Check the race rules

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Triathletes' started by TD Moose, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. TD Moose Barefooters
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    First, make sure you know which organization sanctions the event you are interested in.

    There are at least two organizations that sanction triathlons. One, the International Triathlon Union, explicitly forbids running barefoot (http://www.triathlon.org/uploads/docs/itusport_competition-rules-2013_final.pdf). The other, USA Track & Field states that runners "may compete in bare feet or with footwear on one or both feet" (http://www.usatf.org/About/Competition-Rules.aspx).

    In addition, the race officials organizing an event may set additional rules for their specific event. I competed in the Life Time Fitness triathlon in Minneapolis last year. Although the event was sanctioned by USATF, I never got a firm statement that I could run without shoes. Considering the amount of effort I put into preparation, I chose to run with shoes, rather than risk a disqualification.
  2. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I copied this to the Triathletes forum also and added a permanent redirect so it can be accessed from both forums. Thanks for sharing!

    ________________________

  3. Horseman42 Chapter Presidents
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    You need to read the rules more carefully. It's true that the rules state that you can't run the run portion barefoot, but there is only a DSQ for running without shoes. If an athlete has shoes with them this should be alright because it doesn't specifically say that you have to wear them on your feet. In fact there has been cases in the past where athletes have ran part of the run course in shoes and part barefoot and only awarded a time penalty. My advice is to run barefoot and carry shoes (ex. zem gear shoes ect...), and also be prepared to defend your decision by appealing if awarded a DQ. Another option is to wear barefoot sandals or something similar. I am told that any type of minimalist shoe is still a shoe to the ITU, and barefoot sandals are technically footware, or a foot covering.
  4. Mikkel Barefooters
    1. Denmark

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    Hi,

    I just wrote the following today to the ITU:

    Hello,
    As a dedicated barefoot runner and triathlete I can't understand why it is not allowed to run barefoot. I know it is stated in the rules:

    6.1. General Rules:
    a.) The athletes will:
    (i) Run or walk;
    (ii) Wear the official race number (applicable always in the AG events. For other
    events, the TD can make it mandatory and athletes will be informed in the race
    briefing);
    (iii) Not crawl;
    (iv) Not run with a bare torso;
    (v) Not run without shoes or run barefoot on any part of the course;

    But as far as I and all members of the Barefoot Running Society agree there is no meaning in this.

    If it is a question of the transition time used a 'barefooter' could get a time penalty of e.g. 30 sec. On the other hand if you claim it is a matter of safety then I guess thousands of barefoot runners live with that danger every day without any concern. Actually it would make much more sense to state that it is illegal to ride the bike without tires on. It is nowhere stated that you must ride the bike with tires on. Now that would be a real danger!

    I hope this will help put things in perspective and remove that phrase so that barefoot runners don't have to feel like second-rate people because of the way we choose to live and run.

    Best regards,

    Mikkel Loenborg-Jensen

    Lets see if I get any response on this.
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  5. Horseman42 Chapter Presidents
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    Mikkel,

    Let me know the response you recieve from the ITU (if any). I know from my past discussions that they still will mandate a DSQ for barefoot runners. Interestingly enough as I stated earlier the DSQ rule technically only applies to runners who "run without shoes". When I commented on the possibility of running with shoes just not on my feet they stated that the DSQ would still apply, because the Appendix K is just a quick reference to the rulings. They seem to want to advocate a DSQ without actually stating that it is so within the rules!

    It was also further stated to me that the ITU "sets their rules based on the best practices from other sports, medical advisors and insurance providers.".

    I further sent emails to question which sports, medical and insurance providers were mandating against running barefoot and upon what research they based this decision upon. No response yet so far and this was from last fall.

    It would seem to me that the ITU is actively discriminating (possibly unknowingly) against barefoot runners. I personally have decided to continue my training, and preparations for a half-ironman this summer, as well as several other smaller triathlons. I'm hoping more runners and triathletes will choose to disregard this ruling and continue to run the run portion of the triathlons barefoot, as they have trained to do. It may encourage the ITU to disqualify us in the short term, but hopefully as more athletes continue to do this we can get this discriminatory rule changed at some point.
    kalipyjamas and Sid like this.
  6. Mikkel Barefooters
    1. Denmark

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    Hi Horseman, I will of course post any reply I get (if any). Like you I also intend to run the run portion without shoes and let them disqualify me. If nothing else I hope it will bring attention to the discrimination of BF.
  7. Horseman42 Chapter Presidents
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    I also have emailed them to ask what foot coverings would be considered a "shoe". The only answer I received is that any minimalist shoes are considered a "shoe" under the definition of the rule. I did specifically ask about the possibility of wearing hauraches, plasti dip socks and barefoot sandals, but did not receive any further response.

    Personally I'm not out to prevoke a fight here in any way, but I need to have direct contact with the ground when I run otherwise I feel I would be unable to complete the 21km distance. So far in training I can't run anymore than about 5km without a shoe becoming a major issue these days, and I will only wear one if evironmental conditions make it next to impossible to run barefoot (sorry I may not be as tough as some barefoot runners). I possibly may run in barefoot sandals, but that is the most amount of covering I'm willing to consider, also if this would also lead to a DSQ result I would rather just be barefoot then as the string has bothered my toes in the past whenever I've worn them.
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  8. Horseman42 Chapter Presidents
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    Just if you want some more to read here is a link to an article posted on the ITU website where an athlete ran (for part) of the course barefoot and was only given a time penalty

    http://www.triathlon.org/news/article/vidal_hewitt_win_in_wellington

    "The day was a tough one though for Samuels, the Wanaka triathlete had suffered a cut to her foot during the run, caused by the lining of her shoe. Samuels removed the shoe and bravely ran on barefoot through the pain only to be penalized one minute upon finishing. Under ITU rules a triathlete cannot compete barefoot at any time during the run leg."

    You might be able to use it to set a precedent, but I'm not sure if it would work or not
  9. Mikkel Barefooters
    1. Denmark

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    So I got sort of an answer:

    Mikkel, I appreciate your inputs and I will include this item to be discussed in the next ITU Technical Committee meeting


    Kind regards

    Know I shouldn't expect much and I don't.
  10. Horseman42 Chapter Presidents
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    Mikkel,

    Well at least I suppose they are willing to discuss it. I've also sent an email to them to ask just what they mean by a "shoe" according to the rules. I'm considering running in a barefoot sandal if it will avoid a DSQ, but I'm unsure if they will allow me even that much. I think what we need to do is just focus on completing the race the best way we can and hopefully the attention will change the rules in the future.
  11. Horseman42 Chapter Presidents
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    Mikkel, and other triathletes,

    I've got an email from them today that states that "socks" are also not permitted to be worn while running as well. I've sent another email to try and figure out if it's a thickness issue or if it's the material involved. They are claiming that the whole "foot plant" needs to be covered. I'm also asking if they have any research to back up their claims (which I seriously doubt, but willing to be suprised). I find it incredible that after running over 4,000km and several half marathons, and marathons for the last 4 years that I suddenly need protection now ;) . Trying to be polite (trust me), to get more information out of them. If Mikkel or anyone else wants a transcript of the emails drop me a pm.
    Sid likes this.
  12. Sid Barefooters

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    Vibram makes a 1mm Pro Tania soling sheet. The material is so lightweight that it may not need much string or possibly even adhesive to attach to the foot.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/160863091503
    The material is so thin, that I don't know if it will last through a triathlon, but all the better, eh?
  13. Mikkel Barefooters
    1. Denmark

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    Hi Horseman, I would like the transcript of the emails but can't find anywhere to pm you.
  14. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    Do they realize that the other Triathlon sanctioning body as well as just about every running organization have no problem allowing barefoot runners to compete? Why are their concerns so radically different from the other groups?

    ________________________

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  15. Sid Barefooters

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    Shoe sponsorships?
  16. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    Doubt it, the others have the same sponsors. I believe that someone started it due to their own unscientific bias and others think it needs to be perpetuated for similar reasons just like we see at stores and restaurants all the time.

    ________________________

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  17. Horseman42 Chapter Presidents
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    If it's ok I'll post my email here...

    Thanks, for the information.
    By the way I was asking if it was only the run route where you couldn't be barefoot because my local triathlon club is denying me admission due to my barefoot running.
    You'll have to start at the bottom and work up....The last email I got from them was on Wednesday, so I may try back next week if I don't hear anything...
    Paul
    I’m I right in assuming that socks coated in plasti-dip are also not allowed? How much protection is required for the foot plant? Is there a certain level of thickness, or is it the material use to cover the foot? Over and above these issues do you have any studies or documentation to back up your claims that shoes (not socks or bare feet) are required for the foot plant to reduce injuries? I’m sorry if I’m sounding a little rude, but I just find it incredible that after running 4,000+ km completely barefoot the last 4 years that I may not be protecting my feet properly.
    I hope you understand I’m just really concerned that I might face a DSQ on race day and I want to know what to expect.
    Paul
    Sent from Windows Mail


    Hello,
    What I mention to you is a protection of the foot plant is required.
    Shocks are not giving enough protection to the foot.

    Kind regards

    Enrique Quesada | ITU President's office
    Skype: sietepicos
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    International Triathlon Union (ITU) |
    Maison du Sport International, Av. de Rhodanie 54, CH-1007, Lausanne


    Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be free of any virus, or other defect which might affect any computer or system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that they are virus free and no responsibility is accepted by the International Triathlon Union for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof.


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    De: Paul Wallis [mailto:wallisp@hotmail.com]
    Enviado el: martes, 4 de marzo de 2014 12:54
    Para: Enrique Quesada
    Asunto: RE: Rule questions

    Thanks for the response. In that case I'll likely do the run barefoot if the whole bottom of the foot is required to be covered. If my foot is covered it increases my risk of injury too much, and it is all about safety right? Just for reference does it matter what this material is made up of? For example are sock then considered as shoes under this rule??

    Paul
    From: enrique.quesada@triathlon.org
    To: wallisp@hotmail.com
    CC: jcadaval@asdeporte.com
    Subject: RE: Rule questions
    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 08:07:16 +0000

    Dear Paul
    Thanks for your email,
    Minimalist shoes, provided that they protect the whole footplant are allowed.

    Of course during transition and after the race to be barefoot is not a problema

    Kind regards and my best wishes for your next races


    Enrique Quesada | ITU President's office
    Skype: sietepicos
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    International Triathlon Union (ITU) |
    Maison du Sport International, Av. de Rhodanie 54, CH-1007, Lausanne


    Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be free of any virus, or other defect which might affect any computer or system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that they are virus free and no responsibility is accepted by the International Triathlon Union for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof.


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    De: Paul Wallis [mailto:wallisp@hotmail.com]
    Enviado el: martes, 4 de marzo de 2014 5:36
    Para: Enrique Quesada
    Asunto: Rule questions

    I have a couple quick question about the rules. It seems that the ITU rules surprisingly do not support barefoot running during the running segment of the race. I'm a barefoot runner, and I haven't completed any triathlons for a while due to being injured, and family issues. This year my goal is to complete a half iron-man event. I have 2 questions
    1) I understand that there is a rule that competitors must wear shoes during the run. Am I right in assuming that minimalist shoes count as shoes? I'm looking at trying out several during the spring/summer to make sure I have to correct pair to complete the 21km run
    2) Is it only the run portion of the running event where an athlete cannot wear shoes. For example is it permissible to be barefoot while setting up my transition area and walking about after the race?
    Thanks,
    Paul
    Sid likes this.
  18. Horseman42 Chapter Presidents
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    Longboard,

    What is the other triathlon sanctioning body that you are refering to? I always thought the ITU was the only sanctioning body.
  19. Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    From Wikipedia:
    Organizations[edit]

    The International Triathlon Union (ITU) was founded in 1989 as the international governing body of the sport, with the chief goal, at that time, of putting triathlon on the Olympic program.[14] The ITU sanctions and organizes the World Cup and World Triathlon Series races each year, with annual world champions crowned each year for elite pro-triathletes, junior pro-triathletes and amateur athletes in 5-year age-groups. ITU races are conducted in a draft legal format for the bike leg, whereas drafting is not permitted at the amateur level. In addition, the ITU has a Long Distance Triathlon series.
    The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a private company that sanctions and organizes the Ironman, Ironman 70.3, and 5150 Olympic distance races each year. These races serve as qualifying events for their own annual World Championships. The Ironman championship is held in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i in October, the Ironman 70.3 Championship changes location each year, and the 5150 U.S. Championships is held in Des Moines, Iowa. The "Ironman" and "Iron" brands are property of the WTC. Therefore, long-distance multi-sport events organized by groups other than the WTC may not officially be called "Ironman" or "Iron" races.[15] For its part, the ITU does not sanction WTC races;[16] however, USAT uses a combination of ITU and WTC rules to sanction WTC's branded events.[17]
    Similar to WTC, numerous other private organizations and entities stage races around the world. Many of these vary in size depending on the geographical area these organizations cover or in the number of races they produce. Those that do so on a larger scale, in terms of number of events, include Challenge Family, which produces long-distances events around the world,[18] and Revolution3 that produces primarily long-distance and Olympic distance triathlon events in North America.[19]
    International Ultra-Triathlon Association (IUTA) is the official governing body of Ultratriathlon which involves triathlon in distances longer than an iron-distance race.[20]

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  20. mokaman Chapter Presidents
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    It would be a big deal if a Barefooter won one of the major ITU triathlons and have to be dis-qualfied...very un-likely this would happen but the shoe sponsers would be quit pissed if it did...they woudn't want to take the chance it seems.

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