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How Long Is A Triathlon?

“ How long is a triathlon ?” is one of the first questions on people’s minds when considering taking up this sport. Well, the answer is: it depends!

The beauty of triathlon is that there is a race for everyone – from a supersprint with the swim in a pool and the run only 2km for a beginner triathlete, through to the ultimate challenge of a 226 kilometre Ironman.

And no matter how fit (or unfit) you are, with a little training, you will be able to complete a race.

There are also variations on the traditional triathlon, including duathlons (run, bike, run), aquathlons (swim, run) and off-road triathlons - commonly called an Xterra - which involves swimming, mountain biking and trail running.

If you are the sort of person to get a bit obsessed with your times, then bear in mind that races are not always measured out to the exact distance.

This includes elite races – yes, sometimes those amazing 10k run times are too good to be true!


So there really is something for everyone. The standard triathlon and ironman distances are listed below.


How Long Is A Triathlon: Standard Triathlon And Ironman Distances

Name Swim Bike Run Notes
Kids of Steel 100–750 m 5–15 km 1–5 km Distances vary with age of athlete.
Novice (Australia) 300 m 8 km 2 km Distances vary, but this is a standard Novice distance course in Australia.
Super Sprint 400 m 10 km 2.5 km Distances vary, but this is a standard Super Sprint course.
Novice (Europe) 400 m 20 km 5 km Distances vary somewhat, but this is a standard novice/fitness distance course in Europe.
Sprint 750 m 20 km 5 km For pool-based races a 500m swim is common.
Olympic 1.5 km 40 km 10 km Also known as "international distance", "standard course", or "short course"
ITU-Long Distance (O2) 3.0 km 80 km 20 km Double Olympic Distance
ITU-Long Distance (O3) 4.0 km 120 km 30 km So-called triple Olympic Distance, distance of the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in 2008, originally the distance of the Nice (France) triathlon
Half 1.93 km 90 km 21.09 km Also known as "middle distance", 70.3, or "half-ironman".
Full 3.86 km 180 km 42.2 km Also known as "long distance" or "Ironman Triathlon".


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