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Triathlon Rules and Equipment


The triathlon is made up of three stages – the swim, the cycle and the run.

The swimming leg of the race is 1.5km, cycling is 40km and the running leg is 10km.

In between legs is a transition area that allows competitors to prepare for the next part of the race. This is when competitors remove their wetsuits and put on runners and helmets prior to the cycling leg, and where they leave their bikes and helmets and put on running shoes.

Competitors also use this transition to make up time - or time can be lost.

Triathlon competitors are not permitted to block or interfere with opponents during the race. Should this occur, a time penalty will be applied to the offender.

Competitors must wear a wetsuit for the swimming leg when water temperatures are 14-20 degrees celsius. A wetsuit is not permitted when water temperatures exceed 20 degrees. Swimming caps are required however goggles are optional.

Any swimming stoke is permitted during the swimming leg.

A helmet must be worn during the cycling leg of the race.

Running shoes are required for the running leg of the race.

Competitors must not run with a bare chest.

Should a competitor breach any rules, they will be presented with a yellow warning card. A competitor will be disqualified from the race if they receive two yellow cards. For a serious breach of the rules, a competitor can be presented with a red card which indicates their immediate disqualification. 


Running shoes often have elastic laces to eliminate the need to tie them up, and the shoe interior is cushioned as the runners do not wear socks.

Cycling shoes are attached to the pedal of the bike and have a strap across the front in place of laces.

Each competitor wears an ankle band that records their time.

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