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Triathlon

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Triathlon is a continuous endurance activity comprised of three of the world’s more popular participation sports: swimming, cycling, and running.  Introduced in the early 1970s in California, as a cross-training activity for a running group.  They ran first, then cycled, and finished with a swim.

Triathlon Facts
  • Transition – time between swim, bike, and run components where athletes change equipment
  • The word Triathlon is of Greek origin from treis (three) and athlos (contest)
  • International Triathlon Union (ITU) was formed in 1989
  • Paratriathlon will debut at the 2016 Paralympics

The sport of Triathlon has changed a great deal since its inception in the 1970s.  Today, there are over six million athletes participating worldwide, an international federation, almost 100 national federations, and events held over a wide range of distances, from short, sprint distance events through to ultra-endurance events.

As an official Olympic Games event, triathlon is contested over a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, and 10 km run.  Triathlon is also part of the program for the Commonwealth, Pan-American, and Goodwill Games.  Most recently, the sport of triathlon was inaugurated into the Canada Games and the Western Canada Games.  In Canada, triathlons covering all distances are staged across the nation - from grassroots charity events to international caliber races.  It is estimated that over 75,000 Canadians compete in triathlon each year. 

Many of the athletes at the BC Summer Games have been involved in the Kids of Steel triathlon program, which offers the opportunity to learn the sport in a positive environment.  At the BC Games, athletes are 14-15 years old and are in the ‘Sampling’ phase of Triathlon Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development model (LTAD), where they compete at their individual level against racers of the same age.  In addition to the triathlon competition (400m swim, 10km bike, 3km run), athletes will also compete in a duathlon (1km run, 5km bike, 1km run) and an aquathon (300m swim and 1km run).

Triathlon BC is the provincial organization that is committed to developing, promoting, and supporting the sport of triathlon in British Columbia.  One of notable alumni is Kristin Sweetland who competed at the BC Summer Games in 2002 and went on to win the 2005 National junior title and 2006 Junior Triathlon World Championships.