It’s traditional at this time of year to look back over the year that was, and plan for the coming one. As I’ve entered my first half-Ironman later this year, I certainly have plenty to plan for, even if there is not so much to look back on.
To get me started, Strava provided this natty little video of my activities over the year:
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.
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.