7 things you didn’t know about triathlon

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Compared to the three activities that make up a triathlon — swimming, biking, and running — triathlon is a new sport on the block. The triathlon is approaching 50 years, however, which is enough time to create quite an interesting history. Here are a few things we bet most of you didn’t know about the sport we love:

The Canadian Ironman of Ironmans… John Wragg at the Ironman Mont-Tremblant welcome dinner ahead of his 208th Ironman race.

A Canadian holds the record for most Ironman finishes:

John Wragg of Missassauga, Ont., holds the record for most Ironman finishes – he’s finished 263 of the events since making his first in 1998. In case you were wondering, that’s a total of 999.4 km swimming, 47,340 km cycling and 11,098.6 km running – just in competition!

He will continue to add to that total with a host of races scheduled for 2022, including the Ironman World Championship in October. Wragg’s partner Elizabeth Model has completed 103 Ironman races, the second for a woman.

Photo: Getty Images

The Kona race date depended on the full moon

Until the early 2000s, when the sport finally grew big enough that its flagship event had a regular weekend each year, the Ironman World Championship was held on the Saturday closest to the full moon in October. This meant that in some years it could happen earlier or later in the month. The full moon made it easier for athletes to see after dark which was appreciated in the years before Kailua-Kona was developed and there were more lights on the roads. It was amazing how the moon could light things up for the out and back section of the famous Energy Lab.

Related: 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Triathlon

Triathlon made its Commonwealth Games debut in 1990…

That’s 10 years before he was part of the Olympic program. The 1990 Commonwealth Games were held in Auckland, New Zealand, and the triathlon was included as a demonstration event. Kiwis Erin Baker and Rick Wells won the gold medals at the event. It wasn’t until a decade later that triathlon would be part of the Olympics at the 2000 Games in Sydney.

Photo: Pinterest

At 85, he is Kona’s oldest finisher

Japan’s Hiromi Inada became the oldest man to complete the Ironman World Championship in 2018, when he became the first person in the 85-89 class to complete the race. His time was 16:53:49. Inada turns 90 this year, and in June he finished Ironman 70.3 Hawaii in 8:43:13. He said he wanted to be the first 90-year-old to complete the Ironman World Championship.

The oldest woman to complete an Ironman is Sister Madonna Buder, who was 82 when she crossed the finish line at Ironman Canada in 2012.

You can do a triathlon with your dog

We first reported on the triathlon events you could do with your four-legged friend in 2016, but there still aren’t many events to choose from for your dog who loves swimming, biking or running. here in North America. The UK-based Tri-Dog offers a few events, and earlier this year there was an event in Germany, the Amelinghausen Dog Triathlon, which included an 80m swim, 3.5km bike and a 2 km run.

Canadians John Wragg and Elizabeth Model are two of five people who have completed every Ironman race. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

There are five people who have done every Ironman race

Meet “the club” – the aforementioned John Wragg, his partner and fellow Canadian Elizabeth Model, Mexican Luis Alvarez, American Jeff Jonas and German Holger Mueller. They have participated in every Ironman in the world and continue to travel the world to maintain this status. This weekend, Wragg and Model are in Finland to tick that box.

Carol Montgomery. Photo: World Triathlon

Meet Canada’s Olympians from both sports

We’ve seen athletes compete at the Olympics in two different sports four or eight years apart, but that rarely happens at the same Games or in the same year. Carol Montgomery was so talented as both a triathlete and a runner that she qualified for the triathlon and the 10,000m at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. (She won two medals – bronze and silver in the 5,000 and 10,000m at the 1995 Pan American Games on the track.) Unfortunately, she had an accident during the triathlon, the Games’ first medal event, and didn’t was unable to compete on the track. Two years later, she would win triathlon gold at the Commonwealth Games.

In 1984, Canadian cross-country skiing legend Pierre Harvey represented Canada at the Winter and Summer Olympics – he was part of the road team that helped Steve Bauer win silver in Los Angeles. Angeles. During the summers, Harvey competed in triathlons.


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