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The UK’s Best Triathlons To Enter In 2021

(Image credit: Uknown)

Royal Windsor Triathlon (13th June)

This year will see the 30th edition of this triathlon, which takes place in the shadow of Windsor Castle in Berkshire. There are Sprint (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run) and Olympic (1,500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) distance courses for both individual and team competitors.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | Sprint £89.95, Olympic £99.95

Participants in this point-to-point event start with a 1.2-mile (1.9km) swim in Dorney Lake in Windsor, then embark on a 67-mile (108km) bike ride through the Surrey Hills down to Hassocks in East Sussex, rounding off the day with a 13.2-mile (21.2km) trail run through the South Downs to Brighton. The adventurous route means you can expect a fair bit more ascent than in most triathlons, with over 1,000m of climbing in the saddle and just shy of 400m in the run, but that work will be rewarded with both epic views and long downhill stretches as you return to sea level. Once there you can choose to stay in Brighton and toast your achievements all night long, or enjoy a shorter celebration before jumping on a bus back to the start in Windsor.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £180, £195 with return bus

AJ Bell London Triathlon (7th-8th August)

It doesn’t get any bigger than this, literally – this is the world’s largest triathlon. More than 11,000 participants are cheered on by 30,000 spectators as they make their way around the central London course. There are Super Sprint (400m swim, 21.2km cycle, 5km run), Sprint, Olympic (1,500m swim, 42.4km cycle, 10km run) and Olympic Plus (1,500m swim, 80km cycle, 10km run) races, and a Weekend Warrior pass if one of those alone won’t suffice. The swim is held in the Royal Victoria Dock and the run section also takes place in Docklands, while the longer cycle legs take you along the Thames to Westminster.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £62.99-£205.50

The 255 in the name of this event refers to its USP, which is that it’s 255km long, making it the longest single-day triathlon in the world. This is achieved by adding a little on to the Ironman distance for each discipline, so you’ll be swimming 5km, cycling 200km and running 50km. The entire event takes place at Goodwood Motor Circuit, which means it’s traffic-free, but you will be doing a whole lot of laps – 52 on the bike and 10 on the run. The event also has a relay option, if you reckon 255km is a wee bit too far to complete solo.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £360

This triathlon set in the Cairngorms National Park was held for the first time in 2017 and offers something completely different from every other event on this list. Competitors start at midnight with a 1.9km swim in Loch Morlich before cycling 90km around Speyside culminating in a savage switchback climb at the base of Cairn Gorm. Once participants complete that, the 22.5km run back down to the banks of Loch Morlich will feel like putting their feet up – possibly.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £159

This popular triathlon enjoys about as pleasant a setting as you could ask for – Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, a Unesco World Heritage site. There are Super Sprint (400m swim, 13.2km cycle, 2.9km run) and Sprint (750m swim, 19.8km cycle, 5.4km run) options available; owing to the event’s popularity, places are decided by a ballot, which you can enter now.

Enter ballot (opens in new tab) | £98.49-£123.49

A range of distances are available to competitors of all abilities and ages at this event held in the environs of Dorney Lake in Berkshire, which was known as Eton Dorney when it was used to host the rowing at the 2012 Olympics. For triathlon newcomers, there are Novice (400m swim, 10.6km cycle, 2.5km run) and Super Sprint options, while more experienced triathletes can opt for an Olympic distance event. All these races are given charming banana-based names like the Banana Fritter (SuperSprint) and the Jumbo Banana (Olympic), which only adds to the fun. The 2021 event is yet to be scheduled, but you can sign up to be notified when it is on the website.

Register interest (opens in new tab) | £TBC

Nick Harris-Fry
Nick Harris-Fry

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.