, is it valuable for other racers to know that I'm not ignoring them, I'm Deaf by wearing a sign? I never have been to a race, so I'm not sure how much talking is done between the athletes.
Thanks for any input!
Deanna aka CyborgQueen
I have no experience with anything like this. I talked it over with Pharmie, and I replied with this:
....My wife and I both totally agree that you should wear something on the front and back of your chest that says something like "DEAF ATHLETE - FIRST 5K" in nice big letters. It would TOTALLY not be bragging, and many people out there would like to know that. Depending on the race and where you are "in the pack," there can be a lot of chit-chat or you could be surrounded by totally focused runners in their own little world.
If you don't mind, in a week or so I'd love to post your question to my blog and see what people think. There are probably people out there with great ideas for your first triathlon. And that's a MUCH bigger deal - I feel like it'd be quite important to make it known that you are deaf in a triathlon. In fact, the race management company may want to know ahead of time. There could be issues if they have a long course and short course race at the same time - there's usually someone yelling where to turn on the bike: "[this way] for long course, [this way] for short."
Good luck at your 5K!! Pin something to your front and back that points out that you are deaf. And if you get any photos, I'd TOTALLY post them along with your question for your upcoming triathlon!
Good luck, and congrats on racing!!!!
Well guess what? Deanna did better than she thought she would at her first 5K! And she wore a sign on her back to alert those around her that she was deaf:
Deanna came back with one more thought recently:
Oh yeah, I forgot one more thing...
IF the majority says I should have a sign on my back saying "Deaf", for Bike and Run. How do I have it on? Since if I put it on before the swim, it will get wet and all the ink will be running down my nice Tri shirt...and that's not going to look good for photos...and you know, I gotta have good Photos. I've learned one thing...is not to do a Steve Stenzel's Finisher's Photos. I'll leave that up to you...
I probably could put it on my race belt, but won't the front part with the Race number bother me?
O.M.G. - I'm so scared. LOL!
Knockin' on my finisher's photos. Nice! ;) Ha! My thoughts are that she could put the race number in front on the race belt (like normal), and then safety pin a sign to the back of the race number. So I'd be race number in the front, "deaf" sign in the back. I'm not sure. Maybe.
So Deanna needs more advice! Do you think she should let the race management company know that she's deaf? Do you think she needs to take any special steps to make sure she has a safe race? (And that those around her have a safe race as well?) If you know of any deaf athletes, we'd LOVE to find out what they do to make racing fun and safe! All thoughts are welcome!! Deanna would love your input!
Congrats on your first 5K, Deanna, and here's to a GREAT first triathlon!!
p.s. I didn't ask, but Deanna told me why she goes by "CyborgQueen":
I'm known as Cyborg Queen because I have 2 cochlear implants, and my head is more expensive than your bike....each Processor is about $4000 to $5000...and I have 4 of them...that's NOT including the batteries, and the surgery.
I also registered for my first Half-Marathon in December. I'm excited...that I'll shit in my pants when I get there. :-)
I LOVE her attitude! Ha!
p.p.s. If you have a question that you think my readers might be able to help with, or if you have a question for me about my racing, training, or blogging, please shoot me a comment or an e-mail. I put up "Ask Steve" posts now-and-then. There are already some good ideas in the comments of the last post.