Starting Your Race

You are now ready to race. It is very important to listen to the race announcer at all times when you arrive at the race site. There will be continual announcements relating to race start times, general rules and information and any last minute changes. If you are racing in a Duathlon you will be instructed as to where to go to start your first run. Triathletes will be directed to the water for the swim.

The Swim

The swim start is usually broken down into several age groups staring at the same time. These are called waves. Generally our races will not have waves with more than 100 athletes starting at one time. This is a very safe and comfortable number and should leave you lots of room when you start your swim. You should try and seed yourself according to your ability, i.e. if you are not the strongest swimmer you might start a little further in the back of the pack and might want to consider wearing a wetsuit. There will be swim buoys clearly marking the swim course. You will be advised on race day whether to keep the buoys to your right or left. Every swim course will have lifeguards, paddle boards and/or boats. If you are unable to continue or are having difficulty and can’t get back to shore on your own then you should move away from the other swimmers, take off your swim cap and wave it in the air so that lifeguards can see you and come to your aid. Once you have finished the swim you will enter the Transition Area and proceed out on to the bike course.

Wetsuit OR Non-Wetsuit Swim Rules

There are various times when a swim may be shortened because the water temperature is too low and/or wetsuits become mandatory. There are also situations where a wetsuit will not be allowed because of high water temperature. Please review the 2015 ITU Competition Rules Book (page 21/22) that has all of the rules and conditions that will determine a ruling on race day. 

The Bike

Once you have finished the swim you will run into the transition area and find your bike. (Remember those age group signs at the end of each bike rack.) Take off your wetsuit, get into your bike gear and make sure you do up the helmet strap before you un-rack your bike. Remember you are NOT ALLOWED to ride your bike in the transition area. All participants must walk or run their bike to the bike mounting and dismounting lines at the exit and entrance of the transition area.

All bike courses will be have distance markers and signs indicating turns. Cyclists should keep to the right at all times, except when passing. (See Top 10 Violations below.) There will be volunteers to tell you of an upcoming corner or turn-around. Please obey all volunteer instructions. There will be Police at all intersections where cyclists DO NOT have the right of way or it is necessary for safety reasons. Bike course are “controlled” to traffic but not “closed” to traffic. A “controlled” course means may vehicles may be on the course during the race. Police will stop vehicular traffic at all intersections to give cyclists the right of way. It is your responsibility to follow all traffic rules and be aware of any traffic that may be on the course.

The drafting zone for non-drafting age group competitions is 5 metres long X 2 metres wide for non ITU qualifying races and 10m x 2m for ITU qualifying races. Drafting is not permitted in any race. Riding next to someone is blocking. This is not permitted. Both blocking and drafting have time penalties. Repeated penalties will results in disqualification.

Visit the 2015 ITU Competition Rules Book (pg 32)

The Run

Sketchers PerformanceOnce you have finished the bike and racked your bike you need to change into your run gear and head out onto the run. There will be aid stations along each run course (see below) along with KM distance markers and signage to direct you. There will be volunteers at key intersections or turning points. Please obey volunteer instructions.

Aid stations

On all run courses there will be water and Hydra-Durance from F2C Nutrition. Please DO NOT LITTER on the course. Carry litter to the finish or drop any trash at or near an aid station.


If you have a medical condition that requires special consideration or information for the Race Director please advise prior to race day. All races will have St. John’s ambulance, EMS units and/or Medical Doctors on site. There will also be massage therapists and chiropractors at some races. All of these people will be located at or near the Medical Tent.

Post Race

After every race we have lots of fresh fruit and bagels and snacks. At some races there may be pizza, chicken dogs or hamburgers. Some events will have a free massage area. Please pick up all your litter and place it in the garbage or recycling containers. Also make sure that you have all of your race gear before you leave.


As with most things there are certain rules that must be followed. Rather than give you a long list of rules here are the Top 10 Frequently Violated Rules. Please visit the Triathlon Ontario or Triathlon Canada websites for more information.

  1. All competitors must wear the Swim Caps provided by the race organizer.
  2. Helmets: Helmets are compulsory and must be ANSI/SNELL approved Chin straps must be fastened anytime the athlete is in possession of the bicycle. This means that before the bike is removed from the rack, the chin strap must be fastened and remain fastened until the bike is placed back on the racks.
  3. Riding of bicycles in the transition zone is strictly prohibited at all times. The bike can only be mounted or dismounted at the mount/dismount line outside of the Transition Zone.
  4. Outside Assistance: Competitors may not receive assistance at any time during the race, or in the transition zone. (This excludes medical or safety assistance given by designated race volunteers or qualified staff.)
  5. Drafting: Drafting of another competitor or motor vehicle is prohibited on the bike course. The draft zone surrounding each competitor measures from the front edge of the front wheel. Competitors have 15 seconds to pass through this zone when overtaking another athlete.
  6. Blocking: Cyclists should keep to the right at all times, unless passing. Alert fellow cyclists of your intention to pass by saying, “on your left”.
  7. Race Course: Competitors must follow the prescribed course route in all segments of the race as defined by the race organization.
  8. Race Instructions: It is the Competitor’s responsibility to read all supplied information given in the race kits, posted at the race site and listen to verbal announcements given by the Race Director and Race Officials.
  9. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Verbal or physical abuse of officials and race volunteers is not acceptable or tolerated.
  10. Torsos: All athletes must have their torsos covered on the bike and run portions of the event. Bib numbers must be visible on the bike and run courses.