Still looking for a triathlon to add to your race calendar for 2018? We have our selection of the finest UK triathlons for you to choose from. Check out our Top 5 Triathlons for 2018.
2nd – 3rd June 2018
A chance to compete around a UK heritage site is quite a unique challenge and give you something else to take your mind off how much your legs are hurting as you absorb the ambience of the humbling surroundings of Blenheim Palace.
With a lake swim that allows you to swim in a straight line its well suited to those who struggle in open water as there is no turning to contend with and once you settle into the pack a relatively route one swim. Assuming bilateral breathing isn’t an issue and you aren’t biased in your catch direction you should be able to get your head down and smash through to end of the swim.
The run into T1 is a bit of a beast with a 400m uphill off-road run to get back to you bike. Transition is in the heart of the Palace so plenty to distract you as you try to recall your perfect transition technique and sequencing. The bike leg is very technical. All close road loops of the grounds but with some narrow points combined with a couple of steep hills (albeit short) there can be an element of grouping around the course.
The race also tends to appeal to virgin triathletes so expect to find people not familiar with their bike and plenty of people walking their bikes in parts. If you can be sensible with your pacing and consider others for the bike leg it is a pleasure but with so many corners and challenging elements to continually confront don’t expect to be down on the aero bars for much of it.
The run is a number of laps around the front of the main house with an incline on the loop back in that perfectly saps your legs just before you reach the main spectator area of which there will be thousands. The finish sees you running away from the house and into a packed spectator area. Overall a very unusual race and a break from many with a number of outstanding selling points that make this well worth trying out if you have not done so before.
8th July 2018
Putsborough Beach, North Devon
1.5km swim / 40km bike / 12km run
Set in one of the most picturesque spots that the British countryside has to offer. Croyde is well known on the surfing circuit with a reputation that far outweighs its size as a small hamlet in the North Devon coast. As soon as you take the turn coming out from Saunton Sands and catch site of Croyde Bay it will capture your heart. To maximise the impact aim to arrive later on Friday evening to enjoy the area on the Saturday before the Sunday morning race.
Arriving late Friday with the sun setting the sea will be glistening with an inviting platinum set of highlights as the waves break on the sandy shoreline. The swim is taking a straight course direct off the Putsborough beach with the likely challenge of surf to contend with, ensure if entering this race you do not limit your swimming to the pool as open water swimming skills will be essential for an enjoyable race.
Swimming along the beach you will exit up the sand and head for transition which will help warm up those leg muscles as you grind your way uphill to find your bike. For those who enjoy the quieter roads around the West coast the bike circuit will feel like familiar ground with narrow country lanes and a number of steep inclines to master.
The circuit is an out and back but the roads will not be closed for the event so caution always advised especially if taking your TT bike. There is plenty of scope for you to stretch your legs and open up the performance of a TT bike on the course but with a number of bends and tourist drivers not familiar with the roads keep your focus and hug the bends in readiness for a people carrier coming in the opposite direction.
The run is an extended 12km off road circuit and is as spectacular as the rest of the race. If you have any energy left try to look out over the views this race presents you. A hilly run where there are plenty of good spectator spots sharing real estate with the local sheep who are the normal occupants of the territory. Depending on the weather this is run circuit that can be heavily cut up and muddy if we haven’t enjoyed much of a summer by July.
Take your trail shoes in case the conditions go south over the weekend. With such a beautiful spot this is definitely a race to take the family and if they can’t quite be motivated to get to the course and support you at least you don’t have to worry about them being bored as you can no doubt find them with your finishers medal building sand castles on the beach.
21st – 22nd July 2018
Part of the Castle Tri Series of events the Castle Howard Triathlon is now a 2 day full weekend monster with over 2,000 people expected to compete. Its not on the scale of the London Triathlon but this is a large sized event no doubt.
Set in God’s Own Country (Darren Gough would be proud of that one added in the write up!) the Castle dates back to the 18th Century with a stately home pedigree to match the Blenheim Palace event. Perfect for those of you seeking some culture along with your multi-discipline sport events.
The swim takes place in the Great Lake within the grounds and is effectively an out and back route for competitors to tackle. There is a dog leg bend in the middle so open water swimming skills essential with plenty of sighting needed throughout the swim, practice those crocodile eyes in your training sessions.
The bike leg delivers a number of long straights to open up the throttle and put the hammer down but this does not mean given its location the organisers have not included for your pleasure plenty of good calibre Yorkshire hills navigating through the local villages where you will be cheered on throughout the weekend. The marshall points are well distributed and the course maps include this detail for those planning their race. The course is worth a pre-race recce to ensure come race day you are well versed with the turns and areas where the road quality is compromised.
The run is a trail run taking in a number of local landmarks bringing you back into the front of the stately home for the finish. The Castle Series pride themselves on ensuring a quality experience for spectators so again a good option for those with families as there is a lot going on at an event of this size for everyone to see. Unusually there is a family cup event that allows you to compete with you family in a relay style event, sounds like fun!
19th August 2018
If Weymouth ironman 70.3 is a stretch too far then the Weymouth classic gives you the chance to enjoy the same coastline. Smashing into the surf and an open water swim mass start for either the 750m/1500m distances in the sheltered area of Bowleaze Covey. Wetsuit is a must and with the English Channel always hard to predict you can expect rough seas and a real test for everyone lacking in confidence through the swim.
With the delights of Weymouth to entertain the family you can expect your support crew to be pre-occupied and possibly not that focused on your efforts. The bike course is either a 20k or 40k circuit through the Dorset countryside, heading out towards Preston you’ll face the only real test on the bike circuit with a 500m incline within the first few kilometres.
No time to warm up the legs you will be feeling the lactic build up in the first phase of the ride. The return leg in on the bike is quick so you can soak up all the glory as you look like a member of the peloton on le Tour as any spectators not building sandcastles can revel in your bike form.
The 5k or 10k run leads you out through the Waterside Holiday Park and on to Preston road where you will follow the signs that take you through the nature reserve with a run course that only includes 300ft of incline allowing for some quick final phases into the finish. Another great run course to enjoy in our series of triathlons takes you back to the serenity of Bowleaze Cove.
9th September 2018
3.8km swim / 180km bike / 42.2km run
Tenby represents one of the ultimate challenges on the global triathlon circuit. A full ironman distance there is not a single easy phase of this beast of a race. To compensate for this brutal assault on your body the support from locals for this event is unrivalled including the epic Sheephouse lane.
The swim can be choppy so make sure you don’t leave it to September to start testing your sea swim skills. This technical race from the outset has a 2 lap swim including an Aussie style exit to deal with midway. There can on occasion be jelly fish as well with you in the water so prepare yourself for the eventuality of a handful of jelly along the way. If the 3.8km sea swim hasn’t sapped every ounce of energy you have then the 1km run back up the sandy beach is sure to leave you beyond warmed up for the bike section. This is an ironman and don’t treat transition like a Sprint charging through the section without taking time to suitably prepare for the bike.
The bike section of Tenby is a double loop course so you get two opportunities to “enjoy” the hills around the Welsh countryside. Support around the bike course is intense and if your legs look like they are giving up on you the spectators will help change your mind on quitting. Some of the inclines you will face are as much as 18% so having the right gearing on your bike is well worth considering. If you have a good quality road bike and feel comfortable on it you may well want to consider leaving the TT bike at home and using your road bike.
The marathon run course is as gruelling as the ride with little in the way of flat mileage to relax into. There are plenty of feed stations on the course and after the day you have had you’ll need all of them. The course completes in the heart of Tenby where all the spectators will have stayed with you no matter how long your time is, even those coming in right under the cut-off will still get the same support from those who broke the 10 hour barrier. If you can put in the hours of training to make this you won’t regret it but we won’t suggest you attempt to have fun and enjoy this one!