Triathlon Relay Rules

triathlon relay

Written by Ben Tisdall

16 March 2022

We already offer a Standard team relay format (where one person does each activity) with most of our triathlon and duathlon events. In April 2022 we launched our first ever mixed Team Relay Event in the Olympic format (where each person in a team of four does a complete mini-triathlon). In fact it turned out to be the first age group (ie non-elite) mixed relay team event in the country!

Standard Relay Format

The Standard Team Relay format is a great way to dip your toe in duathlon or triathlon. Find some team mates & concentrate on doing the activity you enjoy most. Rules are fairly simple. Out-going team members must NOT put on their helmet until AFTER they have been tagged and left the exchange zone/transition area, until the helmet is secured the competitor may not touch their bike. In-coming team members MUST remove their helmet after racking their bike, only once the helmet is in their area in the transition can the competitor enter the exchange zone and tag their team-mate. And in the Standard Relays we organise you also hand over your timing chip to your team mate.

Mixed Relay Olympic Format

This is the newer format that appeared for the first time at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. A mixed relay team must be composed of 4 athletes; 2 men and 2 women, who must compete in the order ‘man, woman, man, woman’. Each team member completes a whole triathlon/duathlon or even aquathlon before tagging the next team member to begin, and the total team time will be calculated from the start of the 1st team member to the finish of the 4th and final team member. Please note that timing does NOT stop or pause between competitors, so even your transition needs to be fast!

Distances for mixed team relays can vary slightly. See our Torbay Team Relay for the distances at the Velopark.

The exchange between team members takes place inside the ‘exchange zone’ which is 15 metres long. The in-coming team member must use their hand to make contact with the body of the out-going team member, within the 15 metre exchange zone. A penalty of 1 minute is given if this exchange is not completed inside the designated zone, and any penalty is added to the team’s total time at the end. An official will inform team members when to enter the exchange zone, beforehand they must wait in the pre-exchange area.

We hope this clears up any confusion you may have surrounding triathlon and duathlon mixed team relay. A full copy of the British Triathlon Competition Rules can be found here: british-triathlon-competition-rules-2022.pdf (






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