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“Golden Rules” of Triathlon Etiquette


Remember the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This has particular application to triathlon.

For example, you wouldn’t like it if someone cut you off at the mount/dismount line as you were heading out of T1. Then perhaps you shouldn’t do it yourself.

Here’s a list of the Golden Rules that all Cleveland Triathlon competitors should follow: 

  1. Play by the rules. If you’re not sure what the rules at USA Triathlon-sanctioned races are, look them up before the race.
  2. Don’t litter. There are plenty of trash cans around. It’s OK to drop your cup at the course aid station, because a volunteer will pick it up as you ride or run by; otherwise, don’t dump trash.
  3. Don’t be a rack hog. If you get to the race early, set out your stuff tidily and don’t spread out like you’re having a picnic.
  4. Be on time … better yet, be early: And just as thou shalt not hog rack space, is it equally rude to arrive two minutes before the race start and expect your rack-mates to shoehorn you in. Ask nicely. And, being early will allow you to check out the in and out of the swim and bike courses, and let you warm up in a relaxed manner.
  5. Keep your bike in good working order and go over it before the race. Don’t expect the on-site mechanics to have all the answers with the portable workshop they bring with them. And be nice. They are doing the best they can as fast as they can. 
  6. No flying elbows. Play nice and watch where you’re going. The start of the swim can be crowded and everyone in the water will be splashing, thrashing and trying to go in the right direction. Watch the elbows and the feet … yours and others.
  7. Be informed. Know the course. There are course maps on the Cleveland Tri website and there are multiple course talks on Saturday, July 21 at the Ahuja Medical Center. 
  8. Don’t shut down your brain when you arrive. You are responsible for your own well-being. If you know the course, you’ll know where potential trouble spots might be:  steep descents, tight corners, surf breaks. The race director is responsible for ensuring that the course is safe and the officials are responsible for ensuring a fair race … but you are ultimately most responsible for your own safety. So compete safely and fairly.
  9. Really mind your manners in the transition area. It’s chaotic. Go gently, especially in T1, and most especially at the mount-dismount line. You don’t want to go toppling over, and you don’t want to be the reason someone else does, either. Not to mention the possibility that you can earn a penalty here for disobeying the mount/dismount orders from the volunteers.
  10. Offer encouragement to yourself and your fellow competitors. If you can, in the midst of your own suffering, offer some encouragement to the athlete that you just passed, or who just passed you, well … you get karma points out the wazoo.
  11. Pick up your race packets on Saturday. This is important as the packet has your timing chip and bib. You also need to sign race waivers. Race packet pickup is at the DoubleTree by Hilton from 10 AM to 3 PM. You cannot pick up your race packet on Sunday unless you registered as a VIP (very important person who paid for the privilege)
  12. Listen to what the volunteers tell you. Volunteers are everywhere to help you. Ask for assistance if you need it and pay attention to what they tell you.


Tips from a Fellow Competitor


We received a great 1st triathlon story from competitor Greg Blatnik of Brunswick, OH. Here are some of his hard-learned lessons from his first triathlon 20 years ago:
  1. Get your stuff together BEFORE the morning of the event.
  2. Create a schedule for the race day that allows you to leave the house on time, find a parking spot, carry your stuff/roll your bike to the transition area, have time to set up and have time to warm-up.
  3. Plan to be nervous, you will be and it's OK. Use that adrenalin.
  4. Watch out for flying feet and elbows as your group hits the water. (You might want to stay to the inside or outside of your group to avoid some of this).
  5. Know the swim course, sight the buoys, follow the pack and listen to the lifeguards. The pack will help keep you on course ... and so will the lifeguards.
  6. Try to relax. Yeah, it's tough, but do it anyway. You'll be fine.
  7. When you set up your stuff in transition and rack your bike, memorize your position from the entrance of the swim-bike transition area so you can go straight to your bike and gear.
  8. Bottomline lesson, Sunday's race does take some preparation, research and training. We suggest you attend one of the two course talks (10:30 AM & 2 PM) at the DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown when you pick up your packet on Saturday. They are VERY helpful.  Listen. Ask questions.


Tips from our Swim Partner blueseventy: