Jumping in a lake, cycling through the woods and running around a castle, triathlons are a growing sport, and not just for adults. With special kid focused events planned across the UK, they are a great way for the family to enjoy exercise together, spend a weekend in the great outdoors and even raise money for a charity of choice.
The Markel Castle Triathlon Series offers races for 7 – 15 year olds at five amazing castles in a unique setting where all ages and levels can race together in a festival environment. Currently there are very few events where kids, teens, and adults are able to participate on the same day and over the same course. The weekend and the mid-week events are perfect for children and teens joining their parents, groups of friends (showing their parents up!) and also for schools, sports groups and junior triathlon clubs.
2013 Age categories
When registering a child, chose the age group race that they would fall into depending on their age on 31 December 2013.
The TriKids checklist
So, what gear do you need? Here is a list of the key items; if you don’t have them already you can either buy or hire them from our retail partner www.wiggle.co.uk.
- Wetsuit (all Castle Triathlon Series events are in open lakes so temperatures can get pretty cold)
- Swimming goggles
- Swim hat (all competitors get a free hat on the day of the events)
- Bike (mountain bikes are ideal)
- Tri-suit or shorts and t-shirt are fine
Get kit, ready, go!
TriKids training tips
Training sounds more daunting than it needs to be. Any child can take part without training first as long as they have an average fitness level and are a confident swimmer. For those that want a more a competitive edge, here are a few top tips from our training partner. This advice has been shared by Elizabeth Scott. Elizabeth is a director of the leading triathlon coaching company thetrilife.com.
Open water training days can be attended in advance of the events to help competitors feel comfortable with the new experience. Click here to see more details of what the courses offer.
We can only run the training days/sessions if there is the demand for it so please let us know if you are interested.
The TriKids course
Juniors and children’s races take place within the Castle grounds and in the same lake as the adults. The races are not only exciting, but are marshalled and timed as professionally as the Sprint, Mid-Distance and Olympic races. These races are designed for the ‘real’ experience with as much fun as the adult course. Please note that children will remain on the estate throughout the whole race and will need mountain/ cyclo-cross bikes to navigate the off road course.
Chldren's Age Groups
- There are three different age groups for the children's races:
- 8-10 yrs
- 11-12 yrs
- When registering a child, chose the age group race that they would fall into depending on their age on 31 December 2013
- In the 8-10 yrs category a parent or carer is allowed to assist with the removal of a child's wetsuit in transition. No other assistance is allowed with tying of shoelaces etc.
The disciplines explained:-
The Swim - 8 -10 years, 100m - a bit like 4 lengths of your local 25m swimming pool, but will feel a bit different in the open water - more exciting! 11-12 years, 200m and 13-15yrs, 300m! All the starts are in the water (no diving). There's a full swim safety team around the swimmers at all times - GIBs, kayaks and canoes and safety swimmers in the water with flotation devices. They're a very kind and supportive lot, so for those who are new to open water swims, it's fine to stop for a breather and hold onto the canoe or float etc. Children swim out to a 50m buoy and back again. Older ones out to 100m etc.
The Cycle - 8 - 12years, 4K or 13 - 15years, 8K. The cycle route always takes place within the Castle Estate boundary and as such off the public road and free of traffic. Most kids ride their mountain bikes although some of the more competitive ones ride a cyclo cross bike `(effectively a racer with off-road tyres. The course encompasses a complete mix of terrain but not too technical (ie no bunny hopping logs or super steep descents.) and is heavily marshaled and signed.
The Run - 8-10yrs, 1.1km. 11-12yrs, 2km and 13-15yrs, 4km. Again all run routes are within the Castle Estate boundary and on a complete mix of terrain (tarmac, castle path, bridleway etc) - the youngest do a 1.1km loop, the middle age group, a 2km loop and the older ones do 2 laps of the 2K route. All routes are very well marshaled and signed, usually finishing with a grandstand finish in front of the castle or chateau.
Trophies will be awarded to the first, second and third finisher in each race for both male and female competitors at the weekend events. Prizes and certificates to 1st Relay finishers and all 1st, 2nd and 3rd place individual finishers. Goodie Bags will be given out to competitors at the start and medals will be given out at the finish.
If you're thinking of taking on the Series, there will also be an overall Series Winner Prize (male and female) in these same categories. To qualify for the Series prize, competitors must have competed in three out of the five Weekend Events. Winner will be decided by the lowest accumulated score recorded (where 1st place scores 1 point, 10th place scores 10 points etc) across all three races
Family Entry - The Markel Castle Triathlon Series aims to include families, so children and parents can race on the same day, making a great family day out.
To encourage families to take part in the Series we are offering an improved discount for whole family entries into the different triathlons. This does not mean that the family are entering any of the races as a relay team.
TriKid in the spotlight
My name is Flo and I am 10 years-old. I live in Kent and have competed in all the Castle Triathlon Series events since 2010.
What is your worst and best bit?
My favourite bit is the cycling because you get to cycle round the beautiful ground of castles. If I am honest I am not that keen on the swimming as the water is normally cold but I am proud of myself when I see that I have managed to swim across the lake.
Why do you like triathlons?
I really like doing triathlons as it brings together the three sports that I am best at and I get to race against my brother!
What is your triathlon plan for this year?
My sporting ambition for 2013 is to make the bronze squad at Sevenoaks swimming club and win the Castle Triathlon series prize for the 8-10 year olds.
Do your children want to TriKids?
A note to parents; although the Markel Castle Triathlon Series junior triathlon events reward the first three winners with prizes we encourage the event to be more about the taking part than the winning. Each participant is awarded a medal on crossing the finishing line and the atmosphere is truly supportive and encouraging! This Series comprises of five exciting weekend races (Lough Cutra Castle, Cholmondeley Castle, Castle Howard, Chateau de Chantilly and Hever Castle) set in truly stunning castle locations over the course of the summer offering a professional, safe, competitive, fun and family orientated environment. Click here for our price guide.
In addition to the weekend events, we have created a mini series mid-week races kicking off at 5pm after school at Hever Castle, comprising two Wednesday races in June and July. Click here for more details.
Schools ‘tri’ the Markel Castle Triathlon Series
Hundreds of schools have been enjoying the Markel Castle Triathlon Series events as an outside school sporting event that help encourage a healthy lifestyle and complement the PSHE curriculum. If you would like to find out more about the special discounts and publicity support offered to schools please contact the team on 01892 870681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health and educational benefits - Triathlons are a great way to bring the community together, team building, positive mental and physical attitude and a clear understanding of sportsmanship underpinned with the health benefits of being involved in an outside sporting event.
Safety at the forefront - The course is specifically tailored and tested for children offering them a chance to run and cycle through magnificent castle grounds and swim in open lakes. The event is professionally run with safety a priority.
2012 Series winners
|Year Group||Boys Winner||Girls Winner|
|8-10 years||Arthur Adcock||Jade Phillips|
|11-12 years||Ben Bishop||Zoe Broad|
|13-15 years||Finn Barnes||Ellie Bushell|