Triathlon Information

A triathlon is a multi-sport endurance event consisting of swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances. Triathletes compete for fastest overall course completion time, including timed "transitions" between the individual swim, bike, and run components.

Triathlon races vary in distance. According to the International Triathlon Union, and USA Triathlon, the main international race distances are Sprint distance , Intermediate distance, commonly referred to as "Olympic distance" , the Long Course , and Ultra Distance ; the most popular branded Ultra Distance is the Ironman triathlon.

Transition areas are positioned both between the swim and bike segments , and between the bike and run segments , and are often just one checkpoint, especially in shorter courses. These areas are used to store bicycles, performance apparel, and any other accessories essential for preparing and gearing for the next stage of the race. The transition times are included in the overall time of the race. So speed during transition—removing the wetsuit, putting on the helmet, putting on the running shoes—is essential. Elite triathletes have the bicycle shoes mounted on the bikes before the race and place their feet into them when riding. In large races, transitions areas may be up to a kilometer long, and store over 2000 entrants' bicycles. In addition, these areas provide a social headquarters prior to the race, and are an integral part of triathlon culture.

Wikipedia, Triathlon, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triathlon (as of Apr 7, 2010)

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