Swim. Bike. Run.

Sounds like an average day outdoors in Washington, right? But it's also the format of a popular endurance event: the triathlon.

Triathlons are relatively new to human history - at least as a distinct sport. The first modern triathlon (with the swim/bike/run format) was held in San Diego in 1974. It wasn't until 2000 that the triathlon made its debut in the Olympic Games - which means my memory of watching the Olympic Games as a kid is a little wrong.

No matter their history, triathlon events have become popular in the United States, with about 3 to 4 million people participating per year. Triathlete reports that these endurance sport participants are most usually men between 18 and 34.

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But in Washington - where 72% of us participate in outdoor recreation each year - the interest is higher. After all, we're already out there swimming our rivers, biking our trails, and running in our hills. Heck, some of the best outdoor fitness areas in the nation are here in Washington.

So it's no surprise that a new study from buycycle shows that Washington is one of the states most interested in triathlons. Their data shows that Washington ranks #7 in the nation for interest in triathlons, based on Google searches. Only California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania are ahead of us. To be fair to those states, most have major triathlon events annually, so the interest is already well established.

But that's changing for Washington - as this year, Ironman - one of the most well-known triathlon competitions in the world - is coming to the Tri-Cities. Ironman 70.3 will be held on September 22, 2024, in the lush wine country and welcoming Columbia River near and in the Tri-Cities. This major event gives the PNW a new step up into the triathlon world - and we're likely to see our interest in the endurance sport increase even further year over year.

So gear up, start training, and consider a triathlon in your future - at the very least, your health will thank you!

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