Modern Pentathlon

Following a face-paced and action-packed event in 2021, Laser Run is back! This year, channelling even more elements of the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon, athletes will be put to the ultimate test by competing in swimming, running, and shooting across the four days of the event.

Modern Pentathlon consists of five very diverse and unrelated sports; this multidisciplinary sport consists of swimming, fencing, horse riding, and the combined Laser Run (running and shooting).

Designed specifically for the Olympics, the physicality of both the swimmer and runner, the nerve of the shooter, the speed and agility of the fencer, and the expertise of horsemanship aimed to create the ‘all-round athlete’ (Heck, 2011). 

As the School Games competition is brought further in line with Modern Pentathlon's pathway, athletes will have the opportunity to participate in 3 out of the 5 Modern Pentathlon elements, competing in the swimming and combined Laser Run also known as a Modern Triathlon. 

Laser Run is the exhilarating finale to the Olympic format of the sport, with athletes required to alternate between shooting a laser pistol and running in a race to the finish line. The points from the swim determine the start order for the Laser Run. 

Stephanie Cook won the first Olympic individual women's event back in 2000, one of seven Team GB medals in the sport. An annual World Championships has also been held since 1949, with Samantha Murray being the most recent winner back in 2014.

Did You Know?

  • Athletes start together with a short run into the shooting range and find their allocated shooting bay. 
  • The points gained in the swimming element determine the start order for the Laser Run. 
  • Using a laser pistol, athletes shoot at their designated target as many times at it takes to register 5 successful hits. Each successful hit is represented by a green light. 
  • After 5 successful hits or 50 seconds (whichever comes first), athletes can leave the range and begin their first run before returning to the same range bay and pistol for their next shoot. 
  • After their final shoot, competitors complete their last running loop before crossing the finish line. 
  • The choice of the five diverse and unrelated sports that make up modern pentathlon arose out of the romantic, tough adventures of a liaison officer whose horse was brought down in enemy territory. Having defended himself with his pistol and sword, he swam across a raging river and delivered the message on foot.