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What is a triathlon?
A combination of swimming, biking and running. Most triathlons are in that order, but reverse triathlons do exist which are typically a bike, run and swim.
I’m a beginner, can I do this?
Absolutely! Depending on your age and health, it’s a good idea to get a physical from your doctor before embarking in endurance sports. With your doctor’s endorsement you’ll want to prepare by swimming, biking and running to prepare for your race. Choose a distance that is realistic for your condition and experience with the three disciplines of triathlon (see: What are the different lengths of triathlon?).
I am a first time triathlete. What do I need to bring?
Each athlete will need:
• Swimsuit & Goggles
• Bike & Helmet
• Biking and running clothes
• Water bottle for Transition area and the Bike Course
What are the different lengths of triathlons?
Cal Tri Events produces both sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. Always refer to the race page for specifics, but typically distances are as follows:
Sprint: 400 yard swim, 8-16 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
Olympic: 1640 yard swim, 24.8 mile bike (as close as possible), 6.2 mile run
How does a rolling swim work?
A rolling start is when individuals are self seeded. That means, if you know you swim fast, you get in the water first. If you know you swim slow, you get in the water towards the end. This way the fast people aren’t clawing over the slower swimmers to get in front.
Some people worry about how their time is reflected in a rolling start. Since everyone has a race chip, each person’s time wont start until they pass over the starting mat.
Do I need a wetsuit?
Not all races require a wetsuit. If the water is 78 degrees or cooler, you can wear a wetsuit (but it’s not required). If the water is 78-84 you can wear a wetsuit but you won't qualify towards awards
There are various types of triathlon wetsuits: full wetsuits, sleeveless and lava shorts. There are also wetsuits for surfing or boating. These also work, but are not specifically designed for the demands of triathlon specific swimming.
Can I use headphones?
NO. Headphones are not allowed for safety purposes.
What type of bike can I use?
Mountain, road, commuter, and of course triathlon bikes are all allowed. There’s no need to go out and buy an expensive bike when you’re getting into triathlons. You can make your current bike more efficient for triathlons by putting on thinner tires, adding aerobars, using clipless pedals or changing their seat height.
What is a relay triathlon? Do we all get timing chips?
A relay triathlon is when 2 or 3 athletes combine to complete the triathlon. Each individual will take one or two of the disciplines.
Relay athletes meet in the transition area. Each get a bib but there’s only one timing chip and that goes to the team administrator. That timing chip gets passed along through the course of the day.
What is body marking?
Body marking is when your race number is written on your body often with a Sharpie. Your age may also be placed on your calf. Body marking is not required and not typically done at CalTri events. Some races will implement body marking.
Where do my stickers go?
Included in your race packet will be a sticker for your bike, a race bib number and a wristband with your number on it. The sticker must be placed on the top tube of your bike. The bib will be worn during the run portion of the triathlon. The wristband should be on your wrist the entire race day. Race numbers are primarily for safety—both your identification if something were to happen and also to ensure no one accidentally (or otherwise) walks away with your bike out of transition.
How do I know where to put my bike in transition?
In the transition area find any open spot to place your bike on the rack, there are not assigned slots for most races. Be mindful of other athletes and try to not take up too much room.
Will there be traffic on the course?
Some courses are closed and some are open courses. Please read the details on the race page site to know the course.
A closed course is a course that is not open to traffic. You won't have to worry about cars, but you still have to watch out for other participants, cyclists or walkers/runners.
An open course will have cars on the course. Don't ever let your guard down. Watch out for cars pulling out of small streets or driveways. Don’t assume a police officer sees you and will stop all traffic for you. They may, but they also might make you stop and wave traffic through.
How does a SwimBike work?
A SwimBike is when you participate in only the swim and bike portions of the triathlon. The race will start at the swim arches and finish under the finishing arch.
How does a RunBikeRun work?
A RunBikeRun is when you run, bike, then run to complete your race. The race will start at the finishing arch, you will transition in the transition area and complete the race under the finishing arch on the run.
How does a SwimRun work?
A SwimRun is when you participate in only those two events. Your race will start at the swim arches and finish under the finish arch.
Do CalTri Events have age group awards?
No. Awards are given for overall top 3 male and female athletes.
How does the GrandPrix USA work?
For full details please see: https://www.secondwindtiming.com/caltri-grand-prix/