FAQs

The Swim

Please select the FAQ below for more detailed information

What swim safety measures are in place?

We are a very safety conscious event with a 100% safety record spanning over 18 years. Our water rescue team…
  • We are a very safety conscious event with a 100% safety record spanning over 18 years.
  • Our water rescue team are medics, rowers and canoeists who are based in the area all year round.
  • They are familiar with the behaviour and currents of the river.
  • Every person in the water will have dedicated marshal teams watching them.
  • If you get into trouble, roll into the backstroke position and signal for help using your arm and one of our crew will come to your aid immediately.
  • Should you require further assistance, our ambulance crew will be on standby at the riverside.
  • Couple of additional facts about swimming at TriAthy:
    • The riverbank is never more than 20m away (the river is 40m wide at it's maximum point)
    • The river depth is generally chest high (for a person who is 170cm) during the Summer Months.
    • The river current is normally slow and steady during the Summer Months.
    • Multiple canoeists and river-side marshals will be keeping close watch on our swimming triathletes.
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Can I use any stroke during the swim leg?

Yes - although we do recommend that you swim front crawl unless you are tired or in difficulty. If you…
  • Yes - although we do recommend that you swim front crawl unless you are tired or in difficulty.
  • If you need assistance, roll into a backstroke position and signal for assistance and one of our water rescue team will come to your aid immediately.

Need some open water swim practice in advance?

  • SwimAthy takes place on Sunday 26 May 2024 and is an ideal opportunity for entrants to test the water ahead of race day. It is a fully marshalled event, covering the exact course but without the stress of a race environment. For details see www.swimathy.com.
  • SwimAthy is open to everyone and is a favourite among athletes preparing for long distance Iron or Challenge events who want open water experience. It is also perfectly suited to first time triathletes who want to eliminate race nerves and acclimatise themselves before the big day.

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What do I wear beneath my wetsuit?

You should wear whatever you will complete the rest of the race in beneath your wetsuit. This way, when you…
  • You should wear whatever you will complete the rest of the race in beneath your wetsuit.
  • This way, when you strip off your wetsuit after the swim your ready immediately to cycle.
  • Nudity in the transition area is not allowed, as it is against the rules!
  • Wear what feels comfortable beneath your wetsuit. 
  • It is not advised to try new clothing on race day.
  • Train in your gear before race day if at all possible to test race conditions and the clothings effect on your body.
  • Remember lycra will dry out quicker than cotton!
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Do I need a swim cap?

You will be issued a TriAthy swim cap at our registration venue similar to the ones shown below. The swim…
  • You will be issued a TriAthy swim cap at our registration venue similar to the ones shown below.

  • The swim hat is important for three main reasons:
    • Firstly - it allows you to retain some heat while swimming,
    • Secondly - its colour signifies which race you are taking part in, and
    • Thirdly - its colour allows our safety crews to spot you in the water.
  • For warmth and comfort some triathletes may choose to double-up and wear their own swim cap under the official cap. The official TriAthy cap must be worn as the external layer if doing this.

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Do I need swimming goggles?

Yes - Swimming Goggles are mandatory! No goggles = No swim as per the race rules. This is also for…
  • Yes - Swimming Goggles are mandatory!
  • No goggles = No swim as per the race rules.
  • This is also for your comfort and safety. Being able to sight properly in the water is critical and googles facilitate that.
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Where does the Swim leg take place at TriAthy?

The Swim leg of TriAthy takes place in the River Barrow at Athy Town Centre. The River Barrow is Ireland's…
  • The Swim leg of TriAthy takes place in the River Barrow at Athy Town Centre.
  • The River Barrow is Ireland's second longest River. It rises in the Slieve Bloom mountains before travelling through the towns of Portarlington (Laois) and Monasterevin (Kildare) before reaching Athy.
  • At Athy, the River Barrow is never more than 40m wide at any point.
  • There are no tides or swells to reckon with, but occasionally the wind may cause some gentle waves to form on the surface.
  • Swim course maps are available for each race on the respective links below:
    • See the video clip below giving a sense of the swim and the area of the River Barrow used as our swim course.

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    Can I use my surfing or shortie wetsuit?

    Yes. Any neoprene wetsuit is suitable. But please note: Non-triathlon wetsuits may not be as flexible around the arms and…
    • Yes. Any neoprene wetsuit is suitable.
    • But please note: Non-triathlon wetsuits may not be as flexible around the arms and shoulders to facilitate good swimming technique.
    • We recommend that you practice with your wetsuit in the weeks prior to the race to get accustomed to the fit while swimming.

    Need Some Swim Practice?

    SwimAthy takes place on Sunday 26th May 2024 and is an ideal opportunity for entrants to test the water ahead of TriAthy race day.

    • It is a fully marshalled event, covering the exact course but without the stress of a race environment.
    • For details see www.swimathy.com.
    • SwimAthy is open to everyone and is a favourite among athletes preparing for long distance Ironman or Challenge events who want open water experience. It is also perfectly suited to first time triathletes who want to eliminate race nerves and acclimatise themselves.
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    Do I need to be able to swim?

    YES, for obvious reasons you must be able to swim as you will be entering an open water environment and…
    • YES, for obvious reasons you must be able to swim as you will be entering an open water environment and swimming is one of the three legs of triathlon!
    • Our safety crews will be there to assist you if you need help.
    • However, as a guideline, we suggest you have a minimum competency of:
    • There are time limits for the swims and if you exceed them, you could be removed from the water. The time limits are:

    Note: TriAthy swim race distances are TryAthy 250m, Sprint 750m, Olympic 1,500m and Double Olympic 3,000m. You can also review each of the Swim Maps for each of the races below:

    SwimAthy: To aid your race preparations we strongly recommend that you to take part in SwimAthy to test the water ahead of race day. SwimAthy takes place on Sunday 26th May 2024. The River course for all TriAthy swim legs will be in place for SwimAthy.

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    Do I need a wetsuit for TriAthy?

    Yes - Wetsuits are compulsory for racing at TriAthy. Your wetsuit will keep you warm and improve your swimming speed…
    • Yes - Wetsuits are compulsory for racing at TriAthy.
    • Your wetsuit will keep you warm and improve your swimming speed and buoyancy.
    • It is also an important safety aid in the event you experience difficulties in the water.
    • We strongly recommend putting your name on the inside of your wetsuit in case it is left behind on race day.
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