First time at Dorchester Triathlon?

If you are taking part in the Dorchester Triathlon as your first event it can be very daunting to wonder what happens and what is expected of you so we hope these thoughts may be useful!


  • DON’T panic about the swim! You will be grouped with swimmers of a similar ability based on the time you gave on your entry. There will be swimmers of all abilities. If you feel that time is now optimistic OR that in training you have gone faster then you can amend the time by emailing 1610 ( ) so long as it is earlier than one week to go.
  • PRACTICE on the course where possible, practice wearing what you mean to race in and practice drinking on the bike. There is no need to take gallons of liquid, one bottle will do. You can fill that with an energy drink if you wish BUT try it out before the day of the race.
  • DECIDE what to wear, there is no need to dry yourself, change all your clothing and put socks on in transition. If you don’t have a tri-suit then you will probably want to put cycling shorts on for the bike. David completed the Marathon at the “Outlaw” race in his bike shorts so you should be able to run in them. Chances are it will be warm on race day so you shouldn’t need a jacket, arm warmers etc. If you must then again make it something you can run in to avoid wasting too much time.
  • PRACTICE “Transition” (changing from swim to bike and bike to run), you should already be doing something called a “Brick Session” in training (going for even just a short run immediately after finishing a bike ride) to get used to the change, so that is the perfect opportunity to practice the whole process. Before your ride have your kit laid out by the bike, get changed (if you must!) and go off for the ride. Have your run shoes and any other kit for that leg handy at home (or laid out if possible) and quickly change before going for around a 15 minute run.
  • NUMBERS will need to be worn on the back on the bike and on the front on the run. The easiest way to do this is to attach them to a number belt which you put on after the swim and spin round before the run. They are available cheaply online. We have a couple that can be borrowed if necessary.





swim exit and Transition


  • ARRIVE in plenty of time before the start. 1610 should email you a start time a few days before the race. You will need to have time to register and collect numbers, attach them to clothing/number belt, put stickers on your helmet and bike, find your place in the transition area (in the car park behind the centre-there will be numbered stickers on racking) and then walk through to make sure you know where you exit the pool to get to your bike, where your bike is, where you exit transition for the bike leg (usually the Poundbury side of the car park) and the run (usually the TH school side) so you know where you are going. Having a brightly coloured tea towel laid out under your front wheel or shoes can help to spot where your bike is.
  • WHILE a box is the easiest way to carry your kit be prepared for boxes not to be allowed in transition. Rules changed this year but not all races apply them.
  • STAND in front of your bike and VISUALISE transition, what are you going to pick up first and what order? this will help ensure you haven’t forgotten something.



  • DO count your own lengths, there will be counters at the end of the pool who will attempt to tell you when there are 2 lengths to go but ultimately it is your responsibility.
  • IF you are behind a slower swimmer DO tap them on the feet, it is accepted etiquette and they should give way to you on the next turn. If they don’t then keep tapping until they get the message! If you have a faster swimmer behind then DO let them go whether they have tapped you or not.




  • PUT on your helmet and fasten it BEFORE touching your bike. You may not mount your bike until the designated “mount line” where a Marshal should be standing. In previous years this has been at the junction where you join Coburg Road.
  • HOPEFULLY you have ridden the course, if not then at least try to drive it before the day.
  • LISTEN to Marshals on the course, particularly on the junction where the road coming down from Hardy’s monument into Martinstown where you MUST stop and put a foot down no matter how clear the course, there will be signs but it is easy to get carried away – the winner was nearly disqualified for that last year!
  • KEEP drinking up to about the last 10 minutes as then you should not need water on the run.
  • MAKE SURE that you get off your bike before the Mount line (again there should be Marshals there to remind you) and run down into Transition.




  • AS mentioned you should be running out on the Thomas Hardye side of the leisure centre car park (BUT check on the day in case they change arrangements)
  • SWING your number round to the front.
  • BE prepared to feel “wooden legged” after the bike ride, you may feel that for a short distance but it will pass soon enough
  • IT is more or less 5km to run, you should not need to carry water for that distance.

Above all, smile, thank Marshals on your way round (they really appreciate it!) and enjoy it!

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