Triathlon: What is it and how do you bet on it

The modern triathlon could be called a youth sport. In its current format, triathlon combines three disciplines: swimming, cycling and running. In this article, we tell you the important things to know and what to consider if you decide to place bets on the competition. We will also tell you which bookmakers in the UK will offer bets on this sport.

As mentioned above, a triathlon combines three disciplines: cycling, running and swimming. The standard distance for swimming at the Olympics is 1500m, approximately 25 miles for biking and six miles for running. However, there are different variations of the triathlon including double Olympic distance, triple Olympic distance and the famous “iron distance”. 

If you decide to bet on a triathlon, the first thing you need to do is to find out which format the competition will be in.

The Ironman competition includes 3,800 meters of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26 miles of running. In total, a little more than 140 miles are covered by “people of iron” in the race. Not everyone reaches the finish line. 

The difference between triathlon and pentathlon or decathlon is simple: in triathlon all three of the stages are held one after another without any breaks. Only a true “iron man” can withstand such an intense competition. 

Olympic distance and Ironman: about the distance and betting

Disagreements in triathlons began in 1989 when the International Union of Triathletes was established. Its main purpose was to include the triathlon in the Olympic Games. Naturally, the first question was the duration of another race. The Ironman competition usually takes 16 hours to complete the long-distance, so they decided to reduce the length of the race so that it was possible to fit everything into a television broadcast. In 2000, the Sydney Triathlon debuted with distances that currently take place in the Olympics.

However, even winning the “base” triathlon at the Olympics is not as honourable as just finishing the “iron distance”. For bettors, however, this does not hold any importance. Bookmakers rarely offer triathlon lines outside of the Olympics. We have to play the market that is available. A triathlon bet, first of all, is only on the Olympic variation of the sport. 

Different triathlon bets

Betting on winning. This is the standard bet on betting lines: the bookmakers offer their odds on who will win the competition, and the player chooses an athlete they believe will win and makes a bet on them. 

Bet on winning in a single event. There are three stages in the triathlon (swimming, biking and running). Each of them has its own winner. Bookmakers will usually offer bets on the winner of each separate event. 

Betting on certain placing. Bookmakers will also offer to predict whether the certain participant will finish in the top three places, in the top five, or even within the top ten. 

Betting on the comparison of results. This is one of the most popular bets in the triathlon. It is suggested to compare the results on the performance of only two of the participants. This option increases the chances of winning, but at the same time decreases the odds. 

Betting on time limits. At each stage in the triathlon, there are certain times that the athlete must meet in order to avoid penalties. Bookmakers offer bets on how many participants will meet the set time limit for each discipline. 

Betting on the winner’s time. Predicting the full course of any race in a triathlon is extremely difficult. Bookmakers place a predicted final time for the winner in their lines, and the bettor will wager whether the actual winning time will be more or less than the bookmakers. 

How to bet on the Olympic distance in triathlon

Since bookmakers rarely offer triathlon lines outside the Olympics, we consider the specifics of betting only within the framework of the Olympic Games. 

The Olympic distance is much shorter than ironman and other key triathlon distances. Therefore, it is not necessary to study the analyses of the results of different variants of races. Triathlons at the Olympics are increasingly approaching high-speed competitions, not only a battle of endurance.

The first main factor you need to analyze is the age of the athlete. Young people (up to 25 years old) cannot withstand the same pace throughout the distance. Aged athletes (over 35 years) participate in triathlon more often than not just to participate, and usually do not contend for the victory. The optimal age for winners is 26 to 33 years. However, as with most things, there are exceptions.

It is important to consider the home track for the athlete. If a triathlete trains on the track the race is held on, it is easier for him to overcome the entire distance.

The amount of emphasis and importance placed on triathlons in the country is also important in the selection of bets. Triathlons are particularly popular in Australia, New York, Canada and some European countries.

In bets on individual stages of triathlon, you can sometimes get high odds due to information about the participant’s past. Someone was a swimmer, another a runner, and one- a cyclist. At the appropriate stage, the athlete who has the most experience in a particular discipline will almost always perform the best.

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