1. Basic Equipment & The Beginner's Critial Rules

What equipment should I bring to a triathlon?

Need to have

  • Swimming suit – can be a tri suit if desired
  • Wetsuit if it’s an open water swim – Alberta has cold water
  • Swimming goggles – swim cap will be provided
  • Bicycle - you can use any bike you can find (mostly – check our Rules section), but road bikes are faster
  • Bicycle Helmet - check out the Rules and Regulations for the specs
  • Racing Shirt - must wear a shirt covering the torso during the entirety of the bike and run portions of the race
  • Shorts – tri shorts are ideal, but nay comfortable shorts will do
  • Competitor's number – during the bike on back of the athletes, during the run on front – if you do not have a race belt, keep the number on the front for your convenience
  • Running Shoes
  • Water Bottle(s) - for your bike and in transition for a quick sip
  • Bicycle shoes - if your bike requires them

Optional stuff

  • Extra Shirt - you might want to switch shirts after the bike leg
  • Swimming Towel
  • Safety Pins - you need them to affix the competitor's bib to your shirt
  • Sun Glasses - especially for the bike - early morning may have you cycling into the sun
  • Sun Hat - especially for the run if it is a hot sunny day
  • Sun block for the same reason

Events usually Provide

  • Competitor's Bib
  • Swim cap
  • Souvenir t-shirt
  • Chip timing bracelet - a device that ensures that we can record your performance

Basic Rules for your First Race
Below are some quick rules that one should know before doing your first race.  We recommend also going through the Triathlon Canada Rules. (please link to the Rules in the attachment)

  • Cyclists must wear a helmet with chin strap fastened while on the bike and even touching the bike at all times.
  • No iPods, MP3 players or radios are allowed at anytime during the race.  This can be a automatic disqualification.
  • No drafting on the bike portion.  Drafting is when you are closer than 7 meters behind another competitor – it is about 2 minivans if you want a visual.  You must pass a slower cyclist within 15 seconds of being within 7 meters of her.
  • No blocking
  • Bikes must be walked or run to and from the Mount/Dismount Line outside the T-Zone, no riding in transition.
  • Cyclists must mount, and stop/dismount only at the Mount/Dismount Line
  • Competitor's number must be worn on the front during the run or if you do not have a race belt.
  • Competitors must wear a shirt top during the run and cycle.
  • Obey and respect all volunteers – the vast majority are there to help you and are doing it for free



2. Distances

Below are the distances an athlete can find in the province of Alberta. Please note these distances correspond to the distances in our Event Calendar.

An Aquathlon is a multisport event that only has a swim and a run.  The ITU sanctioned aquathlon is officially a run-swim-run however most Aquathlon in Alberta, also known as ‘Splash-&-Dash,” simply have a swim followed by a run.  Very popular during colder months towards the beginning and the end of the triathlon series, distances tend to vary for all age groups depending on the course and the availability of space of the facility of the event.  We emphasis that if are thinking about racing an Aquathlon, to contact the Race Director before hand.

This event is commonly for the beginner triathletes are those wishing to participate in a quick weekend race.  The distances are always smaller than a sprint.  A typical Try-a-Tri encompasses a 300m-500m swim, a 7km-15km bike and a 2.5km-4km run.  This is a distance that has not been certified by the International Triathlon Union and therefore events may vary the distances slightly. We emphasis that if are thinking about racing a Try-a-Tri, to contact the Race Director before hand.

Winter Triathlon:
A multisport event geared towards winter activities, the winter triathlon rules under Triathlon Canada encompasses running, mountain biking and cross country skiing.  However, you will see some events that have snowshoeing and ice-skating involved in the event.  This distance is young and has an unconventional distance. We emphasis that if are thinking about racing a Winter Triathlon, to contact the Race Director before hand.

Much like the Aquathlon, a Duathlon is only 2 events.  It is composed of a run-bike-run.  The typical distance for most races in Albert are 5km run-20km bike-2.5km run.  Some are longer and and conform to the Triathlon Canada standard duathlon or long distance duathlon which can be reviewed on this website in the Rules section.

This distance is both ITU and Triathlon Canada sanctioned and has a World Championship event ever year.  All sprints are typically a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

Also referred to as the Olympic distance, is the event that is featured during the summer Olympics.  This distance is both ITU and Triathlon Canada sanctioned and has a World Champions event every year. All Olympic distances are 1500m swim – 40km bike and 10km run.

Long Distance:
This distance is commonly referred to as half iron, half ironman or 70.3.  There are no full Ironman distances in Albert as of yet but we host 4 phenomenal long distance events.  The ITU and Triathlon Canada have recently changed their distances in Long Course but for the time being, Alberta’s race directors have chosen to remain stay with the previously established distances of 1900m swim – 90km bike and 21km run.  The new distances are 3000m swim-80km bike-20km run but Alberta does not have this distance yet.

Kids of Steel (KOS) Distances:
Below are the nationally sanctioned distance for KOS, however please note that distances may vary depending on the availability of space of the event. Provincial events and Alberta Summer Games qualifiers will adhere to these distances:

Age Divisions

Maximum Race Distance
(Swim / Bike / Run)


50m - 1.5km - 500m


100m -  5km  - 1km


200m - 5km - 2km


300m - 10km - 3km


500m - 10km - 4km


Up to 750m - 20km – 5km



3. Affiliated Clubs

Please link to previously submitted Affiliated Clubs page



4. Partners

Please link to previously submitted Partners page



5. First Event Tips

First Triathlon?  We’ve got you covered to look like a pro!
You have just taken the big step and entered your first triathlon or you just want a refresher so you can really be ready on race day. Either way, knowing what happens on event day and preparing properly for it will make you’re first or your fiftieth triathlon more fun. We recommend that anyone new to the sport of triathlon should consult a someone who has done an event, a coach, club or web site that focuses on guidelines and advice for the inexperienced or first time participant.

We are not saying it is easy, but if you are reasonably fit and healthy you can do it. Just take your time and don't try to do too much your first time. Your goal in the first one should be to finish and to enjoy the experience. If you are a veteran, set your goal to your fitness and health level. If you have any doubts about your health or have not been exercising for some time, please consult your family physician before starting to train, or before participating in an event.

Tip #1 Get there early
Get to the race site early - 1 hour early is reasonable but some will be there up to 2 hours early.  The general rule is the longer the distance, the earlier the arrival.  Be there when the Race Kit Pick Up opens - even better, pick up your Race Kit before race day if possible. Only pick it up on race day, as a last resort. You don't need the hassle on race morning.

Tip #2 Practice Transitioning
Most beginners are usually ready for the 3 events themselves but have had little practice transitioning from one section of the event to another.  Practice this skill first rested, going through what needs to be done first (lots of good videos on youtube) and then practice the skill right after a tough workout to simulate what it will be like in race conditions.  A bad transition can sometimes take up to 10 minutes!

Tip #3 Triple Check your Equipment
Everything you need for a race is imperative! Pack the night before and take your time so you are not scrambling in the morning.  The pros leave nothing to chance and neither should you so you can relax the day of the event and enjoy the race.  Make sure to check the necessary equipment page for everything you’ll need for your first event.

Tip #4 Get your Bike Serviced Prior to an Event
The worst thing that can happen that you just can’t battle through is a mechanical failure on the bike and usually you will have to walk with your bike back to transition after the mechanical failure which is never fun.  Go by your local shop a week before the race and have them look over your bike.  Better yet learn what to look for so you can look over your bike yourself!  Cycling can be the best part of a triathlon, but the bike needs to work at full capacity.

Tip #5 Learn the Per-Race Flow
Most races are pretty common to the way they work  read below to familiarize yourself what to expect prior to a race so you can be prepared

  1. Go directly to Race Kit Pick Up, if you haven't picked your kit up prior to race day.
  2. Proceed from the Race Kit Pick Up directly to the Transition Zone (known as the T- Zone). This is an area enclosed area with bike racks in the middle where much of the on-site action will occur. You will usually be able to pick your position of where your bicycle is on a bike rack - first come, first served!
  3. Set your equipment and apparel items neatly around your bike rack, so that they are easy to get at during the race. Be sure to pin your bib number on your cycling/running apparel at this time.
  4. Go to the Body Marking Table in the T-Zone to have your body marking done.
  5. Head for the Timing Tent (near the finish line) to pick up your Chip timing bracelet for the race. Everyone must wear one and the timing people will tell you how and where. Don't lose the chip, because it will cost you a chunk!
  6. Explore the T-Zone for the various exits and entrances you will be using during the race. Familiarize yourself with them and plan your path to and from your bike rack.
  7. Identify the start location for the swim. You have to get there for the start of the race. Visit the start areas so you are familiar with how to get there from the T- Zone.
  8. Take a look at the first section of each of the race courses.
  9. Leave lots of time for conversation with others, a warm up, and the pre-race announcements over the P. A. for information updates.
  10. Be at the race start 5-7 minutes before start time. This will ensure that there are no miscues.