Rules violations

I am off to Minneapolis, Minnesota this week to race in the YWCA Women's Triathlon. Almost 2000 women racing around the beautiful Lake Nokomis area in what looks like beautiful weather. I'm also racing with three of my best friends - and it's going to be their first triathlons! Awesome! With that being said, a first triathlon can be a bit scary. All the rules, the gear, the rules, etc. The participant guide sent out by the YWCA is pretty complete and straightforward. It gives a very basic intro to how the race will be set up, gives info about drop offs, wave start times, pre race and post race timing, etc. But there's always a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the nitty gritty of rules. I don't consider myself an expert at all, but I've done enough races now that I think I know most of the rules. That's been put into question here lately though. I've seen at least two blogs and a thread on beginner triathlete that is questioning something I was sure I knew the answer to:

Is it legal to walk through portions of the swim in a triathlon?

One would guess that YES, if you can touch, you can walk, right? Seems like many do not believe this is the case or that it's fair. In fact, one dude on BT went out of his way to argue that walking during any part of the swim is blatant cheating.

If this is the case, I have cheated in almost every race I have ever done. It seems that if the water is shallow enough and on the course, you can walk it if you want. It's going to tire your legs and possibly slow you down a bit - but you can walk. From what I can tell, this is totally and purely legal. It's different if you wander up on shore and go through super shallow water, but if buoys are out marking the course, you are within the buoy and you can touch - more power to you, right?

What do you think about walking during the swim?


Heather-O said...

I think that if you are staying on the course and not going out of your way to get to shallow water then if you can touch and need to walk, go for it. Many times in the pool I have been swimming beside walkers or "water runners" and even though I am the worlds slowest swimmer I am still faster than them by swimming. I don't see any advantage to walking, and I actually think it would make your legs more tired for the bike and run legs. However, as happened this weekend, if you are walking in ankle deep water while others are swimming...yeah, that's cheating unless everyone is walking(see Matt's blog). Good luck in your race!

T said...

I have no idea if it's legal or not, but my gut is: why wouldn't it be? The rules are usually about safety (not a concern here) or keeping people from taking advantage of a situation. I'm a poor swimmer and even I'm faster when swimming than when walking in water!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Good luck at the race

The GE tri, what we were doing was legal, dbag from BT would argue that the grass is purple to no end. What they did at the CLeveland tri was illegal, as the rules states, you can use the bottom unless you gain an unfair advantage from it, clearly in the Cleveland tri that was the case.

Matthew Smith said...

I don't have a problem with walking/running in the water as long as you aren't really gaining an advantage. 

Matty O said...

My personal opinion. If its on the course and you are on the right side of the buoys, fair game :)

There are shallow parts in numerous swims. Heck some swims (IM Lake Placid) Have you get out of the water to start your second lap for the swim. So yeah, as long as its planned on the course, fair game.

Loved BDD's comment. Grass isn't purple?! what? haha.

M said...

The crazy ankle deep wading thing Heather-O and Matty talked about was crizzazy. That is totally not fair.