Triathlon discover what you’re made of

Athletes connected by a drive to defy their limits and a shared passion for the simple acts of swimming, cycling and running.

Triathlon History


According to Athletic scholarships the “Triathlon history dates back to the early 1970s and originated with the San Diego Track Club. The triathlon was designed to be an alternative to hard track training.

The first triathlon event was held on September 25, 1974. Don Shanahan and Jack Johnstone are pioneers in the history of the triathlon. The San Diego Track Club sponsored the event.

The triathlon then comprised a 10 km run, 8 km cycle, and 500 m swim. In 1989, the sport was awarded Olympic status and featured for the first time at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in Australia. “


According to Total Triathlon Triathlons started n the 1920s. “Competitors participated in a race called “Les trois sports” – translated literally to “Three Sports” – which consisted of crossing the channel Marne, a 12K bike ride and a 3K run. In 1934, the race was consisted of crossing the channel, a 10K bike ride and a 1200 meter run.”


Also according to the Total Triathlon the Ironman competition, the most famous triathlon, has it’s beginning in Hawaii.  Three separate events – the Waikiki Rough Water Swim (2.4 miles), The Oahu Bike Race (112 miles) and The Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles) – were combined in 1978 to form the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.

Of the 15 competitors who started the race, only 12 of them crossed the finish line. By the early 1982, ABC’s Wide World of Sports was broadcasting the Hawaii Ironman and nearly 600 people entered the race. That number ballooned to nearly 3000 in 2006.


Governing Bodies 

A few of the main governing bodies are:


International Triathlon Union (ITU)

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is the world governing body for the sport of Triathlon and its related other Multisports. It is an association founded in April 1989 in Avignon, France.  ITU is a non-profit-making organisation and does not pursue any objective for its own gains.


The Mission of ITU is to promote the sport of Triathlon, Paratriathlon and its related Multisports and disciplines throughout the world, and to lead the sport of Triathlon, as recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.


World Triathlon Corporation (WTC)

The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a business corporation, owned by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group. A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN®  Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN®  70.3®  Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings.


Super League Triathlon

Super League Triathlon (SLT) was founded in 2017 by Michael D’hulst; Chris “Macca” McCormack; and Leonid Boguslavsky. Super League Triathlon is delivering triathlons in game-changing formats – mixing up long and short course athletes – in a series of fast-paced events with unpredictable outcomes that culminate in the crowning of the best and most versatile male and female triathletes in the world.

Over the course of the season, the top male and female triathletes from around the world battle it out for the crown to become the best all-round triathlete. There are three means by which these top athletes qualify for the Championship Series, equally split between male and female competitors: automatic qualification from the previous SLT season (20 places), wildcard qualification (10 places at one given time), and ‘Golden Ticket’ success at the SLT Qualifiers in Poznan and Penticton (20 places). Pros from all over the world can race to be in with a chance to qualify for the main Championship Series events.


Triathlon Distances

The 4 Common Triathlon Distances are:

Sprint Triathlon

750 meter swim

20 km bike

5 km run


Standard or Olympic Triathlon

1.5 km swim

40km bike

10 km run


Half-Ironman or 70.3 Triathlon

1.9 km swim

90 km bike

21.1 km run


Ironman Triathlon

3.8 kilometer swim

180.2 km bike

42.2 km run


National Triathlon Bodies:


Triathlon Canada

Triathlon Canada is the national sport organization that represent and govern the sport in Canada  with more than 22,000 athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers in the triathlon community.

Canada has been at the forefront of Triathlon with athletes like Carol Montgomery, Patricia and Sylviane Puntous, Peter Reid and Lori Bowden who inspired countless triathletes with their world championship performances. They were followed by:

Simon Whitfield who won 10 consecutive Canadian Triathlon Championships titles and won gold in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Paula Findlay who won five World Triathlon Series titles.

Kirsten Sweetland who was the second Canadian ever to reach the World Triathlon Series podium and third ever to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Stefan Daniel won the Para-Triathlon World Championship and won the silver at the sport’s Paralympic debut in Rio 2016.

Long-distance athletes include Brent McMahon, Lionel Sanders and Heather Wurtele



Triathlon South Africa

Triathlon South Africa function as the National Federation for triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon and

related multi-sports in South Africa and to represent South Africa internationally.


USA Triathlon (USAT)

USA Triathlon is the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States and was founded in 1982.


Triathlon Australia

Triathlon Australia is the official National Sporting Organisation responsible for the management and delivery of the sports of triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon, paratriathlon and multisport within Australia.


Triathlon Australia (TA) has 8 affiliated State and Territory Triathlon Associations. Known as the STTAs, they are the official members of the national body. They  have approximately 22,000 individual members and 220 affiliated triathlon clubs.


New Zealand Triathlon

The New Zealand Triathlon Association was formed in September 1984.  Today’s organisation was the result of the merging of two national bodies; the New Zealand Triathlon Association and the Multisport Association of New Zealand in 1988. Formed in 1984 and 1985 respectively, the NZTA was Auckland based, and the MANZ membership was mainly south of the Bombay Hills.

The first known triathlon held in New Zealand was in January 1978 in Mission Bay, Auckland (500-yard swim, 5-mile cycle, 6-mile run).

Longer Distance events were delivered following the first Ironman event in Hawaii in mid-1978  (2.4-mile swim,  115-mile bike. 26-mile run).