With it being the fastest growing sport in the world, it seems that everyone wants to get involved with Triathlon! Whether you are young or old, rich or famous, retired or still at school, it appears that some people simply cannot get enough of the ‘feel-good’ factor that this challenge presents.
The ‘Castle Triathlon Series’ (http://www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk/en/) has just finished its last race of the year which was staged at ‘Hever Castle’ in Kent. The ‘series’ consisted of five weekend and two evening ‘sprint’ races held throughout the summer at different venues in the UK and Europe.
So, not wanting to miss out on all the action, I met up with all the family to attend this last race at ‘Hever Castle’ where my nephew, Ben, was competing. It was his sixth triathlon and out of the 5000 competitors who took part, he finished in the top 10% so well done Ben! Two weeks previous to this, he climbed up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with his best friend, another achievement which also raised a lot of money for his chosen charity. And, if that’s not enough, his next challenge is to compete in his first marathon, which is in Paris next April!
The word ‘triathlon’ has a Greek origin: – ‘treis,’ meaning, ‘three’ and ‘athlos’ meaning ‘contest’. This multiple-stage race involves completing three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines which starts with swimming, followed by cycling and then running, all over various distances. The object of the race is for the triathletes to complete all three disciplines in the fastest time possible including the ‘transitions’ between the individual swim, cycle and run components.
Triathlons were considered, by some, to have their beginnings in 1920’s France but the first modern swim/bike/run event to be called a ‘triathlon’ was held in ‘Mission Bay’, San Diego in California in 1974. Since then, the sport has continued to grow in popularity until it made its debut in an Olympic event at the Sidney Games in 2000. The recent success of the ‘Brownley’ Brothers with a succession of world championship medals plus triumphantly winning Olympic medals at last year’s London Games has continued to grow the sport’s reputation in this country.
The three stages of a triathlon can be different distances depending on how keen you are!
- The ‘Novice’ triathlon is usually a 500m swim, 20km cycle and a 5km run.
- The ‘Olympic’ triathlon is a 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and a 10km run.
- The ‘Iron Man’ triathlon is a 3.86km swim, 180km cycle and finishes with just over a 42km run, basically, a marathon.
So, if you are up for it, check out the North Norfolk Triathlon club at www.tri-anglia.co.uk/ and maybe give it a try!