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Wednesday, July 2, 2008


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 all
enforced 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 go
over them now, starting at the beginning of the race.
First, you must start in the wave that you have been assigned to. In
order to keep the course relatively uncrowded, racers begin the race
in groups or waves, separated by several minutes time. Waves are
typically 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 includes
entering and exiting the transition area at the proper place.

Most races have a rule that there is no cycling in the transition
area. 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 past
that line before beginning to ride.

Anytime you are on the bike, including before and after the race, you
are required to wear a helmet and have it buckled. Any competitor who
unbuckles his/her helmet while on the bike, or who mounts his/her bike
with an unbuckled helmet will be disqualified. A good rule of thumb is
to buckle your helmet before you take your bike off the rack, and when
you finish cycling, wait until you rack your bike before you unbuckle
your helmet.

Drafting, or cycling directly behind or alongside another competitor,
is strictly prohibited, as it provides an unfair advantage in an
individual sport. You must leave at least 3 bike lengths between your
front wheel and the rear wheel of the bike in front of you. If you
choose to pass another cyclist, you must pass on the left, and you
have 15 seconds to get your front wheel past the front wheel of the
person you are passing. The person being passed must then fall back 3
bike lengths before trying to repass you. This way, two cyclists won't
be riding side by side going back and forth for miles.

You must ride to the left side of the road, so that a passing cyclist
can pass on the right. Riding on the right side of your lane is called
blocking, 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 the
transition area. They will have a dismount line just outside the
transition area, and you must dismount your bike and run or walk your
bike into the transition zone.

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

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