What Distance?

Trying to decide what distance race to attack first or which to choose for your next endeavor? See below for information on the various triathlon distances.

Triathlon Distances

Kids

Info: In general kids triathlons have two different distances. For kids 7-10, the distance is generally a 100 yard swim, a 2-5 mile bike, and a .5-1 mile run. For kids 11-14 the distance is generally a 200 yard swim, a 5 mile bike, and a 1-1.2 mile run.Who it’s for: Younger children looking for an introduction to triathlon

Super Sprint

Info: Triathlon’s shortest distance also doubles as the distance that Youth Elite (draft legal) compete at. This distance consists of a 300-400 meter swim, a 10k bike and a 2.5k run.Who it’s for: Adolescents competing in draft legal races or those looking for a super short intro into the sport. Super sprints are less common than sprints.

Sprint

Info: A sprint also doubles as the distance at which junior elites (15-19). This distance consists of a 400-750 meter swim, a 20k bike, and a 5k run. Sometimes this distance varies slightly depending on the race.


Who it’s for: Any athlete who enjoys shorter distances and quick recovery times. The sprint triathlon is also a great distance for a first time racer.

Olympic

Info: This race is the distance at which triathletes compete in the Olympics. It consists of a 1.5k swim, a 40k bike, and a 10k run.Who it’s for: Individuals who are looking for something a bit longer than a sprint. Olympics are a happy medium between sprints and half ironmans, and usually have short recovery times. 

Half Ironman (Ironman 70.3)

Info: A Half Ironman consists of 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. Think that was tough? Try doing something twice as long.Who it’s for: Individuals looking for a challenging race with a bit more length than a sprint or olympic, but not as long as a full Ironman (double the distances of a half).

Ironman

Info: This is triathlon’s original and still most prestigious distance. It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile full marathon run. Athletes have to finish within the 17 hour time limit.Who it’s for: The conditioned, mentally tough triathlete who is ready for a challenge. Completing an ironman is a huge milestone in a triathlete’s career and should only be attempted if one is ready for extensive training.

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