Triathlon is predominantly about getting children involved in a range of activities, developing new skills and enjoying sport in a supportive, fun and enjoyable, group setting. You can get the most out of what triathlon has to offer with the bare minimum of kit. If you do want to take Triathlon further, please see below for more information. If you love kit, triathlon is the place for you! We also love talking kit, so if you have any other questions please ask!


Kick board – these are used to keep the arms still and afloat while focusing on the leg action in swimming drills.

Pull buoy – these are used for keeping the legs afloat and still while focusing on the arm action in swimming drills.

Training fins – fins are used to increase speed through the water, helping to improve the posture and keeping the hips high in the water. Look at for Junior versions.

Wetsuits – required for Open Water Swimming in the summer months. There are many options available in a variety of price brackets, entry level options usually starting at around £50 and can go up to around £200.

Many options are available in long sleeve, short sleeve and sleeveless and also ankle length or knee length. In the North of England, we would advise long sleeve and ankle length!

Hire options are also available in the UK if you are wanting to try it out first. There are often 2nd hand options available on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Ebay and others.


If you are just out to have fun and take part in Triathlon competitions, almost any bike will do! If you are serious about progressing and competing at a higher level, or aiming to reach the podium, then a cyclocross or road bike would be advisable.

The courses at most junior triathlons are off-road, in parks or playing fields and are either grass, compressed dirt/gravel tracks, tarmac path or a combination of these.

Mountain Bikes:

Pros: cope with whatever conditions there are and are otherwise good for general biking. Many kids start out triathlon with a mountain bike (as most kids have them), do well and have a lot of fun.

Cons: can be heavy and require more effort to keep momentum due to the thicker tyres and extra grip (which can be disheartening).

Hybrid Bikes:

Pros: Excellent all-rounder, lighter than a mountain bike but cope with uneven or wet conditions better than a road bike. Easy to fit either smooth tyres or ones with extra tread to suit the conditions. Brakes usually have more clearance so less likely to clog in muddy-wet conditions.

Cons: If you are wanting to compete for podium level, you may want drop handlebars and the riding position of a road or cyclocross bike for more competitive riding. (Note: there is less stability with drop handlebars so many kids do not like them, try before you buy!)

Road Bikes:

Pros: Lighter and more aerodynamic with drop handlebars for a more competitive riding approach (road bikes are usually used with some triathlon experience or when entering triathlon from a cycling background).

Cons: Less stability which can be disconcerting for younger athletes. Some road bikes can have cyclocross or grass tyres fitted for less chance of wheel spin on slippy surfaces. However, the brake set up on road bikes can make it difficult to source these types of tyres to fit and can lead to clogging of the brakes in wet grass or muddy conditions.


Pros: Versatile! Light and fast yet able to cope with mixed conditions. Usually with drop handlebars and disc brakes for a competitive riding style with more security.

Cons: Expensive.


In order to compete, children need to understand their age category.

Note: This is NOT based on school year groups.

The categories are based on what your age will be on the 31st December of the year in which you are wanting to compete:

Tristart: 8 year olds

T1: 9 & 10 year olds

T2: 11 & 12 year olds

T3: 13 & 14 year olds

Youth: 15 & 16 year olds

Eg: For an event in June. You are 10 years old in June 2022 but you turn 11 years old in September 2022. You will compete in T2 as you will be 11 years old on 31st December 2022.


Club Championships: This is a series of children’s triathlons run entirely within the club at Ripon Racecourse. It consists of 4 or 5 events held roughly every month on the Thursday session. The results are combined and prizes are handed out at the end of season party. Participation is entirely optional and children can choose to do a Duathlon (Run – Bike – Run) if they do not wish to do the open water swim. **Tristarts (Age 8) can only do Duathlon**

The Yorkshire Series: This is a series of triathlons, duathlons and aquathlons, held at various locations around Yorkshire. The series includes children of all abilities from beginners to experienced triathletes. You do not need to enter all events, and can participate in only one if you choose. However, points are accumulated across the series and prizes awarded based on your top 5 results. The Ripon Junior Triathlon forms part of this event. Please see the British Triathlon website below for more information: https://www.britishtriathlon.org/yorkshire/take-part/junior-series

Inter-Regional Championships Qualifiers (IRCs): This includes some triathlons from the Yorkshire Series as well as a couple of national stage races which are at a slightly higher level. The top three children from the T2 and T3 in each gender qualify for the Yorkshire Team to race at the National Inter-Regional Championships. Please see the British Triathlon website below for more information: https://www.britishtriathlon.org/yorkshire/take-part/junior-series/irc-selection


Trisuits are often used in competition as they can be worn for the entire event, therefore not needing to change clothing during transitions. They are worn under a wetsuit for the open water swim or can be worn on their own in a swimming pool event. They have minimal padding in the seat for extra comfort while on the bike, yet not as thick as normal biking shorts so that it is also comfortable to wear while running. It is a one-piece item therefore needing to undress in order to go the loo!

An alternative of Tri shorts and a Tri top can also be worn if a one-piece item is not preferred. The Tri shorts are similar to bike shorts but with minimal padding in the seat so they are also comfortable to run in.

Other kit… a multitude of options!

  • Race belts – to hold and quickly transfer your race number between disciplines/clothing without the need for safety pins
  • Water bottles
  • Food holders for the bike to hold those energy requirements
  • Transition bag to hold and keep your kit organised in transition
  • Sunglasses
  • Sports watches