Triathlon by the Numbers

ironman participants

Triathletes often focus on numbers—miles run, hours ridden, laps swam—but what about the distance of the longest race or the number of IRONMAN participants in 2018?

Biggest Race by Entries

In 2018, IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta boasted more than 3,700 entries.

Male-Female Breakdown

Of the 2,500 competitors at the IRONMAN World Championship , 72 percent were male, and 28 percent were female.

Fastest 140.6-Distance

The fastest Iron-distance race is not an IRONMAN—it's Challenge Roth. In 2016, German Olympian Jan Frodeno covered the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run in just 7:35:39. Brit Chrissie Wellington still holds the women's record, set in 2011, with a blistering 8:18:13.

Power to the People

Cam Wurf—who has raced in the Giro d'Italia as a pro cyclist—has cranked out over 300 watts for just a little over 4 hours when racing in Iron-distance events.

Swim With the Fishes

Great Britain's Lucy Charles  is often first out of the water in long-course triathlon events. At the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship, Charles was just a few seconds over the 48-minute mark for the 2.4 mile swim.

Everyone's a Contestant

In 2018, IRONMAN 140.6 and 70.3 events had over 300,000 entrants worldwide.

Can't Sit Still

In 2017—the most recent year for which data is available—over 4 million people in the United States finished in a triathlon.

Shortest—and Fastest—Triathlon

ITU draft-legal super sprint triathlons are contested at distances of 400m swim, 10K bike and 2.5K run. Pro men are covering the swim-bike-run in under 20 minutes, and the women are not far behind with times under 21 minutes.

Longest Multisport Event

The Ultraman  is a three-day, 320-mile triathlon. The format usually follows a 6.2-mile swim and 90-mile bike on the first day. Day two is a 171-mile bike, and day three is a 52.4-mile (double marathon!) run. This is an invitation-only event, limited to just 40 athletes per year.

Coldest Swim

Although temperatures vary slightly from year to year, the swim portion of the Escape from Alcatraz often records some of the coldest temperatures for a large triathlon. In 2013, the water in the San Francisco Bay was just 51-degrees.

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