What is a Triathlon?

triathlon_rod cedaroTriathlon is a competition that is run in multiple stages and which requires the completion of three different endurance disciplines. There are multiple types of sports which can be included in a triathlon event, but most of the time it includes running, swimming and cycling.

The first triathlon event was held back in 1920 in France, and it quickly became a very popular. Swimming, running and biking alone are sports that require a lot of effort to be practiced, but the fact that triathlon combines them and you need to perform them one after another does test the limits of your body. It definitely tests the endurance of the participants!

The first modern triathlon that included swimming, biking and running events was held in San Diego on 25 September 1974. Since then, numerous other similar events were held, and most of them follow the same organizational and rule pattern. The sport debuted as an Olympic program at Sydney back in 2000, and it has been included in each edition that ran from that day.

Triathlon divides its participants based on sex and age, but experience is also very important during the selection process. What’s more, it comes with its own set of rules that apply to all three competitions, while others are only application to each competition by itself. Most of the time, the violations come in the form of time penalties that can span between 1 and 12 minutes, depending on the gravity of the violation, but also on the duration of the overall race.

There is a set of rules that comes as applicable to all these disciplines.  For example, if anyone leaves the marked course, he needs to re-enter the course in the exact place. On top of that, participants aren’t allowed to do anything that places other persons in danger. Also, no personal audio devices can be used during a race, not to mention the fact that no outside assistance is allowed, other than the race official.

What’s more, this sport became so popular that we now have numerous non-standard variations, such as aquabike, aquatlon, duathlon, equilateral triathlon, formula one triathlon, indoor triathlon, ultraman triathlon or winter triathlon. The defining elements of these variations is that they still include three events, but they are different to the normal ones. For example, the winter triathlon includes skiing, mountain biking and speed skating.

Most triathletes compete in special suits that were specifically bought or created for this event. In addition, triathlon events are widely known for their transparency, with results being posted on official websites.

What encourages more and more people towards this sport is that it test the endurance and strength of all competitors. The long distances surely help people see how resistant and well trained they are. There are numerous people that don’t get to finish the race, yet it’s still one of the most competitive sports out there. Winning such an event requires you to have good timing and pacing. Triathlon is a testament of endurance and strength, and it’s just a pleasure to watch, let alone compete.

Rod Cedaro