Cross Triathlon FAQ

More and more people are discovering the world of off road triathlon. Be it roadies looking for their next challenge or those completely knew to triathlon looking for their next adventure. This is a quick FAQ to introduce you to some useful information for taking part in your first race. If you have any other questions please just drop us a message and we can add them in.

·     What is cross triathlon?

Cross triathlon uses the same format as a regular triathlon. Swim – Bike – Run. The difference is the bike is mountain biking and the run is trail running.

·       What are the distances?

The standard distances are a 1500m swim, 30km mountain bike and a 10km trail run.The swim distance largely remains the same however due to the nature of the mountain biking and running trails these portions can be a little longer or a little shorter.

·       How long does the race take?

Generally the pros take around 2 ½ to 3 hours depending on the course and the conditions. There is a huge variety of ability in the age group race with a great mix of athletes competing or completing. Chances are you will always have someone nearby and won’t be at the back.

·       What are the cut off times?

These vary a little depending on the course. Race organisers tend to be relaxed about cut off times and as long as you are not endangering yourself or another competitor you will be able to complete the race.

·       What bike do I need?

You will need a working mountain bike. Although the courses are not too technical, cyclocross or gravel bikes are not suitable and organisers will not allow you to race on one.

·       Do I need a full suspension mountain bike?

You can ride either a hardtail or full suspension mountain bike. A hardtail bike will get you around all off road triathlons but you may have a more comfortable ride on a full suspension, and your back will thank you when it comes to running.

·       What if I can’t ride something?

If there is a section of the course that you can not ride you will not be alone! There will more often than not be some sort of obstacle that you will have to carry your bike over as well.

If you are not comfortable riding something just get off and push your bike through that section. It will make up such a small portion of the course you won’t even remember that you didn’t ride it all at the finish. (Even the pro’s get off their bikes and sometimes it is faster!)

·       What running shoes do I need?

This varies from course to course. For some race flats are fine, others you will likely need a pair of trail shoes. Your rarely need something with aggressive tread so a happy medium is a lightweight trail shoe.

·       How should I fuel for the race?

How you fuel for the race depends on how long you expect to take. There will be aid stations out on the course providing water and sometimes energy drink, but you will need to carry with you anything else you want during the race. Energy drink and gels are a popular choice.

·       Can I ride with a camel back?

Yes you can. This is useful to carry fluids and spares and means you can drink without taking your hands off the bars. There are plenty of sections on the courses where you will be able to drink from a bottle though so this is not essential.

·       I’m all set, Where do I find a race?

Take a look at our race calendar over at