If you feel compelled to compete in a Triathlon, you will probably become familiar with the ITU or International Triathlon Union founded in Vancouver in 1989. The union is now found in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The first recorded triathlon took place in San Diego, California in 1974, organized by the San Diego Track & Field Club. The races consisted of a 5.3-mile run, followed by a 5-mile bike and a 600-yard swim in the bay. A total of 46 athletes finished the race.
Today there are over140 National Federations. The ITU Triathlon World Cup Series has stages of multiple rounds across the globe. Triathlon was awarded full Olympic Games medal status by the IOC at its Congress in 1994 and the Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games. Switzerland’s Brigitte McMahon and Canada’s Simon Whitfield won the sport’s first gold medals.
Five of the ITU World Triathlon Series events will be Olympic distance races for the top competitors. An Olympic triathlon combines a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride and a 10km run. Average finishing times at world championship are around 1 hour and 50 minutes for the top male competitors and around 2 hours for the elite women. A maximum of 65 men and 65 women enter each World Triathlon Series race--a maximum of 75 men and women competing in the Grand Final. Under23, Junior, Age-Group, Paratriathlon and Aquathlon also take place. Amateur athletes qualify for the World Championship at the World Triathlon Series races various international locations. Triathlon World Championship are held with the Grand Final, in which competitors cover a 750m swim, a 20km bike and a 10km run.