Rules & Race Day Tips



Somersault events are organized for the participants, and ultimately it is the participants who decide how they will conduct themselves during the competition. It is each participant’s responsibility to know and to adhere to Somersault event rules, respect other participants, and to compete fairly and safely. Please take the time to become familiar with these event rules.

Somersault event rules exist for two reasons. The first is to ensure the safety of the participant. The second is to ensure that the competition is fair for all participants.

The rules represent the set of race conditions that have been decided on by our insurers, the sport, common sense, and by past participants. To participate in a Somersault event, each participant must agree to follow the rules set out here, or as are explained in our event orientations.

Anyone failing to follow the rules of the event is either putting someone at risk or is gaining an unfair advantage – neither of which is acceptable. Where the rules are infringed, penalties will be applied by the organizer. The primary responsibility for rule adherence lies with the participant.

It is important to understand that Somersault Events, and any of the organizations, businesses, or individuals participating in the organization and presentation of this event are not liable for lost, stolen, or damaged apparel, or equipment. The participant is solely responsible.

By registering for an event and agreeing to the participant waiver, the individual(s) understand that the event does not carry/cover personal accident insurance for participants.


The Race Course

a) Competitors must follow the prescribed race course routes in all segments of the race (swim, cycle, run, and transition zone), as set out by Somersault on the event website, in email communication with participants, or in pre-event orientations.

b) Participants are responsible to know and to stay on the race courses.

c)  Participants competing in open road triathlon, duathlon, or swimcycle events must be 14 years of age or older.  Participants under 14 years of age may compete as part of a relay team in open road events, but only as the swimmer or runner.

Sportstats Timing Chip

Each race participant must pick up a Sportstats Timing Chip before the race and must wear it around the ankle during the race.

Race Instructions

a) Competitors are solely responsible for knowing and understanding all the rules and procedures for the race as set out by Somersault.

b) Competitors must obey the instructions of race officials during the competition.

Code of Conduct

Competitors must at all times obey the rules of the event as described by the race organizer and be courteous and respectful of other competitors, officials, volunteers, spectators, and members of the public.


You may only listen to music (if you must), during the running portion of any event and you must have one ear open, so that you can hear instructions or warnings from volunteers, staff and those around you.  Basically, nothing covering both of your ears!

Bicycle Helmets

a) Bicycle helmets are compulsory for all cyclists. The helmet must be CSA, or equivalent to CSA, approved,

b) Helmets must be worn and chin straps must be fastened before a competitor takes their bike from their bike rack. They must remain on and fastened until you return to the T-zone and rack your bike.

Bells on Bikes

As advocates for safe cycling and as a reminder that it’s the law, you should have a bell on your bike.  We will have bells for sale on site at race kit pick up.

Bicycle Transition Zone

a) Bicycles must be walked or run to, from, and in the transition zone.

b) Bicycles must be mounted and dismounted only at the “Mount/Dismount Line” outside the transition zone under the direction of a race official.

c) Participants are solely responsible for all their own equipment, apparel, and supplies.

Bike Sticker Number

Your bike sticker must be affixed to your bicycle prior to entering the t-zone and must match your race number to gain entrance or exit. Please affix the bike sticker PRIOR to entering the T-Zone.

Your bike sticker must remain on your bicycle in order to exit the T-zone upon completion of your event. The sticker should only be removed only AFTER you have exited the T-zone. You must also have your matching bib number with you in order to remove your bicycle from the T-zone.


Competitors should only receive assistance in the transition zone when it is administered by medical staff or race officials. On the race courses, assistance may be administered by spectators or friends when it is obviously required by the participant. This assistance must not involve carrying, transporting, or pacing the individual, or allowing them to “draft”.


Wetsuits are allowed at all Somersault Triathlon events, regardless of water temperature.


a) Competitors must have their torsos covered during the bike and the run portions of the event.

b) Competitors must place their bib numbers on the back of their jersey during the cycle and on the front during the run. Bib numbers must be visible at all times.

c) Competitors must wear a swim cap during the swim. The swim cap must be marked with the competitor’s bib number (at the body marking tent).

d) Competitors must ensure that their swim cap and their bodies are marked with their bib number. Markers are provided by Somersault to competitors.

e) Competitors may not be publicly nude at any time during the competition.

Other Rules

There are many other rules that govern the competition. These are covered under the rules of the sport as defined by TRICAN. We generally adhere to these rules except where they may differ from our own. A copy of these rules can be viewed by going to

Consequences of Breaking the Rules

The consequence of breaking the above and other rules of competition will depend on the severity of the infraction and will be entirely at the discretion of Somersault race officials.

Jury of Appeal

Competitors who feel they have not been treated fairly according to the rules of the competition, or who may wish to lodge a protest against another competitor, must submit a written appeal to the Race Director before the awards presentations, or within a reasonable period after the event or occurrence. A Jury of Appeal will be appointed by Somersault to hear the protest /appeal. The Jury will be comprised of a Somersault representative, Race Director, and participant. The Jury of Appeal’s majority decision will be final.

Drafting rules and procedures

Bicycle drafting is against the rules in all Somersault events.

Many participants do not understand what bicycle drafting is. This rule section has been added to provide everyone with the general information they require in order to identify drafting and to avoid doing it. Bike course officials will be on motorcycles on the bicycle course at Somersault events.

In many Somersault races, there are too many cycling participants to allow everyone to avoid drafting situations. We recognize this fact, and officials will not unnecessarily disqualify participants in such situations.

The rules below are guidelines. Somersault officials are experienced in determining whether an advantage is being gained or not, or whether the drafting is purposeful or not. They will make decisions on that basis and their instructions must be obeyed, or disqualification will result.

Drafting Definition

  • Riding within 5 metres of someone’s back wheel is drafting

  • Riding beside someone within 2 metres is drafting

  • Riding next to someone and not overtaking them or dropping back from them constitutes blocking

How to Avoid Drafting

  • You are allowed 15 seconds in someone’s draft zone while passing

  • If passed you must drop out of the passing cyclists draft zone before re-passing them

  • You are considered “passed” when a competitor’s front wheel is ahead of yours.