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Finish Line Etiquette

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Posted by Cags R under Ironman Triathlon, Triathlon, Running on 30 August 2013 at 11:00 PM

There's no better feeling than the moment of crossing the finish line of an endurance race. The combination of  relief and pride can be totally overwhelming and it's easy to get a bit choked up in the moment.

But should there be clearer rules laid down in endurance events about finish line etiquette? Take, for example, the IronMan Brasília Chegada finish line - which of these 2 athletes do you believe has better finish line etiquette?

While - obviously - the Frenchman Jérémy Jurkiewicz would have won the IronMan triathlon with a clear 10 second lead, can anyone blame second place Igor Amorelli  for giving it his all on the finishing stretch?

Ironman Finish Line Amorelli and JurkiewiczIn fairness to Amorelli - when he realized what had happened he does clearly try to slow down but, still, you wouldn't blame him if he'd powered across the line first!

Is celebrating a win before crossing the finish line poor sportsmanship?

This is a clear example of how Aesop's fable - The Tortoise and The Hare - is more a tale of why you shouldn't assume a win before a race is over (no napping/premature celebrations please!) rather than slow-and-steady-wins-the-race!

That's the elites, but what about the average or beginner endurance race runner?

In mass participation events - marathons, triathlons, sportives - there is always such a mix of abilities and racing experience that beginners can get caught up in accidental race day faux pas - that's why we've put together some race day etiquette essentials for first time eventers:

  1. Be realistic with your predicted time and pace - you don't want to slow up others by starting in the wrong position but equally, don't jeopordize your own race time by starting behind slower runners - know what time you want and start in the appropriate pace group

  2. Water stations - even if those around you are throwing their cups around like they've just been scalded by them, bear in mind that competitors behind you will have to navigate the littered path after you - dispose of your cup to the side of the road or at an appropriate disposal point
  3. Pick your line and stick to it - particularly relevant on a bike or in a crowded race group, unexpected swerving and direction changes can effect your fellow competitor's finishing time

  4. Never stop as soon as you cross the line - you're tired, you're happy, you're ready to stop - but just save that feeling for about 30 more metres and follow instructions of the race marshalls to keep the finish-line clear

  5. Stop watch and GPS users - while your GPS will give you a blow-by-blow replay (which your friends and family definitely want you to talk them through in thorough detail!), don't clog up the finish line faffing with your watch - or worse - tripping over the timing mat!

So what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

  • Encourage

    encouraged this.

    Comments

    20131122040327-janeh

    Runners/walkers stretching out in a line across the track frustrates me, particularly near the end of a long run, when I just don't have the energy or patience to maneuver around them and try to get through! I think this is quite thoughtless.

    encouraged this.

    20170330012049-helent

    I agree with Joanna, it ain't over til it's over. Leave the celebration to some distance past the finishing line, like Jane, I hate having to slow to a walk near the end because the line is clogged with friends going for the photo finish, or worse, shoving me back because I'd interfere with it! Amorelli showed great sportsmanship

    20160807182405-annwithoutane

    Your tips are great. I purposely stay at the back when starting a race. I know I am not going to lead the pack and I don't want to get trampled either. As for the video., very rude behavior. I would be in favour of a DQ on that one. Amorelli was very gracious.

    encouraged this.

    20130507190604-jedders

    I checked the rules, if Amorel powered across the line to win he could have been disqualified, for un-sporting behaviour, he could have also had a bit of celebration time with his fans they are some of the best in the world, there are not many people coming up behind them. But when Lance Armstrong took a victory in someone's home town, in Spain, all the other racers would not talk to him for the next five days, as just unsporting.

    Brenda D and Eoin O encouraged this.

    20130414103523-shropshire

    @james that seems wrong to me ... the guy stopped before the finish .. that's his problem.. what if he had sopped 20 yds further back or 100 (or more) was the 2nd guy s'posed to wait for him to stop messing around? Get the job done, THEN when the race is over, play the crowd.

    encouraged this.

    20130507190604-jedders

    @tony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M41Hj9SLrqc that gives a better view, and shows what happens afterwards. So you would say this is fair? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGHScrCxF6Y if you look at the results they where 6mins up on the 3rd place racer, and he was catching nearly 2mins, he never would have done it. what if they where running shoulder to shoulder and one ran the other in to the side barrier, or blocking the other in transition, they was only 2 spaces between their racks. would this be fair? Doing some thing like something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWJCGInsVUs

    Tony G and Eoin O encouraged this.

    20130507190604-jedders

    but its like racing on the last stage of the tour de France, its just not the done thing

    Brenda D encouraged this.

    20140806163630-brendad

    A big mistake I did in my 1st aquathlon this summer I went into the water last so the good swimmers would go before me....but I had no time to practice in the sea and the minute I was in the water the whistle blew and the race started. Bummer!!!!!!

    20131126112258-adrian

    @jedders why not? A sprint finish would be great to watch, adding in a whole new element and would show who really wanted it most.

    20130507190604-jedders

    well he was 10 secs up any way there would be no sprint finish, they do happen, its not new to triathlon watch the ITU Hamburg race,

    20131126112258-adrian

    Sorry, I meant in the TDF which you mentioned in a previous comment.

    20131126112258-adrian

    I have never watched it properly, I don't tend to watch the whole of endurance events but I was only going by what you said - "but its like racing on the last stage of the tour de France, its just not the done thing"

    20130507190604-jedders

    They are racing for the stage victory, there are no break aways there no real pace they only race on the Champs-Élysées which is for the sprinters who are not in contention for the yellow jersey, do you even understand how the tour works?

    20131016141129-neil_bro

    @jedders there's a big difference between the Usain Bolt clip and the Ironman Clip. Fair enough, bolt celebrates prematurely, but he doesn't prevent anyone else from crossing the line, or push anyone backwards to stop them getting past him. Guy in the first clip was incredibly stupid and the guy in second place had every right to try and run past him!

    Adrian K encouraged this.

    20130507190604-jedders

    @neil, I was about sporting arrogances, with the clip, they still raced to the line. If the person who came in second felt cheated or it was unsporting, they would go over to the race judge, but they don't. Why did the race judge not DQ the winner; as its sport. As there is a difference between winning, deserving to win, and taking someone's else win

    20140811112945-cags

    "Taking someone else's win" - what about it-ain't-over-til-it's-over?!

    Neil C and Adrian K encouraged this.

    20130507190604-jedders

    It was over they had raced the 70.2 miles and he was 15 seconds up at the end and had the lead the hole way, it was over. Maybe if the man who came second had swum or peddled faster he may have won. A race is very rarely won on race day, its earned mouths and weeks before the race.

    Joanna G encouraged this.

    20131016141129-neil_bro

    No it wasn't over....because he hadn't crossed the finish line. Because a football team is winning 2-1 with 15 seconds to go, does that mean it's over....no because the final whistle hasn't gone. If the guy wasn't so arrogant then he would have crossed the line, it WOULD have been over and we wouldn't be having this discussion. But as it was...he decided to be incredibly arrogant and almost cost himself the race, In the rules, the race isn't over until you cross the line, so the guy in second had every right to run for the line, and the guy in first had no right to block him off/push him backwards.

    Jane H encouraged this.

    20131122040327-janeh

    Life lessons here, watch out for arrogance, can be very costly!

    Barry Y encouraged this.

    20131122040327-janeh

    Ah Barry, exactly who I was thinking about! Steven Bradbury: 'doing a Bradbury' became part of our Australian vernacular - winning something almost in spite of yourself.

    Barry Y encouraged this.

    20131122040327-janeh

    Triumph against adversity, meeting life's challenges and coming out the other side a winner, it is irresistable Barry.

    Barry Y encouraged this.

    20170330012049-helent

    Unbelievable! What was he thinking?

    20130507190604-jedders

    Firstly @neil you seem to believe that the rules where broken so if you where race ref what would do about this? What action would you take, at the highest level of long distance racing, then justify this to the world? @barry you say that wining is not just down to the preparation, but with out the preparation (which is not just physical) you can not win. You say that people overcome great odds and win and human sprit, which in some cases is truly inspirational, but that did not happen on race day, that is part of the personality part of the preparation, again they may have been the underdog but the "tools in the tool kit" on race day. I think even Muhammad Ali would agree with me, shown by the quote; "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' As well as this you have said that in the case of Steven Bradbury at Salt Lake City in 2002, if you watch video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAADWfJO2qM you will clearly see that the 4 skaters in front where pushing and pulling on each other and taking huge risks, that's why the fell over, its not a act of god, the racers knew what could happen if they took those risks, and it did not pay off, its called sport. If you show a direct link to this by deductive reasoning from above to this I would be grateful. @jane, you say arrogance is bad, but why do we race? Is not holding a race arrogant by definition, by creating winners and losers, then we give the winners prizes to say they are better again is that not again arrogant. Also if you want 'doing a Bradbury' to be a recognised phrase, get it coined with the Oxford English Dictionary, its not very hard, I have had a word coined. @Crags the physio will be banded and loose his job over it, and so he should, it was discussing behaviour, and has no place in sport.

    20130507190604-jedders

    @neil I am very sorry, my bad I will stop doing it I promise

    20131016141129-neil_bro

    @jedders The rules were broken. Rule 3.4c of the USA Triathlon says - "c. Obstruction. Participants shall refrain from intentionally or accidentally blocking, charging, obstructing, or interfering with the forward progress of another participant. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty." This is something he clearly did and so should have had a time penalty. I take it back to my original point - If he'd just crossed the line and then celebrated this issue wouldn't have happened. I don't think there can be any doubt that he broke the rules when he pushed/blocked the guy in second.

    20130507190604-jedders

    @neil_bro I know what the rule book states and so did the race judge but no penalty was given neither was any appeal to the judge given. This is due to rule 3.3c on the general conduct. Also if you watch the footage you can clearly see the athlete that comes in second was slowing down any before contact was made, and from that you can claim that the first athlete held out is arm to try and prevent any injury to himself or the other racer and had no intention of violating rule 3.4c. Also shown on the video you can see from that the second athlete has no intention of trying to overtake when he sees the other athlete. from that you can deduces that the event, its racers, or its officials did not violate rule 3.3a in any manner. In the case of the crossing the line, he would not have been able to as he once an athlete has crossed the line he cannot return, see rule 3.4e, thus would not be able to celebrate his performance, thus alienating the elite racers thus effecting sponsorship, and the ethos of the sport. for more information please see rule 9.3

    20131122040327-janeh

    And I second that Barry, I am beginning to feel like we are on a debating team in high school! And James, 'doing a Bradbury' is Australian colloquialism or slang, I am certainly not attempting to have it 'coined' as a phrase.

    Barry Y and Michael M encouraged this.

    20131126112258-adrian

    "from that you can claim that the first athlete held out is arm to try and prevent any injury to himself or the other racer and had no intention of violating rule 3.4c" - that's a laughable defense and you know it's not the case. He panicked because he thought he was about to lose first place and he's lucky the other guy was kind enough to spare him more embarrassment by letting him finish first.

    encouraged this.

    20130507190604-jedders

    Barry I think that you will find that it is one of my personalism (which happens to be the word I had coined) is that when some tells me that I said something that feel is incorrect I will look at the evidence and if it’s a slanderous comment I will defend myself and show the comments are groundless. So now you are saying that trying to justify my opinion, is wrong, I have never intended to disrespectful and I apologize if you believe I have been; I have placed my view using a range places, as a competitor, official and spectator; with the use of inductive and deductive logic with supporting evidence from six sports, to back my view point. @janeh if a word or phrase is common use it should be coined, it only needs to be used 5 times to make it count as in common usage. This also applies if the word is slang or colloquialism as long as spelt correctly as well having a definition it can be coined. Just for an interest point William Shakespeare was known as the innovator of slang. Language is evolving and you can make a difference to the future, just saying! Now for the last time look at this photo https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=573123786080006&set=a.570671552991896.1073741829.389225364469850&type=1 you can clearly see from the photo that the breaks are on at least 1m before contact, then if you watch the video above (the one I posted shows it better), shows the second athlete not making any attempt to effect a pass, on the first athlete. If you look on from head no there is space for the second athlete to pass without contact, and the second athlete moves towards left then cuts right, and by moving to the right while trying to slow down, there was contact. If he had run straight, that would have been obstruction, also if he had run on the new line after the move left that would be obstruction, as he could posse that he tried to get past and held back. If you look at the first comment I made you may find that implied, if you watch on you will see that there was shaking of hands, and all is fine between them. It’s called sport and the unwritten law of fair play, which is implied by my first point. Now in my previous comment I was thinking from a official as I always give the racer benefit of doubt, so you look at the situation, and look at where any rules technically broken; yes they were. Then you look at what will have happened if the rule braking event had not happened; in truth nothing really you can’t say you would have different winners . Then you look how a penalty is applied, how this will change the situation; which is massively. Then you look at it from the other side of the argument and you find that in principle that would not really same as sprint finish, to win by penalty or to win by overtaking the better athlete on the line when he is getting the celebration he deserves. Then I go back and I say now I have situational awareness on what can do, and what you will do. Which is nothing in the same reason. You can reason by just using the rules you can very quickly deduces from the actions of the official, that in this case there was no rule breaking as if the official gives no penalty or takes no action the rule cannot be broken, as if the rule had been broken the official must act. Which then means a rule is broken /not broken depending on the outcome of the situation, which we all know to be true.

    20131126112258-adrian

    Nothing I have read above has convinced me to change my mind. The first guy shouldn't have been celebrating prematurely or at least had the common sense to check over his shoulder. The second racer scared the hell out of him because he could easily has taken first place, so racer no.1 held his arms out to get him to stop / slow down. Racer no.2 was kind enough to spare racer no.1 the embarrassment.

    Joanna G and Jane H encouraged this.

    20130507190604-jedders

    Life is a differential equation, but you are the boundary conditions

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