If you have a question let us know, and we’ll answer it!
In the meantime, here’s what we got asked so far and some more we thought might be useful, including the questions that you might feel embarrased to ask if you’re a Tri-virgin!
Of course, when you have successfully entered, then please click here to go to the Competitor Briefing page for the full scoop (and in the event anything there contradicts anything you read below – they’re right and below is history!)
Q: What time does it start?
A: Swimmers will set off one after another (zig zagging up and down 8 lanes from the far side shallow end of the pool to the near side) from 8:30am according to their declared speed (slowest first), but you will need to be there a lot earlier than that! Check out our Competitor Briefing for more details.
Q: How much is it to enter?
A: Running a Triathlon is expensive!
This year there is a modest increase to the entry fee (which has been the same for the last 3 years).
For individual competitors it will be £43 for British Triathlon Federation (BTF) members, and £48 for non-BTF members. This additional fee for non-BTF members covers insurance, etc (see below). If you would instead like to join the BTF, click here to go to the BTF website.
For teams (of 2 or 3 members – see below), the entry fee will be £66 (with an additional £5 for any team members who are not BTF members).
2 person relay teams will also be permitted with one of the team members doing 2 (any 2) of the disciplines – see below for further information.
Our wonderful professional (but on the day volunteer) photographers will again be out on course and your entry fee will include some free photos that you can use on Facebook, etc (precise details to be worked out) as well as a very special medal and your fab goody bag!
Q: How many competitors will there be?
A: We have increased entries from last year’s 160 individuals/teams to 180 and hope we may be able to accommodate up to 200 – so if we are full DO join the waiting list!
Q: How old do I have to be?
A: You must be at least 17 on 31 December 2019. There is no maximum age and our oldest competitor so far was 75 year old Gordon Merfield who in 2013 swam and biked then completed the run section on crutches!
Q: Can I help raise funds for Beccles Lido at the same time?
A: The Beccles Triathlon is first and foremost a superb sporting event for Beccles and the region’s top Triathletes, as well as anyone who wants to try a Tri for the first time. But we also hope it’s going to raise vital and much needed funds to keep the community open air swimming pool, Beccles Lido, open. If you’d like to be sponsored for the Triathlon in aid of the Lido, then we have a Virgin Money Giving site which makes it really easy for you to publicise yourself and raise sponsorship online. Just click here and start fundraising! (Quick tip: we recommend you set your page up as a ‘Personal Challenge’)
Q: Will there be any Beccles Triathlon merchandise available before or during the event?
A: We are currently looking into this but the BEST way to get to wear the COOLEST hoodies and swimming, cycling, running and Triathlon kit in the region is to join the Beccles Triathlon Club.
Q: What about photographs of the event?
A: We hope to again have our fantastic VOLUNTEER photographers at the Lido and out on the course. Some of the pics from previous Beccles Triathlons are on our Facebook page and the rest are HERE. 2019 pics will also be available after the event, with some included in your entry fee and additional hi-res pics available to download for a small fee, all of which will go towards the running costs of the Triathlon, with any profits going to the upkeep of the Lido.
Q: I don’t want to enter the Triathlon, but I’d love to help. What else could I do?
A: There’s lots of things! For instance, we will need Marshals on the day. Being a Marshal will not be hard or require any previous experience and should be a lot of fun. Click here to find out about being a Marshal or Click here to Contact Us if you would like to find out more about other ways that you can help.
Never did a Triathlon before? Read on!
Q: Why should I do a triathlon?
A: 1. Triathlons are a wonderful sport and they are not just for the super athlete.
2. They are great fun – your sense of achievement is fantastic!
3. The camaraderie between new competitors is wonderful.
4. Do it and cross it off your bucket list: apparently that is how American actress Teri Hatcher motivated herself to manage one.
5. If you do one Triathlon you can always call yourself a ‘former Triathlete’ – no one needs to know how awesome you were … or weren’t!
6. Unbelievably, the mornings – before everyone has woken up – can be quite majestic!
7. They are hard but the pain is spread, so it’s not like running a marathon which will tax your knees and ankles.
8. They are not just for hardcore athletes. Many people do their first Triathlon in their 30s, 40s and later in life. (Like some of us, for instance!)
9. Celebrities do them, so they must be cool. Pippa Middleton, Jenson Button, Jennifer Lopez, Vernon Kay … you’ll almost be like them!
Q: I haven’t done a Triathlon before. Can I join in?
A: Yes, please do. We are keen to encourage and support first-timers in getting to and completing their first race and we had lots of newbies compete in each of our Triathlons – some have gone on to compete in several more Triathlons up to Ironman level and even to represent Team GB at International and World Championship events! Don’t be surprised if you get the bug!
Q: How much training will I have to do?
A: This very much depends on what your aims are. If you want to win you will have to take your swimming, running and cycling seriously up until the big day itself. If you want to get round make sure you can swim 16 lengths of the pool, your bike is roadworthy and you have it in your legs to cycle 12 miles. Make sure, too, that you have enough puff to run/walk 4 miles at the end!
Q: Can I stop along the way if I get tired?
A: Yes, if you need to. On the swim you can rest at the end of each length. On the bike and run you can take your time or even stop for a rest as long as you consider others behind you. Lifeguards will be on hand if you need to get out of the water.
Q: I can’t swim front crawl!
A: You don’t need to. Breast stroke or even butterfly are equally acceptable. Back crawl is not allowed. All we ask is that you are truthful in estimating the time it will take you to swim. This way we can put you in a lane with others who will swim at a similar speed to you. There is room to tell us this on your application form.
Q: How will I know how many lengths I’ve swum/which way to go on the bike and run?
A: The swim course will comprise 16 lengths, swum in a zig-zag: swimmers will set out one at a time at 30 second intervals from the far side of the pool, and swim up one side of the first lane, back down the other side, then duck under the lane rope into the next lane for lengths 3 and 4, and so on until they have completed 8 lanes x 2 lengths. They will then exit on the transition side of the pool by the steps. This format has been adopted by most of the other pool-based Triathlons in the region and it removes the confusion over lengths swam, is easier to marshal, and allows everyone to get out of the pool easier. Swimmers will set off according to the time they advise us they expect to swim the 480m course, so there shouldn’t be too much congestion in the pool.
For the rest of the event, plenty of Marshals will be on hand with water, humour (and sympathy) to help you through.
Q: What special gear do I need?
A: Swimming costume or trunks, a roadworthy bike, a cycle helmet that carries a standard safety mark and a pair of trainers. Optional: Swim goggles/face mask, cycle shoes, cycle goggles, cycle gloves, race belt, heart rate monitor, cycle sat nav, water bottles, spare clothes for after the race, a towel. Personal music systems such as iPods are NOT allowed. It’s a good idea to bring all your gear in a bucket or plastic box which can be left next to your bike in transition.
Q: I don’t usually wear a helmet when out cycling. Do I have to wear one in the race?
A: Yes. British Triathlon Federation says helmets must be worn at all times. NO HELMET, NO RACE.
Q: Are tandems or fixed wheel bikes allowed?
A: No. (“Boo” Graham & Nicky Elliott, and “Boo” Shaun!)
Q: What is transition?
A: The transition area is the section of the course that is set out to hold your bike and kit for the three stages (swimming, cycling, running) of the triathlon race. You will use this area twice, once to change from your swim to your bike, and the second time from your bike to your run. Triathlon transitions always have an ‘in’ and an ‘out’, and these must be obeyed. When approaching the transition for the first time with your bike and kit, the marshals will check your bike and your helmet, and show you the correct entrance and exit.
Q: Where do I park on the day?
A: As Puddingmoor, the road next to the lido, will be closed to traffic during the event we have again organised car parking for competitors and spectators at nearby Sir John Leman High School. Please click here to go to the Competitor Briefing page for more details.
Q: Can I bring my friends and family along to watch and cheer me along?
A: Please do! The more spectators the merrier. They will be able to watch you swim and then watch you exit/enter on the bike as well as the run before lining the finishing line. Or take a look at our routes and encourage them to cheer you on. Refreshments will be available throughout the day at the Lido. There will be limited access to/from the Lido during the event, so please get to the Lido before 8:30am if you want to watch the swimming.
Q: A Triathlon is a swim, then a bike, then a run – can I do it the other way round?
Q: What will happen before the race?
A: It’s a good idea to get to the start well ahead of your allotted start time – we recommend at least an hour. Go to registration to receive your race number and timing chip. Then it’s time to rack your bike and familiarise yourself with the layout of transition. Around half-an-hour before your start time you will be asked to attend a compulsory five-minute safety briefing which will cover all aspects of the triathlon. Around 20 minutes before your start time you will be called to the pool area and invited to warm up in the training’ pool. Five minutes before you are due to start you will be called to the poolside and allocated a lane to swim in.
Q: A timing chip?
A: Each competitor and team will be loaned a timing chip for the event which will be attached to the competitor’s leg with a Velcro strap. This will record times for the swim, cycle and run leg separately as well as transition times. This will be the official timing for the race and will determine the overall winners.
Q: And afterwards?
A: You will be asked to relinquish your timing chip as you cross the finish line. You can check your official time and where you finished at our special timing tent near the line a few minutes later. Then you are free to watch others finish/soak up the glory with your nearest and dearest in the Lido grounds where food and soft refreshments will be available at the very reasonably priced Splash Pool Bar. A presentation to all winners will be made around half-an-hour after the last person crosses the finish line. Photographs from the day will be available on our website a few days after the event. Why not stay for a swim?
Q: How do team entries work?
A: One person will do the swim then hand over the team’s timing chip to the person doing the cycle. After the bike leg they will hand over the chip to the team’s runner. Each team member will be told on the day where to stand. Teams can be male, female or mixed. Or, 2 person relay teams will also be permitted with one of the team members doing 2 (any 2) of the disciplines.
Q: Am I insured?
A: The British Triathlon Federation (BTF) race license that you buy with your entry fee covers you for third-party insurance on the day. If you require more you will need to take out your own insurance. If you are already a BTF member you don’t need to take out a day license and your entry fee will be cheaper as a result. If you would like to join the BTF, click here to go to the BTF website.
Q: Where can I learn more about Triathlons before the big day?
A: Why not come and join Beccles Triathlon Club, where you can get together and train through the winter and spring under the expert supervision of qualified coaches, and alongside other Tri-newbies as well as seasoned Triathletes, all keen to encourage you and let you know what to expect. Click here for more information.
Q: Any Medical advice?
A: Completing a triathlon and training for a triathlon is physically demanding. As a competitor it is important that you are physically capable of undertaking a challenge of this nature. Click here for further advice to supplement anything that your GP may tell you.
If after all of that, you stuck with us and successfully entered, then please click here to go to the Competitor Briefing page for more details (and in the event they contradict anything you read above – they’re right and above is history!)
Still didn’t find what you were looking for? Click here to Contact Us.