The International Ultra Triathlon Association (IUTA) is the official governing body of Ultra Triathlon. The non profit organization was founded in 1992.
The IUTA is a grouping of ultra triathletes and race organizers with the same goal to make ultratriathlon a world-renowned sporting event with the same rules. The IUTA promotes and regulates ultra triathlons around the world, upholding the highest quality and a superior reputation. We endorse World Championships and maintain an annual world cup ranking.
What is an ultra triathlon?
An ultratriathlon is a type of race that uses multiples of the classic long distance, as it was first held in 1978 in Hawaii. This long distance includes a swim of 2.4 mi / 3,8 km, a bike ride of 112 mi / 180 km and a marathon run in that order without a break. In ultra competitions, the distances are multiplied by two, three or more depending on the race distance. The first ultra triathlon was held in 1985 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA.
|Long Distance||2.4mi / 3,8km||112mi / 180km||26.2mi / 42,2km||140.6mi / 226km|
|Double||4.8mi / 7,6km||224mi / 360km||52.4mi / 84,4km||281.2mi / 452km|
|Triple||7.2mi / 11,4km||336mi / 540km||78.6mi / 126,6km||421.8mi / 678km|
|Quadruple||9.6mi / 15,2km||448mi / 720km||104.8mi / 168,8km||562.4mi / 904km|
|Quintuple||12mi / 19km||560mi / 900km||131mi / 211km||703mi / 1130km|
|Deca||24mi / 38km||1120mi / 1800km||262mi / 422km||1406mi / 2260km|
|Double Deca||48mi / 76km||2240mi / 3600km||524mi / 844km||2812mi / 4520km|
|Triple Deca||72mi / 114km||3360mi / 5400km||786mi / 1266km||4218mi / 6780km|
Since 2006 there were held a new variation of ultra triathlons, the so called "day" or "per-day" ultra triathlon. The first event was the Deca Day Ultra Triathlon in Monterrey, Mexico, where all athletes had to do ten normal long distances on ten consecutive days with a break after finishing each day.
Who participates in such races?
Ultra triathletes around the world who have finished a normal long distance triathlon and are looking for a new, bigger challenge register for that kind of competitions. An ultra triathlon is for many endurance athletes the next step to get to know own limits. To be an Ultra Triathlete is a self-experiment in which you put your determination and capacity for suffering to the test. But in the end nobody will ever forget the feeling he had at the moment while crossing the finish line.
By participating at an ultra triathlon you become a member of a big family with friends all over the world. Of course the race is there to determine a winner and during the race all competitors will give their best to win the race, but the main thing for the most is to finish the race. The athletes encourage each other during to overcome the distance and successfully finish the race.
Who organizes such races?
The majority, if not all, of the race directors are previous or current ultra triathletes themselves. This is mainly because the races are so difficult and require the organisers (and event staff) to truly understand what it takes to get to the finish line. This has many benefits for the athletes because the events are not ran as commercial ventures as such, but from passion and the desire to see others experience, what is often, a life changing event.
Another advantage is that small details that many "normal" race directors would not think of, will be high on the list of priorities for ultra triathlon organisers. Like the famous Last Lap sign (SwissUltra) and the awesome Pizza Bell (DecaMan USA), all of which can really help the athletes through these tough events.
They are also pretty good at staying awake for many days at a time… ;-)