Equipment & Classification

Triathlon is the only sport in New Zealand where para-athletes can compete alongside abled athletes. The sport was added to the Paralympic Games in 2016 and has since grown in popularity here in New Zealand. Individuals wishing to compete in Paratriathlon should speak with an affiliated club or coach for expert advice.

Equipment


The best advice if you are beginning out as a para-athlete is not to worry about all the flash gear to start out with and use what you own already. Once you know that the sport of triathlon is for you, then you can look at upgrading your equipment. You will require some basic equipment to get you started and depending on your impairment you may need some adaptations made to this equipment.

  • Race clothing – Top brands such as 2XU garments are designed specifically for Triathlon and other multi-disciplined sports. They will provide additional comfort and will have specific benefits such as high UV protection and moisture management due to their fabric and construction
  • Road Bike – there are many key benefits of a road bike, but its main purpose is to be faster on the road than a mountain bike. Your local bike shop will be able to provide you with information on a bike that is specific for your needs. They will also be able to help with making some adaptations to your bike for your requirements. Visit Trikes NZ for custom-made options.
  • Cycling Shoes – these enable you to maximise your cycling pedalling stroke because you can pull up as well as push down with each revolution of your pedals.
  • Race wheels – the type of wheels you ride makes a big difference to your overall bike time. On a flat course, you may choose to ride an enclosed wheel or disc, on a hilly course having light wheels will help you maximise your power and speed getting up the hills. Please be aware that in high winds a technical official can rule that deep rims and disc wheels are banned for safety, so it is a good idea to be prepared for this situation.
  • Wetsuit – this will help you to swim faster because of the additional buoyancy that it provides. In cold water, it will also enable you to stay warmer for longer.
  • Running shoes – make sure you go to your local store to get a gait analysis to ensure that you are well supported in your running shoes. Triathlon New Zealand recommends ASICS.
  • A high-quality mountain bike – for use during off-road events such as the NZ Cross Tri Championships.

 

Hire Equipment

Blind Sport NZ and the Blind Foundation have tandem bikes that can be hired for a nominal price.

 

Adaptive Equipment

Paralympics NZ and Halberg have a range of contacts and information on adaptive devices and modifications that can be made by local engineers in consultation with the athlete and coach.

 

Prosthetics

Contact Paralympics NZ for more information.

Classification


In 2014 ITU announced a new classification system which now includes five sports classes which Triathlon New Zealand have also adopted for Paratriathlon.

 

For those athletes wishing to compete internationally, they will require an International Classification which is available at many of the ITU events around the world. The Paratriathlon Classification Rules can be found on the ITU website here.

Wheelchair users. Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairement of, but not limited to: muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis that precent the ability to safely ride a conventional bike and run. Through classification assessment, athletes must have a score of up to 640.0 points. Athletes must use a recumbent handcycle on the bike course and a racing wheelchair on the run segment.

Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athetosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement that through classification assessment have a score of up to 454.9 points. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athetosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement that through classification assessment have a score from 455.0 to 494.9 points. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athetosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement that through classification assessment have a score from 495.0 to 557.0 points included. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

Total or Partial visual Impairment (IBSA/IPC defined sub-classes B1, B2, and B3): Includes athletes who are totally blind, from no light perception in either eye, to some light perception but unable to recognize the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction (B1) and partially sighted athletes with a visual acuity of less than 6/60 vision or visual field less than 20 degrees with best corrective vision (B2-B3). A guide from the same nationality and gender is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment.