Whether you're a veteran triathlete/duathlete or preparing for your first multi-sport event, the following provides valuable information about participating in a Piranha Sports events.
Timing Chips 101
Transition Area Security
Water Bottle Exchange
What to Bring
Packet pickup is typically held the day before the race and the morning of the race. You must show your picture ID and USAT Card (members only) in order to receive your packet. Also, you may not pickup a packet for another athlete and all members of a relay team must be present in order to receive the packet.
Packet Pickup Procedures: When you arrive at packet pickup, we will have several bike racks available for you to rack your bike while you go through the line. When you come to the tables, please look your name up on an alphabetized list and tell us your race number. We will then pull your race envelope and check your picture ID and USAT card (members only). Then we will provide you with your goody bag and t-shirt. The next step is to receive your timing chip. A Piranha Sports staff member will pull your timing chip. The timing chips have a race number on the face of the chip and the neoprene band. Please be sure to verify that your timing chip numbers match all race labeling numbers before starting the race.
USAT Members: If you are a USAT Member and do not have your USAT card as verification, you will be required to complete a 1 day USAT insurance form and pay the 1 day fee.
Timing Chips 101
Your timing chip will be provided to you on a neoprene band. Fasten the band on one of your ankles in a secure but comfortable manner. The timing chip will record your time throughout the event when you pass over timing mats which are typically located at the entrances/exits of the transition area (T1 and T2) and the finish line. At some races, we may have timing mats at turn around points on the run, so please be sure to pass over these as well. There will be Piranha Sports staff and/or volunteers on hand to make sure you are passing over the mats correctly.
If you are unable to complete the race, please return your timing chip to a Piranha Sports staff member at the finish line. This will let us know that you have returned to the race venue and not out on the course. Please do not return the chip to a volunteer.
If you happen to lose your timing chip during the race, please inform a Piranha Sports staff member as you come into transition, he/she can quickly provide you with a replacement chip so that your times will be recorded for the rest of the event. This change in chip number will be provided to our timing person for update in the timing system.
If you are participating in a relay, the timing chip will act as your baton which you will pass to the next person on your team inside transition at your rack location. Please be sure that the timing chip is securely fastened to your ankle before leaving transition.
Once you have completed the race, Piranha Sports staff members will be at the finish line to greet you and remove your timing chip. We are happy to do this for you so that you don't bend over, stand up then keel over.
Once you receive the timing chip, it becomes your responsibility. There will be a $35 charge for any timing chip that is not returned at the end of the race. If you accidentally took the chip home with you, please mail immediately to Piranha Sports, PO Box 150, Kirkwood, DE 19708.
Piranha Sports is an official ChampionChip®
timing company. Although we do use the ChampionChip timing system, we are not currently setup to allow you to use a Champion Chip you may have purchased, therefore you must use our chips.
Transition Area Security
Piranha Sports makes every effort to maintain a secure transition area. In order to do this, we have the following policies that must be followed by all participants and their family and friends:
The only people allowed in the transition area at any time will be race participants, Piranha Sports staff members and race officials. You will need your assigned wrist band on before access to transition will be allowed. There is one entrance to the transition area prior to the race - you must use this entrance only. Anyone who attempts to climb over or under the transition area fencing will be reported to a race official resulting in a penalty or disqualification. If there is a clearly marked MOAT area around the transition area - the only people allowed in this area are Piranha Sports staff members and security personnel - NO EXCEPTIONS. Bike warm-ups must take place prior to transition area check-in. Once your bike is in transition, it cannot leave until the bike portion of the race.
After you finish the race, there will be one exit for people and bikes. In order to check your bike out, you must have your bike number on your bike and your wrist band on. If you are missing either of these, we will need to record information on you and your bike which will result in delaying your exit from transition.
Please remember that once you finish the race, there may still be other participants transitioning. Please keep the aisles of transition and the bike in/run out areas clear so that they can continue the race without impediment.
Each bike rack location is numbered and you must rack your bike according to your race number. Your bike should be racked on the side of the rack so that the number is facing you and your bike should be centered on the number. Although, we will have staff and volunteers available to assist you in transition, it is your responsibility to know where your bike rack location is in relation to T1 and T2.
Please be respectful of the athletes around you and keep your race gear contained within the area around your bike. Also, while making your transitions during the race, please be sure that you do not leave any gear in the "aisles" between the racks. You, as well as the other athletes, will be moving quickly through these areas and we do not want someone tripping over misplaced gear.
You are responsible for the safety and operation of your bike. Be sure that you do not have any loose parts, damaged rims, broken spokes, or dry rotted tires. Also be sure that your handle bars have bar end plugs to ensure safety for yourself and others as they create a hazard in the event of a crash.
Should you have any problems with your bike or your helmet, please take it to your local bike shop prior to the race for any necessary repairs.
On the Road:
Please be aware that most at most races, the roads are not closed for biking and there are still moving vehicles on the road. You should obey regular traffic rules and stay to the right except when passing with caution another bicyclist. Please do not cross the midline of any road you ride on as you may encounter oncoming traffic.
There will be no mechanical help available at some race sites and you are encouraged to carry your own appropriate repair kit (i.e. - tube and pump). There will be a presence of various motorcycle clubs, however, they will not be providing mechanical assistance but rather helping to patrol the bike course in conjunction with local police.
Should you have a breakdown during the race, at some races a "draggin' wagon" will be roaming the course to furnish you and your bike with a ride back to the race site. Upon being picked up, you will be considered a dnf and will need to hand in your timing chip to a Piranha Sports staff member at the finish line.
Common Biking Violations:
Per USAT rules, some of the most common biking violations involve not stapping your chinstrap when on the bike (an automatic DQ) as well as position violations and consist of illegal position/blocking, illegal pass, overtaken, and drafting. There is a time penalty for each occurence and if cited for any three (3) violations, you will be disqualified. A brief explanation of these 3 violations follows:
- riding on the left side of the lane without passing.
- passing on the right.
- failing to drop back three bike lengths after being passed and before re-passing.
- following a leading cyclist closer than three bike lengths and failing to pass within 15 seconds.
Knowledge of Rules:
It is your responsibility to keep abreast of the current USAT rules for all aspects of the race. Click here to view the complete set of Competitive Rules
Throughout the race, medical support will be available in the event that you require assistance. All races have trained medical personnel and if you need assistance, please inform a Piranha Sports staff member. We will reach the medical support team to assist you. As well, the majority of Piranha Sports staff is certified in CPR and First Aid through the American Red Cross.
: Dehydration is the main medical issue we have at any event whether it is a hot and humid or a cool and crisp day. Please be sure to drink plenty of fluids before the race and during the race. Your pee should be clear!!!
At all Piranha Sports events, we will have a self-serve water table available for you to fill your water bottles before the race and there will be water stations approximately every mile on the run. In the longer races, we will also have a bottle exchange available on the bike course. When you come over the finish line, in addition to removing your timing chip, we will also do a quick assessment of your general health and will grab one of the finish line EMTs/Paramedics if we feel you need medical assistance.
to learn more about symptoms of dehydration and it's effect on the body.
Water Bottle Exchange
In some of the longer races we will have a water bottle exchange on the bike course. In most cases, we will have water and gatorade bottles to exchange with you. When you approach the exchange area, toss your water bottles and grap new bottles from the volunteers working the exchange location. Please be sure to slow down so that you can easily and safely exchange bottles. The bottles that you discard at the exchange will not be returned to you so please do not use your lucky bottle for the exchange. Although you should always have fluids on your bike (see Hydration above), you do not need to toss your bottles to receive bottles.
Important: Never solely rely on the bottle exchange for bike hydration!! You may miss grabbing the bottle at the exchange and risk becoming dehydrated.
Whether you are doing a triathlon or duathlon, we typically will start the race in waves of up to 150 people. In most cases, the division and/or age group will determine which wave you start in. For triathlons, the cap color you are provided with will help you know which wave you are to start in. We do not allow changes in wave start unless you change race types or divisions such as switching from a half iron to a sprint or from age group to relay. Starting the race in the wrong wave will result in a DQ.
All Piranha Sports triathlon and duathlon events are sanctioned through USAT
(USA Triathlon). USAT is a membership organization which governs the sport of Triathlon. To participate in a USAT sanctioned event, you must be an Annual Member of USAT or purchase a 1 day license. The membership and/or 1 day license provide you and Piranha Sports with needed liability insurance.
When registering for a Piranha Sports event, you will be asked to enter a USAT number from your annual membership card or purchase the 1 day license. We do not sell the annual membership through our online system. If you are interested in the annual membership, you can go to the USAT
website for purchase.
At race site, if you are a USAT Member and do not have your USAT card as verification, you will be required to complete a 1 day USAT insurance form and pay the 1 day fee.
The following are USAT wetsuit rules:
Temperature up to 78°:
Wetsuits may be legally worn.
Temperature between 79° and 83°: Wetsuits may be worn but participants will NOT be eligible for race awards or USAT ranking.
Temperature above 84°: Wetsuits are not allowed. Athletes can risk dehydration and over heating if wetsuits are worn in these temperatures.
Water temp will be taken the morning of the race. Race director has the right to not allow wetsuits if temperature is above 78°. In the event wetsuits are allowed when temperature is between 79° and 83°, race director has the right to move all wetsuit participants into a separate wave (usually the last wave). This ensures accuracy for timing and ineligibility for race awards or USAT ranking.
Exception: Wetsuits are mandatory and legal no matter the water temperature at Escape from Fort Delaware Triathlon.
What to Bring
for a printable check list of things to bring to the event.