What is the Transition Area, and What Happens There?
In the sport of triathlon the Transition Area is like the hub in the center of a wheel with the swim, bike, and run like wheel spokes. The athlete passes through the Transition Area twice in the event. In the Transition Area the athlete moves from swimming to biking and then from biking to running.
Every athlete has a spot in the Transition Area (by age-group) where his/her bike, helmet, shoes/sox, shirt, shorts, towel and other needed stuff is located. The triathlon begins at the pool. Following the swim the athlete moves to the Transition Area where he/she removes any swim equipment such as goggles, quickly dries off, puts on what is needed for the bike ride, takes his/her bike and (walking the bike) exits the Transition Area following the sign that says Bike Out. Bathing suit removal is not permitted. Athletes put on shorts and a shirt over their bathing suit with their race number pinned on in advance. Some athletes just put on a shirt (with number) and ride with bathing suits instead of shorts-over-suits.
After the ride the athlete returns to the Transition Area and (walking the bike) goes back to where his/her equipment is located. The bike is placed in the rack, helmet and other riding equipment is removed, and the athlete prepares for the run. Generally young athletes ride their bikes in their running shoes so after removing the bike stuff they are ready for the run. Runners may jog to the Run Out sign in the Transition Area, watching for bikes and other runners. The triathlon finishes at the end of the run on the track infield.
A few notes on the Transition Area:
- Get to the race so that you can set up your young athlete's Transition Area location. Look for signs designating the age-group of your athlete. Locations are not reserved but there will be enough for all athletes. The race starts with the oldest and progresses to the youngest so there will be racers in the Transition Area when you are setting up. Please be courteous to them and stay clear. Only one adult will be permitted with the athlete for setup and removal. A wristband is required. This is for the safety of the athletes. After setup, please leave the Area quickly. Only the athlete will be permitted in the Area during the race, except for 6 & Under when one adult may accompany the child.
- Bring two towels, one of which should be old. Put the old towel on the ground beside the bike at your child's location and place his/her race stuff on it. The other towel is for drying after the swim. It is recommended that you have a full water bottle there so your athlete can grab a quick drink before exiting the Transition Area. We will have water stops on all courses but the Transition Area is a good place for a bit of fluid.
- The time spend in the Transition Area counts on the overall time so it should be as fast as is reasonable but not so fast that your athlete forgets to put on the helmet or ties his/her shoes. We will have volunteers in the Transition Area to assist athletes so we ask that parents stay out for the safety of the participants. An exception to this is for the 6 & Under age-group where ONE parent may assist the athlete if needed.
- The Transition Area will be guarded by volunteers. To remove the bike from the Transition Area you must show a race number and match it to the race number on the bike. Your race packet will have a numbered race bib to be worn on the shirt or shorts and two small stick-on race numbers, one for the bike and one for the helmet. In addition each athlete will have their race number marked on their body by volunteers using pen. All of these numbers must match.