Aquathlon is an endurance sport, which can be best described as a minified version of a triathlon. There are only two components, swimming and running. After completing the swimming phase of the race, the competitors directly move on to the running phase, there is no bicycle phase as in the triathlon. There is a similar Biathle.
Aquathlon originated in the United States in the mid 20th century, with ther intent to remove the need for a bike, as it posed logistical problems for organizers, in transportation of bikes and designing courses for the biking leg that are longer than the other two stages.
Aquathlon races vary based on distance, some of the formats used are: Olympic - 1 mile swim and 6.2 mile run, Half Ironman - 1.2 mile swim and 13.1 mile run, and Ironman - 2.4 mile swim and 26.2 mile run. Few local level time-based competitions are also conducted, where athletes swim for a fixed time (10 or 20 mins), and then run for a fixed time (30 or 45 mins).
The ITU Aquathlon World Championships is the highest level annual international event that is held exclusively for aquathlon. All aquathlon races are conducted for both men and women.
- Biathle — like aquathlon, consists of swimming and running as part of a single race, though they are of much shorter distances and are of higher speeds, compared to that of aquathlon races.
- Swimrun — involves multiple swim and run stages, with carrying of all equipment and no clothing changes.
- Aquabike — a shortened version of triathlon, with no running leg. Athletes swim followed by cycling.
- Duathlon — similar to triathlon, running first, then cycling, then running again
- Triathlon — a continuous event involving swimming, cycling, and running
- Quadrathlon — consists of swimming, kayaking, cycling, and running.
- There is another sport called Aquathon — which is Underwater wrestling
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