Professional & Elite multisport


What is Triathlon?

Swim. Bike. Run!  Triathlon is defined as a continuous race made up of multiple disciplines done in sequence.  The goal is to finish the race in the fastest possible time.  Overall timing includes the “transition” required to switch between each leg; most typically these disciplines are a swim, followed by a bike and finished with a run.

Triathlon as a sport is made up of a broad collection of events that each have their own spin on this multi-discipline format.  It is easiest to group these events in terms of “pathway” to create a clear picture of how they all fit together.  There are three pathways within this sport – Triathlon, Para Triathlon, and Multisport.

“Triathlon” in this instance refers to the competition categories that make up the Olympic pathway.   “Para Triathlon” refers to the competition categories that make up the Paralympic pathway.  And finally, “Multisport” consists of all the sub-disciplines that are not Olympic or Paralympic sports – such as duathlon or aquathlon and variations of triathlon such as long distance and off-road events.

The following sections outline the Triathlon events that make up the Olympic pathway.  For more information on the other pathways please visit the dedicated pages for Para Triathlon and Multisport.


Standard Triathlon

Triathlon debuted as an Olympic sport at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.  The “standard” was selected as the event to bring into the Olympic fold.  Standard Triathlon is included in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final for Age Group athletes, and is one of the most popular community sport events.

Distances & Age Requirements

Swim – 1500m
Bike – 40km
Run – 10km
Minimum Age: 18


Sprint Triathlon

As an elite event – the sprint distance is the gateway for all young triathletes.  Olympic pathway hopefuls begin their journey of international competition racing this distance.

Sprint Triathlon is also included in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final for Age Group athletes.  The race typically includes a draft-legal bike course as an added element of excitement.  Within the community sport system, the sprint is a very popular event both to veterans and those looking to make the jump into the sport.

Distances & Age Requirements

Swim – up to 750m
Bike – up to 20km
Run – up to 5km
Minimum Age: 16


Super Sprint Triathlon

The Super Sprint is technically included within the range captured by the “sprint” distance.  However, it is worth mentioning as a stand-alone event because of the addition of the Mixed Relay to the Olympic program.  More and more the Super Sprint is becoming a targeted event for elite athletes working towards selection for a Mixed Relay team.

Super Sprint will be added as an elite World Championship event in 2022 as part of the new ITU Sprint & Relay World Championships set to debut in Montreal.

For Age Group athletes – a Super Sprint is often labeled as a “Try-a-Tri” and is geared towards those interested in testing the triathlon waters.  However, the Mixed Relay will also be offered as part of the Age Group program in 2022 as a World Championship event!

Distances & Age Requirements

Swim – 250 to 500m
Bike – 6.5 to 13km
Run – 1.7 to 3.5km
Age Minimum – 15


Mixed Relay

The Mixed Relay is a brand-new event that is set to debut in Tokyo as part of the 2021 Olympic Games.  Teams are made up of two women and two men. Each athlete completes a full super sprint triathlon, with the team’s cumulative time making up the team score. This is a fast-paced and exciting format to watch as athletes race flat-out over a very short course.  The bike portion is draft-legal adding another layer as teams work to maintain position to give their anchor the best possible chance to bring home a medal.

The mixed relay has recently been added to the program for Age Group athletes as part of the 2022 ITU World Triathlon Sprint & Relay World Championships.  This is a brand new event set to debut in Montreal in 2022.

Distances & Age Requirements

Swim – 250 to 300m
Bike – 5 to 8km
Run – 1.5 to 2km
Age Minimum – 15


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Triathlon Canada

The official start line for triathlon in Canada, leading some on the way to the podium and inspiring others to achieve their best performances.

Triathlon Canada
1925 Blanshard Street, Suite 121
Victoria, British Columbia
Canada  V8T 4J2
Telephone : 250.412.1795
Fax: 250.412.1794

Office Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm (PST)

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