Takin’ on the Tri

For the past several years, the sport of triathlon has become one of, if not the fastest growing sport in the United States. For those of you who haven’t already been bitten by the triathlon bug, triathlon consists of three individual disciplines: swimming, biking, and running; performed consecutively from start to finish. Since its inception by members of the San Diego Track Club in 1974, modern triathlon has evolved into standard distances. Among them are the most common in the US:

Sprint (0.47 mi swim/12.4 mi bike/3.1 mi run),
Olympic or International (0.93  mi swim/24.8  mi/6.2  mi),
Half-iron (1.2 mi swim/56 mi bike/13.1 mi run)
Ironman (2.4 mi swim/112 mi bike/26.2 mi run)

With literally hundreds of thousands of people participating in triathlon every year, what exactly has captured the imagination of those of us who lead or are striving to lead an active lifestyle? As a triathlete for more than 15 years and triathlon coach for the past 8 years, I have a few theories as to why triathlon has become such a huge sport in the US.

Accessibility. Similar to local fun-runs, triathlons are very accessible to anyone who feels the need to take on a fun and rewarding physical challenge. Participants literally just sign up, toe the line, and go! With a variety of race distances available, there’s bound to be an event suitable for everyone’s ability, whether that’s a Sprint race for a first time triathlete or an Ironman for the seasoned veteran.
Challenge. There is no doubt that a triathlon takes skill, strength, and endurance, but it’s the challenge of combining the three disciplines into one race, and pushing the limits of one’s abilities to endure that makes a triathlon both exciting to participate in, and an incredibly rewarding experience upon completion.
Community. It becomes apparent to each participant on race morning that we are all here with one common mission: cross the finish line. It’s that sense that we are brought together to achieve a collective goal that gives triathlon its sense of community. The camaraderie found in triathlon isn’t limited to race day. The sharp increase in triathlon clubs and teams is due to people wanting to experience this same sense of “You love this stuff? Ya, me too!” on a daily basis, while they train to perform their best.

So the question is: when are you going to take on the tri? The easiest way to get started is to pick an event. Below is a list of several local events that are great for both first-timers and experienced athletes alike. Sign up for a race and begin training for what will be an awesome day full of challenge and fun!

Local Triathlons:

Sunday, June 10, 2012 – Denver: http://www.denvertriathlon.com/

Sunday, June 17, 2012 – Boulder: http://www.bouldersprint.com/

Saturday, July 07, 2012 – Aurora: http://bit.ly/GZjAnJ (Women only race)

Sunday, July 15, 2012 – Evergreen: www.evergreentriathlon.com

Saturday, July 21, 2012 – Colorado Springs: http://tinyurl.com/RMSG-TRI