Outdoorsman Triathlon Rules
Race officials have final authority to remove or disqualify a participant from the race for violation of rules or spirit of the competition. Competitors are requested to check in at the finish line if they leave the race for any reason. Competitors are responsible for remembering their assigned race number. As the course covers some distance on roads and rivers, we anticipate that friends and spectators will be mobile in order to view the progress of the different events. However, due to congestion and problems with vehicles hampering the efforts of competitors, we request that competitors place their equipment at the appropriate event starting points PRIOR to the start of the race and that spectators not follow the competitors in vehicles. No cars will be allowed at the canoeing put-in until after all the competitors have departed in their canoes. We ask that everyone be especially courteous and observant of regular motor vehicle traffic. Do not park on the sides of narrow roads or stand in or close to the road, thereby impeding traffic. The people we inconvenience are our neighbors and they deserve our consideration. Do not leave any trash in the area of the canoe put-in. Please see the article titled “The Nation’s Top Multisport Paddling Races” in the 1999 May/June issue of Paddler magazine for more on the Outdoorsman Triathlon.
Class Categories (age categories are determined by age on race day)
Individuals (Men, Women)
Junior (17 and under)
Collegiate (must be a FULL TIME student)
Guru (66 and up)
Relay: Men’s, Women’s, Mixed (team is classified by youngest member’s age)
(all teams, except Collegiate – see below, consist of 1 swimmer, 1 runner, 1 paddler)
Junior (17 and under)
Guru (66 and up)
Collegiate Relay (at least one member must be a woman and all must be FULL TIME students) The relay team may consist of 2,3, or 4 members with 1 swimmer, 1 runner, and 2 paddlers (canoe) or 1 paddler (kayak) in any of the following formats.
2 PERSON: 1 swimmer, 1 runner, both paddle a canoe or 1 paddles a kayak
3 PERSON: 1 swimmer, 1 runner, 1 paddler and the swimmer or runner also paddles the canoe or the 1 paddler paddles a kayak
4 PERSON: 1 swimmer, 1 runner, 2 paddlers in a canoe
All formats compete in the same “Collegiate relay” class.
The Outdoorman’s Triathlon is the oldest in the United States. Saturday’s individual competition will consist of three events done consecutively by each competitor, swimming, running, and canoeing. The race will begin at the finger lake 1/2 mile east of the Highway 28 Bridge on Lake Fontana with a 1 mile (approximate) swim over a deep-water course marked with buoys. Competitors will then run approximately four miles along hilly, paved roads to the starting point of the canoeing on the Little Tennessee River. They will then paddle down the Little Tennessee to lake Fontana and back to the starting point at Highway 28 Bridge. The paddling segment is approximately 8 miles, about half of which is on the river (class II) and half on the lake. Sunday’s relay competition will consist of three-person teams (1 swimmer, 1 runner, 1 paddler) competing over the same course. Except for the College Class where teams consist of 2,3, or 4 persons with at least one woman team member. Splits will be taken at the end of each segment of the race.
1. It is the responsibility of the participant to be certain that he/she can swim an open-water mile unassisted.
2. No pace boats are allowed. Assistance, for safety purposes, may be accepted from safety craft without disqualification.
3. No fins, paddles, or high-performance swim suits may be used. Floation devices for safety purposes allowed with the approval of race officials (no wetsuits).
4. Swimmers must pass around the outside of each buoy and check in at the completion of the swim.
1. No form of locomotion other than running, walking, or crawling is allowed.
2. Runners should run on the left-hand side of the road facing traffic.
3. Pace vehicles are not allowed.
4. Assistance with changing clothes, putting on shoes, or suppling food or drink to competitors is prohibited. Competitors are on their own once they begin the race and can only receive assistance from race officials.
5. Runners need to use caution when crossing Route 19.
1. Boaters should have fast water canoeing experience.
2. Boaters may use any ABS canoe with an unmodified hull. The purpose of this rule is to eliminate unfair boat advantage. Canoes should meet the ACA whitewater open canoe 16% specifications. (width of canoe at 4″ water line must be >16% of the canoe length) The Dagger Sojourn DOES NOT meet this requirement. Kayaks used in the Collegiate Relay must not exceed 13′ 2″ in overall length and must be constructed of ABS or polyethylene. Kayaks constructed from fiberglass, Kevlar, carbon fiber or composites thereof are not allowed. Wildwater or wavehopper style kayaks DO NOT meet the boat specification requirements. Kayaks can only be used in the College Relay Class. Final decision as to race acceptability will be made by the race coordinators.
3. All competitors are required to wear a Type III life-jacket designed for whitewater paddling and kayakers must wear a whitewater helmet during the downriver portion of the race.
4. Race numbers must be displayed on the left bow of the boat.
5. Each competitor is responsible for rescue and safety of fellow competitors if assistance is requested or required.
6. Rescue personnel will be stationed at the Narrows (if exposed). Competitors may accept help, for rescue purposes only, without being disqualified.
7. A group of competitors will be practicing on the Little Tennessee on Friday before the race. All competitors are welcome to join them.
8. It is STRONGLY recommended that competitors scout the river prior to the race. (the Narrows can be reached by paddling upstream from the Hwy 19 bridge).
9 . Only single blade paddles allowed in canoes.
Rental Notes: Rolling Thunder rental canoes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Rolling Thunder River Co. (800-408-7238). NOC and Whitewater Learning Center, GA (Bruce Williams, 404-231-0042)have a limited number of rental canoes on a first come first serve basis.