Frequently Asked Questions
Please take a minute to review the section of information below. Hopefully, the questions and answers (along with all of the other information on the website) answer all of your questions. If not, no worries. Just CLICK HERE to pose your specific question directly to our Event Director. He will get back to you as quickly as possible. And, if your question is good enough, you might find it here with all the others (and an answer) in the near future.
What ages are eligible to compete?
As an event that is sanctioned by USATriathlon, we are required to follow their rules. One of these rules governs age. This means our event is open to kids ages 6 to 15. However, it is not quite that simple. USAT does not go by the age of the athlete on race day. Instead, your triathlon age is your age as of 12/31 of the current year.
For our 2018 event, this means that all kids will race at their age as of 12/31/18. For example, if your child was born during October 2010, they will be 7 on race day, however, they will actually be an 8 year-old triathlete for all of 2018.
This is not really that big of a deal once you understand it. However, it does impact a few different groups of kids.
First, all kids born in 2012 are eligible to participate (assuming they can swim 100 yards safely; bike 3 miles without training wheels; and run). For example, we will have many kids who are actually 5 on race day. However, they are 6 year-old triathletes because they will turn 6 before the end of the year.
Second, kids born in 2002 are not eligible to participate. There will be some kids who are 15 on race day, but they will turn 16 before the end of 2018. As a result, they are officially 16 year-old triathletes, and they are no longer able to participate in kids triathlons.
Finally, kids born in 2007 need to pay close attention to the age rule for 2018. While many of these kids will be 10 years old on race day, they will all be 11 years old on 12/31/18. This makes them 11 year-old triathletes for the entire season, and it means they are racing in the Senior Division (and longer race distances). We do make exceptions for first-time triathletes who want to start with the shorter distances, but we need to coordinate this in advance. Please contact our Event Director or Race Director to discuss this option.
How old is my child?
Your triathlon age is different than your actual age. Please read the details above to fully understand this unique situation. We want to do everything possible to avoid confusion on race weekend.
What is a kids triathlon?
Triathlon is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, and kids triathlons are a vital part of this trend. There is no better way for any child to experience the benefits of a healthy lifestyle focused on daily exercise and good nutrition.
Every triathlon consists of 4 components – swimming, biking, running and transitions. At the New England Kids Triathlon, kids will only race against other kids in their same age group. We will utilize a time trial start in a pool meaning each racer will enter the pool one at a time. As they complete their swim, they will enter the transition area to begin the bike portion of the race. After completing their ride, they will reenter transition, drop-off their bike and exit onto the run course. The run is the final portion of the race.
Computerized timing chips are used to track each participant throughout each part of the race. Below are the actual race distances for each of the age groups.
What are the actual race distances?
For Juniors (ages 6-10): Swim is 100 yards; Bike is 3 miles; Run is 1/2 mile
For Seniors (ages 11-15): Swim is 200 yards; Bike is 6 miles; Run is 1 mile
Please see the question above regarding the difference between “race day” age and “triathlon” age as it could affect the distances your child is racing. This is especially important for kids born in 2007.
How many kids will be participating in the race?
Registration will be limited to 1,100 racers, and we do expect a sellout. The number of participants in each age group may vary, but total participation of 1,100 will make the New England Kids Triathlon one of the ten largest kids triathlons in the United States.
Can I really complete a triathlon?
Race distances are set by the USATriathlon and designed to be challenging, yet achievable – even for first-timers. The word triathlon can scare people into thinking it is something they could never do. Plain and simple, if your child can swim 4 laps in a pool and ride their bike for 20 minutes without stopping, they can successfully complete a kids triathlon.
Please note that USATriathlon rules prohibit the use of any flotation devices in the pool. In addition, no training wheels (except in situations of medical necessity) are allowed on bikes.
Who is putting on the race?
The New England Kids Triathlon is being organized by Kids Triathlon, Inc. Kids Triathlon is a 501c(3) entity that organizes the largest series of kids triathlons in the world – with five events in 5 markets during the 2018 season. In New England, we are proud to have the New England Patriots and the YMCA as our Founding Partners.
When can I pick up my race number and packet?
All participants are being asked to attend our Pre-Race Packet Pick-Up and Bike Drop-Off Session on the day before they race. This session will be held from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on Saturday, July 14, 2018. All related activities will be held in the Johnson Athletic Center on the MIT Campus. These are the only scheduled times for packet and race number pick-up, though we will try to accommodate special exceptions.
There will NOT be any packet pick-up or registration on Race Day.
During these times, there will be numerous activities for the kids, and everyone will have the opportunity to attend Course Talks which provide important race day information.
What do spectators do during a triathlon?
While triathlon is not known as a spectator sport, kids triathlons are different. They are exciting and fast-paced. In addition, they attract a lot of fans – including moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and siblings. In total, we expect more than 4,000 fans to join our 1,100 participants at MIT on July 14 & 15, 2018.
With this many people on-hand, we do everything possible to design a course that is safe and provides spectators with the opportunity to see “their athletes” swim, bike, run and finish. However, it will take some moving around to see everything. Here are a few important details all spectators will need to know:
- Only registered athletes are allowed in the transition area. We will have hundreds of volunteers on-hand to help each athlete, and we want the kids to accomplish this goal as independently as possible.
- For safety reasons, every Race Packet includes a set of matching wrist bands (with a unique, identifying number). These are designed to be separated with one placed on the wrist of the athlete and the other placed on the wrist of a parent or legal guardian. We will hold each athlete at the finish line until the matching wrist band is presented.
- Only registered athletes and volunteers are allowed on the race course. This is critical for the safety of all participants and will be strictly enforced. Please listen to all volunteers and police as they are there to ensure the safety of your child.
- If you are the parent of an athlete, please make sure they are 100% ready to race. We trust your judgment to determine they are able to safely complete the swim, bike and run portions of the event.
What should I eat the night before the race?
While every person is different, most experts do NOT suggest a heavy meal the night before a race. Every racer will need a lot of energy, so a traditional pasta dinner or other meal with lots of carbohydrates and some protein is quite common.
Of course, you know your body and normal eating habits better than anyone. It is always safe to follow those. The only thing almost everyone agrees on. . . it is NOT a good time to try a new food for the first time.
What should I eat for breakfast on Race Day?
Again, it is best to listen to your body and to do what feels right. It also depends on what time you get up and what time you are racing. The youngest kids who start racing at 7:30am should eat something light that is a good source of carbohydrates 2 hours before the start of your race.
As for the older Juniors and Seniors (racing at later in the day), it is easier to eat a normal breakfast early in the morning because your body will have more time to digest the food. One thing you do NOT want to do is skip breakfast on Race Day. You will need all the energy you can get to complete the race.