• No athlete may give or accept a draft from another athlete in another race being held concurrently on the same course and that is part of the same event. Also, women may not draft with men; men may not draft with women.
  • No athlete may accept a draft from an outside source (i.e., bicycle, motorcycle, official vehicle, etc.).


Competitors who suffer a mishap may be assisted in remounting. Mechanical assistance to repair the wheelchair or wheels/tires shall be allowed. Only parts damaged or broken during the race in progress can be repaired or replaced. Assistance must be provided in a manner and location as to not impede the progress of other racers and must be provided in a manner so as to not impart pace or result in forward progress to the competitor.

Penalties + Inspection

A racer may be penalized for causing a crash or spill through inadequate maintenance or adjustment to his/her chair components including gluing of tires (subject to disqualification and possible suspension). Race chairs are subject to inspection before the race.

Foot Runners

When in the proximity of foot runners, wheelchair racers must have sufficient control of the wheelchairs to yield the right-of-way to the foot runners. In every case, the ultimate right-of-way belongs to the foot runners. If approached and/or passed by an official race vehicle, the wheelchair competitor must move to one side of the road until the vehicle has passed. The failure of a wheelchair racer to yield right-of-way may result in disqualification and/or suspension. Once you have been passed by a lead vehicle, please be cautious in your forward progress during the race.


The use of a hard shell, approved helmet is required. Wheelchair racers not wearing a helmet will not be permitted to start.

Race Numbers + Timing Chips

All wheelchair athletes are required to display an official race number on either the wheelchair or the person. The entire number must be displayed throughout the race. Race numbers should not be trimmed nor should any part of the number be folded over or covered in any way. Wheelchair athletes covering or altering their numbers are subject to disqualification and/or suspension. Racers must also securely mount the official computer chip to the wheelchair. Computer chips will record official time. The loss of the computer chip will result in disqualification. No chip, no time.



  • Wheelchairs shall have at least three (3) wheels.
  • The diameter of the larger wheels, including the inflated tire, shall not exceed 70 centimeters. Other wheels shall not exceed 50 centimeters including the inflated tire.
  • Only one (1) round push rim shall be attached to each large wheel.


  • The chair and athlete in race position may be any length the athlete desires. However nothing may protrude past the furthest most point of the rear wheels (i.e., nothing can be used to block or push back athletes drafting behind you).
  • The widest measurement of the wheelchair shall be a straight line measured from the outside edge of the push rim or the rear tire, whichever greater at the widest point. No part of the wheelchair may protrude beyond the width of this measurement.


  • Propulsion and steering of the wheelchair shall be made by the hands and arms only.
  • No gears, levers, chains, or any other mechanical devices may be used in propelling the wheelchair. No handcycles, handcrank bikes, recumbent cycles or crankchairs shall be permitted to race.
  • There shall be no device as part of the wheelchair, with the exception of wheel covers, or the athlete that functions for the purpose of reducing air resistance.


  • Athletes must ensure that no part of the lower limbs can fall to the ground during the event.
  • An athlete’s wheelchair must be structurally sound (i.e., no cracks in the frame or welds, no loose or missing spokes, etc.).
  • An athlete must be securely seated in the wheelchair and remain so while racing.
  • It shall be the sole responsibility of the race officials to rule on the safety of the wheelchair and athlete.


  • It will be the sole responsibility of the athlete to conform to all the aforementioned rules and no event shall be delayed while an athlete makes adjustments.


Ready for race day? Wheelchair racing divisions are offered for the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K.