May 19, 2008


This weekend I become a USAT Certified Official and referred my first race!

Saturday, I attended a quick clinic which consisted of myself and another potential referee going over the rules book and manual for officiating USAT sanctioned Triathlons and Duathlons. The meat of the rules and indeed the job of the official is to control the bike course and emphasize fairness. This means controlling drafting, ensuring safety and making sure that the course if followed.

Sunday morning, I had to be in Glastonbury for the Shamrock Duathlon at 6:30 when the transition area opened to support the race and then be ready to go out on the bike course. We started by gong through transition, checking for missing bar end plugs and making sure bikes were racked in the correct spot. We had a lot of trouble with mis-racking mostly because the racks they used were the boxes with slits to hold the bikes. I think those racks are terrible, and are very difficult to use, but I'm sure race directors like them because they are quick and easy to setup.

I also ran into a few people I knew, a coworker, a friend of my sister-in-law, and a bunch of people from my gym. I watched them head out on the run course, and go ready to get on the motorcycle to patrol the bike course. Riding the course on a motorcycle looking for drafting or other fouls is totally different than biking it. It's really interesting to watch not only the leaders charging around the course but also how the middle of the pack responds to officials and other racers. I really got an interesting perspective on how passing is supposed to work.

I ended up documenting 4 issues and ultimately only penalized one of the bike riders for drafting. The other penalties I gave out were for racking violations and wearing headphones on the run. I'm looking forward to do another race or two this year.


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