What will I gain by joining South London Harriers for triathlon?

You'll get a way of developing your ability in each of the different areas of triathlon and a group of people to train and share your experience with.  By joining us, you'll join people who are passionate about their sport. Your horizons will be expanded by meeting people who have years of experience of not only triathlon, duathlons, aquathons, rowathons, road, cross country and track running, but also mountain biking, cycle touring, orienteering, fell running, mountain marathons and adventure races.

In short, you'll experience real fitness.

Do I need to be an experienced triathlete ?

No. We welcome all abilities and our current members range from beginners through to internationals.  Our swim sessions are not "learn to swim" courses, but if you can swim 100m continuously you should be fine on Mondays and Wednesdays.  For Addiscombe cycling, we suggest you are able to ride for 2 hours. For running, if you can run for 30 minutes, you'll be able to manage both Tuesdays and Thurdays. If in doubt, please call us.

Am I really going to be able to do it?

Yes.  You should have seen what I was like when I joined!

Is there a social aspect to the club?

Yes, definitely, it's not all work and no play! We do have an active social scene, which includes a friendly and very reasonably priced bar, open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Plus the club runs a series of social events during the year, more details here.

What's the link between you and South London Harriers running club?

We're the same club, just affiliated to a different organisation and with a different committee looking after it.  If you're a member of South London Harriers, you're a member of the running club and of the tri club.  So our runners can have a go at swimming or cycling whenever they want and our triathletes can (and do) enter our cross country and road races.

How old do I need to be?

Our insurance allows us to have athletes aged 14 or over train with us for swimming and cycling.  However for running we can allow younger athletes to take part.  In fact we have a large and vibrant young athletes section in running - more details here.


How do I join?

Details of how to join South London Harriers, and membership fees, are listed here.  Membership covers both the running and triathlon sides of the club for a single fee.

Can I try you out before I join?

Yes.  You're most welcome to join us for swim sessions at Caterham or running sessions at Coulsdon for six weeks or up to three swim sessions while you decide whether or not to join us.  Swim sessions cost £6 per session for non members, but the running sessions are free and you can join us in the bar afterwards to meet us.

The website gives different prices for membership (£40 and £54 for adults).  Do I have to pay the higher rate to take part in triathlon?

No.  The £40 membership fee for adults is all you need to join the club for triathlon.  The extra £14 is for England Athletics membership, and although recommended for first claim members of the Club as it helps fund and develop athletics, it's not compulsory unless you want to compete in county, regional or national running championships (such as the Surrey League cross-country championship).  

Do I have to join the triathlon governing body on top of the club?

On the triathlon side we are governed by Triathlon England, and many of our members are also members of that body (£40 per year for SLH members, £51 per year for non-members).  It's not compulsory to join them at all, but there are some benefits in doing so.  More info here. 


Do I need to book training sessions in advance?

Not normally, just turn up on the day.  Please do let a committee member know or post on the forum if you want to go and it's not clear that anyone else is going.  Occasionally a message will be put up on the forum about an extra session and we may need to get an idea of numbers before the day.

Do I need to commit to a certain number of training sessions when I join?

No, you can train with us as often or as little as you want.

Is there a requirement to marshal at certain events?

No, we will occasionally ask for marshals at club running events but there is no compulsion on members.

What are the training fees for members?

Swim sessions at Caterham pool, payable using the Makesweat system.  The adult prices are £6 if you just want to buy one session, but you can get them more cheaply buying in bulk (£45 for ten sessions, £80 for twenty).  For under 18s the costs (again via Makesweat) are £4 for one session, £30 for ten and £50 for twenty.

Cycle skills sessions at Kenley Aerodrome cost £2 cash per session.

Swim sessions at Diver's Cove cost £6 cash per session for SLH members.

Addiscombe cycle sessions are free to members of Addiscombe cycle club

Run and brick sessions at Coulsdon are free to club members.

What is Makesweat and how can I use it?

Makesweat is an electronic system designed by one of our members that we're using to collect fees for our Caterham swimming sessions.  We'd like as many members as possible to us it to limit the amount of cash in circulation, because the number of pound coins we were holding had become unworkable!  All SLH members should have access to Makesweat but please contact contact Steve Clancey if you're a member and don't have access to the system.  Steve is also our main contact if you have any technical queries with Makesweat.

When we first introduced cashless payment in January 2016 we initially set time limits on the sessions members purchased so that they had an expiry date on them but following our initial experience we've got rid of those time limits now.  So any swims you purchase now, or in the past, will remain valid at any time while you remain a member of the club.


Do members have to race?

No, you can race as much or as little as you like, and in whichever races you choose.  Some of our members don't race at all, some enjoy just the occasional race, whilst others have a busy race calendar.  South London Harriers tri club has already made its mark in local and national events through some of our competing members.

Our triathlon schedule runs during the spring and summer, but from September through to March, there is also a full cross country race programme for men, women and juniors which some of our members enter.

Do you have to be up to a particular standard to race for the club?

No, anyone can race for us and will be made most welcome.  We love to see people completing their first triathlon. 

Do you enter any competitions?

Yes, we compete against other clubs in Greater London in the twelve-event London League each season.  We also race against clubs from across Surrey and Sussex in the Southwater Relay in September and against clubs from across the UK in the National Club Relay in Nottingham in August.

 How do I enter club races?

You will need to enter the races yourself using the details set out on the individual event website.  A list of the websites of the events that we're taking part in this year can be found on the Race Fixtures page.  When you enter, make sure you put your club name as South London Harriers so that you are recognised as being part of the club on the results.  That's especially important at London League races where there are team results produced.

Do you enter time trials?

We do, and are affiliated to Cycling Time Trials under the name South London Harriers.  This is a new development for us and we're hoping it will take off.

How good's your team?

We're not a big club but we punch above our weight.  In recent years our fastest athletes have tended to compete at middle and long distance.  We were especially proud to have three club members, Jim Burdett, Rob Drake and Gary Laybourne, compete at Kona 2018.  All three finished within ten hours and Rob was the fastest British age-grouper in the race.  At shorter distance we principally enter the London League events, a mixture of mainly sprint distance races, duathlons and aquathlons. 

Our cross-country team is particularly strong and in fact our women's team won the Surrey League Division 1 in 2017.  A lot of the team are pure runners and not triathletes though!

We also have a proud record of bringing club members through to become Ironmen, national champions and GB age groupers.

Why are you called the Irrepressibles?

The nickname comes from the running club, which is almost 150 years old.  In fact it has been around almost as long as the club itself.  Our club archivist, 'Ferdie' Gilson, tells us that "...our members, though few in number, soon gained the soubriquet of the 'Irrepressibles' due to their habit of winning 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in almost every track & field open meeting in the 1870s."  It's hung around ever since.  And now people use it to refer to the triathlon club too, even though we don't win podium places in almost every triathlon.  Just some of them. 

Am I going to look good in the club kit?

Oh yes.