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Tri Lingo


Sprint (swim 1/4-1/2 mile, bike 10-16 miles, run 3.1 miles) distances may vary depending upon race director
Olympic (swim .9 mile, bike 24.7 miles, run 6.2 miles)
Half or 70.3 (swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, run 13.1 miles)
Full or 140.6 (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles)

ATHENA: (special category) women triathletes competing in a race who weigh more than 150 lbs.

BIKE TIME:  the amount of time it takes you to complete the bike portion of the race.  Time is continuous and will include any time you take to fix a flat, do bike maintenance or stop at an aid station.

BRICK:  Combining more than one leg of a triathlon into a workout (swim-bike, bike-run)

BUOYS: markers located every 100 M for sighting.  Typically yellow buoys are used at the meter marks and red buoys indicate that an athlete is turning.

CHIP: How your time is kept throughout the race.  Chips are worn on the left ankle.  I always keep the velcro strap to the outside to ensure it doesn’t get hit while on the bike or run and fall off.

CLYDESDALE: (special category) male traithletes competing in a race who weigh more than 200 lbs.

DNF:  Means that an athlete “Did Not Finish” the race distance or did not meet the time requirements for each leg.  If an athlete stops at any point and decides not to continue competing he/she should immediately let the race officals know that they have decided to do so.

DNS:  Means that an athlete “Did Not Start” the race due to unforseen circumstances.

PENALTY:  Occurs if you are found to be in violation of one of the rules.  Rules for USAT Race   (  Rules for WTC or Ironman branded races may differ- please refer to your race packet for a ful listing.  Typically, an athlete can incur two penalties in a race and on the third they are disqualified.

POINT TO POINT SWIM: a swim that consists of the ending point being different from the starting point.  This is usually done on ocean swims to coincide with the current.
SIGHTING: what an athlete should do every 7-10 strokes to ensure they are not swimming offline creating additional distance.
PR: Personal record
SWIM TIME:  the amount of time it takes an individual to to start the race, complete the swim course and run to transition 1.
TRANSITION 1 (T1): the time it takes you to cross the mat from the swim into the bike rack area, change into cycling shoes, put on your helmet, race belt and anything else you need to complete the bike portion of the race.  T1ends when you exit the bike rack area with your bike and helmet securely fastened.
TRANSITION 2 (T2): Begins when you dismount your bike and cross the mat back into the transition area and ends when exit the transition area for the run.  This will typically be a shorter transition than T1.

 A wave start means you will start your race with your age group or special category.  Age groups will run 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34 etc  “Waves” are usually sent off about 3 minutes apart during the race and are used for beach or land starts.  A “mass” start is what you typically see in Iron distance races where everyone begins in the water, treading water, until the cannon goes off and the race begins with everyone starting at the same time.
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