Why a medical certificate? What is a license?

From: Brian
Sent on: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 3:53 PM
For most athletic events in continental Europe whether it is a 10K, semi marathon, marathon, triathlon or bike race, the organizers will want each participant to have a medical certificate or license.  (It must be a requirement set by the insurance companies.)  A medical certificate is a letter from a doctor on professional stationery stating that you are in good health and can do the event.  Simple enough except some events only accept a medical certificate that specifically names the event or other terms like the exact sport, the distance, competition, etc.  Others only accept ones within three months or some other relatively brief time period.  Worse yet, some insist on keeping them thus can only be used for one event.  Because of this, it is not unheard for individuals to forge or "adjust" certificates which is probably not the best idea.  Without one though, you cannot do the event which may be extremely annoying especially if you have travelled for it. 

Some bigger events do have a doctor available but they aren't cheap and you shouldn't depend on this.

Instead of a medical certificate, you can use a license which is good for the entire year.  (You do need to see a doctor once though.)  To obtain a license, you need to be a member of a biking, running or triathlon club such as  expaTRI?s.  As a member of such a club, you can then purchase a license from the relevant federation.

Licenses are good throughout the world except North America.  (However, if you are any good, you can probably get them to accept it there as well which I have done numerous times.) 

Of course, membership in the club and licenses aren't cheap (180) but if you are doing several events, it is probably a good idea so you never have to worry about it again.  It is tough enough to do these events who needs one more hassle.  It should be noted that a triathlon license is good for running, biking and swimming events while a running license is only good for running events and biking license only good for biking events.

Consequently, if you are doing several events and thus interested in getting a license for 2010, email me and I can tell you all about expaTRI?s, an English speaking triathlon club based in the Paris area.  Or, check us out at expatries-triathlon.com.

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