Interesting facts in the Ironman WA race guide

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This will be my 2nd Ironman race and it’ll definitely be prudent of me to read the race guide; I found some interesting stuff in there (some i might have missed out in my previous race in Zurich). So people who are heading to IMWA in less than a month’s time, please share any info you have here as well ok. We like to keep everyone’s nerve as calm as possible and not get any nasty surprises on race day!

1) Banned Tri suits

There are 3 wetsuits which are banned from the swim at IMWA, the Speedo suit is sold at chainreactioncycles so just in case you guys were wetsuit shopping there (like me), please take note.

“The Speedo Tri Elite full sleeve wetsuit, the Rocket Science carbon wetsuit with carbon drive and the De Soto Water Rover wetsuit are banned.”

2) Minimum of 2 bottles on the bikes

“You are required to start the event with a minimum of 2 bidons”

Aid Stations are spaced at 15-20km intervals on the bike course so for those who want to be carrying minimal hydration from the start, please take note of this restriction.

3) Helmet straps

This one I knew about from a long time ago, While watching Chris McCormack struggling to clip his straps at one of the Kona World Championships, I came to know that you must have your helmet securely fastened before grabbing your bike.

4) Cycling shoes and helmet in the Blue bag (transition bag)

Most Ironman events have switched to transition bags instead of having your stuff all laid out (local triathlon style) at where you rack your bike. The race guide says cycling shoes have to be (compulsory) in the blue bag, which is a little odd because I thought a lot of guys have their shoes pre-clipped on their bikes. I wear my shoes and waddle like a duck through transition so if anyone out there planning to do a flying mount, please clarify at the race briefing if in doubt.

Helmets in the transition bag was a requirement at Zurich as well, but not everyone practiced it.

5) Drafting on the bike

“- The draft distance is 12 metres (7 bike lengths) between bikes measured from the back edge of the rear wheel of the leading bicycle to the leading edge of the front wheel of the following bicycle.
As a guide, on roads with broken line markings each line is 3 metres in length and the distance between lines is 9 metres.” 
– Athletes who enter the 12 metre draft distance of a forward bike must complete the pass in 25 seconds. Athletes who fail to complete the pass will receive a drafting infringement
– Athletes overtaken who fail to drop back 12 metres will receive a drafting infringement
– Athletes who are making a pass on more than one athlete and “drop in” between the athletes where the distance between those athletes is not greater than 12 metres will receive a drafting infringement.”
Well, you roughly know that you shouldn’t be drafting in the race, the draft zone is 12 metres behind a rider and if you want to overtake, it has to be done within 25 seconds. So from behind, if you plan to overtake the person in front of you and have entered the 12m zone, you have to complete the pass.
If you’re the person being overtaken, you have to drop back 12m.
The last line basically says that you can’t just slot yourself into a nicely spaced (all 12m apart) group and force the back half of the group back 12m to give you space. Interesting question will be whether you’ll still be given only 25seconds or 25 times “X” number of riders, to overtake the group; I’m assuming the latter coz it makes more sense.
6) Crawling
“Crawling is only allowed in the finish chute and an athlete observed crawling will be assessed by medical personnel and may be withdrawn from the event.”
I’ll definitely tear if I see a person crawling in the finish chute towards the finish line….but if that person gets DQ at the finish chute…I’ll be devastated!!
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