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When participating in USA Triathlon sanctioned events you must not leave equipment or personal gear on the race course. If seen by a race official, a violation of this rule results in a minimum time penalty of two minutes. The catch to this rule is that abandonment includes everything from cycling shoes dropped and left in the transition area, to littering out on the course. Yes, a Gu gel wrapper is considered equipment under this rule. Put food wrappers in your bike jersey and discard them at the next aid station. If a water bottle is launched from your bottle cage when you hit a bump in the road, turn around and pick it up. It is that simple. Unfortunately, not all athletes follow this rule, but it boils down to race etiquette. Keeping debris off the course not only makes racing safer for other competitors, but also prevents volunteers from having to pick up litter on the course after the event.