thinking about taking the plunge


 Currently a runner up to half marathon distance.  Have just started mountain biking which is going well.  Am thinking about doing a tri as I can swin cral and have no problems withbreathing etc (did my 2000m badge aged 10! although not swum regularly for years)

I am concerned about entering my first tri due to being deaf  particularly if  the bike part is on the road etc and won't hear marshalls.

I believe that there is a disabled tri for deaf people in June but this is the national championship, no good if you're a newbie!

 I's bad anough knowing what to do/don't do if you are a tri newbie if you can hear.  Not hearing anything just makes for greater nervousness.

I am looking for a pool sprint.  Does anyone know if there are any other disability races for my first one?


  • i wonder if you could ask if  you could compete with a "buddy" for the cycle leg
    one of the guys at our running club competes with his stepson and it is never a problem, he is experienced and so knows how to do it safely.

    what about contacting your local tri club and seeing if anyone there might be willing to do this for you?

    i think it would be useful to wear a vest that states that you are deaf, i know that sounds terrible but it would help marshalls if they knew they had to use clear hand signals rather than just bellowing at you

  • actually i would contact your local tri club anyway - you could do some training with them so as to learn how to do the transitions
  • I dont know if there any disability races or if there are any rules about deaf cyclists im afraid.

    Just wanted to say well done about taking the plunge, and if youre interested in a beginner race there will be quite a few of us from this forum at Stratford (Warwickshire) Sprint Tri in May.

    You are most welcome to enter and meet us there id you want any help and support on race day.  Suggest you check with the organisers first re risks associated with being deff and if they would require, allow a buddy.

    I am racing at stratford (its a pool swim and competitors start at 15/30? second intervals all morning) If my race time didnt coincide with yours id be happy to be your buddy around the bike course (as long as youre not to fast for me).
  • Hi becky.  I like to think that you could compete in normal triathlons rather than being restricted to particular races.  I suggest you find a beginner friendly race and get in touch with the organisers.  Our favourite beginner friendly event is the Stratford Tri.

    I also agree with lex's suggestion about wearing something that clearly identifies you as being deaf so marshals and other competitors know that you can't hear them.

  • becky - probably the best people to ask are British Triathlon who can give you some more relevant information and I believe the final decision on whether you can race with the "able bodied" is made by the event race referee who will consider all the factors like course, traffic, marshalls etc...

    I did see a deaf triathlete during Ironman Florida - I passed her on the bike leg and she was wearing a top which said DEAF TRIATHLETE on the back so you knew that if you came up behind her, she would not hear any commands you may shout like "on your left" etc........

  • Hi guys, thanks for all your comments. 

     I think May is too soon for me but will keep looking for something suitable for later in the year.

    Interestingly given your comments on my races I do actually wear a top that says "DEAF - Not Ignoring you!! on the back".  I wear this even if the road is closed to traffic as I usually find that the ambulance at the back of the race sometimes wants to overtake me and I don't know its there! 

    I will email BT for advice.  It would be easier If I know I was doing it with some like minded people initially.  Longer term I don't see other than from a safety view that it actually affects race performance per se. 

  • I don't see it affecting your race performance either.......the deaf girl I passed at IMFL was quick as it took me some time to get past her - and she must have beaten me out of the swim for me to pass her on the bike at around 1/2 way. I did look for her on the run but never saw her so have always wondered if she finished....

    good luck
  • she can't have been that quick...!
  • becky boo, you have PM.
  • Hi Becky

    Just to let you know, I never had any problems when I was doing tris'. (Well there was one. (see below))

    As with running, I take both hearing aids out so can't hear much while competing.
    Just remember to keep your wits about you while competing and try to get to any pre race briefings (with a hearing person as well if that helps)

    The only problem I had was at the London Triathlon when I went to overtake a slower cyclist. The "kind gentleman" speeded up as I was alongside him, unknown to me a motorcycle "draft buster" was approaching from behind (he could hear him coming, I couldn't), I pulled back in behind the other guy only to recieve a warning for drafting.

    Just go for it and use the first one for learning.

  • Hi guys, (EM and DB),

    Fancy seeing you on another thread!

    I think I will take the plunge, it's just finding a suitable race and the appropriate time of year.

    I have emailed  my local tri club as well for info.

  • Becky Boo,

    My girlfriend is currently working with "Paratriathlon", she recommends contacting  this guy

    His job is to encourage people with disabilities to compete in triathlons.

    Here is the website for the National Champs  Dont be put off by the word 'National' as this is the only triathlon specifically for people with a disability. 

    "Paratriathlon" is a new sport for people with disabilities to compete against one another, it has its own profiling/classification system and is hoping to be recognised in 2012.

    Hope this is useful, good luck in June at the 'National Champs'

  • Hi,

    Just drop me an email at and I'll be able to answer all your questions about Paratriathlon, etc. 

    Thanks everyone for your support shown, you are quite correct in suggesting hearing impaired athletes should not be restricted to Paratriathlete Inclusive events only, though informing the event organiser pre-race day is helpful, so marshalls and referees can be made aware.

     We do have a modified set of rules for  Paratriathletes, and event organisers guide to modifying events for Paratriathletes. if anyone else needs info on Paratriathlon, contact me anytime.


    Julian Wills, British Paratriathlon manager

  • Nice that you have made effort to post Julian. Much appreciated. And , no, I am not being sarcastic. Great that you are taking an interest. Mike Gratton posts on his events, always appreciated by me at least!
  • Go for Rother Valley Becky, you will love the cycle section. image

    At least the run is flat though.image

    Thanks for taking the time to post Julian. It's nice to get to know about these events, but Rother Valley ????

  • Hi, I am very very late to this thread. I was deaf in both ears, following recent op, now deaf in just one (which is an odd one for balance).

    BB - did you wear a top with anything on it? I can't hear people/cars/planes/sirens on my left ear,  (was in Richmond Park at the weekend and had problems ) which is where people pass. I can hear on my right much more, but it distors where I think the noise is coming from.

    I have my first Tri in September , and usually just sit in the pack of us out training, and never considered this as will be on my own.

     Freaking out now incase I can't hear and get crunched or crunch someone.

     I will have my RNID top on. I am sure I can get something written on that.

    God. I was so busy being worried about the scary dolls faces at the bottom of the lake, and the transition time and wearing lycra, I didn't even consider this.

    What did you do?

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