Debi Bernardes, a longtime Washington-area triathlete and tri coach, Bernardes suggests not spending a lot of money on the first race or two. Borrow a friend's bike, or even ride a non-road bike as long as it's been serviced and doesn't have toe cages that your feet might get stuck in, she says.
"But I've seen everything," Bernardes says. "One guy running a 10K in his basketball shoes. Others riding their mountain bikes." Here are the bare-bones essentials you'll need for your first triathlon:
-- A bike (any kind, even a borrowed one), without toe cages
-- A helmet
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-- Running shoes
-- Swimsuit (worn alone or with shorts for the ride and run) or tri-suit
-- Swim goggles
-- Water bottle
-- Race instructions and race bib