The cross triathlon is a variation of the traditional triathlon of swim, bike, and run. In this competition, there is a three-stage race with a swim stage, mountain-biking stage and a trail-running stage.
Traditional triathlons are performed on paved roads and groomed trails. It is a sport that requires high levels of speed and endurance. On the other hand, the cross triathlon forces an athlete through rough and rugged terrain. In addition to god aerobic endurance, It requires a high degree of technique in order to navigate the course.
The bike portion of the cross triathlon race may be shorter than used in the traditional triathlon since athletes must climb steep hills with varying pitch and sharp turns. Added to the difficulty, the athlete must navigate through trees, logs, streams, rocks and other natural obstacles.
The running portion of the sport also takes place in a similar setting as the bike. Athletes must run up and down the slopes of hills or mountains through similar or other man-made obstacles. Typically the running will be between 5 to 10 kms.
The only portion of the cross triathlon that remains the same as a traditional triathlon is the swim. The swimming stage may take place in a lake, river, or ocean with a distances ranging from 800 to 1500 meters.
- Triathlon — a race consisting of three events, usually swimming, cycling, and running in consecutive order.
- Indoor Triathlon — swimming in an indoor pool, cycling on a stationary bike, and running on an indoor track or treadmill.
- Winter Triathlon — athletes compete in running, mountain biking and cross-country skiing.
- Triathle — a shortened version of the Modern Pentathlon where athletes compete in shooting, swimming and running events as a part of a single race.
- Paratriathlon — for disabled athletes, involving a 750 m swim, a 20 km bike with handcycles, bicycles or tandems with a guide, and a 5 km wheelchair or running race.
- Trail/Fell Running — running and racing done off-road or on any over upland country, with a significant hill component.