Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How To Turn a Triathlon Event Into a Family Vacation


A triathlete races with his young daughter during the 1998 Ironman triathlon in Hawaii. Families traveling to triathlons don’t have to get this involved unless they want to.
A triathlete races with his young daughter during the 1998 Ironman triathlon in Hawaii. Families traveling to triathlons don’t have to get this involved unless they want to.
Harry How/Getty Images

Triathletes tend to be a little obsessive. That's the nature of a sport that has athletes setting out to swim, bicycle and run demanding distances -- all in the same day. If you're going to put yourself through that kind of ordeal, you'd better be in top shape. Whether you're a triathlete or someone who loves and deals with a triathlete, you probably know that the training and competitions can take over a life. But the more the popularity of triathlons spreads, the less such an obsession has to be a bad thing. It's possible to be a triathlete and enjoy a family life, too. And it's possible to be a triathlete and have your family enjoy your passion.

Triathlons started in the United States in the 1970s mostly as a way for runners to cross-train while having fun. In the early years, many participants were serious runners who were nursing injuries and wanted to compete without overdoing the strain on their legs.

Media attention helped spread the appeal of this challenging and unusual sport. Now triathlon has national and international governing bodies and is an Olympic sport. Once, triathlon enthusiasts worked to arrange races in new areas so they could interest more people in participating in the sport. Now, enthusiastic triathletes can take their pick of races in interesting and exotic locations around the country and the world. It's never been easier to combine participating in a triathlon with a great family vacation. To learn about the two main ways to pull off that feat, keep reading.


More to Explore