Transition Protocol and Checklist


  • The staging area for your bicycle is called the Transition Area (TA) and it has metal bike racks that are approximately 10 feet long, 3.5 feet tall with two sides that have a 10 foot bar running parallel to the ground on each side. You have about 2.5 feet of space for your area on the rack and ground. There are generally 4 bikes per side. Bikes are either hooked over the horizontal bar at the brake levers, the nose of the saddle or the rear of the saddle. You will see every style when you arrive.
  • Race day check-in at transition will consist of: coordinators checking your bike for bar-end plugs, confirming that the helmet straps are working and that your helmet meets the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard for bicycle helmets or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard.
  • Rehearse in your head exactly what items you will use for the run to bike transition (T1) and the bike to run transition (T2). Also, know the precise order in which you will use everything. Before the race, mentally rehearse your game plan for a quick and smooth transition. By race day you should no problems with your transition and you will have the right set-up that works for you!
  • On race day, take a walk through the transition area. Find the entrance where you will come in after the first run, and make sure you can quickly locate your bike. At every race, there are a handful of racers who frantically search for their bikes following the first run. A practice walk from the transition entrance to your bike will help you to avoid this problem. Likewise, you will want to find the exit you will use to start the bike, the entrance you will use when you finish the bike, and the exit you will use when you start the final run.
  • There is a mount/dismount line just outside each of the entrance/exit points to the transition area, and you must run or walk your bike out of the transition zone and past that line before beginning to ride. When you finish the bike ride, you will dismount at the line and run or walk your bike into transition. You will rack your bike in exactly the same spot where you racked it before the race. If you use a brightly or uniquely colored towel to mark your spot, it will make it easier to find after cycling.


  • Be sure to check your front and back brake pads to prevent rubbing on your wheel during the race.
  • Make sure your bike is in a comfortable gear. Small chain ring, as opposed to big chain ring, will ensure an effortless pedal stroke after biking from the mount line.
  • Check tires for any cuts or holes.
  • Bike techs will be available to help you with any last-minute air pressure/technical concerns. However, it is recommended that you bring your own bike pump on race day morning.
  • Place your ankle strap (w/ timing chip attached) on your ankle.
  • Place your filled sport bottles on your bike.
  • Reset your computer to zero miles.
  • Use a bath towel (preferably light weight and small) and claim your territory on the LEFT next to the back wheel of your bike. This is your area to be used during the race. Remember, you have space under your bike but others need a space as well. Your towel should hold only the belongings you plan on using during the race. Keep all other pre and postrace items (ex. transition bag) outside of the transition area.
  • Socks or no socks...that is the question. The shorter the race, the more important the transition time (or lack there of) is to your overall finish and you should either wear socks for the entire race or not at all.
  • Clip-pedals: If you plan on using clip-pedals, place your cycling shoes on the front of the towel and open the straps/buckles, so that they are loose enough to easily slide-in your foot. If you choose to wear two sets of running shoes for your duathlon, place one set of shoes (the pair you are not wearing for the first run) on your transition towel.
  • No clip-pedals: If you do not have clip-pedals, you will be wearing your running shoes for the entire race. Keep the shoe laces loose enough to easily slide-in your foot.
  • If you choose to use two separate pairs of running shoes, next to your cycling shoes you will place your running shoes. If you plan on using lace locks, keep your shoe laces loose enough to easily slide-in your foot. If you do not have lace locks, tie your shoes and loosen so you can easily slide-in your foot (practice!)
  • Place your helmet on the towel either next to or in front of your cycling shoes. Be sure the straps are unbuckled and the helmet will easily fit on your head. Your helmet should be upside down, with the front of the helmet (helmet number from race bag) closest to your feet.
  • Open your sunglasses and place the lenses in the inside of the helmet with the sides of the glasses pointing up. Be sure your glasses are open, so that you can grab the outside of the sunglasses and quickly put them on your face.
  • If you plan on wearing a hat/visor, place your visor on the very top of the towel, in front of your running shoes. Be sure the hat/visor is already adjusted to fit your head.
  • If you did not use sunglasses during the bike but plan on using them for the run, place your sunglasses on your hat/visor. Open your sunglasses and place the lenses on the hat/visor with the sides of the glasses pointing up.
  • If you plan on using a race belt, unfasten your race belt (w/ race bib attached) and place the belt next to your running shoes. If you do not plan on using a race belt, safety pin your race bib to your running singlet and wear that singlet/shirt during the entire race.
  • If you have any additional nutrition items (gels, water) or miscellaneous items (Vaseline, sun block) keep those items on the back of the towel (away from your feet).
  • Because you are competing in a duathlon, you will be wearing similar items in the first run as the second run. Keep in mind that any items you remove from your body as you are transitioning from the run to the bike (T1) you will need to place those items neatly on your towel (ex. visor, running shoes, race belt, etc.).
  • Items littering the TA are considered trash and that is a USA Triathlon penalty.

Be sure to review our Questions 101 for common duathlon questions.

Enjoy your Iron Pig Duathlon race day experience by having a stress-free and safe race.

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