Every year we get a lot of questions about swim start seeding in pool swims and we do our best to create a smooth, pleasant swim experience for everyone. So, in order to further your understanding of our methodology we have expanded on it below.
The Swim Speed Bell Curve and Start Times: We have fast swimmers, slow swimmers and pretty much everything in between, this can be looked at as a simple bell curve with the bulk of folks in the middle. We start the top 20% of athletes in the first two group of swimmers and follow each with a 2 minute clear out period. We then follow this up with the slowest 10%-20% of swimmers. Why you ask? Well, simply put some of these folks will take 2+ hours to complete this event. If they start at 12:30, then these folks are going out on the course in the hottest, loneliest time of the day. Our mission is to give every athlete a great experience and this aligns with that. Also, if the last person to start the swim will only take 90 minutes, well we just moved the awards ceremony up by 30-45 minutes. Trust us, it works great and makes the race more exciting and enjoyable for everyone.
The Middle of the Bell Curve: If you put 90 seconds down for your 100 meter time or 4.5-6.0 minutes for your 300 yard time know that many, many other folks have that exact same time. So, if you notice that your friend with the same time is starting 50 athletes back know that there are 50+ folks with pretty much the same swim time. Theoretically, the swim for your group should be smooth.
Passing Etiquette: If you need to pass someone, just lightly touch their toes. The athlete being passed can pause 1-2 seconds at the wall allowing you to pass them. Pool swim triathlons are not a contact sport, be respectful.
Walking/Resting in the Pool: If you are short of breath, feel free to pause at the end of a lane and hold onto the wall. If you need to walk in the shallow end, please do so. There is no penalty for resting or walking in the pool.
Flip Turns: If you can do a flip turn at the end of each lane, have at it. If you don’t know what a flip turn is just pause at the wall, duck under the lane line and resume swimming.