Infographic: The History & Growth of Triathlon

Triathlon Growth

There are many types of triathlons, ranging from the easiest, ‘the sprint’, to the most challenging ‘The Ironman.’ Swimming, cycling, and running to a finish line has become one of the most popular challenges for people of all ages and fitness levels since it was thought up in 1974.

The History Of The Triathlon

  • Two members of the San Diego Track Club thought up the idea in 1974.
  • Made its debut as an Olympic sport in Sydney in 2000.
  • Between 1999 and 2005, USA Triathlon membership increased almost 200%.
  • USA Triathlon had 55,000 members in 2005
  • There were 550,446 members in 2013.
  • The number of triathlon participants rose 59% from 2008 (1,251,000) to 2011 (1,992,000), according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
  • In 2012 about 175,000 triathletes entered or finished 1 of 110 triathlons managed by World Triathlon Corporation.

Triathlon Stats

  • Mostly men take part in triathlons with an average salary of £45,000 and an average age of 40.
  • At Olympic distance involves a 1.5km (0.9 mile) swim, a 42km (25 mile) bike ride and a 10km (6.2 mile) run.
  • 1 in 5 triathletes travelled overseas to compete in 2012, with almost three quarters saying they would consider doing so in the future.
  • In 2013 there was a 35% increase in triathlon holiday providers, with holiday goers up by 30-35%.

Top Triathlon Brands

Ironman Events and Participants

  • Ironman: 30 Events, 65,000 entrants, average 2,167 per event
  • Ironman 70.3: 62 Events, 95,000 Entrants, average 1,532 per event
  • 5150 Olympic/International Distance: 18 Events, 15,000 Entrants, average 833 per event
  • IRONMAN Arizona had a record-setting sell-out for the 2015 event.
  • For the first time at an American IRONMAN event, entries sold out on-site at IRONMAN Arizona in 2014
  • Ironman events tend to sell out in anywhere from a few hours to 15 minutes