Wet Suits – Athletes have the option of wearing neoprene suits if the water temperature is below 20 degrees Celsius. Besides warmth, wetsuits also provide more buoyancy in the water.
Aero Bars – Aero bars are specialized forward-facing handles fastened to the front of the bike. They allow athletes to maintain a more aerodynamic position while leaning on the bars. For draft legal races the bars may not extend beyond the brake hoods and must be connected in front. Athletes who are leading a pack may choose to rest on the bars, but athletes in a pack or behind another athlete would pose a safety risk on the bars since they cannot maneuver the bike quickly from aero position.
Clipless Pedals – For cycling, athletes wear special shoes with cleats that snap into a spring on the pedal. This allows them to use the full range of the pedal stroke to cycle more efficiently. Some athletes choose to fasten their shoes onto their pedals before the race in order to be safer and faster. They jump on their bikes with bare feet before slipping into the shoes during the first portion of the cycle.
Tri Suits – Most athletes wear one-piece swim suits that include short-legs and a small shammy to assist with comfort on the bike seat. In order to promote gender equity and ensure safety,
triathlon requires that all competitors cover their torso (chest and stomach) while cycling and running. More stringent uniform requirements are upheld at international levels.
Sighting – In open water swimming there are no lines underwater to keep athletes on the correct path. Large, floating buoys are used as markers. Athletes must look up, or sight, periodically to ensure they are headed in the correct direction. During the Canada Games triathlon buoys will be 50m to 300m apart.
Transition Area – The focal point in a triathlon where all equipment is kept for transitioning between sports. The first transition (T1) is from swim to bike and the second transition (T2) from bike to run. Athletes are not permitted to ride their bikes in transition, so they must run to the mount line before beginning the cycle and dismount at the end of the cycle before entering transition. Helmets MUST be fastened before athletes make contact with their bikes and remain fastened until after the bike is racked.
Drafting – Drafting is a technique whereby athletes swim, bike, and run beside or behind other athletes in order to minimize water and air resistance. Drafting is most significant on the bike and changes the strategies on the cycle portion as athletes must work together in groups. Drafting is only permitted in specified races for certified Junior and Elite racers.
Individual Sprint Event – The first triathlon event of the Games is an individual triathlon consisting of a 750m swim, 20km cycle, and 5km run. Athletes may try and work together during the swim and bike depending on their positions in the race. Team strategies do not always proceed as planned during the actual event as they are affected by other athletes, conditions, and unexpected events.
Team Relay – Teams of 3 athletes of the same gender compete in the relay. Each athlete completes a 300m swim, 7km bike, and 2km run before tagging off to the next team member.