Frequently Asked Questions:

If you can't find an answer to your query here, just pick up the phone or email us (details are on the contacts page) and someone will be able to help you get started.

Q: Are there any restrictions on age?

A: Not at all! Local clubs set their own membership parameters. Many have members younger than those eligible for the youngest official categories for Youth E (9 and 10 year olds), whilst the Masters Class is well supported at Biathle, modern biathlon and modern triathlon level!

Competition age bands are very narrow because physical development and skills learnt bear a great influence on scores, therefore there is no danger of being overwhelmed.

Q: I can only run and swim – can I compete in modern pentathlon competitions?

A: Yes! Many people join us from single sport backgrounds, as well as from other multi-discipline sports. It is very rare that someone joins with experience in all five disciplines.

We hold many training sessions and competitions throughout the year from modern biathlon (running and swimming), biathle (continuous run-swim-run), through modern triathlon and modern tetrathlon to the full modern pentathlon, with opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Modern pentathlon gives you the opportunity to develop the skills you already have, while giving you the opportunity to try new skills and challenges within one sport!

Q: Are there any training sessions near me?

A:There are various sessions available across the country allowing you to get involved with no need for prior experience or equipment of your own. To search for a club or training session near you please take a look at our calendar page.

Q: What equipment is used, is it expensive and where can I go?

A: At training sessions you should be able to borrow equipment to allow you to participate, although some venues ask for a small contribution to cover maintenance and replacement.

Although laser shooting is now used at top level competitions, competitors new to the sport will still learn to shoot using air pistols. These weapons can be purchased for as little as £100 second hand (please be aware of the legislation on carrying and using air weapons) up to £900 for a new one.

Some regions and clubs have weapons that they may be able to loan to you over a period of time.

The fencing discipline is a one hit epee competition where the athletes fight all other competitors in their age group for one hit, with the maximum time for each bout being one minute.

As in the shooting discipline, the Home Country Federations and English Regions hold regular training sessions for this discipline and may be able to loan out equipment to you.

The cost of the equipment again varies but new fencing equipment will cost in the region of £350. Many fencing clubs have second hand equipment for sale or loan to beginners.

If you are interested in purchasing your own equipment please contact your regional development officer.

Q: I already compete in Pony Club tetrathlon – what is the difference between this and Modern Pentathlon?

A: Pony Club Tetrathlon involves running, swimming, shooting and cross country riding, whereas modern pentathlon comprises running, swimming, shooting, fencing and show-jumping on an unknown horse, rather than your own.

The format of the competition is also slightly different, with swimming and running distances varying and modern pentathlon usually involving a combined run/shoot event.

Despite these differences Pentathlon GB can offer increased opportunities to compete, and we can also allow you the opportunity to compete once you have left the Pony Club.

Many of our best Pentathletes have come from a Pony Club background, and competed in both sports through their Pony Club years before successfully competing and winning medals at the Olympic Games. These medalists include:

  • Danny Nightingale – Gold – Montreal
  • Steph Cook – Gold – Sydney
  • Kate Allenby – Bronze – Sydney
  • Georgina Harland – Bronze – Athens

Pentathlon GB works in partnership with the Pony Club to provide opportunities for training and competition, giving you more opportunities to enjoy your sport!

Q: Which age group do I compete in?

A: For all Pentathlon GB competitions your age is that on the 31st December in the calendar year of the competition. Some competitions will allow U10s to compete at the discretion of the organiser.

Q: How do I find out about competitions and training?

A: A full list of training events and competitions can be seen on the calendar page, where you can search by area, event or activity to help you find what you are looking for.

Q: Do I have to be a member to compete?

A: Yes, to compete in any competition you must be a member of Pentathlon GB. However, we have a range of packages and you can start to compete and train for free with our First Steps membership. This is open to all ages and abilities although activities are limited to:

  • Unlimited run, swim, shoot, fence or Biathle 'taster sessions'
  • Modern biathlon or Biathle competitions organised on a local basis
  • Laser-Run competitions with an accredited Laser-Run deliverer

Full information regarding membership can be found here, or click here to join online.

Q. Do I need my own horse?

A. Some Modern Pentathletes do own their own horse, however, it is not a necessity as in Modern Pentathlon competitions athletes use horses supplied by the competition organisers.

To ride in Modern Pentathlon competitions you will be required to produce a riding competency certificate, the level is dependant on your age group and the competition that you are competing in. These can be downloaded from here.

Q: How does the points system work?

A: Pentathlon is based on a points system, with points awarded based on your score or time in each discipline. Each discipline has a target time or score which is equivalent to 1000 points, with points awarded or deducted for performances better or worse than the target standard. The winner is the athlete with the most points.