Triathlon Basics


What are the basics I need to know about participating in a triathlon event? And don't forget, on race day, just look for the people wearing a bright pink vest & cap - these are our designated helpers and can answer all your questions.

New to triathlon?

Rather than reinvent the wheel, we have provided some links to information on the Triathlon Australia website that may assist in answering some common questions you may have about doing your first triathlon:

For a simple race day check-list showing the gear you need and other optional extras we suggest the Training Peaks website. It not only contains a simple list but also covers some of the basic do’s and don’ts for race day.

And Triathlon South now has its own Training Squad for members, check out session times on the Training Squad page.

Swim: special mention needs to be made that you don’t require a wetsuit to participate in a triathlon, although in the cooler waters of Tasmania, it can be comforting to have one.

Bike: any roadworthy bike will do (mountain, road, commuter or time-trial), appropriate footwear and an Australian Standard helmet is compulsory. Please note that the race technical official (TO) can inspect your bike and if not satisfied with its safety, can scratch you from the race, so make sure you do some basic checks prior to race day.

The bike helmet must remain securely fastened on your head at all times once the bike is removed from the bike-rack and while on the bike course and until the bike is replaced on the rack. A competitor must mount and dismount their bike at the respective designated mounting and dismounting zones.

Run: your feet must be covered. Triathlon South often has beach runs rather than using the nearby roads. Regardless, you must wear footwear for safety reasons. You cannot run with a bare torso, but sun-glasses and a cap are both okay.

Race briefing: A race briefing is given by the Race Day Manager prior to each race start, where the rules and general information is provided about the course, especially about moving in and out of transition with a run through of safety issues. Please ask any questions you have if you are not sure – we’re here to help!

On race day, we also have special helpers in “Hot Pink” hats and vests – they can answer all the questions you may have about gear set up, where to rack your bike, rules etc.

If you have additional questions or would require further assistance prior to the event please contact us.

Rules & Conduct

Ok, so that was the basics, but if you are going to take on triathlon regularly, we recommend you become familiar with the general rules – Triathlon Australia Race Competition Rules (TA RCR) – and would like to draw particular attention to the following points:

  • The TA RCR are intended to:
    • Create an atmosphere of sportsmanship, equality and fair play
    • Optimise safety and protection
    • Emphasise ingenuity and skill without unduly limiting the competitor’s freedom of action
    • Penalise competitors who seek to gain an unfair advantage, and
    • Endorse the principle that triathlon is an individual sport and encourage individual performance and initiative.

1. General Conduct

These rules are applicable across the entire course.

1.1. Competitors must:

a. practise good sports conduct at all times
b. be responsible for their own safety, the safety of their own equipment and be considerate of the safety of others
c. be responsible for understanding and following the TA RCR
d. obey instructions from event officials
e. obey traffic regulations unless otherwise instructed by an event official
f. treat other competitors, officials, volunteers and spectators with respect and courtesy
g. avoid the use of abusive language
h. be responsible for keeping on the designated course
i. not wear, use or carry items deemed to be a hazard to self or others e.g. a hard cast, jewellery, glass/metal containers or electronic and entertainment devices such as, but not limited to, mobile phones, mobile disc players, MP3 players or 2 way communication devices
j. not use any equipment which may provide an unfair competitive advantage
k. not obstruct or interfere with the forward progress of another competitor, or jeopardise the safety and welfare of another competitor or race official or spectator or member of the public
l. not accept assistance from anyone other than an event official
m. not discard any equipment on the course, except at the approved dedicated locations
n. withdraw immediately from the event if deemed and informed by the event medical personnel that the competitor appears to present a danger to the health or welfare of either the competitor or others
o. not cause offence to others through deliberate acts of nudity, or personal toilet which might be seen in public.