Changes to event starts

It seems that in the post Corona World, event starts have changed. Triathlons now have wave starts or gate starts, Marathons now have start times spread across several hours

Is it better than before? At Luzern Marathon, certainly reduced density of runners on the course, however, people in later waves said that the start lacked any sense of occasion. Also we had lots of friends running, meeting up after the race wasn’t so good as people were finishing over 4 hours after he first runners came in. I actually finished 2.5 hours before the 10k runners started

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I got the impression that events were moving back to what they were? Im rolling starts have been a thing well before COVID and I quite like them but equally don’t mind a mass start.

I haven’t done any event with 1’000s though for a while but watched Beachy Head mara on YT which I think had 2000 and they all started together.

from a TO’s perspective feedback from athletes to wave starts has been very positive, mainly due to the lack of “fighting” that happens in a mass start. However, form an organisational viewpoint they are more of a PITA due to the extra work involved managing the starts


I noticed on the IM Wales clips this year that they seemed be lining up on the other side of the gantry to normal?

I would guess that rolling starts suits the recreational athletes more. Because they tend to be out there for personal reasons, fighting their own time, charity, fun etc. Whereas the more serious athletes are there to race. So not knowing who’s in your wave for example makes it less about race craft and just one big tt.

Equally if you’re very quick in say an older AG you may end up on your own. Whereas with a mass start, you may have been able to link up with the quicker, younger athletes ahead.

I certainly prefer a mass start, but then I guess that’s because I would tend to line up towards the front of most races. Well running races anyway! :joy:

Also. Further to @fatbuddha point. Do crowds tend to get thinner with the events lasting even longer due to delayed starts?

Has calf marking ever been a thing here? I’ve only ever had it done in Oz but I don’t see it here.

Rolling / wave starts suck.

Mass starts are incredible.

This is coming from someone who regularly has OW “panic” attacks and was swam over and “drowned” at the ITU worlds :+1:t3:

Rolling/wave starts make it feel as though you’re not in a race.


Outside of IM i’ve never seen any sort of tattoo/pen marking on arms and legs personally.

Good, simple idea though to put your AG on the old legs.

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it does happen at times. It’s done at some WT Champ events and I’ve also had it done for an AG qualifier (Ellesmere back in the day), but not seen that often

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It makes sense for ET and WT events to have wave starts but the scheduling still needs some thinking. Local rules such as not drafting people from other waves is problematic (how do you know?) and somehow the more elderly athletes are later on putting them under pressure of cut off times.

I remember having my number written on my arm after racking for IM Nice. When I woke up on race day, my number was printed all over the white hotel sheets :open_mouth:


Yeah, the helicopter footage of an IM mass beach start is awesome.

I always used to enjoy them, but as a big lad who was a reasonably good swimmer, it’s probably easier to stay out of trouble and get some clear water.

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Or just smash people out of the way :rofl::roll_eyes:
Or just swim over them.
Damn peasants/proles :mask:

I’ve never actively looked for swim biff, but if someone disagrees with me about the perfect line and tries to swim over me, I usually hold my line. It’s amazing how many people will repeatedly try to swim into someone who blatantly isn’t going to move for them :man_shrugging:


In Oz you ended up with a sun tan tattoo of your number :smile:


Only time I’ve ever had it was at the ETU multisport champs in Ibiza. I can’t recall if they did it for the middle distance, but they did it for the aquathlon, and that was helpful … the nature of a shorter event is that lots more people were near one another, and because it was an AG wave start, you knew you were directly racing those. If someone ahead had the same Mxx, or someone came past with that Mxx, it gave added incentive.

It’s the annoyance of bibs being on the back for the run … you can’t see what AG a fellow competitor is in, whether you’re catching them or being overtaken

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I think you mean front…


Yes, typo!


A lot of IM races don’t require you to wear a number on the bike at all now

nor do WT/ET Champ events - just a number on the run

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