Each course will be unique, but most races share a basic set up.
The Transition area is your home base, this is a central area with bike racks set up. It is typically situated near the swim finish, bike start & finish and the run start. Transition is where you store your gear, you will rack your bike here before the race and keep all your race equipment with it (more info on setting up your amaking them speedy in an upcoming post).
The basic triathlon formula is this:
Some races will have multiple transition areas, point to point races will often require athletes to have a support crew to ferry their gear around. But in your basic sprint tri the TA will be something like this -
-An entrance from the swim
-An exit to the bike
-An entrance from the bike
-An exit to the run
Your bike will have it’s own little spot, and you will be able to snag a small area to the side of it to lay out your gear – be considerate – be a tidy triathlete!
Most TA’s are for athletes only, you will have to leave the cheering squad at the gate. Typically you will go through your body marking and then show this to be let into the TA.
You will not be allowed to remove your gear and bike from the TA until the last cyclist has come in from the bike course. Be patient, cheer them in!
Body marking is where you have your race number written onto your upper arm, thigh (just above the knee) and your age marked on your calf (for all to see!). This is for identification purposes – so they can look up your number if you are leading the race! It’s also fun to check out people’s ages as you pass them.
Depending on the size of the race, the TA could be intimate or enormous! If you find yourself in a large TA with many bike racks make sure you have a system to find your bike again! People tie balloons and ribbons to their bikes, others simply count racks. Some TA's have labeled bike racks so you can remember your rack - like a parking garage!
TA things to remember:
-Enter and Exit through the correct gates (avoid potential collisions!)
-Don't mount your bike until you are out of the TA, and dismount before you re-enter TA
-Buckle your helmet before you leave the TA (very important - grounds for DQ!)
-Don't forget to take off your helmet before you start the run (yes- it's happened!)
During your tri, TA is home, make yourself comfortable!