Of course you are going to read the BTF rule book aren’t you?
Well, most of it is for us, the organisers to make sure you lot are safe. Some of it is for you to abide by to keep yourself and others safe. And the rest of it ensures we know who you are, prevent cheating, things like that. But mostly it’s common sense.
Now some of you have been around for years (so familiar with the rules) and others a first time out. Either way, the rules were updated for 2016 so that the British Triathlon and International Triathlon rules are the same (so when you progress to represent your country you won’t get caught out).
So for the sake of those who may be entrenched into the older versions, I point out a couple of highlights that you need to be aware of and some existing ones that are worth highlighting.
No boxes in transition
yes you can carry your gear into transition in one of those huge boxes or bags, but these can’t remain near your bike. We do in fact at Norwich Tri provide an area in a remote part of transition where you can dump your excess baggage to account for this. But it is best to remove all excess luggage altogether. Less is more!
This was in the rules last year, but being increasingly tightened up. It concerns body exposure. So zips must be fastened fully and ladies (or gents) can’t wear those crop tops to expose the tummy. You may be tempted to sneak a bit of exposure around the remote parts of the lake run, but do ensure you are all fastened up when coming into the finish! Zips at the back are OK to loosen so feel free to show off your hairy back!
This is how close you are behind other riders on the bike. It used to be 7 metres, but is now 10 metres. We have one motor cycle marshal out on the course and several positioned marshals. They will not of course be wedging a 10 metre stick to measure your distance, but will report to HQ if they see any blatant riding up the backside of another competitor. Yes, there are occasions when bikes condense (start, junctions, hills, dismount), but it is the main riding areas that are of concern. You have 30 seconds to overtake a cycle according to the rules and then the overtaken bike is supposed to drop back. Just use your judgment here. Another change is that you used to have to pass with a 3 metre gap. That is no longer the case (to prevent you riding into oncoming traffic!). You can, of course draft all you like on the swim and run!
No balloons, kites, flashing arrows. Basically, you can put on your bike whatever your are going to use for the bike section. So if you put a heavy fluorescent donkey jacket on your bike as a marker we’ll make you wear it!. Anything else is considered a marker and will be removed to the floor by the transition police (aka – our lovely marshals). You can be adventurous and use a bright pink drinks bottle for example. We have numbered racking now at Norwich Tri, so as long as you can remember your number between 1 and 400 and can recognise your bike, you should be ok.
Obviously I will go mental if I hear you have discarded litter and present you with a DQ. You can discard at the water station. All else you must carry with you. Carrying a water bottle or wearing too much and you want to off-load it on the run? Too bad. You have to carry it. Hand it off to a supporter? Nope – that’s considered discarding. Into the hedge and say you’ll collect it later? – Nope. Of course, I doubt the marshals are going to notice this going on, but just don’t be blatant about it. Basically, if I consider it littering I won’t be happy.
Triathlon have always banned MP3’s or any earphones so don’t be tempted. It’s a DQ. Even listening to your pace on your phone isn’t allowed. Meanwhile, this extends to when you are transition setting up or collecting your bike. No motivational music or making phone calls when in the fenced zone. The transition police will come down on you can you can then collect a penalty even before or after you have finished racing! Come on – you know it’s for safety really.
“Oh but what about those bone conducting phones?” Nope. In fact I’ve been a total meanie and applied for a special Norwich Tri rule to ban them also (because of the foot down on the bike).
Yep. Gone are the days where you can run yourself into the ground and finish on your hands and knees. You have to finish in a standing position now, so you may have to alter your race plan accordingly. And you can’t have any assistance either.