Knowing what competitions to enter can be difficult. There are a number of series and stand alone events in:
All the events are at distances limited in terms of the age of the children although each event may vary slightly.
Chapel Tri is part of the South Central region. This comprises Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. There are 10 regions in the country.
Every region has its own triathlon series. The children competing get points for each event they enter. The winners of each event (boys and girls) usually get 10,000 points and the other children get points determined by the percentage of how far behind the winner they finish.
At the end of the series the leading point scorers will win the series.
Each year there is an Inter Regional Competition where the 3 boys and 3 girls in T2 and T3 in each of the 10 regions plus Wales and Scotland compete for individual and team honours. This will take place at Mallory Park in Leicestershire on the 5th/6th September 2015 and will be combined with an under 20 international competition where the world’s best young tri-athletes compete.
The competitions usually take place between March and August with the Inter Regional Competition taking place at the end of August/beginning of September.
Chapel Tri stage their own triathlon which is part of the series.
The club also stage an Aquathlon (which also forms part of the South Central Series).
Both the above events will use a swimming pool for the swim but there is an open water triathlon at Dorney Lake run by Human Race which is also part of the series. Depending on the water and air temperature a wetsuit may be needed for this event.
There is also a sea swim at the Portsmouth Triathlon.
Other events in the series include Trinity School (Croydon – closed road) and Andover (school grounds, good family atmosphere and grass cycle and run legs).
The IRC competition series is where the best 3 triathlons will count (including Eton Dorney as a compulsory event) Details are on the South Central website.
You need to keep an eye on the Events Calendar on the club website or the South Central section of the Triathlon England website which shows when races in the series are on and gives links to the entry forms. Each event has an entry form and a date by which you have to enter.
The events may have the cycle and run section on grass, tarmac, off-road or a combination of all three surfaces. The weather is also a factor. This may be important in terms of the choice of tyre or footwear.
Don’t worry if you are not sure about any of the above there are plenty of coaches and helpers at the club who can point you in the right direction.
In 2014 the club provided 6 members (half) of the South Central Inter Regional Team and we provided 4 individual winners of the series as well as a number of other podium finishers. This was in addition to winners and high finishes in a number of the other series races.
In 2015 the club made up 9 of the 12 places available. We had 5 individual winners of the series and lots of podium finishers.
The results of the 2014 series are on the Triathlon England (South East) website (click on ‘Juniors’ then ‘Junior Race Series’).
The Youth series is a separate series for elite 15-16 year olds which is on the Triathlon England website.
The Castle Triathlon series is a series of triathlons at various castles in England, Ireland and France. It is a family-run series and adults and children compete in separate events over the weekend.
It is a nice family day out for those siblings who don't get the chance to compete with archery, climbing walls, inflatables and other excitement at each event.
If both parents and children want to compete, you can make a weekend of it. The adult events are usually first thing in the morning. If you want to take part in the children’s event only it is possible to travel on the morning of the race to the 3 castles in England (Cholmondeley near Crewe, Howard near York, Hever in Kent) and Chantilly (backdrop to the Bond film ‘View to a Kill’ and 2.5 hours drive from Calais) near Paris. The children’s races take place in the afternoon. The Irish castle at Lough Cutra in Galway is a little more difficult to do in a day but is over the half-term holiday in May.
The triathlons are all open water – taking place in the castle moats and lakes and usually require a wetsuit. The cycle and run take place around the castle grounds. The cycle is off-road and quite tough but everybody gets round (even if it means a walk up a hill!)
There are prizes for each race winner and 2nd and 3rd places. There is also a series winner for whoever has the best 3 aggregate finishes. Last year the individual winners won animal print wetsuits.
The website is www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk and the series is highly recommended.
This is run by Pentathlon GB and covers England and Scotland. Although it is a schools competition you can enter your child individually. There is a separate competition for each year of birth starting at Under 10 and going through to Under 19.
Up to Under 12 the race is a 50m swim and an 800m run (usually a few hours apart). From Under 13 the swim is 100m and the run is 1600m. From age 15 the swim increases to 200m.
The runs are on athletic tracks and the swims in a swimming pool with either 25m or 50m lengths.
There are points awarded for the times achieved in both disciplines and they are added together.
The top scores will entitle a child to compete in the British Modern Pentathlon Championships (held in Solihull) and the final of the Schools Competition (to be held at Crystal Palace in 2016).
There are qualifying events staged between September and November in each year with the final of the British Biathlon Championships at the end of November and the Schools final in March/April.
The details for the competition for 2015/2016 are on the Pentathlon GB website. Entries are open at the beginning of September online.
We have provided the winners of both the South East championship and South West regional championship.
Pentathlon GB also organise a Biathle competition. We have 3 members of the GB Biathle European championship squad who came away with an individual bronze and 2 team gold medals in 2014 and members of the world tour event in Portugal 2015 who won a bronze in the individual event.
This year the world championships are in Georgia but in 2016 the championships are due to be held in Orlando, Florida (so start saving).
The website address is www.pentathlongb.org and is also recommended.
There are a significant number of other competitions that the children can enter. Human Race www.humanrace.co.uk run a number of children events and there is a series of novice races under the Try Tri www.trytri.co.uk umbrella to give children a flavour of competition.
There is no restriction on entering other series events in other areas. For example, there is a very good triathlon competition for children run by Crystal Palace Triathlon Club (sold out within a few hours of going online). This is part of the London series and there are South East and South West series events as well as other events run by the other regions.
British Triathlon has an event finder on their website at www.britishtriathlon.org/take-part/events.
There is also an event finder on www.tri247.com/go/events_guide.html.
The Wessex Cyclo-Cross League runs throughout the Winter months. Races take place on Sundays and there is training at the Sports Centre in Southampton from 7pm to 8.30pm for children and adults (lights needed). www.wessexcx.co.uk.
The cross-country season blends in well with the triathlon season giving good base fitness through the Winter months. A number of our tri-athletes represent their county and we have the current Hampshire Under 11 champion.
Park runs are also a fun and easy way to maintain run fitness. It is free and there are parks nationwide where you can run, walk, take the dog around the course and get a time. (9am every Saturday for a 5k run and Sunday mornings for a 2k junior run).
Trying to identify all the competitions and races that the club’s tri-athletes can participate in is often quite challenging. If you come across an event you think might be of interest and it is not on the Event Calendar please let one of the committee members or coaches know and it can be circulated to club members.
Do not be put off by the scale of the competition. The most important thing is to take part and enjoy it. All the children will enjoy the above events.
If you want to learn more about competition at the higher end you should look at the North West section in the Triathlon England website where you will find a Regional Academy Guide. This is a useful outline of training goals and provides a table of run and swim times from age 12 up which lead all the way to Olympic Training Squad level.
Each region has a Regional Academy for the top tri-athletes from the age of 14. Our athletes currently make up half the current academy squad which is based at the Oxford University athletics ground.
Most, if not all, of the top tri-athletes at the club belong to separate swim clubs. There are a significant number who also belong to separate athletic clubs (Southampton AC in particular) and cycling clubs (Meon Valley Cycling Club, Fareham Wheelers and the children’s cycling club, Solent Pirates).
There are a lot of coaches/parents at the club who will be only too happy to talk to other parents who want to know more about whether or not their children should be joining another club to supplement their skill in any particular discipline.
Do not be put off by the thought that your child has to join a myriad of different sports clubs. It may be that your child will have all their triathlon needs met by the club. Chapel Tri already have a number of excellent coaches with more in the process of qualifying.
Do not be shy in offering to help out at the club. We are always interested in helping and funding parents to qualify in triathlon coaching but we are all volunteers. There is no paid position. We need parents as helpers even if they don’t want to qualify as coaches. Writing down finish times, manning a point on a run or bike course or shouting out encouragement are all tasks that a parent helper can assist with.
If you are thinking about qualifying to coach there are different levels and you don’t have to do all three disciplines. You can take a course in any one of swimming, cycling or running. These will qualify you to give a pre-set training session at the first stage all the way through to coaching an individual at the highest levels. You can choose. All that the club asks is that in return for funding the course you provide at least 2 years regular coaching at the club.