This post concerns the 2016 World Triathlon Leeds race – only bad time keeping has meant I’m publishing it over a year late. My bad!
My A-race of the year. My first Olympic distance race. My first split transition race. However you put it, World Triathlon Leeds was going to be a big race! And as you may be aware from the negative press and social media coverage, it did not quite go to plan for the race organisers. (A little known company who go by the name of Ironman…). But I was determined not to let that get in my way and to have a good race regardless of the issues I’d had during registration.
Yesterday saw the release of the new British Triathlon rulebook, to take effect immediately. Technical Officials had been told there would be a rules update in the New Year and that it would be small enough not to require the printing of a new rule book, but we hadn’t seen the rules before yesterday either. British Triathlon have also released a summary sheet, detailing the changes for those who don’t want/need to plough through the whole thing again.
The changes are fairly minor and probably don’t pose any great challenges to most competitors. I am interested to see the clarifcations on being able to leave lights switched on and mounted to the bike in transition and on being able to hang bike clothing from the bike in transition. In line with other officials, I have previously asked for these to be removed and deemed them as “marking”. I still think they act as a marker in transition, but I’m pleased to have guidance in black and white, even if I disagree.
Possibly the most significant change is over the duration of time penalties. These are now different for drafting and other penalties and dependent on the race distance.
Middle- or long-distance (eg Ironman or half-ironman) – 5 minutes
Standard (Olympic) – 2 minutes
Sprint or shorter – 1 minute
Other time penalties
Middle- or long-distance (eg Ironman or half-ironman) – 1 minute
Standard (Olympic) – 15 seconds
Sprint or shorter – 10 seconds
This is interesting as the penalty for undoing your helmet in transition is now only 10 seconds in sprint, down from 1 minute. That’s quite a big difference, especially when you consider how long it takes to respond to the verbal warning and refastening. Competitors would almost be better to not receive a verbal warning and just take the 10 second time penalty.
The hard-to-implement rules on front zippers on trisuits being done up to the top have also been changed slightly, mostly for middle- and long-distance events. These are still quite hard to implement without a large officiating team, but definitely worth paying attention to at larger events such as qualifiers and National Championships.
The updates also include changes to kids and (elite) Paratriathlon events, such as time penalties. In the case of paratriathlon, these are quite significant including changes to classification, so would be well worth a read if they apply to you.
More information on the rule changes, together with the new rulebook and summary of changes can be found on the British Triathlon news article on the topic.
I had the privilege to be a part of the technical official team for this weekend, as part of my progression along the officiating pathway. Currently I’m restricted to duathlons and pool swims, but come mid-June, I’ll qualify for the great wide world of open water!
The video is a very truthful depiction of our role at the event; pre-race checks, keeping the race fair and safe during the event and checking the results after the event. The only thing I’d suggest is missing is showing just how much fun it can be and how rewarding it is to be part of people’s races, especially at these larger events where we are working in a small team. It is certainly a great way to get to know the local triathlon community; our work interacts with Triathlon Scotland staff, event organisers, marshals, other officials and competitors. There is even the opportunity to go all the way to the top of the officiating ladder, at major games such as the Olympics!
Triathlon Scotland is always looking for more people to join the technical official team, so check out their website. They’ve just announced a course for the 23rd July, so there is even time to qualify this season!
The St Andrews Spring Sprint was a last minute addition to my race calendar, entering only on the Tuesday before a Sunday race. But I realised it would serve an important purpose in trying a few things out before my first standard distance race in few weeks, and give me a good excuse to explore St Andrews for the first time. Continue reading St Andrews Spring Sprint Triathlon – Race report→
First race of the year, second triathlon in two years and yet it was fair to say that I wasn’t looking forward to racing at Tranent Sprint Triathlon. I just had this horrible feeling of being under-prepared, like one of those dreams where you have to give a presentation having never seen the slides before. It was a feeling that would turn out to have some basis in reality, at least when it came to my biking fitness.
It’s looking like my one and only race of the 2015 season, after a year of upheaval and moving city twice, was to be whilst working abroad in Boston. Knowing I would be in Boston for most of the season, I’d already made sure I had all my gear with me, just to keep in shape if nothing else. It was an added bonus to find out that the Boston Triathlon was happening whilst I was in town, and only a 10 minute walk from my apartment. Needless to say, I signed up pretty fast!
As I kicked off my season of officiating earlier last month, I was again met with surprise when pulling up some athletes for rule infringements that they didn’t know about. (Or claimed not to know about…) So I thought I’d put out a list of the top 10 triathlon rules that I see broken at events.
If transition is the 4th discipline of triathlon, then logistics is the 5th. Just getting to the start line can be a real ordeal for some events, especially if a wetsuit swim and a flight are involved.
I like to lay everything out the night before, especially with the traditional early starts of local, open-road races. To help with this, I’ve made a handy triathlon packing list, setting out all the tasks I need to achieve. I normally drive to my races, so also need to prepare the bike rack, but otherwise I think the list is pretty general. If you’re packing away from the internet, you can find a downloadable, printable triathlon packing list here.
I was eagerly anticipating this final race of the Thames Turbo Sprint Race series for 2 reasons: having been there previously as a competitor and trainee official, I know it’s a great race, but more importantly, it was my first ever triathlon. Time to see how 18 months of training and my TT bike fare against last year’s performance.