Triathlon, or should we say Multi-Event Races come in many forms. In the UK the governing body is British Triathlon, and Gillingham & District Wheelers are an affiliated club. The “transitions” from one activity to the next is part of the overall time.  Events can be categorised as:

  • Triathlon
  • Duathlon
  • Swim-run (or ÖTILLÖ)
  • Aquathlon
  • Aquabike
  • Biathle triathle

Further details of each below.


There are many opportunities to race at lots of different distances in the UK, particularly during June, July and September.

Races are age graded – in 5-year bands for larger events, e.g. M35-39, F35-39, M40-44 ….

2023 race calendar

Race/event organisers

1. For the Novice

Having the right kit is not a necessity.  If you have a bike, then only a pair of trainers is necessary to become a duathlete.  Shorter races including a swim are often pool-based so no extra kit is needed (though your bike gear may be a bit wet).

If breast-stroke is your stroke of choice, you will be amongst many in every race.

Many start with 2-sport events (duathlon, aquabike, swim-run etc).

Go Tri is a Bristish Triathlon product to encourage multi-sport participation.

British Triathlon has a database of licenced events in the UK .

Speak with Innes Wright our Triathlon Representative ( who is only too happy to share his experiences.

2. For the Competitive Athelete

British Triathlon selects Age Group teams (in 5-year bands) for international championships for most distances and types of multi-events, including:

  • ETU (European Triathlon Union) European Championships
  • ITU (international Triathlon Union) World Championships
  • Depending on the event, up to 20 racers per age group are selected based on
    • performance in qualifying races; or
    • times in previous events
  • Opportunity to race in team GB kit

Ironman (IM) run annual their own “world Championships” each year, usually on the famous Kona course in Hawaii.

  • Positions allocated in “slots” depending on results in IM branded races spread across the age groups (weighted to age groups with most athletes).
  • Typically, 35 slots are available for each half-distance race and 45 for the full-distance.
  • Half-Ironman – generally in Autumn and moves around the world.
  • Ironman – in October in Kona, Hawaii.

Swim-run: ÖTILLÖ run their own “world championships” in September in the Stockholm archipelago.

3. Event Distances

Events range from Sprint through to Ironman, with the main distances being:

Race TypeSwimBikeRun
Sprint0.5 mi (750m)12.4 mi (20km)3.1 mi (5km)
Olympic0.93 mi (1.5km)24.8 mi (40km) 6.2 mi (10km)
ITU Long Course Triathlon 1.86 mi (3km)49.6 mi (80km)12.4 mi (20km)
Half Ironman (70.3)1.2 mi (1.9km)56 mi  (90.1km)13.1 mi (21.1km)
Ironman2.4 mi (3.9km)112 mi (180.2km)26.2 mi (42.2km)

4. British Triathlon Membership Price Reductions for GDW Club Members

The Club and Committee, rather than the individuals, are covered by British Triathlon insurance.

For individual UK racing and training coverage together with discounted entry fees, unlimited race licences and access to the gold-dust in the British Triathlon website, 2023 individual membership costs:

 Membership LevelNon-GDW memberGDW member

See Britsh Triathlon’s website for more details.

Day licences can be purchased for most events for those without individual British Triathlon membership.