Disability Triathlon

Triathlon is a multi-sport event in which participants complete a continuous swim, cycle and run with transitions in between to change kit. Disability triathlon describes the growing sector of adults and children with a disability who are taking part in triathlon.  The emphasis of disability triathlon is inclusivity and with a growing number of disabled people wanting to take part in triathlon, our clubs welcome new members all year round and we also work with partners, including Scottish Disability Sport, to host come and tri and disability specific events.

At Scottish events, every effort is made to include opportunities for all TRI classes (listed below) to participate, but it may not be possible, if for example the run section is off road or the bike or run section is very steep, making it difficult for wheelchair competitors. Medals may not be awarded in TRI classes and classification is not essential.

The sport is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world and with the inclusion of Paratriathlon at the Rio Olympics in 2016 disability triathlon is really starting to take off.

In paratriathlon, athletes compete in one of 5 classes, as defined by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) as follows:

PT1: Includes all wheelchair users and athletes use a handcycle in the cycling section and a wheelchair for the run section.
PT2-4: For athletes with impairments such as limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and/or athetosis, and impaired muscle power or range of movement.  PT2 is for the most impaired athletes and PT4 for the least impaired athletes.
PT5: Athletes with a visual impairment, which is further subpided into B1, B2 and B3 in line with the visual capacity of each athlete.  B1 (blind athletes) wear blackout goggles for the run segment of the race and they get a start of 3 minutes and 43 seconds on the male B2 & B3 (visually impaired) athletes and 4 minutes and 16 seconds for the females.  A guide of the same gender is obligatory throughout the race and a tandem must be used during the cycle.

Paratriathlon races are contested over the “sprint” distance:  750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

Duathlon races are also contested over the “sprint” distance:  5km run, 20km bike and 2.5km run.

Athletes with a disability who are outside this classification system can still take part in triathlon events but there is no formal paratriathlon pathway.

To get involved in triathlon, use our Club Finder to find your nearest club.  Then contact the club to enquire about going along or simply turn up to one of their training sessions.  Make sure you explain to the coaches your ability levels so they know what you can do so they can make adaptations for you to be able to join in with the club session.

Furthermore, if you fancy getting involved in coaching, officiating or volunteering at your local club, get in touch with your local club contact or check out or coaching, officiating and volunteering pages.


In partnership with Scottish Disability Sport and South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture, Triathlon Scotland are hosting a disability specific event at Blantyre Leisure Centre on Sunday 20th September 2015. For more information and details on how to enter, visit http://www.entrycentral.com/disabilitycomeandtriathlon

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Our Partners

Triathlon Scotland is proud to work alongside the following partners and sponsors.

  • Equality in Sport
  • British Triathlon
  • sportscotland
  • University of Stirling
  • Winning Students Scotland
  • Blue Seventy
  • Legends S
  • ImacImages Photography
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