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What happens when you break one of these rules? Well, at every triathlon they have this little jail where all the naughty boys and girls are held to reflect on their crimes - sort of. At some events - usually longer ones such as Ironman - there are penalty tents where time penalties received for violating certain rules must be waited out. But for most events, time penalties are added to the finishing time, which can knock someone out of contention for a top placement. You may not care about that. But some people do. If you accumulate enough penalties, usually three, disqualification is the result. There is some good news, however.


As triathlon has become more popular, race marshals - as they are known - appear less and less likely to assess penalties for the everyday participant. They might tell you otherwise to keep you on your best behavior, which you should be anyway. But the fact of the matter is that most of us are just weekend warrior types out for a good time. Start kicking people out of events for minor goofs and watch the sport go down the drain. Makes sense. With that said, just follow the rules, alright?

Before heading out on the run there are a few odds and ends to cover. Get off your bike at the dismount line. Usually plenty of volunteers will be on hand pointing at this line just outside of the transition area while yelling at you to dismount before crossing it. Takes the mystery out of the whole thing, doesn't it? This area can get a little crowded. Realize that if you crash into someone or fall over because you waited

too long to get out of your pedals, your time will suffer - and probably your ego. Therefore, be deliberate, cautious and thoughtful when heading back into transition. No ghostriding your bike in haste, kicking your neighbors stuff out of the way. You don't want your event to end here - either by injury or disqualification. And you certainly don't want the red-faced embarrassment that comes with ending up on the ground in front of all your adoring fans.

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