What is Paratriathlon?

Paratriathlon is triathlon for ‘disabled’, physically challenged athletes (paratriathletes). A triathlon is a swim, bike, run event. There are many distances for paratriathlon, ranging from a super sprint, generally a 400m swim followed by a 20km bike leg and then a 5 km run. All the way up to long distance triathlons (Ironman) 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike leg and a marathon 26.2 mile run at the end. The three disciplines are raced in the same continuous order all the time and the fastest one to finish all three including the transitions from one discipline to the other is the winner. In Paratriathlon there are 6 categories to cover all disabilities (see Paratriathlon page for details).

For competition purposes the Paratriathlon is raced over the Sprint Distance. 750 swim, generally open water i.e. in a lake, river or sea swim, wetsuits are allowed no matter what the water temperature (one of the perks of being physically challenged, the other is you can have a helper in transition), followed by a 20km bike leg and a 5km run. This makes competitions very close and exciting to watch.

In the UK, the British Triathlon Federation (BTF) have always supported the inclusion of physically challenged athletes, I compete in many triathlons against able bodied competitors known as Age Groupers there are no restricts imposed on us, as long as we can compete over the course, this is always worth checking with the organisers before entering.

The organisers of events can never do enough to make sure your experience of their event is a positive one. I can safely say I’ve never had a negative experience in all the years I’ve doing triathlons. I love racing against able bodied triathletes. One of my favourite races is the Eton Super Sprints run by Human Race. A great event to try your first triathlon.