Why has the triathlon exploded in the last 20 years?

Thanks for asking, I’ll give you mine gladly! Careful though, you invited the hare to run, I’ll try to be concise…

Triatlon as a sport has more or less always existed, but it’s really recent as we know it today. So, starting from practically zero, it’s easy to have such exponential growth. A bit like saying that the population of my house has doubled in recent years… thanks to graziella, from 2 to 4.

To be precise, the triatlon already existed in the 1920s. But it quite heterogeneous in everything: distance, format, trail. In its most popular formats now it is

very recent

. It is an Olympic sport only since 2000, in the formula 1500m swimming, 40km bike (trail allowed), 10km running. While the other more popular large format, the Ironman (3800m swimming, 180km bike, 42km running) has only existed for a little 30 years and honestly remained very niche until it was bought by the WTC in 1990.

But I think curiosity was more about why such a hard sport is so common all of a sudden, so much so that eventually finding a friend has done at least one triathlon sprint became so common.

I think the main reasons are well explained by Dalian Wanda, who bought the Ironman. The kind of athlete you would have found today until 10 years ago on golf courses and probably 30 years ago on tennis courts. Put another way, it’s a sport that attracts a lot of attention in the

managerial band

and executive, especially in a

around 10 years old centered on 40 years old

. So I’d focus on that.


There is much more attention paid to physical health, not just to appearance, but to one’s own health and exercise, nor is exercise a hinge. Brilliant, but a bit generic, let’s go to the next point


in the sense that you’re outdoors, in the sun, rain or whatever, but you’re outdoors. This is good for the mood and regularizes the circadian cycle. A benefit common to sports, however, let’s go beyond that.


physical activity taking time for yourself, to do it and actively do something that physically will make you feel better (endorphins!). The time available between family and is little, if you burn it for activities that do not make you feel good and , even the family will be less happy. Playing golf takes away the same time, but it doesn’t have the same result. All right, but one more general point


Three sports is perhaps a more superficial experience than just one, but it gives you the variety you need to not tired and to the moment of rejection typical of the heaviest moments of the season. It reduces the risk of injury. This is starting to be a more specific point

Like other sports of endurance and fatigue, the “joy” lies in the path that leads you to do what seems inhuman to the non-initiated. You must

respect distance and effort

. You have to love hard work and devote yourself to it. An expression not chosen at random, Coppi called the ascent of the Stelvio “ascetic”. Not only the execution, but also and above all the preparation of the race. The triathlon takes the disciplines of fatigue par excellence and takes them to the higher level of fatigue. Doing meditation can help at this point, but it would lack the precedents

Extreme experience

Ok, maybe doing an olympic in 3 hours is not really an extreme experience, but it’s been a long time that the most sought after experiences are the ones that are stronger. It’s a competition for those who find the most extreme thing to share with others. Here, to cut the finish line after hours and hours of continuous sport is to


pure. You can skydive, but you’re missing the previous points. Ski mountaineering would be fine, but you risk getting hurt for real and you can only do it for a few months of the year.


Excuse me? If three things are enough to make a race and you can do it locally? Elite is not just a term for


but also to

time and head availability

to put in heavy, continuous training. Of course, doing a race on the Ironman circuit, unless it’s under home, are always well over a thousand euruzzi leaving the wallet. So you get to be part of the elite like it. A point of support, a bit more specific so

Anglo-Saxon fashion

Let’s avoid going around it, in the end everything the Americans do passes to the British, the Germans, the Japanese and from there to all the others. I’m sorry to admit it, but a lot of how a behaves in the world is an imitation of the drives and trends in America.


at every race there are always at least 50% of at their first distance test, whose goal, in light of the last 3 points, is only to boast of the shirt and medal and put the tick on the big book of cliché experiences, along with the sunset in Bali, the gondola ride and many others. At least the finish line of a triathlon is an authentic experience.