Information for the novice competitor and parent/ carer

NOVICE INFORMATION- a few questions answered (updated March 2023)

Why do we do organise the races the way we do?

  • to make a difference
  • a child's achievement
  • to help in a child's development and fitness.

The races for children are an individual start, not a mass start. Mass starts encourage the concern amongst children of being last. All races are on an individual start basis to encourage children to think about their race, to count their own laps, take ownership of completing the correct course. We will do all we can to explain and demonstrate the course, via website, email, briefing on the day, walking the cycle and run courses where ever possible. Parents can do their bit by promoting a positive experience, arrive in good time so the competitor has time to walk the courses, point out the exits and entrances to transition, count the laps and clearly communicate to your young triathlete.
We want the child to succeed and have an experience that they achieved, which hopefully will assist them in future events and hopefully in their future development.

What is a Triathlon or Aquathlon or duathlon
swim /cycle /run - triathlon
swim/ run - aquathlon
run/cycle/run - duathlon
These are multi-sport events against the clock, Triathlon is a swim (pool), cycle and run, usually held in a secure off-road/ grass sports field safe course. The race is continuous the clock starts at the swim and finishes on completion of the run. An Aquathlon is a swim and run, Duathlon is a run, cycle, run event. All are held under the rules set by the governing body British Triathlon and the event is Permitted after a full risk assessment has been carried out.

  • Entering an event - ages, distances, on-line entry
  • Age category = child's age on 31st December of the current year
  • For the 2023 season the new GENDER categories - O = Open (Includes male) & F = Female (see British Triathlon website for Transgender policy details)
  • KidstriUK Novice categories  or British Triathlon 'tri star/start' categories
  • Various distances, so all can achieve
  • All events are open to all you do not need to be a member of a club or British Triathlon.


Details of all the events on offer are on this site ( They are organised by Hedgehogtri Events for the benefit of the children and the sport as a whole. Continuing the 'Inspiring' work carried out by the Olympic Team over many Games, we are keen to see as many children as possible taking part, achieve, enjoy and receive their own medal, hoping they will take part again.

Ages groups are based on the British Triathlon Federation(BTF-Governing body) ages  TriStart = 8yrs, TriStars 1 = 9-10yrs, TriStars 2 = 11-12yrs, TriStars 3 = 13-14yrs, Youth A 15-16yrs. The Novice age groups were set up by Hedgehogtri to help try and involve as many as possible. KidstriUK Novice 1 = 8-10yrs, KidstriUK Novice 2 = 11-14yrs,
All ages are: AGE ON 31st December in the current year.

Distances are in line with British Triathlon guidelines, and are listed under each event. Novice courses are much shorter to help encourage entrants.

Entries on-line: This ensures that all data is correct as it is being entered by parent/guardian, with paper entries trying to decider the writing etc can cause problems. A contact email address is always required so we can email race updates and race information.
No receipts are sent out so check the 'Entries-so-far' page to ensure the transaction has gone through and they are entered.
The Terms and Conditions of Entry are agreed to through the entry process.


Equipment needed - cycle, helmet, clothing, footwear

You don't need a great deal of expensive equipment to take part in an event. Swimming attire, goggles, towel, cycle (any type - must havefront & back working brakes), helmet, t-shirt, running shoes - the basics. The race number will be attached to the front of the running t--shirt with safety pins (we supply).



Race information - web page info,

  • race day instructions on website only
  • read up on the information before race day
  • watch the 'race briefing' video, covers all aspects of the race, approx 12mins long
  • bring the map along on race day and walk the courses with your triathlete


(Transitions Novice video by Charlotte Matthews, a past Kidstri Competitor)


Before race day check the 'entries-so-far' page to ensure your child is entered in the event.
An email directing you to the Race Information will be sent out 5 days before the event. Read the details carefully and ensure that your triathlete is briefed on the course map and how the event works. Race Info main page is on the link at the top of the page. Race details will be on-line at least 7 days before the race. No information will be sent out by post -all web based.

In that email there will be the REGISTRATION TICKET, we ask parents/carers to bring this along on your fone or print off, and show at registration then receive the Yellow bag  'Race Pack'.

On the day - Registration
Please arrive in good time to register and with ALL the equipment.
Collect the Yellow Race/Swim  bag containing:

*    the race number to be attached to the front of the T-shirt OR on a tri belt.
*    labels for the helmet and cycle,
*    coloured wrist band (this indicates the race category and the race number),
*    Timing CHIP- to be attached to the LEFT ankle facing outwards
*    photos labels for parents/ carers taking still/video pictures.
*     instructions to help you

All competitors must be members of British Triathlon in order to take part in the event. If you are taking part in a few events through the season think about getting an annual licence and save money.
Contact British Triathlon via their website

All adults taking pictures or video will be asked to to wear a 'PHOTOS' labels also in the race pack, throughout the event.
Sadly there are no pictures or video allowed to be taken in the pool hall (Leisure company policy).
Numbered Yellow Swim Bag for poolside belongings: on poolside transition you put the goggles, towel etc in there and take to the cycle transition area and leave next to ythe cycle.
The Yellow swim bag will be returned to us when you leave cycle transition weith your kit at the end of the event, having emptied your belongings.

Once you have attached the numbered labels to the cycle and helmet.

Then make your way to the non-racing entrance of cycle transition. Here we ask the competitor to show the brakes on the cycle work and check the helmet filling on the head. (any adjustments must be carried out by parent/carer). 
The cycles and helmets only can now be put into the secure transition area. Keep all the other equipment with you. If there is enough time you will be able to walk the cycle and run routes.
Note: Cycle helmets to be worn approaching transition for Helmet check.

Race briefing
The main briefing will be via a video and the link will be emailed to you 7 days before the race, it will also be linked from the 'Race Info' webpage.
A shorted version will be given to small groups before race start. It's the child's race, mum and dad you can help count the laps and shout encouragement.
After the briefing the Race Director call the colour (wrist band) to the Assembly area and a member of the KidstriUK Team will escort the group to poolside (no parents only the children)

Laying out your kit
After you have registered you will need to put the cycle and helmet into the cycle transition area.
Transition is a secure area once the race has started, so your cycle must be placed in the lay down area marked by your numbered cone.
Older age groups TS2 TS3 and Youth, will use the cycle triathlon racking to 'hang' the cycle on.
Help will be on hand to help during the race to get the cycle up and down.

When instructed after the briefing the children will be asked to meet at the 'ASSEMBLY AREA' and will be taken to the pool start by a member of the Hedgehogtri Team to lay out their kit for the transition after the swim. This will be on the poolside, no parents will be allowed in this area. The children will need:
towel, TRAINERS ( no bare foot running from poolside|), t-shirt (with race number pinned on the front) and/or a race belt (this is what a race number can be attached to for use in all triathlon races). If the child wants to put on more clothes, shorts, gloves etc these can also be laid out on poolside. Please no boxes or bags, these get in the way. All numbered coloured sack can be retrieved at intervals during the event by parents or children


If you are free and able parents can get a better view and feel more a part of the race by offering to help as a marshal during the event. We will need help to hand out water, take times, check laps, direct competitors etc. Also if you help out at an event you can earn points towards free entries at future events. All you need to do is register you interest in helping please email us. You will have fun taking part and likely as not get to see your child racing at close quarters.

Race format - Swimming, transition(s), cycle, run


  • each competitor has their own start
  • 20-30sec between starters
  • each child races against the clock

Swimming in the pool - all children will start individually, they will be racing not each other, but against the clock.
All races will follow the 'snake' swim style see map below. Starting position is different for each age group,
the swim finish is all the same place. The children emerge wet and go to the small 'Shoe transition' area either on poolside or just outside the pool hall. All MUST wear footwear to the cycle transition.


How a Snake-style swim works - VIDEO


The video above explains how a snake swim style works.

Running on to cycle transition then onto the lapping cycle course. Competitors must complete the correct number of laps for the race entered. It is up to the competitor to ensure the correct number are completed. . . .Careres/ Parents can help count.

* Counting bike laps is one of the biggest issues that competiors face so we strongly advise that a system is thought about BEFORE the race. Some competitors use a number of small pieces of tape on their handle bars, tearing one off on completion of each lap as they pass the finishing shute e.g. for a 6 lap race, use 5 pieces of tape and as you tear the last one off at the end of a lap that means one lap to go so when you finish that last lap, if there is no tape left to tear off, it's time to finish! The key for a parent is to establish where you will be positioned whilst counting - just after the start of a lap or just before the end of a lap.  Our recommendation is that having decided where you will stand, you use simple terminology such as 'you've done 3 laps' or 'you've done 6 laps, finish now'. Counting laps may sound simple but when tired or distracted it can prove problematic so please do think about it!!

From cycle course into transition. Cycle to be placed in the correct place first and only then the helmet removed.
Exiting on to the run course, again the correct number of laps must be completed.

When on the run course keep to the designated side to the turn around yellow banner, go around and return, then around the 2nd Yellow banner - one lap completed, continue . . . .
Water station on the run course, take a cup, use it then ensure cup is placed into one of the bins placed over the next 10metres.
Correct number of laps completed then into the finish.

Collect medal, drink,  sweets and fruit, recover.
Remove Timing CHIP and place in marked bin.
Exit to join the family


Race rules

British Triathlon competiton rules need to be followed in an event please use the LINK

Medal & prize presentations
All medals will be handed out at the finish. The British Triathlon Category trophies are presented at the end of all the events. The presentation area is marked by the banners and winners rostrum, an idea time for those great pictures of achievement.

Retrieving the cycles after the event
When the competitors race has finished the children will be allowed into the transition area a couple at a time to collect their cycles and helmet. also return the Yellow Race/Swim bag on exit, a check is done on the numbers to ensure correct equipment is taken out. There is still a race going on hence only a few at a time.

Results, timing and website

  • Timing for the event is an overall time, i.e. start of swim to finish of run.
  • Now we use the timing CHIP, worn by the competitor we can get split times in between each section.
  • So the swim time will include the changing on poolside and the run to the cycle Transition.
  • Time will be taken as they leave to start the cycle.
  • Time taken again as they enter transition at the END of the cycle.
  • Last intermediate time is taken as they leave the transition area to start the RUN.

Before we award the prizes in the TriStar categories, we do a check on the number of laps completed in the cycle and run. If we find laps are short we will speak to the child and parents and we show the child with no position at the bottom of the results. So count those laps carefully and complete the full course.
Interim results are posted on the web site by 7pm that evening and will be conformed as FINAL by the following Wednesday.

Parent volunteers and restrictions
The event is fun for all taking part and watching, but it is the children's race to run without help from parents. Once they start it's their race, parents can help cheer them along and help count laps but must stay in the marked area for spectators. Unless acting as a marshal sanctioned by the Race Director and wearing a bright yellow marshal jacket, stay in the marked area, sit back and enjoy the event. Also there must no be any outside assistance during the race, pacing, handing out drinks, shouting and pointing to the cycle position etc. (part of the Triathlon England rules). More on volunteering HERE

The Kidstri Children's Series Awards (The Vera Tigg Cups)
In 2013 for the first time there were cups presented to the boy and girl competitors who showed good sportsmanship, courage, improvement. Not necessarily winners in the age groups. Now it is the Novices Series winners (boy / girl) that will recieve the Vera Tigg Cups that are awarded at theend of season ceremony in November
(Prev. format(
2013 Winners: Harry Fernley (TS1), Charlotte Matthews (TS3) ,
2014 Winners: Jay Atkins (TS3), Jesica Farrant (TS1)
(current format)
2016 Winners Harry Lee (m) Club- Swim 1st Tri Club, Devon Moffatt (f) Club - Kidstri Training,
2017 Winners Emily Carman(TS1) & Mathew Metcarlf(TS1)
2018 Winners - Violet Issacs(TS2) & Ethan Darcy(TS3) 
2019 Winners - Keira Oxley(TS1 &Oliver Darcy(TS1),  
2020 (Covid only one event staged - no Series).
2021- Isla Oxley(Ts1) & Charlie Carman(TS1) 
2022- Archie Broderick (TS2) & Molly Smithers (TS3)
2023 - Sebastian Stott Fernandez (TS1) & Amelia Adams (TS1)  More info HERE