Friday, July 4, 2008

run for your life

What is a duathlon?

A duathlon is a competition that is composed of running and biking. The usual format for a duathlon is run-bike-run, meaning you start with a run, then transition to the bike, then transition back to running again. Your time starts when you start the race, and finishes when you cross the finish line. This means that the time it takes you to switch from running to cycling and back again is part of your race time

What are the rules?

There are very few rules to the sport of duathlon, and they are allenforced for athlete safety and to keep the race fair. As a result,most rules are related to the cycling portion of the race, so we'll goover them now, starting at the beginning of the race.

First, you must start in the wave that you have been assigned to. Inorder to keep the course relatively uncrowded, racers begin the racein groups or waves, separated by several minutes time. Waves aretypically assigned based on age group or category such as relay teams.Starting in your pre-assigned wave is mandatory.

Next, you must know and complete the entire course, this includesentering and exiting the transition area at the proper place.

Most races have a rule that there is no cycling in the transitionarea. They will have a mount line just outside the transition area,and you must run or walk your bike out of the transition zone and pastthat line before beginning to ride.
ride at your own pace
Anytime you are on the bike, including before and after the race, youare required to wear a helmet and have it buckled. Any competitor whounbuckles his/her helmet while on the bike, or who mounts his/her bikewith an unbuckled helmet will be disqualified. A good rule of thumb isto buckle your helmet before you take your bike off the rack, and whenyou finish cycling, wait until you rack your bike before you unbuckleyour helmet.

Drafting, or cycling directly behind or alongside another competitor,is strictly prohibited, as it provides an unfair advantage in anindividual sport. You must leave at least 3 bike lengths between yourfront wheel and the rear wheel of the bike in front of you. If youchoose to pass another cyclist, you must pass on the left, and youhave 15 seconds to get your front wheel past the front wheel of theperson you are passing. The person being passed must then fall back 3bike lengths before trying to repass you. This way, two cyclists won'tbe riding side by side going back and forth for miles.

You must ride to the left side of the road, so that a passing cyclistcan pass on the right. Riding on the right side of your lane is calledblocking, and carries a time penalty for the offender.
No crossing the center line of the road, even to pass.

Again, most races have a rule that there is no cycling in thetransition area. They will have a dismount line just outside thetransition area, and you must dismount your bike and run or walk yourbike into the transition zone.

Other rules include no glass, pets, friends, family, or nudity in thetransition area, and no pets, baby joggers, ipods, or outsideassistance allowed during the race.

showering to the finish line


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