Triathlon is an endurance race involving swimming, biking, and running. Triathlon was founded in the 1970s and the first multisport event was help by the San Diego track club in 1974. The first Ironman race was held in Hawaii in 1978. That original Ironman had just 18 starters and 15 finishers. Triathlon has now evolved to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world with over a million participants each year in the U.S. alone. Triathlon has now evolved to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world with over a million participants each year in the U.S. alone.
Triathlon consists of three disciplines with two transitions in between. The swim is generally held in a lake, river or ocean. If the water is measured to be below 78 degrees athletes may wear a wet suit during the swim. After the swim, athletes transition to the bike while still wet. Helmets must be worn the entire time while on the bike. After the bike, athletes hop off their bikes, transition and begin the run to the finish.
USA Triathlon and ITU are the two main triathlon governing bodies within the United States. USA Triathlon deals with, well, the United States, while ITU deals more with international issues. After triathlon became a part of the Olympics in 1988, ITU was founded. ITU includes 120 federations from all over the world. It is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. ITU also hosts a world triathlon series. USA Triathlon is the prominent governing body within the United States. Triathletes join USA Triathlon for a yearly fee, and are able to receive discounts at races. USA Triathlon hosts national championship events as well as serving as a go-to resource to find races, coaches and more.