Having collected and attached your timing chip and racked your bike you should arrive at Swim Assembly a minimum of 20 minutes before your wave start time. At Swim Assembly you will be given a swim cap which identifies your wave start. You will also be given some important last minute tips and advice. You may be in the water for up to 5 minutes before your start. Use this time to assess the conditions, practice your swim technique and prepare mentally for the race.
The Swim Course
The swim course will be marked by buoys and canoe lifeguards will be on hand to guide the wave. You should identify tall landmarks that can keep you on course, so as to avoid weaving and swimming further than you need to! In open water swims there is no push off the wall every 25 metres, so practice swimming the race distance with no push offs prior to race day.
The Swim Exit pontoon dips into the water so you can swim onto it before standing up. Lifeguards will be on hand to help you out. Once you have exited the water you will need to remove your wetsuit, place it in a bag provided, and cover a short distance on foot to Transition. Please make sure you are wearing something underneath!
*Be careful going up the steps transition as they can get wet.*
The Royal Victoria Dock
The water is tested against EU bathing standards; however we would still advise you to be in good health and to avoid swallowing the water, as swimmers may be more susceptible to infection through immune suppression.
If this is your first triathlon, or swimming is not your strongest discipline, we recommend you position yourself towards the back or the side of the wave. It may add a few seconds to your time, but it will enable you to get into your rhythm and enjoy the swim more.
*If you do get into difficulty, lie on your back and raise your arm; a canoe lifeguard will come to you and if necessary arrange a safety boat to take you to the water’s edge.*
Most people use front crawl or breast stroke. Back stroke is not permitted because it can be confused with someone indicating they are in difficulty.
*Goggles are compulsory*
Transition swim to bike
Make sure you know your route through Transition when switching between disciplines. Getting lost in Transition will add seconds or minutes to your finish time.
It is your responsibility to bring a bike that is road worthy and complies with the BTF rules (visit www.britishtriathlon.org for more information). A key rule is that no outside assistance is allowed. You should therefore come equipped to fix your own bike eg. punctures. We also recommend you have your bike serviced before race day. Our official retailer, Tri UK, will be present to sort out any minor problems, but may not have spares for all bikes. Please note that charges may apply.
The Bike Course
Always cycle on the left hand side and beware of competitors overtaking you on the right. Please pay attention to the marshals instructions at all times and note marshals CANNOT count laps for you. It is your responsibility to count your own laps and know the route. The bike course can get very slippery when wet.
*Please make sure your kit is labelled so it can be identified!*
No drafting is allowed, i.e. taking shelter behind or beside another competitor during the cycling leg of the race.
The bicycle draft zone will be 10 metres long measured from the leading edge of the front wheel. A competitor may enter the draft zone of another competitor. Competitors may enter the draft zone of another competitor for the purpose of overtaking, but must be seen to be progressing through that zone. A maximum of 20 seconds is allowed to pass through the draft zone of another competitor. If an overtaking manoeuvre is not completed within 20 seconds the overtaking cyclist must drop back. When a competitor is passed by other competitors, it is his/her responsibility to move out of the draft zone of the overtaking competitor within 5 seconds. Failure to do so may result in an official caution or time penalty. A competitor is passed when another competitor’s front wheel is ahead of his / her front wheel.
*Motorcycle and static BTF Referees will patrol the course to enforce the no drafting rule.*
Competitors must keep to the left side of the course and not create a blocking incident. Blocking is where a competitor who is behind cannot pass due to the leading competitor being poorly placed on the course.
Transition Bike to Run (T2)
Once you return to Transition after the bike phase please make sure you return your bike to the same position it was in at the start of the race.
You should run on the left at all times, be aware of other competitors trying to pass you and take care when passing other competitors. It is your responsibility to complete the required course successfully and count your own laps. No headphones are allowed on the run course