San Diego may be the birthplace of modern triathlon. Unbeknownst to the good people in San Diego half a century earlier triathlons were already being organised in France, albeit under a different name. The first reports of an swim-bike-run event called “Les Trois Sports” was in Joinville-le-Pont in 1921. For a short period this type of events were held in a few places in France, like Marseille and La Rochelle.
France was also on the forefront when Triathlon returned to Europe in the 80s (See Nice.) The first ITU World Triathlon Championship was held in Avignon in 1989, after the creation of the International Triathlon Union in the same place earlier that year. Mark Allen (who else?) and Erin Baker (NZL) took the first ITU World Championship crowns.
There is a Paris Triathlon, but it doesn’t have the prestige of the other big cities that we are going to visit.*** Although there is an epic triathlon that finishes at the Arc de Triomphe. Enduroman Arch to Arc is an ultra-distance triathlon that starts at London’s Marble Arch with a 140km run to Dover, a 36km swim across the channel and a 290km bike to Paris. Only 45 solo-athletes have completed this humongous task, and as many have failed, mostly on the swim – swimming across the channel is a feat in itself.
*** That may change now ASO (the Tour de France organiser) has taken over the organisation of the Paris Triathlon in 2019.
Find out more about MetaSport Live and the Triathlon World Tour, 6 May – 1 June 2020, here. If you wish, join us, it’s free!
Check here the other Triathlon Destinations reached by the MetaSport Live Triathlon World Tour participants and learn interesting triathlons facts.