Preparing for a Triathlon
Is this your child's first triathlon? Is it your first time bringing your child to a triathlon? If so, here's a few tips to make the day run smoothly for you and your child.
First, a youth triathlon is about FUN!!! It's fun for the entire family and it should be a great experience for your child. It can launch them on a lifelong love of the sport. Every child is a natural when it comes to having fun and they all like to run naturally. Most kids love to bike and most will take to swimming like a duck if given the chance. So your job as a parent is to let go of all those pre-conceived notions about competition and let your child have some fun and success at sport. Please take a minute to read the Athlete Information Guide. It has more detailed information about the event.
We always start with the swim, then the bike, followed by the run to the finish line regardless of the age of the child. In between each of these events is a segment called "transition". Here's some information that will help you navigate each of these sections.
Arrival and Setting up Transition
Plan to arrive at least 60 minutes before your child's wave start. This is when you will find your child's age group area in transition and set up their bike and running gear to be ready when they get out of the pool. Set up the bikes with the race numbers and helmet numbers that you receive in your packet. Instructions are included in that package for how to attach their numbers. Kids will also be body marked with their race numbers and body markers will be around transition with markers.
One parent will be permitted to walk into transition with each child. You will receive a wristband at packet pickup that allows you into transition with your child to help set up. Once the race starts parents are not allowed in transition to help their child, except in the 6 andunder category. You can ask us for an exception to this for a special needs child competing in the 7 - 15 age group.
All children will be asked to be on the pool deck at least 20 minutes before their wave. They will be excorted to the pool and a staging area for their wave start by the volunteers on the deck. About 5 minutes before their wave start there will be warm ups and get ready to get in the water. Volunteers will direct them to their lanes when the pool is empty from the previous wave. Lanes are not assigned so your child can self-select their lane and the volunteers will be there to help them.
Transition #1 - Swim to Bike
When your child exits the pool they will be guided out the gate to Transition by the volunteers. They will not be changing their clothes when they exit from the pool - they will be going directly to their bikes. Its a good idea to have a dry t-shirt ready at the bike(and a pair of shorts to pull on over their swim suits if they want). Shoes, socks, and helmets should be all ready to put on. When they are all dressed they grab their bikes and head to the bike exit area.
If your child is in the 7 - 15 year old group they must learn to do this for themselves. If they are 6 and under one parent can help them.
Helmets must be worn on the bike course at all times! No exceptions. Your child will be directed around the course for their age group. At the end of their bike ride they will return to Transition.
Transition #2 - Bike to Run
Thsi is where the bikes get parked and the helmets come off. Most kids already have their shoes on from the bike ride, but if they need to change shoes they would do that when their bikes are parked. After parking and getting ready to run they will follow the volunteer directions to head off on their run segment.
Same thing here with help - 7 - 15 have to do it themselves. 6 and under can have one parent to help.
Run to Finish
This is the last leg and the most fun for most kids. They will complete their run on their age group course and run to the finish line where they receive their finishers medal. There will be food and drink waiting for them at the finish line, as well as a podium for photo opportunities.