Have you decided to take the plunge into a new sport or are you wanting to 'tri' a new challenge? We've compiled a list of the best triathlon races here in the UK, that you still have time to enter this year. Whether you're just starting your journey or you're wanting to take on a more difficult race, there are plenty of top triathlon races happening close to home.
If you're new to the sport, the London Triathlon is a fantastic and friendly event to enter, that takes you past the ioninc sights of the city. The open water swim starts in the calm waters of the London Docks, before you ride past Big Ben, the London Eye and Houses of Parliament. The ride is pretty much flat for the entire leg meaning you can get onto those drops or tri bars and pick up some decent speed. Once you've racked your bike back at the ExCel centre it's onto the run where you'll be doing multiple laps of a very flat and forgiving run course... The event offers a variety of distances from super-sprint to Olympic-plus, as well as a relay option.
When: 6th and 7th August 2022
Leeds Triathlon (The 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds)
The Leeds Triathlon is an incredible event where both amateur and elite triathletes come together for an action-packed weekend of racing. Stay for the whole weekend and you'll likely see triathlon champions Alex Yee, the Brownlee brothers, Beth Potter, Non Stanford (to name a few) crossing the line. It's hugely inspirational to see athletes at the top of their game competing on the same course as us mere mortals and the overall atmosphere is electric.
When: 11th and 12th June 2022
Ironman 70.3 Weymouth
A list of UK triathlons would not be complete without including Weymouth 70.3. This is a fantastic event for those wanting to make the step up into the half iron distance but who want to do it on UK soil. As with all Ironman triathlons, the atmosphere that surrounds the event is outstanding... Ironman really does know how to get a crowd of spectators, as well as participants, revved up. An out and back sea swim is on the menu followed by an undulating bike course and looping flat run leg.
When: 18th September 2022
Starman Night Triathlon
If the challenge of doing a 'half distance' (70.3) triathlon isn't challenging enough, the Starman is raced, as the name states, at night. It starts with a sea swim and ending with a run in Cairngorms as the dawn breaks. On a clear night the scenery is magical but no matter the weather, this is a triathlon like no other. You'll face switchbacks on the ride and be presented with a hilly run - this race really is about mental toughness just as much as the physical demands.
When: 13th and 14th August
The Slateman Triathlon in Wales is now in its 10th edition and is growing in popularity. The ethos behind the event is about community and this is noticeable in the organisation and from the people who attend. Triathlon is a very friendly sport anyway but at the Slateman, you'll be even more encouraged to succeed, no matter which distance you are covering. There's a super-sprint, sprint, standard, legend and 'savage' - with all swims in Llyn Padarn in the shadow of Snowdon, rides alongside the mountain and run on trails and through forests. It's even picturesque enough to distract you from the toughness of the climbs...
When: 12th June 2022
Ironman UK Bolton
If getting an Ironman tattoo is one of your goals this year, Bolton is the only full-distance Ironman in England but is also renowned for being friendly, supportive and fun racing. You'll swim two loops of a lake with an Aussie Exit in between (you exit the water between loops) before heading onto an undulating bike course. You'll climb roughly 2200m throughout the duration of the 112mile ride which then gently descends for the last few miles as you get ready to transition into the run. Just when you think you're in for an easy run, a gentle incline hits - but fear not as the crowd will most certainly get you through this stage.
When: 3rd July 2022
The Brutal Triathlon
Where do we start with the Brutal Triathlon - the name says it all. From a half, full or ultra distance - how brutal you go is up to you! Another lake swim is on the cards here and you'll start in the beautiful Lake Padarn near Snowdonia. Next, a short steep ascent will welcome the start of your ride which stays hilly throughout. Wind and rain play a big part in the event as the conditions are ever-changing, but you are often met with sunshine (or at least dry spells) on the other side of the valley. For the run, you will literally be running up to the summit of Snowdon via the Llanberis Path. Those taking on the full or ultra Brutal - we'll warn you now this is extreme!
When: 10th September 2022
Events to look out for next year
Due to the pandemic, many big triathlons had to be postponed and are therefore already sold out or full for 2022. However, they are well worth a mention and setting up alerts for!
Ironman Wales 2023
Ironman Wales is known as one of the hardest full distance Ironman races on the planet. You've got to battle the elements, take on hill after hill after hill on the bike with 2400m+ of elevation (and plenty of beautiful views and monuments!) before switching to the running shoes to take on yet more hills.
Celtman is from the makers of Norseman and is another extreme challenge. Based in the Highlands, Scotland, competitors will experience cold water, battle the elements with strong winds and heavy rain, before facing difficult conditions on the mountain. Not one for the faint-hearted but what an achievement finishing this event is!
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