In my spare time, I enjoy taking part in several types of athletic activities. One of these is the Ironman Triathlon, a long-distance race organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The Ironman Triathlon consists of swimming (2.4 miles), biking (112 miles), and running (approximately 26 miles). Generally, the Ironman Triathlon must be completed within 17 hours, though some races allow only 15 hours. The Ironman Triathlon arose from a dispute between athletes of different disciplines following a race in Hawaii in 1977. Athletes in one discipline argued that they were more fit than those in the other two disciplines, so the Ironman Triathlon was developed as a combination of three existing races to determine overall fitness. The first Ironman Triathlon consisted of the Honolulu Marathon, the Around-Oahu Bike Race, and the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. The first edition of the race took place in February 1978, with 15 participants, most from U.S. military backgrounds. Of those contestants, 12 completed the race, and the winner was Gordon Haller, a Navy Communications Specialist who finished the event in slightly under 12 hours. The Ironman Triathlon quickly grew in popularity, receiving coverage in a number of sports publications and drawing new adherents. The location of the Ironman Triathlon now changes regularly, but the Hawaii edition of the race is still regarded as one of the most prestigious. The WTC, current owner of the Ironman Triathlon brand, was established in 1990 when a group of businessmen bought the brand from the previous owner, the Hawaii Triathlon Corporation. The WTC continues to produce the official Ironman Triathlon races, although other Ironman-length competitions take place regularly. The International Triathlon Union has never officially sanctioned the Ironman Triathlon, so the winners of Ironman Triathlons unfortunately are not considered world triathlon champions.