Take on the Big Apple


The Verizon New York City Triathlon is proud to welcome ALL athletes with disabilities, regardless of skill or experience. The New York City Triathlon offers an incredible AWD-friendly course, hosting nearly 1,000 paratriathletes since 2001. The Hudson River swim is fast, flowing with the current. The West Side Highway offers a paved, rolling, one-loop bike course. The run is entirely paved, exiting Riverside Park, across 96th Street and looping through Central Park.


Paratriathlete categories are based on physical disabilities. Medical evidence shall be required as to disability and classification. Life Time Tri abides by the ITU Paratriathlon program, implementing an evidence-based classification system to group impairments into sport classes according to the extent of activity limitation they cause the athlete when performing in the sport of Paratriathlon.

The recognized types of impairments are:

  • Impaired muscle power: Spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, brachial plexus injury, Erbs Palsy, polio, spina bifida, Guillian- Bare Syndrome
  • Impaired passive range of movement: Ankylosis, arthrogryposis, post burns joint contractures. Does not include hypermobility of joints.
  • Limb Deficiency: Amputation resulting from trauma or congenital limb deficiency (dysmelia)
  • Hypertonia: Cerebral palsy, brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis
  • Ataxia: Cerebral palsy, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Friedrichs ataxia, spincerebellar ataxia
  • Athetosis: Cerebral palsy, stroke, brain injury
  • Vision Impairment: Myopia, tunnel vision, scotoma, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, macular degeneration, congenital cataract

Most impaired wheelchair users. Athletes must use a recumbent handcycle on the bike course and a racing wheelchair on the run segment; Includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to:  muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis.

Severe impairments. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

Significant impairments. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

Moderate impairments. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

Mild Impairments. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.

Total or Partial visual Impairment (IBSA/IPC defined sub-classes B1, B2, and B3): Includes athletes who are totally blind, from no light perception in either eye, to some light perception but unable to recognize the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction (B1) and partially sighted athletes with a visual acuity of less than 6/60 vision or visual field less than 20 degrees with best corrective vision (B2-B3). One guide is mandatory throughout the race. Must ride a tandem during the bike segment.

This category is for any paratriathlete whose disability is not defined under the previous classifications, or by those who choose not to be classified under another category. Like all other Competitive paratri categories, this group is eligible for awards.

More information on classifications.

If not already classified, athletes will be required to submit a form signed by a doctor to verify their disability.

Athletes with miscellaneous conditions such as intolerance to temperature extremes, impacted cognitive ability, organ transplant and joint replacement (endoprosthetics) patients and/or migraine sufferers, etc., are not eligible as defined by these proposed standards. If you are unsure of your qualification, ask the USAT PC Commission for guidance before registering for events to avoid wasted time and expense.

Persons with disabilities propelled by able-bodied athletes through the use of floatation devices, tandem or “sidecar” bicycles and/or being pushed in wheelchairs, are not considered “Athletes With Disabilities,” and are not eligible for competitive awards. They may however (at the discretion of the race director) participate as a non-competitive, recreational or demonstration entry.

In most cases, a simple doctor’s note will no longer be sufficient to compete in the above categories. Even after initial testing has been completed by the individual athlete, all athletes will be re-evaluated by trained IPC classifiers at ITU International events and will be prohibited from competition if they do not meet the minimum standards. This means that even if you passed through for a specific race, you may be denied participation in another. Be aware of this possibility.


Physically Challenge (PC) Handlers
The Verizon New York City Triathlon will provide a handler for each Paratriathlete request, assuming Race Staff is notified prior to June 9, 2021.  Alternatively, if you are coming with your own handler, please send Justin Model your handler’s name, cell and email address. Credentials will be issued to only those people on his list.

IMPORTANT: All handlers MUST be credentialed in advance, and attend the mandatory Handler Briefing. More details to come.

Visually Impaired Athlete Guides
Visually impaired athletes are responsible for securing their own guides and must have their information prior to registration.