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How Non-Standard Triathlon Events Work


Formula One Triathlon
As the sport of triathlon grows, so does the innovation within the sport.
As the sport of triathlon grows, so does the innovation within the sport.
Darren England/Getty Images

The beautiful thing about non-traditional triathlons is that race organizers are free to design innovative swim/bike/run combinations that best suit their community. In a Formula One triathlon, the race is divided up into multiple legs -- as many as six or eight -- in different swim/bike/run combinations. Formula One races are also called "super sprints" because they combine several short, fast legs instead of the longer endurance challenges of a traditional triathlon.

The Kure Beach Double Sprint, now in its 14th year, is a great example of a formula one-style triathlon. The Kure Beach is a "down-and-back" race between the ocean and the town hall of Kure Beach, N.C. Participants start with a 375-meter (0.2-mile) open-water swim, then get into their running gear for a 1.5-mile (0.9-kilometer) run, then hop on their bikes for a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) bike ride to the town hall. It's called a "double sprint," because the racers turn right back around and run the course in reverse: biking, running and finishing with the same open-water swim.

Some race organizers have decided to completely turn tradition on its head and run a reverse triathlon. More on that in the next section.


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