Answers to the most common questions can be found below, however if you would like to ask a more specific question please email site@nhstriathlon.co.uk and one of our team will respond as soon as possible (usually within a few hours but please allow up to 48 hours).

What date is it?
The seventh annual NHS Fun Triathlon will take place on Saturday 16th June 2018.

Who is organising the event?
Employees of Bolton Council’s Get Active Team will be organising the event.

Do I have to work for the NHS to take part?
The criteria to enter the event is as follows:

  • be employed by the NHS
  • be a friend or relative employed by the NHS

Does a team have to be 3 people or can we have a team of 2, with 1 person doing 2 disciplines?
Team entries must comprise of 3 different people. A relay team must have a minimum of two NHS employees with the third member being a Friend or Relative

Can I enter on my own?
Whilst we want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the event as part of a team, we will also be accepting individual entries.

How much does it cost to enter?
The cost of a team entry is £45 (£15 per person). If you want to enter as an individual early bird entry costs just £35 until 28th February 2018, it will then rise to £40 thereafter. This includes online entry, results, insurance and a specially designed technical t-shirt. The NHS triathlon is a non-profit making event and any money made will go back into the event for next year.

I am travelling from a long way, is there somewhere I can stay overnight?
Information on local hotels, travel inns and B&B’s can be found here.

Where’s Horwich?
Horwich (pronounced like Norwich) is a town in the Greater Manchester Borough of Bolton, although geographically closer to Chorley. It is just 20 miles from Manchester and very close to the M61 motorway. It has a direct rail service to Manchester International Airport and links to the national rail network and is right on the doorstep of the beautiful West Pennine Moors

What time does the event start?
The first swimmers will set off at 3pm. Swim start times will be available on the website in advance of the event; all swimmers will have started by 6pm.

When does registration open?
This year we are offering competitors two different times to register for the event. Registration will take place in the Rivington Suite at Horwich Leisure Centre. In order to relieve some of the stress on race day we recommend that if possible you register on the Friday night.

Friday 16th June, 5pm – 7pm

Saturday 17th June, 1.30pm – 4.30pm

What do I need to wear?
Swimmers- goggles are advisable and normal swimming kit is fine.

Cyclists- cycling helmets are compulsory and must be worn for the entire duration of the cycle course, failure to do so will result in you being refused to take part in the event or disqualification if helmets are removed during the ride. A waterproof jacket is also advisable if the weather is bad on the day.

Runners- normal running gear is fine.

Do I need to wear a wetsuit for the swim?
No, a standard swimming suit is fine. If you are taking part as an individual you may want to think about what to put on over your swim suit to cycle in.

Where will the swim take place?
The swim will take place at Horwich Leisure Centre, Victoria Road, Horwich, BL6 5PY

How many lengths of a pool is 400 metres?
16 lengths of a standard 25 metre swimming pool.

Are you allowed to dive in to the pool?
No, it is a shallow end start so no diving is permitted. You will start in the water.

I can’t swim front crawl, is breaststroke OK?
Yes, any stroke is fine apart from backstroke.

Are you allowed to do Backstroke during the swim?
No, only front crawl and breaststroke are permitted during the swim.

What happens if someone catches up with you in the pool?
If you are caught, please let the swimmer behind pass you when you reach the end of your length.

Are you allowed to do tumble turns during the swim?
Yes, the pool is deep enough at both ends to allow tumble turns.

Is there somewhere to leave my shoes/a t-shirt on poolside so I don’t have to run barefooted/just in my swim suit to my bike?
Yes, you will be allowed to place a pair of trainers/a t-shirt on poolside prior to getting in the water.

At what point will I be timed during my swim?
Your time will be taken a couple of seconds after you get out of the pool when you pass the swim timing mat which will be located near to the exit door of the pool.

Is the time I take in transition included in my overall time?
Yes, your time will start from when you push off from the side of the pool for your swim and finish when you cross the finish line, all the time you take in-between is counted in your overall time.

What is a transition area?
The transition area is where you leave your bike, cycling and running kit and the place that you will run to in order to change from the swim section of the event to the cycling stage. This year there will be a split transition. T1 between the swim and bike stage. T2 between the bike and run stage.

The transition area will be securely managed by our race crew meaning your bikes will be safe when you are not using them, and only athletes will be allowed in this area.

How do I find the person in my team to hand over the relay timing chip?
There is a relay hand over area in the transition area of T1 and T2 where you will hand over your timing chip. This should be passed from the swimmers ankle to the cyclist ankle in T1, and passed from the cyclists ankle to the runners ankle in T2. This area will not be overly busy so you should be able to find your team mates easily.

Where do I get my numbers for the bike?
A number for your bike will be included in your pack when you register. This must be attached to your bike so that we know who the bike belongs to when it is being collected from the transition area after the event.

Do I need my own bike?
You do need to bring your own bike. If you don’t own one yourself, why not ask around to see if a friend has one you can borrow. Or better still invest in your own bike and commit to a more active future! ‘Cycle to work schemes’ are an easy and affordable way of buying a bike- ask your employer today.

I don’t have a racing bike; can I use my mountain bike?
Yes, lots of people will be using mountain bikes. Any bike you use must be in a roadworthy condition and brakes will be checked prior to the event starting.

How far is 16km in miles?
10 miles- this can take anything between 25 minutes to around 1 hour to complete on a bike.

What is the bike route?
There will be a new bike course this year incorporating a 1 mile closed road loop. Details of the map can be found here http://www.nhstriathlon.co.uk/maps/cycle/. The bike route will be 10 laps.

How do I count the bike laps?
It is the competitors responsibility to count the number of laps but we will be providing 9 brightly coloured bike loom bands to help you with this which will be available to collect at registration. We suggest that these bands are placed on the handlebars of your bike.The bike band drop off is located just after the entrance to T2 on Winter Hey Lane opposite the TSB. We suggest that you familiarise yourself with its location when you are drop off your running kit. It will be signposted by a marshal and also bright yellow signs saying “Bike band drop off”. Every time you pass this spot we suggest that you drop off one of the bands. When you have no bands left you will be on your final lap. Once this lap has been completed you will enter the T2 on New Brunswick Street.

How far is 4.3km in miles?
2.7 miles- this can take anything between 15 minutes to around 50 minutes to complete as a run.

What is the run route?
There will be a slightly different run route this year. http://www.nhstriathlon.co.uk/maps/run-map-instructions-elevation-gps/

Is the run course hilly?
No the run course is fairly flat with only a couple of slight inclines.

How do I train for the event?
Specific training plans for each section of the triathlon can be found here.

What do I get if I win?
The winning teams in each category will receive a trophy, as will the fastest individual entrants in each category.

Do I get a goody bag?
Everyone who finishes will receive a specially commissioned technical t-shirt and a quality medal.

When will the results be produced?
The provisional results will be available soon after the final person has finished in each race (Relay and Individual)

Where will the presentation be held?
Weather permitting, the presentations will be held next to the finish line in Old Station Park, Horwich. More info about the presentation ceremonies can be found here.

Is the race chip timed?
Yes, for the first time the race will be chip timed. You will collect your timing chip at registration.

Will the results be on the website?
Yes, a link to the results will be uploaded to the website soon after the last finisher has crossed the line.

Can I use the shower facilities at the Leisure Centre?
Yes, there are shower facilities available at Horwich Leisure Centre which you are able to use.

Are there drinks stations?
There will be drinks available on the run route and at the finish line.

More generic Q&A’s concerning your first triathlon can be found here