Racing is not just our hobby, it’s also our passion. To keep things fair and to allow everyone to enjoy each event, we share with you some advice on proper Triathlon Race Ettiquette.
Start in your correct wave.They have ways of finding out if you started in your correct wave. Time splits are monitored and irregular or suspicious splits are given a red flag. For wave starts grouped according to predicted time, don’t swim in a wave that’s a lot faster than what you’re capable of. This is both a disadvantage to you and the other swimmers. You won’t have the chance to pace with other similarly abled athletes and the faster swimmers will have to swim around you.
Be conscious of other swimmers during mass starts!Don’t intentionally hit or hurt other swimmers. If you accidentally hit someone make a conscious effort to avoid it the second time around. If you do get hit, don’t retaliate as it will only escalate things. Just leave him behind! ;-)
Avoid using the breast stroke in crowded areas.I understand that some people are more comfortable with this stroke. However, in tight situations, there’s a high possibility that you might kick someone in the face or gut. Be conscious of your surroundings if ever you use this technique.
Learn how to take a pull (i.e. swim in front) when swimming in a pack.Drafting in the water is perfectly legal. However, as a sign of courtesy, try and take a pull every so often when you’re with a group. Nobody likes a freeloader. :-)
Don’t cross the center divider of the road.This is very dangerous and is often grounds for a DQ (disqualification). If it’s too tight to pass, don’t!
Ride on the right side of the road.Riding on the right side of the road allows other riders to pass safely. Hogging the middle will cause them to either ride against oncoming traffic (see #5) or pass on your right. Both of which are illegal. If someone keeps barking “Keep Right!” at you, please make it a point and move to the proper side of the lane.
Ride in a straight and predictable line.Practice this well in training. This will allow other riders to safely pass.
Don’t draft!This holds true for non-draft legal races (most of the races in the Philippine calendar don’t allow drafting). This technique makes things easier for the tailgating rider since he’s riding in the “draft” of another. This lessens wind resistance and necessitates less power for a given speed. However, it’s regarded as cheating and is potentially dangerous. Keep a 7-9m distance (depends on the race) at all times.
Be courteous to other racers. Avoid shouting at or rattling other participants.
Remember, we all just want to make it through the course safely in the least possible time. Bullying newbies is a big NO. Don’t try and intimidate them. Remember, everyone was a newbie once. Be conscious of when/how you shout things like “Keep Right!” or “On Your Left!” Don’t forget to say “Thank You!”For those on the receiving end, don’t take it so hard when someone raises his/her voice at you. More often than not, they’re just making sure you hear them properly. Play close attention and you will be fine
Discard of wrappers and bottles properly.Don’t throw these items in the middle of the road (especially for the bike!) Not only is it littering, it might be the cause of an accident.
Don’t hog the aid station.This hold true for the run. Once you grab your cup, move out of the way so others can take their share. This is often overlooked in races.
Don’t steal.This is a given. There are some cases of theft in the past. Try not to leave expensive stuff lying around or ask a friend to watch over your gear while you race (that’s a really good friend if he/she agrees). Always be vigilant even if it’s not your own bike/gear. If there’s anything suspicious alert the organizers immediately.
Say thank you!Marshals, volunteers, and race officials spend sleepless nights and hours in the sun to give you the best possible race experience. No matter how much one pays for a race, he is not entitled to shame or shout at anyone. Without them, we will not be able to enjoy this. Remember, the triathlon community is small and close-knit; we share the same passion.
Don’t use someone else’s race kit.This is definitely deemed illegal by race organizers. There are hundreds of people on the waitlist. They’re patiently waiting for their chance to race. By using someone else’s kit (even if you have his permission) you are depriving others of the rightful chance to join. Besides, doing this necessitates forging documents or IDs; which is obviously a no-no.
Don’t cheat.We join races because it’s fun, it’s challenging, and we’re after the sense of accomplishment. The person you’re cheating in races is yourself. Be it using a shortcut, missing loops, or having an unfair advantage (e.g. drafting) cheating is bad for the sport. It is never okay even if one doesn’t get caught. You might not be penalized or disqualified but somehow, the triathlon community finds out anyway.
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