Rules of Competition



Introduction: Twin Cities In Motion ("TCM") has established a Games Committee ("Games Committee") in accordance with the USA Track & Field Rules of Competition ("USATF Rules"). TCM follows and applies the USATF Rules in all events it produces. The Games Committee is responsible for establishing, implementing, communicating, and enforcing the Rules of Competition for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon (marathon), Medtronic TC 10 Mile (10 mile), Medtronic TC 1 Mile (one mile), Red, White, & Boom! TC Half Marathon, Relay and 5K (half marathon, two-person relay, 5K), Valentine’s Day TC 5K (Valentine’s Race), Hot Dash 5K and 10 Mile (5K and 10 mile), Women Run the Cities (10 mile, 10K, 5K), TC 10K (10K), TC5K (5K) and - collectively "TCM Events". The Rules of Competition incorporate the USATF Rules and additional provisions adopted by the Games Committee to ensure a safe, fair race for all participants. The complete USATF Rules are available at The USATF Rules are implemented by the Games Committee in accordance with the following Rules of Competition. USATF Rules of Competition will prevail in any discrepancy between this document and the official, most recent USATF document. Where a rule is specific to a particular TCM Event, the event distance is specified in the rule.


1. Race Application/Bibs

1.01    Corral Assignment: TCM utilizes a corral system at the start for the marathon and the fall ten mile events. Participants are assigned to start corrals in accordance with time standards established each year by TCM. Corral assignment will be based on estimated finish time as declared by participants in the online race registration form. Participants’ corral assignments will be communicated prior to the event.

1.02    Participant Numbers:  Every competitor shall be provided with a race number, which shall be conspicuously worn on the FRONT when competing.  The race numbers are to be worn as issued (cutting or folding numbers is not permitted).  No athlete shall be permitted to participate in any competition without the appropriate number or numbers.  USATF Rule 143

1.03    No Bib Transfer Permitted:  Once a number has been assigned to a competitor, no other competitor may use it. Participant race numbers are personal, final assignments and may not be exchanged with or transferred to any other person. USATF Rule 143

1.04    Race Number Pick-up:  Each participant shall provide photo identification at the time of number pick-up verifying that they are the individual to whom the race number is assigned.

            In the event an authorized participant wishes to have another individual pick up their race number for them, the person picking up the race number must have photo identification for themselves.

            Race numbers may be picked up only at the times and in the manner specified in the written instructions provided to participants.  No special arrangements will be made.

1.05    Refunds:  Refunds are available within 48 hours of registration only. To request a refund, email or call 651-289-7701 within 48 hours of when you submitted your registration. If accepted, you will be refunded your race entry fee; online transaction fees are non-refundable.

            Race registrations for select TCM events may be transferred to another person through the automated TCM transfer process. Registrations may only be transferred within the designated transfer period for each event and within the same event and distance as the original registration. Additional fees and restrictions may apply including ineligibility of some registrations completed using an invitation code. Assigned race numbers are never transferable. Please view the step-by-step guide for more information.  Email with questions.

1.06    Timing Chip Verification:  Participants are responsible for verifying that the chip timing device attached to the back of the assigned race number is working properly prior to the race and worn correctly during the race.

1.07    Participants Under Age 18:  All athletes under 18 years of age must have a statement signed by the athlete's parent or legal guardian permitting the athlete to compete.

1.08    Age Group Identifiers.  In any year in which back tags are issued to marathon participants bearing their appropriate age group, whether because the event is a Masters championship or otherwise, all participants meeting the criteria for such tags shall display them visibly on their backs throughout the course of the competition.  Participants are responsible for making sure they receive the proper age group identification tags prior to arriving at the start line on race day.  Violation of this rule may result in disqualification from prize money and/or the race itself.

1.09    Requests for Accommodation.  Any marathon participant seeking an accommodation with respect to a disability must indicate their request by checking the applicable box on their race entry application.  Written materials in support of the application for accommodation must be submitted to TCM within 30 days of the date of application and in no event later than six weeks prior to the event date.  This is required to ensure enough time for processing in accordance with the procedures established by USATF.  For complete details visit


2. Pro Athlete Rules

2.01    Eligibility Status:  Pro athletes seeking eligibility for specially designated prize monies i.e. U.S. Citizen, Masters, Minnesotan, or USATF shall provide satisfactory proof of such eligibility no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day prior to the race date.  Such proof may consist of passport, birth certificate, or driver's license as determined by the Games Committee.  All such documentation should be forwarded by the Pro Recruiting Committee to the Chair of the Games Committee no later than 10:00 p.m. on the day prior to the race date.  Anyone who has ever tested positive for, or has otherwise been determined to have used, performance enhancing drugs of any sort will not be eligible for designation as an pro athlete in any TCM race or event and will not be eligible for any prize money, specifically designated or otherwise, or for any expense reimbursement, other compensation or any award(s) or recognition by or from TCM or in connection with any race or event conducted by TCM.

2.02    Mandatory Technical Meeting:  All invited pro athletes are required to attend the Technical Meeting held on the day prior to the race date (marathon and fall ten mile) or on race day (one mile).  Failure to attend this meeting without the prior approval of the Games Committee Chair may render an athlete ineligible for receipt of any expenses or other compensation previously authorized by the Pro Recruiting Committee.

2.03    Reimbursements/Payments:   All reimbursements and/or payments for travel, hotel, per diem, or other expenses approved and authorized by the Chair of the Pro Recruiting Committee shall be made at the Mandatory Technical Meeting.

2.04    Uniform Requirements: In all events competitors must wear clothing that is clean, designed, and worn so as not to be objectionable.  USATF RULE 143


3. The Start

3.01    Assembly in Assigned Corral:  All competitors are responsible for knowing the starting time, knowing the check-in method, and for being at the starting line at the appointed time for instructions and the start of the race.  Participants shall assemble for the race in their assigned corral not less than 10 minutes prior to the start of the race.  Any athlete attempting to enter the wrong corral shall be required to start after all other competitors have crossed the start line.  USATF Rule 242

3.02    Proper Entry of Chute and Corral:  All participants shall enter the starting chute from the rear of their assigned corral via designated entry points.  Any person who climbs a fence or any other barriers marking the front or sides of the chute shall be disqualified from the current event. 
3.03    Start Line:  Start shall be indicated by a line of any color contrasting distinctively with the road at least 5 cm wide and up to 30 cm wide. With chip timing, all mats at the start shall be placed before the measured starting line. USATF Rule 160.6

3.04    Method of Start:  All competitors must be behind the line when starting.  Race shall be started by an air horn. The commands of the starter shall be decided by the Referee.  False starts in road races should not be recalled.  USATF Rule 242

3.05    Questions/Protests Regarding Start:  All questions regarding the start shall be determined by Starter.  The Starter shall report to the Referee any misconduct by any competitors at the start. The Referee shall have the authority to disqualify such competitors. USATF Rule 162


4. Timing

4.01    Race Time is Official:  Official times shall be recorded from the start of the race by the air horn to the point where the participant crosses the finish line. The air horn shall be sounded only once, at the official start of the race.  For the marathon, times shall be rounded to the next highest second. Where two or more timing devices are used, one should be designated as "official" before the start of the competition. Net times (marathon) shall not be used for any purpose other than Masters LDR records per USATF Rule 341.10. USATF Rule 165

4.02    Official Start Timing:  Timers start timing devices at the air horn or the first moment a competitor crosses the start line, which ever happens first. False starts in road races shall not be recalled.  Official time is elapsed time between start of timing devices and the athlete crossing the finishing line. If an athlete crosses the start line after the start of the timing devices, the elapsed time can be made known to the athlete but will not be considered as official time.  USATF Rule 242

4.03    Times Displayed: Elapsed times shall be displayed or read at various points along the running course in each event for the benefit of the runners and to record such time intervals. Such places will be determined by the Race Operations Division Course Chair (marathon and fall ten mile) or the Division Director (one mile) and approved by the Games Committee Chair. USATF Rule 243


5. The Course

5.01    Course Marking:  All TCM event courses shall be adequately marked at strategic points to keep the competitors on course. USATF Rule 243

5.02    Course Monitoring:  Turns and major intersections on the course shall be monitored by Course Marshals. A record shall be made of the runners and their running times at specific points on the course. USATF Rule 243

5.03    Vehicles on Course:  All event courses shall be free of vehicular traffic and all dangerous intersections should be staffed to provide for traffic and spectator control. A lead vehicle should be provided, with additional vehicles to assist in monitoring the competition, timing, or other required functions as determined by the Games Committee. USATF Rule 243

5.04    Leaving the Course.  No competitor, after leaving the track or course, shall be allowed to rejoin a race either for the purpose of gaining a place or to pace or to assist another competitor.  In any road race, a competitor may leave the road with the permission and under the control of an authorized official, provided that by going off or returning to the course the athlete does not lessen the distance to be covered. USATF Rule 163.6, 243

5.05    Shortening the Course:  Any competitor who has been found by the Referee and/or Jury of Appeal to have gained an unfair advantage by intentionally shortening the route of the race ("cutting the course") shall be immediately disqualified from the Competition. USATF Rule 243

5.06    Obey Officials:  Any competitor who shall refuse to obey the directions of the Referee or other proper official, or who shall conduct himself/herself in an unsportsmanlike manner, or who is offensive by action or language to the officials, spectators, or competitors at any competition may be disqualified by the Referee from further competition.

5.07    Assistance to Athletes:  Except as provided in USATF Rule 241, a competitor who has received any assistance whatsoever from any other person may be disqualified by the Referee.  "Assistance" is the conveying of advice, information, or direct help to an athlete by any means, including a technical communication device. It also includes pacing in running or walking events by persons not participating in the event. It does not include participation of an officially designated pacesetter in the race, provided such pacesetters start in the event. Competitors may carry or wear articles of personal equipment such as wrist chronometers, heart rate monitors and speed distance monitors or stride sensors provided that such device cannot be used to communicate with any other. USATF Rule 144

5.08    "Cheering" Permitted:  Verbal or other communication, without the use of any technical device, from an individual who is not in the competition area to an athlete who is in the competition area shall not be considered assistance. USATF Rule 144

5.09    Bandits:  No attendant or competitor who is not actually taking part in the competition shall accompany any competitor in the competition (including the start and secured finish areas), nor shall any competitor be allowed, without the permission of the Referee, to receive assistance or refreshment from anyone during the progress of the competition. Any person not properly displaying a properly authorized and issued bib shall be directed to leave the course. USATF Rule 144

5.10    Unauthorized Participants:  No unauthorized participants may enter the start, course, and secured finish areas. Such unauthorized participants include, but are not limited to: children and other family members and friends of participating athletes. All unauthorized participants will be directed to leave the start and secured finish areas and the course. USATF Rule 144

5.11    Medical Assistance:  Medical personnel authorized by the Games Committee or Referee to do so may examine any athlete who appears in distress. If in their opinion it is in the best interest of the athlete's health and welfare, they may remove the athlete from the competition. A hands-on medical examination during the progress of an event by officially designated medical personnel shall not be considered assistance and will not result in disqualification if deemed medically fit. USATF Rule 144, 241


6. Finish

6.01    Finish Line:  The exact finish line shall be clearly marked and stated in competitor instructions in order to eliminate confusion with designs on or adjacent to the running surface near the finish line. The finish shall be indicated by a line on the road no less than 5 cm wide and up to 30 cm wide. Additionally, it may be of any color contrasting distinctively with the surface of the finish area. The use of a tape, held by individuals not serving as judges, may be used to help identify the location of the finish line. USATF Rule 164.4

6.02    Course Finish:  The finish of the course is the edge of the line closest to the approaching runners. USATF Rule 244

6.03    Placement of Chip Timing Mats:  In events using transponder timing mats, the first mat shall be placed so that the edge of the mat closest to the approaching runners is the finish line. At least the first 15 cm of the mat shall be of a color in contrast to the running surface to indicate the finish line. Any additional or backup mats shall be placed beyond the finish line. USATF Rule 244


7. General

7.01    Doping:  Under the rules of IAAF and USATF, doping is strictly forbidden. USATF Rule 32. Additionally, as initially set forth in Section 2.01 hereof, anyone who has ever tested positive for, or has otherwise been determined to have used performance enhancing drugs of any sort will not be eligible for designation as a pro athlete in any TCM race or event and will not be eligible for any prize money, specifically designated or otherwise, or for any expense reimbursement, other compensation or any award(s) or recognition by or from TCM or in connection with any race or event conducted by TCM.

7.02    Athletic Attire:  In all events competitors must wear clothing that is clean, designed and worn so as not to be objectionable. USATF Rule 143 Non-forming, bulky outfits, costumes or props extending beyond the perimeter of the body are prohibited.

7.03    Course Certification: The marathon, half marathon, one mile, 5k, 10k and both ten mile events shall be conducted on USATF certified courses and any other event conducted by TCM may be certified at the discretion of the Race Director. The Race Director shall be responsible for ensuring that the courses are properly certified in accordance with USATF Operating Regulation 6. USATF Rule 240

7.04    Professional Conduct of Participants: All participants are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner during their participation in the marathon or any TCM event.  This means, for example, that urinating or defecating anywhere on or near the course shall be strictly prohibited except in toilet facilities.

7.05    Marathon Time Limit: The marathon finish line remains open until 2:15 p.m. Participants must cross the finish line by 2:15 p.m. in order to be considered "official finishers". After 2:15 p.m., the course and finish line are closed. The finisher shirt and medal will not be awarded after 2:15 p.m. In the event that the 8:00 a.m. start time is delayed, the closing time of the finish line will be adjusted accordingly.

7.06    Course Closing Bus: Finishing the marathon by 2:15 p.m. generally means maintaining an average pace of 13:44 per mile. The race course is opened to traffic on a rolling schedule as participants make their way to the finish. In order to ensure safety, a Course Closing Bus follows the race route to pick-up participants who are unable to maintain this pace on a consistent basis. Participants are required to board the Course Closing Bus when so instructed by Race Officials. Course Marshal's are instructed to record bib numbers of all participants who refuse to board the bus when instructed to do so.


8.  Safety

8.01    Electronic Devices:  While headphones are not encouraged, they are allowed.  If you choose to wear headphones, we recommend considering an open style that allows participants to better hear the natural sounds on course.  Regardless of headphone choice, please be sure that you can hear all announcements and instructions from race officials, be aware of your surroundings and be considerate of other participants.  Athletes competing for prize money are not allowed to use electronic devices, headphones or any type of ear piece on course. Those competing for awards of any kind, in any event may not use portable listening devices, cell phones, and/or other devices capable of receiving communication. USATF Rule 144

8.02    Wheeled Devices:  The use of wheeled devices by participants or any other person authorized to be on the course shall be strictly limited to (a) authorized and registered competitive wheelchair participants or duos (wheelchair participant pushed by able-bodied participant), (b) authorized medical personnel, and (c) authorized course marshals. No hand-cranked wheelchairs, baby joggers, baby strollers, skate boards, roller blades, unauthorized bicycles or any other wheeled device will be permitted on the course.

8.03    Medical and Safety Concerns on Course:

(a)       Aid Stations:  Aids stations providing water and other suitable refreshments shall be available on the course every two to three miles. USATF Rule 241

(b)       Medical Assistance:  Adequate first aid should be provided, preferably by use of a mobile unit or units on the running course. USATF Rule 241

(c)        Removal from Race:  A hands on medical exam during the race is not assistance - Competitor must retire at once from race if ordered to do so by a member of the official medical staff. USATF Rule 241

8.04    Inclement Weather:  The Games Committee shall determine whether any of the TCM Events shall be delayed, cancelled, or suspended due to inclement weather in accordance with the TCM Emergency Protocol on Inclement Weather.


9. Competitive Wheelchair Division

9.01    Availability/Eligibility:  The marathon includes a Competitive Wheelchair Division. In order to be eligible to participate in this division competitors must qualify for accommodation in accordance with the regulations of Wheelchair Sports, USA and USATF Rules.

9.02    Limited to Marathon:   A Wheelchair Division is offered only in the marathon.


10. Protests (marathon, fall ten mile, and one mile only)

10.01  Eligibility Issues:  Protests concerning the eligibility of an entered competitor must be made to the Chair of the Games Committee prior to the commencement of the event or to the Referee during the event.

10.02  Matters Arising During the Race:  Protests relating to matters which developed during the conduct of the competition must be made to the Referee at once and not later than one hour after results have been announced. However, in case the final results are not announced on the day of competition, the Games Committee may determine, and announce in the results that are released, a period not to exceed 7 days during which protests may be made to the Race Director.

10.03  Protests Must Be in Writing:  All protests must be made in writing by the athlete or an official representative of an athlete. Such persons may only protest if they are or have an athlete competing in the same round of the event to which the protest relates. The Referee and the Games Committee Chair shall have forms available in the finish area in the event a participant elects to file a protest. This form shall be used if at all possible to ensure all necessary information is obtained to facilitate a fair and complete resolution. USATF Rule 146

10.04  Time for Decision:  If possible, the Games Committee or the Referee shall decide protests at once. If the nature of the protest or the necessity of obtaining testimony or evidence prevents an immediate decision, the competitor shall be allowed to compete under protest, and the protest shall be decided by the Games Committee within one week, unless its subject be the eligibility of the competitor to compete, in which case the Games Committee must determine such protest within 48 hours. USATF Rule 146

10.05  Jury of Appeals:  A Jury of Appeals shall be appointed by the Chair of the Games Committee and may, at the discretion of the Chair or when required by the USATF Rules, be appointed for any other events. The Jury of Appeals shall consider appeals of decisions of the Referee as to matters which developed during the conduct of the event. USATF Rule 146

10.06  Time for Appeal of Decision:  Appeals must be made in writing by an athlete, or by an official representative of an athlete, within 24 hours after the action by the Referee has been officially announced. Appeals should be submitted to the Games Committee Chair who shall immediately forward the information to the Jury of Appeals. USATF Rule 146


11. Rules Applicable to Masters Marathon Championships.

11.01  Age of Competitor:  The age of a competitor on the day of the race determines his or her age division. USATF Rule 341

11.02  Verification of Age:  Only a birth certificate or a US Passport will be acceptable proof of age. Competitors in a Championship must be current members of USATF. Only US Citizens shall be allowed to win USATF medals and other Championship awards. USATF Rule 340

11.03  Award Eligibility:  If a Championship is part of a larger event, Championship competitors shall be eligible for awards in their divisions or age groups in the non-championship event.  USATF Rule 341

11.04  Select Timing Required:  In any year in which the marathon is a USATF Championship event, select timing shall be used to validate times and records. USATF Rule 341

11.05  USATF Medals/Patches:  Regulation USATF medals shall be awarded to first, second, and third place individuals in each age division. Championship patches shall be awarded to the winners of each age division.  USATF Rule 341


12. Violation of Rules of Competition.

12.01  Process.  The process for consideration of possible violations of the Rules of Competition shall be as follows:

            (a)       Protest Filed by Participant.  In the event a participant files a written protest with the Referee, it shall be resolved as set forth in Section 10.

            (b)       Violation Determined by Official.  In the event a potential violation is determined to have occurred by any Race Official, all available evidence shall be forwarded to the Games Committee.  The Games Committee shall review each potential violation in accordance with the following:

                        (i)         An initial determination of the nature of the violation shall be made. The participant or participants involved shall receive written notice of the initial determination.  This determination shall be made within 30 days of the race day or as soon as practicable thereafter. The participant shall have an opportunity to respond with any additional clarifying information available within 14 days of the date of the initial determination.

                        (ii)        Within 60 days of the initial determination, the Games Committee shall meet for a final review of all potential violations and any responses submitted.  A final determination will be made and participants notified of the result and any penalty imposed.

12.02  Penalties.  Any violation of these Rules shall result in assessment of a penalty in accordance with the following:

            (a)       Failure to Attend Mandatory Technical Meeting.  Forfeiture of all forms of compensation other than prize money.

            (b)       Failure to Wear Age Group Back Tag.  Forfeiture of any prize moneys awarded in any age specific division, including overall masters prize money.

            (c)        Climbing Fence or Barricade to Enter Start Area.  Disqualification from current year event.

            (d)       Failure to Cross all Checkpoints on Course.  Disqualification from current year event.

            (e)       Participate in Event Not Registered For.  Any participant who registers for the marathon and participates in the ten mile Event or vice versa shall be disqualified from participation in either event for the current year and two additional years.

            (f)        Unauthorized Transfer of Race Number.  Any registered participant who transfers, sells, or otherwise permits any other individual to wear the race number assigned to them shall be disqualified for the current year.  Should any registered participant transfer, sell, or otherwise permit any other individual to wear the race number assigned to them a second time, they shall be disqualified from any and all participation in future TCM Events.

            (g)       Dual Entry/"Finish".  Any individual who enters both the marathon and the ten mile events in the same year and for whom results are shown for both events shall be disqualified for the current year and from any and all participation in future TCM Events.

            (h)       Unauthorized Assistance.  Any registered participant who receives unauthorized assistance shall be disqualified for the current year and one additional year.  This includes any registered participant who permits an unregistered runner to run with them for any part of the event.

            (i)         Unauthorized Participation/Bandits.  Any person who participates in any TCM Event:

                        (1)       Without any race number or chip; or

                        (2)       Without both a current official race number and chip officially assigned to them; or(3)       Athletes who have unauthorized participants enter the start, course, and secured finish areas with them.  Such unauthorized participants include, but are not limited to: children and other family members and friends of participating athletes, shall be disqualified for the current year.

Should any person who participates in any TCM event in violation of 12.02 (i) (1) (2), (3) for a second time, they shall be banned from participation in any and all future TCM Events.

            (j)         Unprofessional/Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Any participant who engages in any unprofessional or unsportsmanlike conduct, including, without limitation, the providing of any false or misleading information in connection with their application for or participation in any TCM Event shall be disqualified for the current year and may, in the discretion of the Games Committee, be disqualified for future years of participation in TCM Events.

            (k)        Electronic Devices.  Race Officials shall be authorized to disqualify any individual whose use of portable listening devices and/or cell phones (and/or other devices capable of receiving communication) causes them to act in an unsafe or discourteous manner. Individuals either competing in, or winning USA Track & Field awards, TCM age group awards, or prize money will be automatically disqualified and will not receive payment if applicable. Further, acting in an unsafe or discourteous manner may result in disqualification from future TCM events at the discretion of the Games Committee. Race Officials shall be authorized to disqualify any individual for using devices capable of receiving communications while on the course.

            (l)         Failure to Board Course Closing Bus.  Any marathon participant who fails to board the Course Closing Bus when instructed to do so by a Race Official shall be disqualified for the current year and the next year from participation in TCM Events.

            (l)         Violations Determined by Jury of Appeals.  The Jury of Appeals shall have the authority and discretion to assess penalties arising from protests it determines to uphold based on these Rules and all of the relevant facts and circumstances taking into account the nature of the violation.

            (m)      Other Violations.  The Games Committee shall assess penalties for any violations not specifically addressed taking into account all relevant facts and circumstances.

            (n)       Multiple Violations.  Any combination of violations of multiple Rules in a single year or the same Rule in multiple years may result in additional penalties over and above those stated here at the discretion of the Games Committee.

12.03  Request for Reinstatement.  Any individual who has been disqualified from all future TCM events may apply for reinstatement of eligibility after a period of 3 years from the date of the disqualification. The decision to grant reinstatement shall be at the discretion of the Games Committee. In considering the application the Games Committee shall take into account the original basis of the disqualification, the applicant’s race etiquette record during the intervening period and any other relevant information.


13. Waivers.  Any individual desiring a waiver of any of these Rules which may be properly waived by the Games Committee shall submit a written request to the Chair of the Games Committee not less than 30 days prior to the applicable event date specifying the nature of the request and the reasons for it. The Chair shall present the request to the Games Committee as a whole which shall consider the request and render a decision within 10 days from the date of receipt. The decision shall be provided in writing.



Rules of Competition are subject to change. Last Update: 2018