Race distances often vary somewhat from the table above, but most races
fit pretty closely with the above distances.
The race starts at the shot of a gun as athletes begin their swim. Races
can start off a dock with the athletes diving in. They can start with the
participants already in the water behind the "start line." Races can also
start on the beach with triathletes running in to the lake, ocean, etc.
The swim is usually very crowded with alot of pushing and kicking to get
the end of the swim, the athletes exit the water and start on the first
transition, T1. They run to the bike racks, put on sneakers, and hope on
their bike. Biking is the best time in the race to refuel on sports
drinks and energy bars/gels.
After the bike segment is complete, the triathlete comes back into the
transition area for T2. They drop their bike off and leave for the last
leg of the race, the run. Next comes crossing the finish line!
History of the Triathlon
Triathlon’s roots can be traced back to 1974, Mission Bay,
Southern California where a group of friends began training together.
Amongst them were runners, swimmers and cyclists and before long training
sessions turned into informal races. Directed and conceived by Jack
Johnstone and Don Shanahan the first Mission Bay Triathlon was held on
September 25th 1974 and welcomed 46 athletes. Triathlon’s foundations had
In Hawaii, 1978, an argument arose regarding which of the three
disciplines required the greatest endurance. At that time Hawaii hosted
The Waikiki Rough Water Swim (2.4 miles), The Oahu Bike Race (112 miles)
and The Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). Originally events in themselves,
they were rolled into one to become the ‘Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.’
event attracted 15 athletes and of them only 12 crossed the finish line.
By 1982 the Hawaii Ironman gained extensive coverage on ABC World Wide
Sport and participation levels had increased to 580 competitors. Last year
over 3000 athletes completed the grueling challenge. The fastest women
finish the course in just under nine hours and the fastest men finishing
in little over eight hours!
And today the sport of triathlon is growing at a rapid pace. There are
triathlon clubs in almost every major city and thousands of races are held
every year across the globe! Challenge yourself...sign up for one!