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Triathlon is a unique sport that comprises three sports into one race. The three sports are swimming, cycling, and running; these disciplines immediately follow the other and create a fast paced and exciting race.
Triathlon is the fastest growing sport in the world; in the United States, there were 2.3 Million unique individuals that completed a triathlon in 2010. This represents a 55% growth in one year. Annual members of USAT has grown 141% since 2005 and the largest growth among triathletes in the US are youth triathletes.
For those interested in the unique history of Triathlon, please read The Beginning of Triathlon.
When most people think of Triathlons, they think of the Ironman distance race. The brief history of this distance is: a Navy Commander named Jim Collins decided to combine three endurance races to see who the best athlete was from all three races. These races are The Waikiki Rough Water Swim (2.4 Miles), The Oahu Bike Race (112 Miles around the island), and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 Miles). Together, they became the first Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.
In addition to the Ironman (or long course) distance, there are three additional recognized distances in Triathlons. These are the Half Ironman (1.2Mile Swim, 56 Mile Bike, 13.1 Mile Run), the Olympic, or International (1500M Swim, 40K Bike, 10K Run), and the Sprint (750M Swim, 20K Bike, 5K Run).
As for Youth Triathletes: We do not train youth athletes to compete at the above distances. They compete in the same fashion as adult races, but with age appropriate distances. The chart below is the 2012 recommended distances from USAT (USA Triathlon).
We train our youth team to successfully compete at the distance appropriate for their age. Training for skill, speed, and endurance prepares each triathlete for a successful race experience.
To learn more about youth races, take a look at what to expect during your First Youth Triathlon Race.