Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world


Triathlon is an athletic competition, which consist three events, usually swimming, cycling, and running in consecutive order. Triathlon dates back to 1920’s France. It originated from a race called “Les trois sports.’ This sport was developed to the test the endurance of the competitors.

Triathlon participants can compete individually or with a group (relay). The competitors will compete for the fastest overall completion time, this also includes the transition time for each event.


A standard distance triathlon (also called the Olympic distance), 1.5 km (0.93 mi) swim, 40 km (25 mi) cycle and 10 km (6.2 mi) run. Sprint triathlons are half the standard distances.

One of the popular triathlon competitions is the Ironman Triathlon, the most well known being the Hawaii Ironman, which consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run.

triathlon swim leg triathlon swim leg

Another variation in the distances of the triathlon is the Equilateral Triathlon. Although not popular, this event is designed so each leg of the triathlon takes a similar time. Typically, cycling occupies about 78% of the typical race distances, running 19%, and swimming 3%. In an equilateral triathlon, each leg takes about a third of the time (a longer swim and a shorter cycle).


Triathlon Variations

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