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, triathlon traces its roots to the Hawaiian Ironman™ triathlon held each year in Kona, Hawaii. The Ironman is a rigorous endurance test consisting of a 4 km swim, 180 km bike, and a marathon run (42.2 km).
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. 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.