Need to echo Coach AJ’s statement. This is one of the ways that a long distance triathlon race is different from a running race. I completely get wanting to stick by your friend/relative but for everyone else’s safety, it’s just a bad idea. Also know that 6-8 hours is a long time to be out there exercising. So while it is totally appropriate to look out for your friends/relatives while training to make sure everyone is ok, this is not appropriate in the racing environment. Please know that there are aid stations all over the course to assist your friend/relative. Similar to the emergency landing instructions when you get on a plane, please help yourself first. Hope that makes sense but reach out to me if further clarification is needed.