How it all started

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

French news reports indicated run, bike and swim combo races were held there during the 1920s and 1930s. San Diego's Mission Bay Triathlon on Sept. 25, 1974 is regarded as the modern birthplace of the sport.

The first Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii was Feb. 18, 1978. Gordon Haller was winner of the 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42.2 km run in 11:46:58. Hawaii remains site of the annual Ironman World Championship, won three times by Victoria's Peter Reid and twice by Lori Bowden. Penticton's 25th annual Aug. 26 race is the Canadian championship.

International Triathlon Union - founded in 1989 in France but headquartered in North Vancouver - uses a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run format but doesn't sanction the Ironman.

Yesterday's race was a test event for the June 6-8, 2008 World Championships and qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.


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