Be a KITKid
New! KitCan Youth Race Series Program
Find a KITCan series event near you
Tri hard and most of all, have fun!
Welcome to Triathlon Canada’s Kids In Triathlon (KITCan) Series. It’s a great new program where kids ages 3 to 11 can experience triathlon in a positive and fun environment. The emphasis is on participation, not competition. The distances are much shorter and increase as participants mature in the sport. And, many KITCan races happen with an adult race, making it a family affair.
Frequently Asked Questions
We will add content to this area as questions arise, so check back often. Thank you to Triathlon Ontario for the content provided to get us started.
What is a typical race day experience?
This is a quick guide for parents on what to expect and the steps to think about on race day. If your child is in the 3-5 age category, you will be enjoying this exciting experience within an arm’s reach of them at all times. The KITCan Series is primarily about fun and engagement. The goal is to provide an opportunity for kids to move and enjoy themselves! Not all events will follow the exact same format, so be sure to read the details at registration and provided on-site at each venue.
The following guide applies to events that follow the full triathlon format:
Step 1: Set up
This first step will be to set up your child’s equipment in the Transition area. There will be a designated set-up time window for each age category. Information will be provided on when you need to get set-up and the start time for each wave. Make sure you get all the details at check-in! Your child’s race bib should be visible on the front of their body and their timing chip (if provided) is securely fastened on their ankle.
Step 2: Pre-Start Preparation
The next step is to get prepared for your child’s wave start time. We advise that children wait by the designated swim area 15 to 20 minutes in advance of their start to avoid any confusion.
When it’s time, all athletes in your child’s wave will be led to a marshalling area near the water. Instructions will be provided by the race volunteers on the rules for the swim, and then permission will be given to safely enter the water.
Step 3: Off we GO!
From here the race will begin! Once done the swim, the children will enter the Transition area to put on their running shoes and bike helmets before safely walking/running their bikes out on to the bike course. They must wait until they are across the mount line outside of Transition to hop on their bikes.
They will complete their bike distance before re-entering Transition. They must be off their bikes before the dismount line outside of the Transition area and safely walk/run their bikes back in.
Next they will leave their bike and helmet behind and head out on the run course. Once they have completed their distance and crossed the finish line the race is over!
Family and friends are encouraged to cheer the kids on along the course and especially as they cross the finish line. After the race ends, be sure to stay and enjoy the post-race family activities and treats!
Are the races timed?
Provision of timing services varies from venue to venue. This is often dependent on the age of the kids participating. The goal of the KITCan Series is about fun and engagement, and less about results. Every kid who participates should be celebrated!
In some cases the kids are given a water-proof, velcro-strapped, chip-timing anklet . The anklet is to be worn for the entire race and will be removed by volunteers upon crossing the finish line.
What are the race distances?
|3 – 5||15-20m||500m||100m|
|6 – 7||25m||1.5km||500m|
|8 – 9||75m||4km||1km|
|10 – 11||100m||5km||2km|
* Distances will vary slightly at each race
What gear and clothing does my child need?
For the swim portion:
Athletes will need a swimsuit. If your child requires a PFD (personal flotation device) please come prepared unless informed in advance that the event is providing them. If the swim takes place in a pool they are often made available.
For the bike portion
Athletes are allowed to use “Big Wheels”, tricycles, balance bikes, or bikes with training wheels, as long as the equipment is in good working order. If you are unsure about the condition of your child’s bike, we recommend having it inspected by a professional bike shop. Athletes must put on their bike helmets with chin straps fully buckled in the Transition area and wear them at all times when in contact with their bikes.
As their torsos must be covered for the bike and run portions of the race, athletes whose swimsuits don’t provide full torso coverage should have a shirt ready to put on in Transition with the bib number from their Race Kits pinned on the front. Some children may wish to also put on shorts over their swimsuits in Transition. Water bottles and towels are also recommended for the transition.
For the run portion
Closed-toe running shoes are the only footwear permitted.
Meet KITCan The Beaver
- Name: KITCAN The Beaver
- Home: Canada
- Hobbies: Loves to swim, bike and run… in that order
- Fave Food: When not competing, maple syrup with pancakes on the side (otherwise broccoli smoothies)
- Dream: to be the first triathlete with a tail on the podium
- Super Power: cutting down an 8-foot tree in 5 minutes
- Catchphrase: “Tri hard, have fun!”
What KITCan really liked were things that many youngsters like to do: biking, running, and swimming. One day, while swimming laps in the backyard, KITCan’s Mom described a sport that incorporated all three of KITCan’s favourite activities. It was called “triathlon”, a word that combines “tri”, meaning “three” and “athlon”, which is Greek for “contest”. “Hmmm… a three-sport contest involving biking, running and swimming” thought KITCan. “That’s the sport for me!”
After doing a little more research on the topic, KITCan soon learned that to really compete in triathlon, one needs to train. So, that’s just what the young beaver did. Obviously, KITCan was particularly talented in the swimming aspect of triathlon, but to get good at biking and especially running (have you seen how long a beaver’s legs are?), KITCan needed to do a lot of training – and is still working at it to this day. In the dozen or so triathlons that KITCan has competed in, the young beaver has done very well. KITCan hasn’t won an event yet, but when you consider that the beaver is a Canadian symbol (ask your parents to give you a nickel), KITCan has become quite a celebrity and has an extremely large and enthusiastic fan base.
With all the training, triathlons and subsequent fanfare, it’s not surprising that KITCan is a busy as, well, a beaver. If the idea of triathlon appeals to you, consider the words of KITCan, who will tell you” “Tri hard and above all, have fun.”
Cuddly & Collectible
Triathlon Canada has been busy making super-cute KITCan stuffies that you can sell at your next event (or secretly collect for yourself). A portion of the proceeds will go to the Triathlon Canada Charitable Foundation in support of ongoing development of programs such as KITCan.
Can’t resist? Look out for them at events this summer!
Host a KITCan Event
Triathlon Canada is making the KITCan Program available to all sanctioned events and clubs through their affiliated Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs). Talk to your province if you are interested in hosting! We’ve created a super fun Race-in-a-Box program to help you host your own KITCan event. This race kit includes ready-to-go designs for all sorts of items to make your race look and feel like a KITCan event. Best of all – it is free for you to use! Items include:
The official start line for triathlon in Canada, leading some on a path to the podium and inspiring others to achieve their personal best.
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