Top World Triathlons in 2015

ABU-DHABI-triatlonABU DHABI TRIATHLON

Next event 6th -7th March 2015

Distances Sprint: 0.5km swim, 20km cycle, 5km ride Olympic: 1.5km,40km,10km Maxi: 2km, 80km, 20km

More info abudhabitriathlon.com

Launched with typical UAE fanfare in 2010, this battle in the desert has proved one of the most popular early-season events for professionals and British agegroupers alike. The former are lured by the prize money, $40,000 each for the men’s and women’s winners, and the latter by sun. It’s been revised for 2015 and the Maxi has been added for those wanting a real endurance test.


 

IRONMAN IRONMAN Hawaii

Next event 10th October 2015

Distances 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run

More info ironman.com

In  1977, looking to settle a local argument between who was the  toughest – swimmers, cyclist or runners – Commander John Collins set about organising what would become the biggest event in  triathlon. A year later 15 men set off for the first Ironman won by an  American Gordon Haller. Fast-forward to 2015 and over 2,000 professional and recreational athletes will look to write their own chapters in the Ironman record books. To get to Kona you either need to gain qualification through performances at other global Ironman events, or hope your luck  is in and gain entry via a lottery.


 

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CHALLENGE ROTH Roth, Germany

Next event July 20th 2015

Distances 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run

More info challenge-roth.com

Record crowds and super-fast times make this an annual sell-out. Nearly 200,000 spectators line the route with the Solarberg climb resembling the Dutch Corner on Alpe d’Huez. Proceedings start with a canal swim – the millpond conditions make perfect for a PB. Despite the occasional ascent, the bike is fast  and you return to the canal for the run, this time the banks and its gravel paths.  OUTDOOR FITNESS MARCH 201534 Existing men’s and women’s world records were set here back in 2011 – Germany’s Andreas Raelert in 7:41:33 and Chrissie Wellington in 8:18:13.


 

triathlon-05NORSEMAN TRIATHLON Hardangerfjord, Norway

Next event 1st August 2015

Distances 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run

More info nxtri.com

Fancy plunging off a boat into Norwegian waters at five in the morning? Of course you do. I mean who wouldn’t be attracted by swimming through dark, icy waters against a backdrop of darkness all within the ominous shadows of dark mountains. Like Alcatraz, (see page 36) being shipped out on a ferry for the commencement of  this immense challenge only adds  to the tense aura. That feeling’s intensified come the run, which culminates with a 17.2km climb to its 1,850m mountain finish. That’s if it gets that far, in 2005 and 2007, cold and snow made it unsafe to complete the final 4.7km.


 

triathlon-09ALPE D’HUEZ TRIATHLON ALPE D’HUEZ, France

Next event 31st July 2015

Distances 2.2km swim, 115km bike, 22km run

More info alpetriathlon.com

The Alpe d’Huez will test you to your  limits with the bike leg one of the toughest of all ››  Mention to professional cyclists Alpe d’Huez and they’ll gaze into the abyss. Mention it to triathletes and they’ll collapse to the floor in fits of tears. The iconic Tour de France mountain is just one torturous filling in a debilitating sandwich that begins with a chilly swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lac du Verney and reaches the finish line via a 22km hilly run. As well as Alpe d’Huez, the bike also features the Alpe du Grand Serre (1,375m) and the Col d’Ornon (1,371m)…. just painful! Want a slightly easier trip? Then go for the short distance event: 1.2km  swim, 30km cycle, 7km run (1st August 2015).


running-11IRONMAN NICE Nice, France

Next event 28th June 2015

Distances 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run

More info ironman.com

Team Sky is reportedly setting up a performance base in Nice and you can see why: there’s the all year round fine weather but more importantly, there are hills and mountains galore. And you’ll negotiate plenty of them on the Ironman Nice bike leg, which comprises over 5,000 feet of climbing. That’s after a seductive swim in the azure waters of the Mediterranean. If your limbs and mind are still intact come T2, lap up some Nice-style with a fast and  flat run along the historic  Promenade des Anglais. Taxing, stylish and typically French.


 

 triathlon-07XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS  Maui, Hawaii

Next event 1st November 2015

Distances 1.5km swim, 30.4km mountain bike, 9.5km trail run

More info xterraplanet.com

Soon after the Ironman World Championships, Hawaii hosts the world’s most revered off-road  triathlon. Qualification for the Maui mash-up comes via one of Xterra’s global events with entry maxing out at 800.  A rough-water non-wetsuit swim in the Pacific sets you up for just 20 miles of biking. Of course, in Maui this means 3,300-feet of climbing on dirt-tracks and single-trail. A technical, hilly run decides who’s the greatest multisport off-roader. In the past, Britain’s Julie Dibens has proved just that.


triathlon-05NOOSA MULTISPORT FESTIVAL, Australia

Next event 26th October –  1st November 2015

Distances 1.5km swim,  40km bike, 10km run

More info noosa-events.com.au

Just when UK triathletes have t urned their clocks back an hour  and are checking the mudguards on their winter workhorses, over 8,500 antipodeans are heading to Noosa (Queensland) for the biggest multisport festival on the planet. The majority are age- groupers, although its elite Olympic distance category draws the  country’s finest – previous winners have included 2008 Olympic champion Emma Snowsill. For once you won’t have to convince the family to support you as a myriad of activities will enthrall them (and wear them out!) – events include the Superkidz Triathlon, the Ocean Swim and the Breakfast Run.


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LAGUNA PHUKET TRIATHLON Thailand

Next event 22nd November 2015

Distances 1.8km swim, 55km bike, 12km run

More info challengelagunaphuket.com

I doubt there are many of us who  haven’t wanted to sprint down the  finish chute accompanied by an elephant. Well, those ‘Nelly dreams’ become reality at this staple of the global triathlon calendar. Over the past 20 years, athletes from all around the globe have sought out tropical stimulation with past victors including six-time Ironman Hawaii champion Mark Allen. The organisers recently bought the race off Ironman and now run o ther events and an expo over  12 days (20th Nov – Dec 1st).


ESCAPE-FROM-ALCATRAZESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ TRIATHLON San Francisco, USA

Next event June 7th 2015

Distances 1.5mile swim, 18mile bike, 8mile run

More info escapefromalcatraztriathlon.com

This most beautiful of triathlons begins with the ferry, the San Francisco Belle taking its victims to the start adjacent to Alcatraz Island. With strong currents and 12° waters it’s a chilling off to a tiring day. However, a hilly bike will warm the blood and this will reach boiling point come the run. Sandy beach provides the draining platform as you do battle with the dreaded Sand Ladder – a 400-step ascent to the cliff. British legend Simon Lessing was at home here, winning three times between 1996 and 2004.

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