FAQs for Tri Together

Beginner to triathlon?

If you have never done a triathlon before then this is the event for you! A staggering 80% of those who took part in 2011 and 2012 were beginners, so don’t worry: you won’t be alone. If you would like to know more about Triathlon and how it works, we have answered some frequently asked questions below to help you prepare for your first event.

Here's what some of the beginners had to say about the event in 2011 and 2012:

‘Guys, THANK YOU ALL so much! It was my 1st triathlon experience and you made it great for me. Well organised and everybody was so helpful and kind! and thank you for all your cheering support!’ Nina Ballerina, Facebook, 2011

‘Like many it was my first time, and obviously I have achieved a personal goal. I wish to comment on the organisation which was incredible from the texts, updates, encouragement and the many people who gave up a lot of their time, with a smile. Great cause, monies were raised, lives hopefully changed. See you next year.’ Kerry Wallis, Facebook, 2012

What is a triathlon?

The sport of triathlon is the fastest growing sport in the world. A triathlon involves various distances of swimming, biking and running depending upon the race. The Tri Together event series is a sprint distance triathlon (400m swim/15Km bike/5km run) or shorter. The races are ideal for beginners or novice triathletes or those in training for a longer distance. There are other distances such as standard distance, Olympic distance and Ironman.

Can anyone enter?

Anyone aged 17 (on 31 December 2014) or over can enter the main adult race or those aged 8 and over can enter our Junior races which all take place after the adult races. But like any sporting challenge, you will have to train.

Training for a triathlon ensures that you are both physically fit and will avoid injury, all of which will maximize your fun, enjoyment and sense of achievement from the triathlon event. The very best preparation is probably to join your local triathlon club. For a full list of triathlon clubs, please visit the British Triathlon website.

It is always a good idea to have a chat with your local GP just to make sure you are in good health before you start training for an event like this. It also provides an opportunity to talk through any questions or queries you may have. You may like to take a copy of our training programme along with you so that your doctor knows the level of fitness you are aiming for.

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How much does it cost to enter?

The Tri Together registration fees are some of the lowest entry fees on the triathlon market.

  Adult Juniors (11-16 yrs) Juniors (8-10 yrs)
London £47 & £3 BTF Fee £18 & £1 BTF Fee £18 & £1 BTF Fee
Glasgow £37 £12 £12

Tri Together London is run under British Triathlon Federation (BTF) rules, the governing body for triathlon. If you are not already a member of the BTF, you will need to purchase race insurance for the day at a cost of £3 for adults and £1 for juniors.

Triathlon Scotland have kindly waived all race insurance fees for the Glasgow events If you have been considering joining Triathlon England but haven't got round to signing up yet, join before race day and you won't have to pay the £3/£1 day insurance! If you have already signed up to Tri Together and then join BTF, you can claim a £3/£1 refund. If you declare that you are a member of BTF when you enter, you will be required to bring your membership ID with you on the day.

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How much sponsorship do I need to raise?

Tri Together is raising money to support Leonard Cheshire Disability. The money raised will help Leonard Cheshire Disability to continue to support disabled people not only in the UK, but across the world. We support disabled people to live life their way by providing a huge range of innovative services from residential and respite care to help finding employment and learning new skills.

Fundraising targets apply as follows:

  • Tri Together London: £150 per individual
  • Tri Together Glasgow: £150 per individual

Juniors are not required to raise a specific amount of money but we do ask that you try to fundraise as much as you can.

Worried about fundraising?

Don't be! We'll send you a welcome pack with lots of training and fundraising advice. And we give you up to four weeks after the event to keep fundraising and send us the money you raise. Make your page with JustGiving

I've already paid the entry fee, why do I need to raise sponsorship?

There are a number of costs involved in running an event as large as this (i.e. hire of the venue, marketing the event, equipment, staff costs, to name a few) and while we endeavour to spend as little money as possible by obtaining event sponsors, we can't get everything for free. By making the entry fee the lowest on the market for triathlon and setting sponsorship targets, we hope to ensure that as many people as possible can take part and therefore raise more money to go towards supporting disabled people in the UK and worldwide.

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What is the course like?

For all three events, participants will start with an indoor swim (no need to hire a wetsuit!)in an accessible pool, followed by a cycle through leafy surrounds of nearby parks or cycle paths and a run finishing on a running track.

The pools at London and Glasgow are both 25m in length. Participants will complete various lengths of the pool depending on which race they've entered. For example, 400m = 16 lengths; 150m = 6 lengths.

You will then move on to the transition area where you, or their team mate, will mount your bike for the cycle stage.

The bike courses in Glasgow follow largely flat routes through on traffic free cycle tracks or park pathways. The London cycle course is the most hilly and technical course with a max 9% gradient on the outward section of the route. Cyclists will complete various laps of the cycle course before returning to the transition area to drop off their bikes or hand over to their team mate for the run.

The runs on both courses are again free of traffic and fairly flat with some short, steep descents. Assistance will be provided for racing wheelchairs where needed but they should be manageable for everyone. Both races finish on running tracks.

Maps of the Tri Together courses

Tri Together London

View Tri Together London Course in a larger map

Tri Together Glasgow

View Tri Together Glasgow Map in a larger map

What equipment do I need?

Swimming costume/trunks and goggles for the swim. A roadworthy bicycle and a cycle helmet. Bikes must be in a safe and roadworthy condition with brakes in good working order. Spot checks will be made to verify this. No fixed wheel bikes allowed.

Cycle helmets must be approved by BSI, ANSI, Snell or equivalent standards authorities and must not have any cracks, or other signs of damage. Your cycle helmet must be on your head and done up before you touch your bike to take it from the rack. You must not undo it until the bike is re-racked at the end of the bike section.

For wheelchair athletes who want to take part in the cycle and cannot compete on a regular bicycle, you have the option to take part using a handcycle, a recumbent bicycle or a tandem bicycle. Finally, for the run/walk, you will require running shoes or trainers.

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Can I hire a bike, or do I need to bring my own?

If you have your own bike, please bring it with you. If you need to hire a bike, we will be arranging bike hire with a partner bike company and will send you more information when you register.

If you would like to hire a recumbent cycle, trike, four-wheeled bike or handcycle, please email tritogether@lcdisability.org and we can point you in the right direction. We will also be running a taster session of recumbent bikes and handcycles before the triathlon, so if you would like to ‘try before you buy’ (or hire!) look out for further information which will be sent nearer the time.

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Can I wear running shoes for my cycle?


What time will the event start?

The day will start at 11am. Entrants will be sorted into 'waves', depending on their estimated time for the swim. Your personal start time will be confirmed in advance of the day, but we strongly suggest that you arrive early in plenty of time to register, rack your bike and get familiar with your surroundings.

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What finish time should I expect for my first triathlon?

If this is your first time taking part in a triathlon you can expect to finish it in 1 hour to 2.5 hours. Average times for each section would be approximately: swim (400m) 10-12mins, bike (15km) 40mins and run (5km) 30mins.

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What is a transition?

Triathlon is often described as having a fourth discipline, known as the transition. The transition is when participants enter a dedicated area in the race to change from swimming to cycling, and from cycling to running.

Sometimes the transition from swim to bike (known as ‘Transition 1’ or ‘T1’) and bike to run (known as ‘Transition 2’ or ‘T2’) will take place in the same area, and this is the case for all Tri Together races.

Transition areas are usually fenced off with a single entrance and a single exit designed so that no competitor can have a shorter route than another.

Transition 1 is where your bike is racked in a specially designated area. Here you can lay out your cycling kit, shoes, socks, helmet and anything else you may need such as food and drink. The transition area is clearly marked and your bike must only be wheeled when inside it, a safety precaution for other competitors.

At the end of the cycle section, you enter Transition 2 - which is very similar to T1. You must dismount from your bike and wheel it back to the designated area and keep your helmet on until your bike is racked. Any clothing changes before your run take place in T2 and this is your last opportunity to take on any light food or drink that you may want before the finish. You exit T2 on foot as you begin the run section.

The time you take in transition counts to your overall time, so practice getting out of the water and onto your bike (with your team if applicable). Every second counts!

Full details on transitions will be given in your welcome pack and the pre-race e-mail.

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Can my friends/family come into the transition area with me?

No, but the course is spectator friendly with plenty of space for your family and friends to cheer you on and enjoy the electric atmosphere. There will be attractions and facilities available at each event including hot and cold food, refreshments, facepainting, music, toilets that all make for a great day out for the family! If you are bringing young children, please ensure that they are supervised by a friend or family member at all times.

We will upload a spectators information guide nearer to event day and will email you more information in your race pack.

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What is drafting?

Tri Together is known as a non-drafting race which means you cannot ride directly behind another cyclist or ride in a pack. You must keep a 10m gap between you and the cyclist in front but if you wish to overtake you have 30 seconds in the 10m draft zone to complete the overtaking. If you complete the manoeuvre the cyclist you have overtaken must fall back 10m but if you fail you must fall back 10m. This rule is in place as following in a cyclist’s or cycling pack’s slipstream reduces the effort needed to ride your bike. A drafting rule ensures that the race is safe and equal.

The rule will be enforced by referees who may issue a one minute time penalty or a 'two-foot' penalty which means you have to come to a stop, get off the bike and put both feet down and then mount your bike again.

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What is registration?

Before you can race on the day you must visit the race registration desk to confirm your attendance and to collect race numbers given to you. Please allow one hour before your race start for registration. After registration you will be allowed to place your equipment in transition. Registration will open at approximately 9am for those in the early swim waves. We will be operating a rolling registration for all events to reduce waiting times before your swim start.

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What if the weather's bad?

The event will still go ahead - we suggest that you keep an eye on the weather forecast and pack for all eventualities: sun cream, hat and waterproof! If the weather becomes so bad that it is dangerous for participants, the triathlon may be brought to a halt.

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What is the British Triathlon Federation?

The British Triathlon Federation (BTF) is the governing body for triathlon and they provide you with the race insurance for the day which is included in your race entry fee. Tri Together Triathlon is run under BTF rules. Please visit the BTF website for an up-to-date version of these rules.

If you are a member, you are required to show your licence at registration. Non-BTF members, if you have not already done so, will be required to pay the £3 (£1 for juniors) BTF day fee.

If you have been considering joining Triathlon England but haven't got round to signing up yet, join before race day and you won't have to pay the day insurance! If you have already signed up to Tri Together and then join BTF, you can claim a refund.

Why become a member?

Here are just a few benefits: no day membership fees for race entry, subscription to Tri News and the British Triathlon annual handbook, worldwide public liability insurance cover and worldwide personal accident cover, free legal claims service.

Triathlon England Membership

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Main points to remember...

  • Allow plenty of time to get to the venue, park, register, rack your cycle/handcycle and get to the swim start for your compulsory race safety brief.
  • Know exactly what your start time is and how many laps of each discipline you are doing (write it on your arm in marker pen if you feel you may forget!).
  • The cycle courses consists of laps so make sure you adopt a method of counting laps.
  • Take extra care on the cycle course, especially at the turn around points at both ends, watch for pedestrians crossing at all times. Keep to the left at all times except when overtaking.
  • Enjoy the race! If you have read all this information and still have questions, please email tritogether@lcdisability.org or ask at registration, we are here to help!