The triathlon is a departure from most competitive athletic events. It represents a competition that is a fusion of equipment, athletic skill, endurance, patience, and multi-sport performance. While many athletes dream of completing the true Ironman Triathlon race (most famously in Hawaii, but found in other locations as well), there are many steps on the ladder towards such a goal. The Ironman Triathlon, for example, consists of a 3.86km swim, a 180 km bike ride, and a marathon-length run (42.2 km). There are many types of shorter Triathlons ranging from sprint triathlons of various lengths up to the half-Ironman. The time allowed to finish an Ironman is typically between 15 and 17 hours. Belgian Luc van Lierde holds the current course record in Hawaii at 8:04:08.
Sprint triathlons are a good first step in the pursuit of a coveted Ironman finish, and also good for maintaining or increasing your level of physical fitness. A sprint triathlon is typically a .750 mtr swim, a 20km bike ride, and a 5 km run (in that order). It can take from 1 and 1/2 to 4 hours to complete a typical sprint triathlon. The various Triathlon distances are shown below.