FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use any stroke on the swim?
We recommend that you try to swim front crawl but breaststroke is also permitted. Backstroke is not allowed.
What swim safety measures have been put in place?
The Swim Safety team are very experienced. Should you get into difficulty, lie on your back and raise one arm; a canoe will then escort you to safety. The buoyancy of your wetsuit will help so don't panic. We have numerous safety canoes, and rescue power boats if we need to bring anyone out of the water!
How deep is the water?
The water is approximately 2.5 metres deep.
What temperature is the water? How deep is it?
The temperature of the water is between 17 - 21 degrees, and it is approximately 2.5 metres deep.
Is the water safe to swim in?
Dorney Lake's clear water is ideal for the hardy people who swim both as part of triathlons and for occasional swimming events per se. The Lake is fed from underground aquifers (streams) percolating through the natural gravel filter and this results in excellent water quality.
Do I need a swim cap?
You will need to collect one at the swim assembly point on race day. Everyone must wear a swim cap for safety reasons. A swimmer is easier to see in the water if they're wearing a swim cap. All athletes who start in the same wave will have the same colour cap on.
Do I need a pair of goggles?
We would recommend them! Any open water swimming really does require goggles. Open water swimming also benefits from goggles with lenses suitable for outdoors. These are slightly different colours to those you would normally use in a swimming pool where the water is clear and the lights are bright. Most open water swimmers would use a lightly tinted or persimmon coloured lens, which will make everything look clearer and crisper...especially if the weather is not too bright!
What do I wear underneath my wetsuit?
You should wear whatever you will complete the rest of the race in. Then when you strip off your wetsuit your race kit is already on underneath. Remember nudity in the transition area is not allowed, so wear something! You can race in any clothing you feel comfortable in, but triathlon specific clothing is designed for swimming, biking and running. It dries quickly, provides sufficient padding and will prevent chaffing in certain areas.
Do I need to wear a wetsuit and what other swim equipment do I need?
Wetsuits are compulsory for all open water swims in Britain. It will not only keep you warm but it will also help you swim faster. A wetsuit provides you with extra buoyancy across the you are the faster you swim. It will aid your swim immensely.
Any open water swimming really does require goggles. Open water swimming also benefits from goggles with lenses suitable for outdoors. These are slightly different colours to those you would normally use in a swimming pool where the water is clear and the lights are bright. Most open water swimmers would use a lightly tinted or persimmon coloured lens, which will make everything look clearer and crisper...especially if the weather is not too bright!
You will need to collect a swim cap at the swim assembly point on race day. Everyone must wear a swim cap for safety reasons. A swimmer is easier to see in the water if they're wearing a swim cap. All athletes who start in the same wave will have the same colour cap on.
Where do I put my race number?
You will receive in the post a white adhesive number which is to be put on the coloured swim cap you collect at the swim assembly point on race day.
Can I use a mountain bike?
Yes you can - it is just a little harder on the legs.
What is the advantage of a road bike?
It will cycle faster on the roads as the tyres are smoother and provide less resistance. The frame is also lighter, reducing the effort required, and the drop handlebars allow you a more aerodynamic position.
How do I know if my helmet is good enough?
Your helmet will pass the safety inspection as long as it has no cracks in it, has no damage to it and bears a CE & EU safety mark inside it. The strap must also be in good working order.
What is drafting?
Drafting is when cyclists race in a pack and one cyclist can shelter behind the other to save energy. This is what you may have seen in the Tour de France. Drafting is against the rules for all but the Elite Competitors. You must not take shelter cycling behind or cycle beside another competitor during the race. You can be disqualified from the race for drafting. The draft zone is a rectangle measuring five (5) metres long by two (2) metres wide.
A competitor may enter the draft zone of another competitor but must be seen to be progressing through that zone. A maximum of 15 seconds is allowed to progress through the draft zone of another competitor. If an overtaking manoeuvre is not completed within 15 seconds the overtaking cyclist must drop back.
Where do I put my numbers for the bike?
Your race number must be displayed to the rear on the bike, either by swivelling round your race belt so the number faces the rear or by pinning a number in four corners to the back of your t-shirt.
A bike number is also provided to face forward from your handlebars which can identify you to officials and also acts as security for your bike in transition. The number will be checked against the security band before a bike can be removed from transition.
Is there water available on the run course?
There will be a number of water stations strategically placed along the course.
Is the course flat?
The course is flat and completely traffic-free.
Where do I put my race number for the run?
Your number must be displayed to the front, either by swivelling round your race belt, or by pinning the number in four corners to the front of your t-shirt.
Do I have to wear specific running trainers?
No, however we do recommend that you wear trainers that are well worn in and comfortable. Make sure that they fit properly and do not hurt your feet. Aspiring triathletes should use elastic laces which help save a lot of time in transition.
What is transition?
Transition is an area for all competitors who rack their bike and leave a small bag for the swim and run. It is the area where you will be based for transition from swim to bike and bike to run.
What can I leave in transition and what can I do to speed up my transition times?
You can leave a small bag with your race kit inside it in transition.
To speed up your transition time we recommend you put your kit out ready in the order you will put it on. Lay it out near your bike. Have your helmet ready on your handlebars with the straps straight and undone. Remember that race belts save time as well as elastic laces and lace locks. If you wear the right triathlon clothing you will certainly speed up your race times.
When will I receive my race information pack?
All race information packs will be handed out on the day. This will contain your race numbers and all the information you need for race day.
Can I listen to a personal music player whilst racing?
No! You are unable to hear other competitors or the marshals when you are wearing one and are therefore a danger to yourself and others. If caught wearing one whilst racing you will be disqualified.
How do I use a number belt?
A number belt means that you do not have to put safety pins through your new triathlon clothing! You simply attach your number to the race belt and then put the race belt around you. It can then be moved to show the number on your back for the bike and on the front for the run. Number belts will be available to buy on the day.