Finishing in Hawaii is every triathlete's dream.

Triathlon - the ultimate endurance sport.

The quest for the best.

A taxi driver as the star of a new sport.

Which sport produces the world's best endurance athletes – swimming, cycling or running? At the end of the 1970s a group of top athletes got together in Hawaii to try to resolve the question. The answer was surprising: it was a taxi driver who fought off his 14 fellow competitors to emerge as the fastest over the three back-to-back disciplines.

When the 15 intrepid starters jumped into the Pacific on 18 February 1978, the idea behind today's IRONMAN was born. Gordon Haller was crowned the first Ironman. The IRONMAN World Championship, held on Big Island, Hawaii, is still one of the world's most prestigious triathlon events.

The IRONMAN World Championship, held on Big Island, Hawaii, is still one of the world's most prestigious triathlon events.

That special kick.

The origins of the triathlon can be traced back to the 1920s. In France in particular, both male and female athletes were renowned for seeking out that special kick produced by pushing themselves to the limit. The water-based part of the challenge was neglected over the years until early in 1970, when a group of Americans, more or less acting on a whim, laid the foundations for a new sporting movement. In terms of active participants, triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports around today.

Finishing in Hawaii – taking part and crossing the finish line in the world’s most prestigious long-distance triathlon event (involving a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride and 42 km run) is every triathlete’s dream. Training demands extreme discipline as the parameters become ever more ambitious.

Triathlon has been an Olympic event since the Games in Sydney in 2000.

The Triple Deca Ultratriathlon, for example, sees endurance athletes compete over a distance comprising a 114 km swim, 5400 km bike ride and 1260 km run. That's practically the same distance as an IRONMAN event a day – for 30 days in a row.

Peak performance in every discipline.

An ergonomic crawl stroke, an efficient running style, flexibility and stamina. Mastering three different sports is the challenge faced by every triathlete. Despite the fact that each athlete will have his or her preferred discipline, what counts in this sport is all-round ability. Achieving this requires a well-designed training plan where even recovery phases and nutritional intake have to be optimised. A reliable partner who can make the athlete’s everyday life easier by ensuring the required flexibility and mobility in the run-up to the event is a must.

The five top athletes of the POWER HORSE Triathlon Team are among the best medium and long-distance triathletes in the world.

Supporters are key.

The V-Class from Mercedes-Benz provides the perfect support. With an elegant interior and a flexible seating concept, the new MPV can be transformed from refined company car to practical training partner in a few simple steps. This agility makes it an ideal and indispensable companion en route to the top, because achieving the optimum balance between family, career and sport is an important factor on the road to Hawaii. To achieve great things, you need the help of others. Family and friends are key. During training, during the competition itself and after it’s all over. They help encourage, motivate and inspire. Your vehicle, meanwhile, has to be flexible enough to cope with varying demands.

Family and friends spur triathletes on to sporting excellence.

Set off to work in the morning in elegance and comfort, then head off to cycle training in the evening without having to make any major modifications. The new V-Class proves perfect for every situation.

The very best high-tech.

Innovations and technical advancements play an important role in triathlon. The equipment is subject to ongoing development, with the use of carbon fibre, membrane technology and sports timers with training functions. Bikes are becoming increasingly lightweight, helmets increasingly safe and running shoes are constantly enhanced to ensure increased cushioning of the joints. The experts at Mercedes-Benz similarly combined numerous innovations when it came to developing the new V-Class. The result is the perfect MPV for a triathlete’s needs. ATTENTION ASSIST alerts the driver to signs of flagging attention and tiredness and the optional Parking package with 360° camera ensures good all-round visibility. Thanks to the innovative strengths of Mercedes-Benz, the driver is optimally equipped with the latest technology – in a vehicle that is perfect for the sports world and beyond.

In addition to optimum training, the equipment plays a key role in triathlon.

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