We've put together some of the most frequently asked questions and answers to help you get started.

General Questions

How should I train for a triathlon?

It is important to know that you are in a healthy enough condition to exercise and take part in a triathlon. For a beginner’s guide to training please click here. Preparation for the event is also important, don't train too hard for a few days before the event and make sure you are well hydrated (drink plenty of water!).

What is the minimum age I can compete in a UK Triathlon event?

Please see below our age group categories for our triathlon and runs:-

RUNS (age on race day)

14 years of age for 10k runs.

16 years of age for our Half Marathon.

We have no minimum age for our fun runs but under 12 years of age must be accompanied at all times by an adult.

TRIATHLONS & DUATHLONS (age on race day)

16 years of age for our Fun, Super Sprint and Sprint distance triathlons.

14 years of age for our Birmingham and South Coast Sprint, Super Sprint & Fun triathlons (due to a closed bike route)

17 years of age for our Olympic distance triathlons.

16 years of age for our Relay teams members up to Olympic distance.

18 years of age for our Middle, Ultimate Half and Ultimate triathlon.

If I enter close to the start of the event will I be with swimmers of my own ability?

Competitors that enter two weeks or under prior to the triathlon are considered a ‘late entry’ and will be slotted into our start list. Although we try our hardest to place competitors with those of a similar ability this is not always possible.

When will I receive notification of my start time and race number?

You will receive an email 7 to 10 days prior to the event; this will include all of your race day information as well as your race number and start time. If you don’t receive this email, please email customercare@uktriathlon.co.uk. Please note we never send any race information through the post.

Can I enter a mixed relay team?

Yes, however, please be aware that the team may not be eligible for a prize should they finish in the top three.

Can my relay team be made up of just two people?

Yes, a relay team can have only two people in it.

What is the difference between the fun and super sprint category?

The fun and super sprint triathlon are both the same distances but the super sprint is where competitors compete for a prize whereas the fun triathlon is purely for fun without the pressure of competing for a prize.

How do I know if my entry has been successful?

You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of entering the triathlon; we will then send you regular email updates and offers. If you don’t receive anything from us this may be because the email has gone into your junk folder or you may have entered an incorrect email address during registration. If you have any concerns over your entry please email customercare@uktriathlon.co.uk.

I can no longer compete at the triathlon what is your cancellation policy?

Please visit our cancellation and race rules page on how to withdraw from a triathlon.


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Entry Process

How do I enter an event?

You can enter securely online via our website or call our team on 01270 842 800.

What happens once I have entered, whether it’s online or over the phone?

Once you have entered an event, the following will happen:

  • You will receive an email confirming your entry with some general information.
  • You will receive a payment confirmation email.
  • You will then receive emails on the run up to your event.
  • Approximately 7 to 10 days before your event you will be emailed your competitor race notes, event day information (race number info, start time etc).

Within those race notes will be all the information you will need to know about your event, from start times and your race number, to registration and course logistics.

NOTHING WILL BE SENT TO YOU IN THE POST, ALL INFORMATION IS SENT TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU PROVIDE AT THE TIME OF BOOKING.

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On the Day Questions

When will I receive my race number/timing chip?

You will pick up your race numbers and timing chip at registration on the day of the event.


Can I wear one race/bib number?

Your race number must be clearly displayed on your back for the bike and clearly displayed on your front for the run. Elastic numbers are permitted with only one number pinned on the top left and right hand corners.

Can I listen to music during the triathlon?

In line with BTF rules any device that is used for music is not permitted in a UK Triathlon event.


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General Swim Questions

Can I amend my swim time before the triathlon?

Yes, any changes must be confirmed in writing and sent to customercare@uktriathlon.co.uk and they should be sent no later than four weeks prior to the event.


Why is it important to submit an accurate estimated swim time for pool based swims?

The swim time is how we compile our start lists, by doing so competitors will start with swimmers of a similar ability.


My friend and I entered the triathlon at the same time but we aren’t starting together, why is this?

There could be a few reasons why you aren’t starting together; you are in a different race/age category i.e one of you is in the sprint and the other in the super sprint, your swim times are different or if one of you is male and the other is female you will also start separately.


Will I need a wetsuit?

Distances where a wetsuit are compulsory include our Olympic, Middle and Ultimate/Ultimate half distances. Wetsuits are not permitted for pool based swim events.


Do I need a swim cap?

A swim cap must be worn allowing you to be easily seen by other swimmers. The swim cap will be provided by UK Triathlon either at registration or at the swim start. You may use your own swim cap if you wish, as long as it is noticeable in the water.


Do I need a pair of swimming goggles?

It is recommended that you use them, but it is your choice.


Can I use any stroke for the swim?

Due to the safety of other competitors back stroke, diving and tumble turns are not permitted during the swim.


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General Bike Questions

Can I use a mountain bike?

Yes, any bike can be used but it must be road worthy.


Will triathlon and road bikes make a difference?

They can make a difference but not a huge amount. Road tyres are smoother and provide less resistance and aero bars put you in a more aerodynamic position on your bike.


Is drafting permitted during the triathlon?

All UK Triathlon events, apart from the ‘South Coast Sprint Draft Legal Triathlon’, are non-drafting triathlons. Cyclists must maintain a forward distance of 10 metres between each other at all times except when overtaking. It is the responsibility of the overtaken rider to drop back to maintain this gap. Drafting marshals will strictly enforce this rule and offending cyclists will receive a time penalty for the first offence and disqualification on the second.


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General Run Questions

Will there be any water available during the run?

Yes, there will be one or more feed stations around the course serving both water and High5.

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Pool Swim FAQ'S

What do I need for a pool based triathlon? (Indoor/Outdoor)

  • Swimming costume, swim shorts, trunks or a trisuit. Wetsuits are not permitted for pool based swim events.
  • Swimming goggles (recommended but they are optional)
  • Road worthy bike
  • Cycle helmet (compulsory)
  • Trainers

Do I need a swim cap?

You will be provided with a swim cap which must be worn to make you visible in the water. You may use your own swim cap providing it is noticeable in the water.

Why do you need an accurate swim time?

The swim time is how we compile our start list. Providing an accurate estimated swim time means competitors will take part alongside swimmers of the same/similar swim ability.

We start everyone off at intervals, 15-20 seconds, so you will get in the pool one after the other as instructed by the poolside swim starter.

Can I amend my swim time before the triathlon?

Yes, as we understand things happen whether it's improvement with training or more time needed due to injury.

Please advise all amendments in writing via email to customercare@uktriathlon.co.uk no later than three weeks prior to the event.

Why do I need to be at the swim start earlier than my start time?

We ask for you to be at the swim start 15 minutes before your start time so you can listen to the full Race Safety Brief.

Once you have been given your Race Safety Brief you will then stand in line and await your instruction to enter the pool.

Can I use any stroke for the swim?

For your safety and the safety of other competitors back stroke, tumble turns and diving are not permitted.

Where do I put my bike when I am swimming or running?

Your cycle will be racked in the cycle transition area before you start the event.


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Lake/Sea Swim FAQ'S

What do I need for an open water triathlon? (Lake/Sea)

  • Swimming costume, swim shorts, wetsuit (depending on what distance you're doing), trunks or a trisuit
  • Swimming goggles (recommended but they are optional)
  • Road worthy bike
  • Cycle helmet (compulsory)
  • Trainers

Do I need a wetsuit for an open water triathlon? (Lake or Sea)

If you are taking part in one of our Olympic, Olympic Relay, Ultimate, Ultimate Half, Ultimate One and Shropshire Middle triathlons, then YES, wetsuits are compulsory.

For all our Fun, Super Sprint, Sprint Relay distances, no, a wetsuit is not compulsory, however if you wish to wear one for these distances then that isn’t a problem.

How does the swim section work for open water triathlons?

We start everyone off in the water. All the Fun entrants go off together (this is called a wave) along with all the Super Sprint entrants. At some open water events the waves are broken down further into the following

  • All Fun
  • All Super Sprint
  • Sprint Female
  • Sprint Male
  • Olympic Female
  • Olympic Male

The reason we break the waves down into smaller groups is to prevent overcrowding during the swim.

Why do I need to be at the swim start earlier than my start time?

We ask for you to be at the swim start a full 15-20 minutes before your wave start time, so you can listen to the full Race Safety Brief.

Once you have been given your Race Safety Brief you should then be allowed to get into the water, this will get you ready for your swim and to climatise to the water.

What's the best place for me to start from?

Depending on your swimming strength be careful where you start, if you are a strong swimmer then get to the front, if you're not so strong then find space in the water further back so you can swim at your own pace.

The race starter will instruct you to gather between the swim start buoys, once the air horn blasts, you start your swim.

When you have completed the right amount of laps for your swim course you make your way to the swim exit (this will be clearly marked)

Don't worry if you are unsure of how many laps you need to do the race brief will inform you of this.

The swim course will be marked out with buoys, this will be on our website, in your competitor race notes and during your race brief you will be told which way the course goes.


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Event Day Registration FAQ'S

What times does registration open?

Registration will be open on the Saturday before your event and early Sunday morning (except The South Coast Triathlon, which is Friday and early Saturday morning).

All registration opening times will be in your competitor race notes.

All events have different opening times so make sure you the check times in your competitor race notes.

Where do I need to go first on race day?

Registration will be on the main arena field at all our events.

Look out for the Mornflake bright orange marquee, that’s where registration will be. If you haven’t registered the day before then you need to look for the Mornflake marquee on arrival.

At registration you will be giving everything you need to take part in your event, if you need to ask any questions then registration is the perfect place.

What do I get in my race envelope?

Your race envelope will be picked up when you go to register at the venue for your event (nothing will be sent to you through the post).

The content of your race envelope is as follows (this info is also in your competitor race notes):

  • Race numbers
  • Safety pins
  • Bike stickers (see what are bike and helmet stickers)
  • Helmet sticker (see what are bike and helmet stickers)
  • Arm tattoo (see what is an arm tattoo)

What is an arm tattoo and how do I apply it?

The arm tattoo is there for safety, security and identification.

To apply your arm tattoo to your arm you need to:

  • Carefully read the instructions on the back of the tattoo.
  • Read the instructions in your race notes (these are the same as on the back of your tattoo).
  • Read the instructions on the pull up banner at registration.

If you are still not sure, then ask at registration, they are always there to help you.

Your arm tattoo needs to be completely visible; the best place to apply it is to the forefront of your bicep area of the upper arm.

What are bike and helmet stickers and how do I apply them?

Like the arm tattoo the bike and helmet stickers are there for your safety, security and identification throughout your event.

There will be two bike stickers, one for the front of your handle bars and the other to go onto the seat stem of your bike.

Your helmet sticker needs to go onto the front of your helmet.

When do I need to put the stickers on my bike and helmet?

Once you have registered, then they all need to be applied almost straight away.

You CANNOT go into the cycle transition area without your bike or helmet stickers being applied, this is for security reasons.


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Relay Team FAQ'S

Can I enter a relay team?

Yes, all you need is two or three people to share the swim, the cycle and the run.

Taking part in a relay team is so rewarding, it also means if you're not comfortable swimming, cycling or running it is an ideal way for you to take part with friends and family, plus, you all still get a medal when you cross the finish line.

How do you do the triathlon as a Relay Team?

One person does the swim section and then hands the timing chip to the cyclist (who will be waiting in the transition area). Once the cyclist has completed the cycle leg, they return to transition and give the timing chip to the runner. The runner then completes the run section and finishes and of course all team members can join them for that all important finishing photograph!

Can relay teams be mixed gender?

Yes, not a problem at all. Your relay team can be made up anyway you choose to take part.


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Distances

SwimBikeRun
Pink Wave200m9-21km2.5km
Fun & Super Sprint200m9-21km2.5km
Sprint & Relay400-750m18-25km5km
Olympic & Relay1500m40km10km
Bike and Transition FAQ'S

Do I need a specific type of bike to take part?

No, any bike can be used providing it is roadworthy.

Will triathlon and road bikes make a difference?

They can make a difference but not a huge amount at entry level. Road tyres are smoother and provide less resistance and aero bars put you in a more aerodynamic position. Both can be fitted to almost all bikes quite cheaply if you want but it really isn't necessary, unless you want to squeeze a few more seconds off your bike time.

Which helmet is good enough to use?

Your helmet must have the 'CE', 'SNELL' or 'ANSI' trademark inside it. The strap must be in working order and the helmet itself must not have any cracks on it.

Where do I put my bike when I am swimming or running?

Your cycle will be racked in the cycle transition area before you start the event.

What is the cycle transition area?

The cycle transition area is where your cycle is kept whilst you are swimming/running. There will be space in there for you to rack your cycle. There is also space for you to leave a bag (ideal for putting goggles or wet swim towel etc).

Can anyone go in the transition area?

No. For safety & security reasons only competitors are allowed to go in to the cycle transition area.

How secure is the transition area?

To get in & out of the transition area with your cycle you must show the security personnel at the transition exit/entrance the following before they will allow you to enter or leave the area with a bike;

  • Cycle stickers (Stuck on the handle bars and cycle frame)
  • Matching Race Number
  • Matching Race Tattoo (arm)
  • Matching Helmet stickers

Is drafting permitted during the triathlon?

No, cyclists must maintain a forward distance of 5 metres between each other at all times except when overtaking. It is the responsibility of the overtaken rider to drop back to maintain this gap.


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After the Triathlon FAQ's

Is a massage necessary?

Massage is a great way of getting those muscles ready for the challenge of the triathlon and even better still to soothe and ease away the aches and strains after the race whilst aiding recovery.

A massage team is available at our events. It may be a good idea to pre book a post race massage when you arrive at the venue, so you don't have to wait after you have finished your race.


My age group/age is incorrect on your results

Please contact us at customercare@uktriathlon.co.uk providing us with your name and date of birth.

Please note your age is calculated by your age on the 31st December, this is in line with the BTF rules.


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Fundraising

Fundraising online

If you have decided to raise money for one of our charity partners or one of your own, here are some useful tips on how to get started.

Whatever inspires you, tell everyone you know. Your friends, your family, your colleagues. An online fundraising page is the easiest way.

  • It's quick to set up and simple to use
  • You can fundraise on your own or as part of a group
  • Your friends and family can sponsor you easily
  • You can keep track of donations
  • No need to use a sponsorship form

Here are a few links to online fundraising sites.

  • JustGiving
  • GoFundMe
  • KindLink


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