Additional FAQs

Additional event information


I'm interested in doing this triathlon, but since it's my first one I'm not sure if I'll be ready in a month and a half- can I show up the morning of to register?

Race Day registration is available.

My personal opinion is... I sign up in advance. I put my efforts where my money is, when I financially invest in an event, I am more motivated to train, focus, prepare, commit etc. See the above comments regarding race "readiness" and experience recommendations.

*Additionally, online registration is open until 11:59PM on the Thursday before the race.

Can I change my registration distance after I am registered, is there a deadline for these types of changes?

Your registration can be updated, including to transfer between duathlon or triathlon or distances until online registration closes at 11:59PM on 6/7/2018. 

Also as we have a no refund policy, we allow transfers to another athlete in advance.

No race day changes will be accepted for pre-registered athletes.

If I am unable to swim (due to an upper body injury), is it possible to transfer my registration to the Duathlon race (run/bike/run)? And if so, is there a deadline to do so? I fully intend to participate but I wanted to know what my options would be (just in case the injury does not resolve itself).

Your registration can be updated until online registration closes at 11:59PM on 6/7/2018. No race day changes will be accepted for pre-registered athletes.

I was also wondering what the estimated water temperature is and if you would recommend a (triathlon) wet suit.

I can not anticipate the water temperature at this time, but it will most likely (90% chance) be wetsuit legal. The pond is shallow and tends to warm relatively quickly versus large deeper ponds. A wetsuit is a personal choice. If you have no experience wearing a triathlon wetsuit, race day is NOT the time to figure it out.

This is my first triathlon and I was wondering how the start generally goes - do you group by men/women for the swim and how many people go in each wave?

Dependent on # of entrants swim waves will be determined.

We have two events on race day - Sprint and Super Sprint and we will have Male and Female waves. There will be at least four waves - two for each event. There will be at least :15 minutes between events (Sprint event first), to clear the water and so any last minute questions can be addressed.

Where is information on the website about where the bike and run take place?

The links for the course maps are on the Course tab.

What is your experience with this race regarding flying mounts and dismounts?

Unless you're a front of the pack swimmer/racer this is probably more dangerous than good. Bike mount areas are usually very congested and quite dangerous with people mounting their bikes and weaving all over the place. I do not do flying bike mounts or keep my shoes in the pedals. I put my shoes on in T1 then run my bike to the mount line find some clear space, clip in and go. The few seconds I may save with a flying mount have never affected my final race position.

Dismounts run the risk of error and danger to self and others, however I cannot tell an athlete to not do it, I would just hope they would practice good sense. This is a only local sprint race.

Can I do the run wearing my IPOD- some races don't allow it for safety reasons... But as I am a VERY beginning runner it really helps keep me moving and motivated - thanks!

No you cannot run wearing your IPOD - Audio devices are not allowed in USAT sanctioned events.

From the USAT rules:

3.4...i. Unauthorized Accessories. No participant shall, at any time during the event, use or wear a hard cast, headset, radio, personal audio device, or any other item deemed dangerous by the Head Referee. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

6.3 Permitted and Illegal Equipment. Any participant who at any time wears or carries a headset, radio, headphones, personal audio device, or any other item prohibited by Section 3.4(i) shall be subject to a time penalty.

What do you do with sneakers and shirt while you swim?

During the event there is a secured (by volunteers) area referred to as a "Transition Area" where all athletes gear is maintained. If this foreign to you, I highly recommend attending the Triathlon clinic for familiarization, there will be a $5 fee per attendee.

Visit this map to see the tentative location of the Transition Area.

Will bikes be available? Or do you bring your own?

Bikes are not provided, each athlete planning to participate in the bike leg (ie: a relay participant - who plans to bike or an individually registered racer) must bring their own functional bike. Bike rentals can potentially be made at some of the local bike shops, however - I don't in fact know of any shop that rent. In addition, for each athlete having their own bike, they must have a helmet.

Helmet rules / requirements: Excerpt from USA Triathlon Competitive Rules

(a) Type of Helmet. All participants shall wear a protective head cover, undamaged and unaltered, which meets or exceeds the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and which is clearly labeled by the manufacturer as satisfying such standards.  Helmets manufactured prior to March 10, 1999 must meet or exceed the safety standards of (i) the American National Standard Institute (ANSI Z-90.4), (ii) The Snell Memorial Foundation (Protective Headgear for Bicycle Users), or (iii) ASTM F-1446 or F-1447, and which is clearly labeled by the manufacturer as satisfying such standards. Removal of helmet cover, if required for that helmet to meet such safety standards, shall constitute an impermissible alteration in violation of this Section 5.9(a). Any violation of this Section 5.9(a) shall result in disqualification.

(b) Chin Strap Violations. The helmet must be fastened before the participant first mounts the bicycle, at all times when the participant is on the bicycle, and must not be unfastened until the participant has dismounted. Any violation of this Section 5.9(b) which occurs while the participant is in the transition area shall result in a variable time penalty. Any other violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.  This Section 5.9(b) shall be enforced at all times while at the event site on race day.

Download USA Triathlon Competitive Rules here

Is the price (including the USAT fee) to enter the shorter (Super Sprint) race as well as the Sprint?

The fees are the same for the Sprint or Super Sprint as the administrative costs are identical for each as the courses overlap one another.

How are age groups determined?

With USAT licensing, all age group athletes must participate and compete in the age group division corresponding to the athlete's age on December 31 of the year of the event.

Participants will be grouped in the appropriate USAT age group.

When is packet pick-up? Do you have to do it the day before?

No, packet pick-up is not available the day before. 

Packet pick-up is on race day (tentatively) from 6:15AM - 7:30AM in DCR Hampton Ponds State Park - look for signs at pavilion adjacent to the transition area/ parking lot.

I can't seem to find the bike course for the super sprint race on the website. Can you tell me how to find it or send me a link?

To find the Information\Course Maps  - please visit the Course Tab

There is a link for the bike course, it used to read "Bike Map" but I have updated it as follows to read:

Bike Map - Sprint Course and Super Sprint Course - shared courses/ 1map

The courses are identical, except for the Sprint Distance Race, a second loop is completed, so it is shown on one map.

I was wondering if you could attend the clinic prior to signing up for the event?

Yes - by all means, the clinic is to allay the fears of those who think this is daunting and show that they can do it. We hope that all who attend the clinic participate in the race, but the clinic is a service to the community from Tater Racing, there will be a $5 fee for each attendee.

I also wanted to know if there was an age restriction. My son is 13 and is interested in the super sprint, would he be able to enter?

The age limit is 11 on or before December 31 of the year of the event.

My daughter and two of her friends are registered for the super sprint relay. Will you have any special instructions for first timers/kids on race day? They are all 11 years old, and I'm a little worried about our swimmer (very strong but no crowd experience) and biker (same thing, no crowd experience). I've been working with our biker as much as I can, but it's not the same. Unfortunately, we are out of town next weekend for the clinic.

As this event is a learning opportunity for all participants, I will do a comprehensive run down of the flow of things from beginning to end in the communication sent the preceding week and again during pre-race announcements on race morning. I will solicit questions from the field as well to be sure any questions are answered. There will be time between the Sprint and Super Sprint for Questions and Answers after watching the Sprint Swim waves start. Additionally, there will be many experienced triathletes available before the event and assisting in the event to aid any participant.

Can you tell me if there is a hotel nearby to stay at the night before the race?

I suggest a Google Search: hotel Westfield, MA

Is it too late to volunteer?

No, it is never too late, email the race director for more information.

Does the registration include a swim cap or do you have to provide your own?

Yes, one swim cap is provided for the athlete and must be worn for the swim.

I was looking at the times for the results from last year. The running especially looks to be VERY fast (run a 5K in about 27 - 28min) do you have any idea if there will be slower runners this year? I know it’s a stretch to predict but while my goal is to finish I would prefer to not be last.

Don't worry I would be a 31-33 min 3 miler if I were participating. It is not a 5K, it is 3 miles, so that drops a minute, too. Being last in a race is actually pretty cool - you have the most fans!

My husband and I are excited for the triathlon. We are going to be a two-person team...I am going to swim and run, and he is going to ride. Do we have to pay the full relay price or how does that work?

Register as a relay team

Are there Clydesdale and Athena Categories? What does it mean?


A clydesdale athlete is a male who weighs more than 220 pounds. Spot checks are often carried out at packet pick up to verify the weight of those choosing to race in this division.


An athena is any female athlete weighing greater than 165 pounds. Women meeting this criteria can chose to race as an athena or not.

Tentative Raceday schedule

5:30 Gates Open

6:00 Transition Opens

6:15 Packet Pickup/ Body Mark

6:15 Race Day Registration Opens

7:30 Registration Closes

7:45 Transition Area closes - Announcements/ Q&A/ National Anthem

*All times are approximate - pending weather, course requirement and race director discretion.

I was talking to other triathletes and they were recommending that I take my wetsuit off before exiting the water. They told me just to step to the side and take it off when I was in 12 inches of water and then carry it to the transition area. I tried it on Saturday and this works well for me. Just wanted to be sure this was okay, as long as I was considerate of other swimmers exiting.

It does work well if you have your wits about you. If you don't you can fall down into the water. Standing up after swimming and then bending down can make some dizzy. The vertical movement of getting to transition can sometimes aid an athlete with coordination.

Regarding your question - yes it is OK, and I appreciate that acknowledgement to be considerate of other swimmers (Not all think of that)

If I have difficulty unzipping the wetsuit may I ask one of the volunteers to help me?

Yes you can be assisted by a volunteer or a fellow athlete - just not a spectator.

This will be my first full triathlon, can I swim with another swimmer? I would greatly appreciate if I could. Thank you so much for helping this newbie out!

If you have another athlete in the event that you want to swim with and they are in the same wave (this can be arranged if I am notified) or are willing to wait for you. You may swim with anyone in the event. 

Volunteers, lifeguards cannot aid you in forward progress, however another athlete can help another.

Another great resource Beginner Triathlete - How-to-Train-for-a-Triathlon

Athletes CAN NOT go to DCR Hampton Ponds State Park and pre-swim the course. ALL swimming, except on race day, must be done within the limits of our designated swim area. If violations continue the risk of race cancellation exists.

Is there an FAQ I can add to our page to help individuals like yourself? How did you hear about the race?

Please contact the race directors at We want to be sure to target our audience in the best way possible – so let us know how you found our event either at registration or via a quick email.