New to Modern Pentathlon

Getting started in Modern Pentathlon can seem a bit daunting, after all, I have got to be able to compete at five events to be able to take part, right? Absolutely not!!  Pentathlon Ireland hosts events for just two disciplines, run and swim (Biathlon) through to competitions involving all five disciplines which make up the sport of Modern Pentathlon.

We hold lots of taster days and Camps during the year so we would be delighted to welcome you to our sport and who knows you could be representing your country at the highest level in sport. Just email us at and we will be delighted to include you on our mailing list and keep you up to date with events coming up.

This following Q&A section tries to deal with some of the most frequent questions we are asked.

Q. What are the Age Groups for Modern Pentathlon?

The official age groups for Modern Pentathlon are shown in the table below. Some local competitions will allow under 10s (Minis) to compete but this is at the discretion of the organiser.

Ages (as at 31st December) Age Group
10yrs Youth E
11/12yrs Youth D
13/14yrs Youth C
15/16yrs Youth B
17/18yrs Youth A
19-21yrs Juniors
22 yrs and over Seniors
30 yrs + Masters

Q. What distances and times do I have to compete at?

The target times and scores depend on your age group and the competition you are competing in.

Q. How and where do I find out about competitions

A. Just email and keep an eye on our social media channels.

Q. I can run and swim and am keen to shoot, fence and try out obstacle racing. What equipment is used, is it expensive and where can I get it from?

At taster and development training sessions you will be able to borrow equipment in order to allow you to participate, there may be a small charge to register for these events.

Pentathletes will eventually need to purchase fencing and shooting equipment to use in competitions and prices vary for these. Pentathlon Ireland will lend you equipment when you first begin to train with us and we strongly advise against purchasing any equipment until you have trained with us for a few months. Our coaches will guide you as to what equipment to purchase when the time is right to do so.

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

A. Pony Club Tetrathletes could benefit from involvement in Modern Pentathlon through competing more frequently and also by having an opportunity to continue to compete in a multi-disciplined sport after finishing with your Pony Club Tetrathlon career. Who knows, you might one day follow in the footsteps of former Pony Club members, Natalya Coyle and Arthur Laningan-O’Keeffe, and compete at the Olympic Games one day.

Pony Club Tetrathlon consists of running, swimming, shooting and cross country riding. The running and swimming distances are different and shooting is done on a different target with a different shooting points system. Horse riding is no longer included in the sport of Modern Pentathlon for all but Senior athletes and it will be removed completely after the 2024 Olympic Games. Obstacle course racing has been adopted as the replacement discipline for horse riding.

Q. I need further help?

A. You can contact us for further help and information