Quadrathlon is an endurance multisport with disciplines in swimming, cycling, kayaking and running. The sequence of each event always starts with the swim and ends with the run while the order of the bike and kayak can be switched. Quadrathlon allows a fair balance of effort to the upper and lower body and it demands high skill requirements, tactics and outstanding stamina and endurance abilities of the athlete. Quadrathlon (also known as Quadriathlon in some countries) competes over different distances:
- Sprint distance (0,75 km swim – 20 km bike – 4 km kayak – 5 km run)
- Middle distance (1,5 km swim – 40 km bike – 8 km kayak – 10 km run)
- Long distance (4 km swim – 90 km bike – 20 km kayak – 21 km run)
Individual athletes competing at International level require good endurance, power and technique. However, many competitors take part as two or four person relay teams. Athletes of moderate capabilities often start Quadrathlons as part of a relay team, but every event in the WQF calendar has athletes from beginner to elite enjoying and competing together.
In 1987 the Italian Sergio Ferrero initiated the first Quadrathlon on Ibiza. It ran under the designation „Diamond Man“, a Long Distance Quadrathlon over 5 km swimming, 20 km kayaking, 100 km biking and 21.1 km running, till 1999. In Ibiza today, only the middle distance event remains. First, however unsuccessful attempts for a Quadrathlon admittedly already at the beginning of the 80’s-years in Zeket, Hungary.
Over the following years, Quadrathlon events spread over several countries. As a logical consequence the WQF (World Quadrathlon Federation) was established in 1990 by Sergio Ferrero. Seven years later in 1997 the EQF (European Quadrathlon Federation) under the guidance of the Czech Václav Marek, was developed. In 2001 the EQF was converted to the WQF, after the first world federion any longer did not exist. The biggest Quadrathlon communities are currently present in Czech Republic, Great Britain and Germany. The WQF annually organizes the World Championships and the World Cup.