Penn Yan, New York (Combined News Services) ~ Peasantman Steel Distance Triathlon organizers have reportedly rejected controversial new swim rule changes proposed by Marco Polo, the renowned medieval merchant, explorer, and writer. The decision follows Mr. Polo’s recent comments suggesting that the swim could be turned into a game.
Peasantman founder Joe McMahon, a certified USAT Race Director and Official, called a press conference yesterday to calm the fears of concerned swimmers who had complained about Mr. Polo’s new rumored swim rules. McMahon’s press conference only consisted of one word, as he called Polo's ideas “stupid,” then walked away.
Soon afterward, a statement on the Peasantman website further clarified the situation, explaining that Polo’s changes were merely suggestions and that the current rules will still apply. “There is no truth to the rumors that Marco Polo has changed the rules for the Peasantman Swim,” said the statement. “Mr. Polo and Peasantman had a very cordial discussion, but we kindly explained to him that it would not be appropriate for our competitors to be shouting out his name with closed eyes in the middle of a triathlon.”
Specifically, Polo’s suggested rule changes stated: “One competitor shall be chosen by Peasantman as the ‘It’. The ‘It’ swimmer, with eyes tied by blindfold, shall thusforteth try to find and tag any one of the other competitors, relying on list’ning to find someone to tag. The player who is ‘It’ shall shout loudly thy name "Marco" whil’st the other swimmers shall all respond by shouting thy last name "Polo", which ‘It’ uses to try to find them. If a swimmer is tagged, that player henceforth becomes the ‘It.’ If the ‘It’ suspects that a swimmer hath left the water, they shall shout "Fish out of Keuka Lake!" and the swimmer shall proceed to the transition area and then to the bike portion of the race.”
Reached by email, Peasantman stated, “Changing the rules of our triathlon, especially this late in the game, would certainly cause many issues and problems. Although we appreciate Mr. Polo’s enthusiasm and excitement, we will have to politely decline his suggestions. We will also ask our swimmers to not be worried if they see him as an honored guest on race day.”