This is The North East | CommuniGate | Northern Pulse Feedback
This is The North East -  CommuniGate
Content * * *
Northern Pulse

2006 Race Calendar

Triathlon Clubs in the North East Region

The North East Region Grand Prix

Tri North East Newsletter


About Triathlon

The Regional Children's Triathlon Series

Regional Officers

Committee Stuff

Meadowfield Duathlon 2006

Hamsterley Forest Spring Duathlon 2006

Peterlee Triathlon 2006

Cleveland Sprint Triathlon 2006

Alnwick Triathlon 2006

Weardale Triathlon 2006

Cleveland Long Course Triathlon 2005

Hamsterley Hammer Duathlon 2006

Prince Bishops Triathlon 2006

Cleveland Short Course Triathlon 2006

Ripon Triathlon 2005

Sun City Triathlon 2006

Hebburn Triathlon 2006

Teesdale Triathlon 2006 and Durham Dales Challenge

Arthur's Seat

Special Reports

Hartlepool Marina Sprint Triathlon 2006

Helvellyn Triathlon 2005

Blyth Valley National Grand Prix Triathlon 2005

Membership of British Triathlon

Message Board

Mail Form


What is a triathlon?
Triathlon is a relatively new sport, only 20 years old in the UK. It is a continuous multi-sport event comprised of swimming, cycling and running. Although three sports are involved only one time is important – the overall time! That is why the transitions between each discipline are so important and require rehearsing almost as much as the three sports. Distances vary from local sports centre races of upwards of 400m swim; 10 miles bike and 3 miles run, right up to the Ironman distance of 2.4 miles swim; 112 miles bike and a full marathon run! Championship distances have been set at:-

Sprint Distance.750m swim; 20kms cycle; 5kms run.
Standard Distance.1500m swim; 40kms cycle; 10kms run.
Middle Distance.1900m swim; 90kms cycle; 21kms run.
Long Distance. This varies anywhere between Middle Distance, and
Ironman.3800m(2.4mls) swim; 180kms(112mls) cycle; 42kms(26.2mls) run

There are even a few events around the world where, not content with Ironman distances, two, three or even ten times the Ironman distances are raced – continuously!

How did it all start?
Well, triathlon history dates back to around 1974 in Southern California when a group of friends began to get together to work out in training. The group contained mostly runners, a few swimmers and the odd cyclist or two. It wasn’t long before the group was organizing informal fun runs and races, followed by races containing swimming and running and a natural progression led them to include cycling. They decided to call this amalgamation of three disciplines Triathlon.

In the early days it made no impact on the general non-sporting population at all, nor, at that time, did any of these athletes think that it ever would. However the word did start to spread a little and gradually other triathlons began to be organized up and down the Southern California coast, many around the San Diego area.

One of the group of friends who started competing in the multi-sport events in California was a navy captain, John Collins. In 1977 he competed in the around-Hawaii relay race, a running event. After the race, as so often happens, the beer began to flow and Collins came up with a proposal for a new race …

There were three tough races on the Hawaiian island of Oahu at that time. The Waikiki rough-water swim of 2.4 miles, the around-the-island bike race of 112 miles and the Honolulu Marathon over the classic distance of 26.2 miles. Collins proposed that they be combined into one event, called appropriately “Ironman”. Many laughed at him but the idea wouldn’t go away and on 18th February 1978 it became a reality when fifteen athletes lined up on Waikiki beach for the first ever Hawaii Ironman. Twelve of the fifteen finished the race and an institution was born. Over the years the entries grew to the present size of around 1500 competitors. The start of an Ironman race with 1500 triathletes racing into the water together is one of the most spectacular sights of any sport. Eventually the race outgrew Oahu and moved to the main island of Hawaii, retaining the original distances which are now replicated in many races around the world each year. The television coverage of the Hawaii Ironman is probably the main reason for the very fast spreading of the sport around the world.

Triathlon in Great Britain really started as a result of an Englishman, Aleck Hunter, who had taken part in the first long distance Nice Triathlon in France in 1982. He was enthralled by it all and amazed at the level of fitness of the top Americans who had dominated that race. Soon after returning home he got together with Olympic pentathlete Mike Ellis and cyclist Dick Poole ( a former holder of the John O’Groats to Lands End cycling record ) and together and with others formed the British Triathlon Association (BTA). Dick Poole was the Chairman of the BTA from 1983 to 1989.

The above information was written with the help of extracts from "Triathlon - The Skills of the Game" by Steve Trew and was produced with the author's permission.

You can visit the BTA's website by following this link:-

The BTA is now the national governing body of the sport. It has several thousand members and authorizes several hundred races each year. The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is the international governing body of the sport and has organized world championships since 1989 and an annual season-long world cup series every year. Britain has had several world champions in this time. Triathlon is now an Olympic sport, having made a spectacular debut in the last Olympics in Sydney, Australia in 2000, over the standard (also known as “Olympic”) distance and is scheduled to make a re-appearance in Athens in August this year. You can visit the ITU's website by following this link:-

This page has been visited times.

Email Email page
Feedback Feedback
Home Home

Northern Pulse |2006 Race Calendar |Triathlon Clubs in the North East Region |The North East Region Grand Prix |Tri North East Newsletter |TRI-Volunteering |About Triathlon |The Regional Children's Triathlon Series |Regional Officers |Committee Stuff |Meadowfield Duathlon 2006 |Hamsterley Forest Spring Duathlon 2006 |Peterlee Triathlon 2006 |Cleveland Sprint Triathlon 2006 |Alnwick Triathlon 2006 |Weardale Triathlon 2006 |Cleveland Long Course Triathlon 2005 |Hamsterley Hammer Duathlon 2006 |Prince Bishops Triathlon 2006 |Cleveland Short Course Triathlon 2006 |Ripon Triathlon 2005 |Sun City Triathlon 2006 |Hebburn Triathlon 2006 |Teesdale Triathlon 2006 and Durham Dales Challenge |Arthur's Seat |Special Reports |Hartlepool Marina Sprint Triathlon 2006 |Helvellyn Triathlon 2005 |Blyth Valley National Grand Prix Triathlon 2005 |Membership of British Triathlon |Message Board |Mail Form