People go for a run all the time without racing.
In fact people do a lot of potentially competitive activities just for the pure enjoyment of the thing.
People go for bike rides, have a swim, play “horse” or pick-up basketball, toss around a baseball, lob the football, go ice skating, etc. And these things happen all the time. In fact, you might say that most sports activity is the noncompetitive kind.
So why is triathlon so weird?
No one goes out to “have a little triathlon” or “do a quick swim/bike/run.” No. You only ever hear of people “competing” in triathlons (even if it’s only against themselves).
And yet. And yet.
I kinda want to know what I can do. What is it like to do three crazy things back-to-back-to-back? Could I be anywhere near “okay” at it?
That’s the damnable thing about triathlon: You can’t just go and find out without going “all in.”