The individual beach sprint involves running up to 90m in the sand. The beach flags event involves a sharp turn from a prone position, followed by a 20m sprint to grab a flag from the sand. There is one less flag than the number of competitors, effectively, knocking one competitor out per round.
Fibreglass surf skis are the fastest human powered craft. Paddlers start in the water and head out to sea, rounding tree designated buoys laid out in a triangular formation, then finish by crossing the finish line at the water's edge between two flags. The course is usually 700m long and there are single, double and ski relay races.
From a beach start, competitors paddle a 3.5m fibreglass board through the break, around three buoys and back to shore over a 550m to 700m course. To finish, the competitor must drag/carry their board across a finish line approximately ten metres up the beach. There are Board, Board Rescue and Board relay races.
The R & R event involves demonstrating that you have mastered traditional rescue methods and resuscitation procedures. Teams must show various skills using the reel, line and belt.
These events are the most widely recognised competition events. The race involves running, swimming, board paddling and ski paddling. Some ironwoman races do not have ski legs. Races can last anywhere from 15 minutes up to 4 hours.
In a surf belt race, the competitors use the reel, line and belt. With a swimmer in the belt, a team of lifesavers work the reel to give the swimmer a clean swim out to a designated buoy. Upon reaching the buoy, the swimmer raises their arm to signal the finish of the race.
The basic procedure for IRB racing is for crews and their IRBs to start from near the shore, proceed out to the turning buoys, retrieve the patient on the seaward side of the buoys and return to shore. The main aim of IRB racing is to improve the abilities of the IRB drivers and crew members.
Competitors start on the beach, sprint into the surf, negotiate the break, swim an approximately 400m course around a colored set of buoys and then back to shore using the surf. They then sprint across the finish line on the beach between two green flags.