Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Last week, World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of the Ironman and Ironman 70.3* Series, announced changes to swim rules and regulations at US races starting September 1, 2010, which is the start of their 2011 season:

"Swimwear and swim apparel must be comprised of 100 percent textile material, such as nylon or lycra, and may not include rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene. Swimwear may not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or knees. Swimwear may contain a zipper. A race kit or trisuit may be worn underneath swimwear.

Wetsuits cannot measure more than 5 millimeters thick.

Wetsuits may be worn in water temperatures up to and including 24.5 degrees Celsius/76.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Athletes who choose to wear a wetsuit in water temperatures exceeding 24.5 degrees C /76.1 degrees F will not be eligible for awards, including World Championship slots. Wetsuits will be prohibited in water temperatures greater than 28.8 degrees C/84 degrees F."

Note that these changes only apply to Ironman and Ironman 70.3 brand name races (NOT all tris). If you're interested in getting a swimming speedsuit or skinsuit (both of which usually contain some rubber or polyurethane) for other races that follow USAT rules, check out the USAT approved list. And since the new wetsuit policy will mostly affect races in the South where water temps are often over 70, here are some expected water temps for Ironman/Ironman 70.3 races in Florida (per race websites):

* Ironman Florida: 68-72 degs (but was 76 degrees in 2000)
* Ironman 70.3 Florida (Disney): 78-82 degs
* Ironman 70.3 Miami: 76-78 degs.

* 70.3 = half iron tri distance (1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run).


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