As someone who competed in more than a 100 triathlon competitions at every level, Russell Sergent hopes that this type of competition will become even more popular and accessible in the near future. Triathlon’s story started in France during the early 1920’s. The competitors called their event “Les tris sports”, which translates to “three sports”. These three sports were swimming, cycling and running. When it comes to the American history of the sport, we have to go back to the mid-1970’s and the South Californian region.
The First American Triathlon Competition
The first competition was held in Mission Bay, on September 25, 1974. This is also the date that is regularly celebrated as the birthday of American Triathlon. The first event required the competitors to swim 500 yards, complete a 5-mile bike ride and run 6 miles.
The Ironman competitions are the highest level in triathlon, usually restricted to professional athletes. The most prestigious Ironman event is held on Hawaii, which requires the competitors to swim 2.4 miles, to ride 112 miles, and to finish the race with a marathon run, which translates to 26.2 miles.
The Official Rules Today
What started out as an event without stern rules requires strict oversight today. The races are governed and sanctioned by three big organizations; the International Triathlon Union, the World Triathlon Corporation, and finally the USA Triathlon organization which is responsible for the safety of the events that are held in the United States of America.