The story of first triathlon in JAPAN
August 20, 1981, Kaike Beach, 7am. The sound of a faint whistle, not a signal gun, signaled the beginning of the event.
The total distance was approximately 100km, and only 53 athletes bravely took on the challenge.
It all started at a planning meeting for the 60th anniversary of the development of Kaike Onsen.
While considering the themes of “ocean,” “health,” and “Japan’s first event,” we all nodded at one executive’s words, “It seems like there’s a sport in Hawaii that we’re trying out, maybe it’s the first one in Japan?”
Tsutsumi and Mr. Nagatani in Kumamoto, who had participated in the Hawaii tournament, and received their advice and made my decision. There are some rules that are now a joke. After completing the swim, you will be transported by car to the bike starting point. Bikes can also be carried by moms. I weighed myself midway through for a health check. On top of that, the bike course is unpaved, so there are many punctures. It was a day full of laughter and tears.
The scene where the first champion was born was filled with emotion. The two people who had been competing until the very last minute joined hands and finished at the same time. He commented, `Rather than winning or losing, I hope everyone can share the joy.’
This idea was spread throughout the country, with Kaike saying, `Japanese triathlon was born.’
Even now, the event continues to be held in which all finishers are praised as “iron men.”