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Race Conduct: Unauthorized Assistance

By USA Triathlon | Feb. 18, 2014, 4:54 p.m. (ET)

This rule captures part of the essence of what triathlon under USA Triathlon rules is all about and that is, triathlon is an individual sport. Participants must rely only upon themselves to complete the race. Only race management may provide any assistance in the form of food, drink, and help with equipment breakdowns.

“Pacing,” defined as making forward progress while being accompanied by someone who is not currently competing in the race, is never allowed. “Unauthorized” assistance, as opposed to what the race organization provides, is illegal and time penalties are assessed to anyone receiving aid from an outside source.

Here is the rule:

Article 3.4d. Unauthorized Assistance.
"No participant shall accept from any person (other than a race official) physical assistance in any form, including food, drink, equipment, support, pacing, a replacement bicycle or bicycle parts, unless an express exception has been granted and approved, in writing, by USA Triathlon. The receipt of information regarding the progress, split times, or location of other competitors on the race course shall not be considered the acceptance of unauthorized assistance. Any violation of this section shall result in a variable time penalty."

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