What is ITU?
The International Triathlon Union is the world governing body for the Olympic Programme sport of triathlon and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF). ITU is also the world governing body for all related multisports such as duathlon, aquathlon, winter triathlon and long distance triathlon.
What is Triathlon?
Triathlon is an activity that combines swimming, cycling and running in one event. The three sports are performed consecutively
with no breaks. The portion of a triathlon where athletes change from one sport to the next is called a transition.
Other sports in the triathlon family:
Duathlon – Combining the sports of running and cycling, an elite distance duathlon consist of 10km run – 40 km cycle – 5 km run. Involving high levels of stamina and power. Duathlon is sometimes regarded to be harder than triathlon. ITU World Championships are held over the standard distance and long distance.
Aquathlon – Aquathlon is effectively a triathlon without a cycling component, usually a run-swim-run, although occasionally a swim-run, the event is fast and furious, often taking just half an hour to complete at the elite level. The ITU Aquathlon World Championships are often held alongside the ITU Triathlon World Championships.
Off-road triathlon or Cross Country Triathlon – A triathlon involving biking and running on rough terrain. Moun1ain bikes are used and trail shoes are preferred by the triathletes.
Winter Triathlon – Making use of mountainous terrain, winter triathlonm is rapidly growing across Europe and North America. Athletes start with a run before switching to mountain biking and finally cross-country skiing.
All three disciplines are contested on snow with courses set out so that winning times take between 80 and 90 minutes.
Paratriathlon – Formerly known as ‘Athletes With a Disability’. Paratriathlon involves the categorization of disabled athletes into their respective impairments allowing fair and competitive racing between different classes.
Team Triathlon – Making its debut as a mixed event in 2009, but previously as a same sex event. team triathlon involves national teams of four athletes, each completing a small triathlon before tagging their compatriot. Races are incredibly fast and require high levels of power.
Long Distance Triathlon – Long distance triathlon events are held over either double or trite Olympic distances. Athletes require high endurance as races can take up to seven hours to complete. Drafting is not permitted during the cycle leg of the event.