World Triathlon Corporation will implement a new finish line policy for all domestic Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events. Beginning with Ironman 70.3 California (April 4, 2009), friends and/or family members will no longer be permitted to cross the finish line or enter the finish chute with participating athletes.
"Safety is paramount at all Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events. Allowing non-participants to cross the finish line compromises event security, serves as a distraction to other finishers and disrupts our secure finish line operations. Family and friends are encouraged to reunite with their athlete in the photo/post-race area just beyond the finish line," said Steve Meckfessel, Ironman's Chief Operating Officer.
In response to ongoing athlete feedback, Ironman has chosen to adopt this policy to ensure the safety of all participants, volunteers and fans. As with other sporting events, Ironman strives to provide a competitive and memorable event, one that allows all parties to enjoy the entire Ironman Experience.
This policy will allow each competitor adequate time to celebrate their accomplishment without interfering with other finishers. Athletes who choose not to respect the new policy will receive an automatic disqualification (DQ).