Once upon a time, there weren’t any triathlons.
Now there are.
Amazingly, triathlons did not begin in Greece.
Triathlons were invented in France in the 1920, with competitors crossing the Marne channel (via swimming), completing a 12K bike ride (via pedal power), and a 3K run (via ped).
Tri-sportage came to the US in the 1970s, the first of which was (probably) in San Diego in 1974 and is notable for measuring things in yards and miles rather than channels and Ks.
Today, most triathlons (like the one in the Olympics) include a swim (.93 miles), a bike leg (24.8 miles), a run (6.2 miles), and finishing (priceless). The distances sound better in metric: 1.5K, 40K, 10K.
In 1978, the Ironman Triathlon was created for people with questionable sanity. The trademark line Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life“, pretty much sums up the insanity.
Many people think that the swim-bike-run or kayak-bike-run formats are the main form of the modern triathlon. However, they are overlooking the sister-sport: Momathlon.
Momathlons consist of three individual events also.
Swim-through-the-chaos. This event consists of herding 3 toddlers through a gauntlet of grocery shopping, missed nap time, and individual haircuts. Extra points for carrying all three children at once.
Bite-on involves creating one meal that will satisfy a picky 6 year old, a vegetarian teen, and a paleo millennial.
Run-interference. Because this is an endurance event, Moms are exhausted by this point in the competition. Yet strong competitors press on to simultaneous prevent twins from fighting, apologize to the neighbors for running over their azaleas, and bake 36 cupcakes for the bake sale.
Makes an Ironman look like child’s play.
Good luck on your first triathlon, Pi! We’ll be cheering you on.