The triathlon is considered by some to have its beginnings in 1920s France but the first modern swim/bike/run event to be called a 'triathlon' was held at Mission Bay, San Diego, California on 25 September 1974. The International Triathlon Union was established in 1989 and there are now hundreds of events happening all over the world each year.
I can see the appeal: the personal challenge, training hard and then achieving something that you didn't consider yourself physically capable of at the start. For us, the bottom line is that an event is a physical challenge but the training is regular physical activity, and it all goes towards helping you reduce your personal cancer risk.
Dimity Gannon is not only the SunSmart Community and Sport Coordinator, she's also an experienced triathlete. When quizzed she guessed that she has competed in over 50 triathlons over the last 10 years.
Dimity joined the Nunawading Triathlon Club in 2001 and started out by taking part in their six week ‘Get Into Triathlon' program. Dimity said, "It was a good introduction to the sport because I had first timers around me working towards the same goal with plenty of guidance and support from the club. At the end of the training program we all took part in a mini triathlon."
Dimity worked her way from training a few times a week and taking part in novice triathlons, up to training twice a day for Ironmans. Triathlons can range from a beginners triathlon – which might be swimming a few hundred metres, cycling 5km and running 2km – to an Ironman. An Ironman is a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and then 42.2km run. That's a combined distance that is further than Melbourne city centre to Yarrawonga!
Each season the number of events across Australia is increasing, and with that so are the number of people involved in triathlon clubs. There are over 150 people that are part of Dimity's current club. "There are members of varying levels, training for a range of upcoming events or just training to keep fit and socialise."
Here are Dimity's tips for people that have never done a triathlon before:
Common mistakes and misconceptions or what not to do:
"When it comes to triathlons the important part is the initial step, having the confidence to have a go. Anyone can do it, the hardest part is getting to the starting line," Dimity said.