Thanks for your question!
The triathlon originated in 1974 in Mission Bay, Southern California
when a group of cyclists, runners and swimmers, many of them members
of the San Diego Track Club, began training together for a break from
their predictable, rigorous training schedules.
According to the USA Triathlon website, "Early triathlons were held as
offbeat training exercises for runners...the events were held on
summer evenings and were intended as no more than light-hearted breaks
in the normal grind of training for marathons and 10Ks" (
These training sessions soon evolved into informal races. Jack
Johnstone and Don Shanahan organized the first official triathlon.
Held on September 25th, 1974, the Mission Bay Triathlon welcomed 46
athletes. John Collins, one of the original competitors, was one of
the main forces responsible for establishing the first Ironman
triathlon in 1978 (Oahu, Hawaii).
From its humble beginnings less than 30 years ago, triathlon is now
deeply established, having been certified as an Olympic sport in 2000.
To learn more, see the following links:
History of the Triathlon
< http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/history.htm >
Olympic History - Triathlon
< http://cbs.sportsline.com/u/olympics/2000/history/triathlon.htm >
The History of Triathlon
< http://188.8.131.52/Sports/Triathlon/History/default.asp >
Triathlon: Early History of the Sport (by Jack Johnstone, co-founder
of the first official triathlon)
< http://home.san.rr.com/johnstone/ >
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All the best!