AWD Rules

AWD Rules 


Los Angeles Marathon 

Participants with Disabilities Event Rules 

The Los Angeles Marathon Rules applicable to general participants apply to those competing in Athletes with Disabilities (AWD) divisions unless replaced or supplemented by these Rules. The Los Angeles Marathon aggregate Rule Book, including AWD, general and Elite Open rules, are intended to successfully produce a large-scale mass-participation event, to ensure the safety of all participants, to meet the requirements of local government permits, and to comply with applicable USA Track & Field (USATF), International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) regulations for participant performance records and event liability. The Professional Wheelchair Program’s division rules are adopted from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). 

General Rules Applying To All AWD Participants 


  • Any participant seeking accommodation in respect of a disability must submit a written request to the following email address:  
  • AWD participants in the Los Angeles Marathon must be at least 16 years of age on the event date. 
  • AWD participants must be capable of completing the full race distance within the event time limit requirements and to the strength and skill to control the speed and stop their wheelchairs on the course’s downhill sections. Participants may be asked to demonstrate these capabilities as a condition of entry. The determination of an AWD participant’s capability to complete the full race course within the time limit shall be made by the event’s officials, including the AWD coordinator, whose decision is final. 
  • AWD participants are responsible for medical services that are rendered over and above the normal race day medical services, and for the costs required to transport any participants failing to complete the course or make the time limit from the race course to the finish line. 


Any individual requesting a waiver of any of these rules must submit a written request no less than 30 days prior to the event date specifying the nature of and reasons for the request. There are no refunds and no exceptions to the packet pick-up policy. 

Wheeled Devices 

The use of wheeled devices by participants or any other person authorized to be on the course is strictly limited to: (a) authorized and registered Wheelchair and Handcycle participants and (b) authorized course marshals on bicycles. Baby joggers, baby strollers, carts, skateboards, rollerblades, non-conforming wheelchairs including day chairs, unauthorized bicycles or any other wheeled device is not permitted on the course. 

Results & Timing 

Wheelchair and Handcrank Division results are determined by gun time. Net times will not be used to determine ranking, results and awards in the Wheelchair and Handcrank Divisions. Wheelchair and Handcrank Division participants must start the race at the gun or immediately thereafter. 

All times and placements of finish provisional until reviewed and declared official. Cash awards and prizes are distributed based on official results. 

Radios, Music Players and Earphones 

The use by AWD participants of radios, music players, earphones or similar devices is not permitted. 


In accordance with IAAF and USATF competition rules and regulations, all participants, including AWD participants, are subject to anti-doping rules. An anti-doping rule violation occurring before, during or after the Event may lead to disqualification of the participant’s individual results and forfeiture of all awards, points and prizes. 

Rules Applying to the Push Rim Wheelchair Division 


Wheelchair Division participants must have at least 10% loss of function of their lower limbs. Participants without such a disability will be disqualified. 

Prize Money Eligibility 

The Wheelchair division is an open competition meaning that all registered participants are eligible to win prize money and awards. 

Wheelchair Specifications 

Wheelchair and Race Running Frame Requirements set out in World Para Athletics Rules and Regulations (2020-2021) apply to all professional, elite and age group participants. Please follow this link to read Rule 14: Wheelchair and Race Running Frame Requirements (pages 89-92).  Link: 

Note: All references in Rule 14 to WPA, Technical Delegates, ITOs, Technical Officials or Track Referee means the Race organization and/or Race officials. All reference to a call room means the pre-start line-up of wheelchair at the start line. 

  • The use of fairings or similar devices specifically designed to improve the aerodynamic performance of the participant in the wheelchair are not permitted. 
  • The use of mirrors is not permitted. 

Wheelchairs are subject to inspection, and once inspected, must not be taken from the competition area before the start of the event. Wheelchairs can be re-examined by the officials before or after the event. It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure that his or her wheelchair conforms to the requirements stipulated above and the start of the Event will not be delayed for any participant to adjust his/her wheelchair. If Event officials believe that a wheelchair and/or the participant using it represent a safety risk, the participant may be prohibited from participating in the Event or disqualified. 

It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure that no part of their lower limbs can fall from their wheelchair to the ground during the event. 


All participants must wear a protective helmet, undamaged and unaltered, which meets or exceeds the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and which is clearly labeled by the manufacturer as satisfying such standards. Helmets not labeled as approved by the CPSC, but meeting one or more of the following standards: Snell B-90, Snell B-95, ASTM 1447-12, CEN European Standard, Canadian Standards Association, Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand AS/NZS, and Japanese Industrial Standard JIS, may be used by participants residing outside of the United States. Removal of a helmet cover, if required for that helmet to meet such safety standards is an impermissible alteration rendering the helmet non-compliant. 

The helmet must be properly placed on the head and fastened before the participant enters the Start corral or area and at all times when the participant is on the race course. 

Any violation of these helmet requirements will result in disqualification. A participant will not be disqualified if his/her helmet strap unintentionally and temporarily becomes unattached, and the participant immediately comes to a full stop and repairs the strap and replaces the helmet while fully stopped. 

Bib Numbers and Start Procedure 

Athlete Bibs: Every athlete shall be provided with two bibs. One of the bibs shall be visibly displayed on the back of the racing chair and on the lateral side of the RaceRunning Frame.These bibs must be worn as issued and may not be cut, folded or obscured in any way. 

Athletes entered in the women’s division may be required to place a blinking LED light on their wheelchair in a location to be specified by the Race Organization. This device is required to allow officials at the finish line to spot the approach of the lead women’s division participants in order to alert television, media and finish line tape holders. 

Participants may be staged at the Start according to a slotting chart developed by the Event. Any Participant attempting to move out of his/her assigned Start slot prior to the Start signal will be disqualified. Notwithstanding for foregoing, any Participant may elect to start at the back of the Wheelchair Division field. 

Participants will be disqualified for not starting with the official start or a flagrant false start. 

Rules of the Road 


Drafting behind an athlete from the other gender division or any athletes in handcycle/hand crank divisions is prohibited. Drafting behind any vehicle, including lead vehicles, police cars or motorcycles, media trucks, cars or support cyclists, is prohibited. Drafting is defined as following another athlete in another division or a vehicle within a distance 5 meters for one minute or more. 

Athletes violating this Rule shall be time-penalized or disqualified depending upon the severity of the infraction. 

The Drafting Rule does not apply in the Controlled Start Area (Start Line to turn onto Sunset). 

Passing Another Chair 

Participants coming from behind and attempting to pass another chair are responsible for ensuring full clearance of the chair being overtaken before cutting in front. The participant being passed has the responsibility not to obstruct or impede the overtaking participant once the front wheel of the overtaking participant is in sight. 

Chair Being Passed by Runners 

If being passed by runners, Wheelchair participants must maintain control of their wheelchairs and yield to the right-of-way of runners. In every case, the right-of-way belongs to the runners. 

Chair Being Passed by Vehicles 

If being passed by vehicles, all wheelchair participants must move to the SIDE of the road until the vehicle has passed. 

Participants failing to follow any of the Rules of the Road or causing a crash or spill by another participant, or otherwise improperly interfering with the progress of another Participant may be penalized or disqualified from the Event. 

Outside Assistance 

Except as provided in these rules, no participant in the Wheelchair Division may receive Outside Assistance during the progress of the race from any unofficial source, including an accompanying support cyclist. Outside Assistance means direct help conveyed by any means and includes: 

  • Pacing by a person not officially entered in the race. 
  • Engaging in conversations with persons in or on accompanying vehicles or support cyclists that could be deemed to constitute pacing or coaching or cheering on the part of such persons (e.g., providing advice as to the Participant’s position in the race). 

The following assistance is permitted: 

  • Participants may be assisted in righting and remounting their chairs. 
  • Participants may receive mechanical or other assistance to repair their chairs, including wheels/tires, if such assistance does not impede the progress of other participants or result in the forward progress of the participant. If any replacement parts are used to accomplish on-course repairs, such parts must of the same size and sort as the original parts and the replaced parts made available for inspection if requested by Officials after the Event. 
  • Participants may carry their own refreshments, which may be replenished at any of the refreshment stations provided by the race organizer. 

Yellow Flag Areas 

Yellow Flag Areas are speed controlled, no passing zones designed to neutralize dangerous at high speed sections of the race course such as downhills including turns. The locations, requirements, and penalties for Yellow Flag areas will be announced on the Event website, pre-race materials and/or at the pre-Event technical meeting. Participants are responsible to know and follow all rules and requirements of Yellow Flag Areas. 

Finish Line 

Male and Female Division leaders must cross the finish line between finish tape holders if present. 

Participants cross the finish line when a front tire penetrates the imaginary vertical plane of the finish line. Results will be judged from this point. 

Participants must be prepared to brake immediately after the finish chute 

Prize money 

The Event will comply with all local, state and federal filing and withholding requirements on all monies and benefits provided to Participants including prize money and appearance fees. To receive payments prize money winners will be required to fill out certain forms and provide his or her social security number or other tax ID number. The Event will also file reporting forms such as 1099, 1042-S and/or CA Form 592-B stating prize money payments. Prize Money winners must submit either a completed W9 (Resident), Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certificate, a Form 8233 (Foreign), Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding before any payments will be made. The Event will mail to prize money winners by the appropriate deadline IRS Forms 1099 (U.S. Resident) or 1042S (Foreign Resident) and California Form 592-B stating any earnings from The Event for the preceding calendar year. Prize Money winners are responsible for filing all required tax filings and returns. 

Prize money winners are solely responsible for filling out all tax forms and waivers required by the Event as well as for the accuracy of all such forms. The Event will not amend any such forms and, beyond filing such forms, will not become involved in any communications or take any actions on behalf of the prize money winner with any tax or governmental agency. 

Participants racing for prize money who are not United States citizens are required to obtain appropriate visa or other status required by the United States government to race as a professional and earn prize money in the United States. 

Rules Applying to Handcycles 

The Handcycle Division is an exhibition event and is not a competitive race division. There are no awards or prize money for this division. Handcycle results will be posted for informational reasons only. 

The Handcycle Division is co-coordinated by Achilles International. Members of members of the Achilles International Team have preferred registration priority. 

Handcyclists are required to comply with the following Rules as stated in the Wheelchair Rules, above: 


Bib Number & Start Procedures 

Rules of the Road 

Yellow Flag Areas 

Able-bodied individuals may not participate in the Handcycle Division. 

Handcyclists not complying with these and other applicable Rules will be removed from the results and not invited to participate in future Events. 

It is mandatory for handcyclists who use catheters or other urinary diversion devices to prevent spillage by using a catheter bag at all times. 

Handcycle Specifications 

A handcycle is either an arm powered, arm-trunk powered or kneeling position, three-wheel device with an open frame of tubular construction. No motorized wheelchairs or “trikes” or any wheelchairs or handcycles that a participant cannot “propel” over the marathon course by himself or herself will be accepted. Achilles International may prevent a participant from using any handcycle or device that it determines not the meet the technical specifications or is otherwise unsafe. Any chair or device that is powered by the participant’s legs is a bicycle/tricycle and not permitted. 

The single wheel may be of a different diameter to the double wheels. The front wheel, or wheels, shall be steerable; the single wheel, either front or rear, shall be driven through a system comprising handgrips and a chain. 

The handcycle shall be propelled solely, through a chainset and conventional cycle drive train, of crank arms, chainwheels, chain and gears, with handgrips replacing foot pedals. It shall be propelled from the hands, arms and upper body. 

In the recumbent position, the Participant must have a clear vision. The horizontal of the Participant’s eyeline must be above the crank housing/crank set, when he/she is sitting with his/her hands on the handlebars facing forward at full extent, the tip of his/her shoulder blades in contact with the backrest and his/her head in contact with the headrest, when applicable. A quick release body harness is permitted. 

In the kneeling position, the Participant’s legs and feet must be supported and protected from the ground surface. 

Handcycles must have two independent braking systems. 

A handcycle shall not measure more than 250 cm in length. Its maximum width shall be 70 cm overall. 

The largest chain ring shall have a guard securely fitted to protect the rider. 

Leg and footrests shall be fitted as necessary, with a secure means of protecting static lower limbs from all moving parts. 

Handcyclists must wear shoes or sufficiently stiff foot protection which covers completely the foot, for security measure, unless the handcycle has a shell / structure which allows the feet to rest with no risk of coming out. In such cases, participants should at minimum be wearing socks. In all cases, the feet should also be fixed to the bike with some sort of device which prevents the feet from falling out of the footrest. 

The Event reserves the right to institute a maximum speed limit for handcycles. 

Rules Applying to Duos 

A Duo Team is comprised of one able bodied person pushing a permanently disabled person in a customized three-wheel wheelchair specific for outdoor racing. Both team members must be at least 16 years of age on Event day. 

Duo Team Registration Requirements 

Duo Team registration is done through an application process. An informal application including the following information must be sent to 

Name & age of the able-bodied person pusher 

Name & age of the permanently disabled person being pushed with a description of his/her disability 

Other events in which the Duo have participated 

If more Duo registrations are received than the maximum number of registration slots, a lottery will be held to determine which teams will get the slots. 

If accepted into the race, both individuals must complete the on-line registration process, and pay the full event registration fee. 

Pair Requirements and Course/Safety Rules 

Duos are required to comply with the following Rules as stated in the Wheelchair Rules, above: 


Bib Number & Start Procedures 

Rules of the Road 

The person with the permanent disability must be secured into the wheelchair and wear a helmet (see definition in Wheelchair Rules). 

The able-bodied person must be tethered to the wheelchair and push the person with a permanent disability the entire race distance within the official race time limit of 6:30. 

The able-bodied participant must maintain contact and control with the wheelchair at all times throughout the race. 

Only the registered able-bodied participant can propel the customized racing wheelchair forward. No outside assistance is permitted. 

Only the registered person with a disability can ride in the customized racing wheelchair. 

Motor, pedals, cranks or gears are strictly prohibited. 

Duo teams will start as directed by the Event organization. 

The Event reserves the right to ask for further information and to verify applications with the USATF ADA accommodation procedures. 

Registration Maximums 

Due to space and safety constraints, field size maximums have been set for Athletes with Disabilities as follows: 

Wheelchair - 50 

Hand cycle – 50 

Duo Teams – 6 

Rules Applying To Running Guides 

Running guides are for navigation and safety purposes, providing visual and audio communication to a specific Participant with a disability and to those in the immediate vicinity. A registered Participant with a permanent physical disability or visual impairment is allowed up to three (3) guide runners to assist him or her throughout the marathon, provided all team members meet the following event registration and pairing requirements. 

Event registration requirements 

The participant with the disability must be 16 years of age or older on Event day. Due to safety concerns, guides must be 18 years of age on race day. All individuals must be officially registered to participate. Guides will receive a complimentary entry. 

A Participant with a disability may have a maximum of three (3) registered guide runners. 

For safety reasons, all guides must have read the event rules and guidelines and be able to communicate any course information or alerts to the participant with the disability that they are guiding on race day. No Exceptions. 

Participants requiring the assistance of a guide runner(s) must contact to organize and confirm his or her registration. 

Guide requirements 

The Participant with disabilities and his or her guide(s) must be able to complete the entire race distance within the official race time limit of 6:30. 

The guides are permitted to be tethered to their Participant. 

Only the registered guides are able to assist the Participant with a disability. No additional outside assistance is permitted. 

All guides MUST wear the event issued guide bib and participant bib. 

Guides will be tracked with a timing device but are not scored. 

Participants with guides running a portion of the marathon distance are responsible for meeting their registered guides on the course.