Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rules of Race Day Etiquette

Now that its coming down to the final weeks of RACE DAY, I decided to name a few things that bug the crap out of me and things I have been telling fellow triathletes new and old to the sport.

Here is a guide I would like people to follow:

1. There is such a thing as too much skin- I get it. You're proud of your body. That's great.

But goodness…can we please keep the bouncing parts to a minimum, and covered? It's giving all the rest of us regular, non-cyborg females a complex, and it's making the men racers trip in front of us. Not cool.
I also definately don't like seeing old wrinkly men in their speedo ready to take the plunge in the water. Eww...

2. When setting up your transition USE a Hand Towel- It is a pet peeve of mine seeing people come to the triathlon with Storage bins filled with everything but the Kitchen sink!! Hello! Other people need to rack their bikes next to you!

Triathlon real estate is at a premium. That does not mean you have squatter's rights to get to a race early, rack your bike, and spread a beach towel out with all your gear, a small petting zoo, and a six-course meal.

Learn to pack your transition items well. If you do things right, you should be able to fit everything you need for your triathlon on a hand towel that fits under your bike. If you can't accomplish this, don't be surprised if an angry triathlete "accidentally" kicks your stuff all over the place during a race. We're passive-aggressive like that.

3. There are Port-a Johns and there are Bushes...Please do not spray your pee on ME!!- Unless you are a elite triathlete going for the big prize then get off your bike and go to the Bathroom!! I am not going to get peed on because you think you need to shave time by peeing on your bike.
4. Dont Pollute!!- There's no excuse for throwing your empty bottles, drained gel packs, or energy bar wrappers on the ground. Every aid station in your race will have some sort of trash receptacle available. If you can't make it to the actual receptacle itself, hand your garbage off to a volunteer so they can dispose of it. Just throwing it on the ground is mean to Mother Nature and hazardous to the people following behind you.
5. Thank the Volunteers- Often, the folks behind the planning and organization are not paid, and they don't get a medal after the finish like you do. Additionally, the people who are handing you water on the course, pointing you in the right direction, or bandaging up your skinned knees after you trip in a hole, or trip over your own feet are also volunteers.

Without the volunteers, these races most certainly would not happen. Let them know you appreciate them so they'll keep coming back. When you run past an aid station, take a second to smile and chirp "YOU ROCK!"

6. PLAY BY THE RULES- If you don't know the USAT rules, learn them quick!! My last race drove me nuts that people were blocking me on the bike leg, Riding 3 abreast, and When I called On Your Left they didn't move over and hugged the Yellow line!!!! Stay to the RIGHT people!!! Also Never, ever, never cross the yellow line!! I was so peeved at this!

7. Get to the Race early- If you are running into transition 2 minutes before it closes, it is your fault if you cannot find a good racking spot. Granted most bigger races have you rack the night before so you know where your bike is but most local races don't. If you want a great spot get there early. Don't complain about not having assigned racks. Thats annoying.

8. DO not - I repeat DO Not use your headset on the bike or run!!- This is another USAT rule that is violated. Come on, you can do it without the music. Get a couple songs in your head the night before and use them when you are suffering. In your head...I do it all the time so can you

9. Offer friendly words of encouragement- Everyone likes a nice job, well done, anything to let them know they are still alive and are doing ok!! On the run I always say nice job when passing fellow triathletes. It gets my spirits up when people do the same!

10. Good or bad race - “Be your own HERO!” after the race. Smile, hold your head high and take pride inside. You stepped up to the start line and you did it, you put yourself in the heat of competition and you finished even if the only person you were competing with was yourself


  1. Great post and SO true.. very important points.. Just found you from Trimommy.. great blog! I love the picture in the blog below. I hope you don't mind if I use that for a post.. I'll keep reading.. love the material!

  2. Cool!! Yes no problem!! Glad you like it!! :)

  3. I agree with every single one of these points EXCEPT the peeing on the bike one! I only pee on the bike during 70.3 and longer events.. and it does not just save time but it is a huge pain in the butt to stop, lay your bike down, go into a porta potty, do your thing, get back on your bike and try to get a rhythm going again! I lost at least 5 minutes stopping to pee at Musselman.. at Tinman, I lost zero time :)

  4. True, true ALexa...just announce it if I am ever behind you in a race!! LOL!

  5. Excellent post ! #2 is one of my pet peeves as well.