If you’ve spent the season hunting PBs, sidelined with injury or building up to a first tri, sometimes the UK tri season just feels too short. Hitting peak form and fitness for that open-water window from late May to September can be a big ask for every level of athlete, especially for Ironman athletes targeting a single date or two on the 2017 calendar.
Happily, if you bonked at Bolton, tanked at Tenby or have just bought your first tri-suit, there are still a wide number of tri experiences to take part in before the 2018 season begins.
The races selected here range from £30 pool-swim events to tri holidays, with some classic duathlons and Kona qualification in the mix. Some take place very soon but – if you’re already in shape – spontaneous races can be the most rewarding experience. Others, meanwhile, provide the ultimate triathlon excursion, allowing you to explore a far-flung destination via the means of swim, bike and run. And all under a bright sun. And if you head to our website, we have top tips for tackling the races here. So, what are you waiting for?
Location: Brackley, Northants
Date: 1 October 2017
Why race? The Brackley Tri has loads of race distances for children and beginners to triathlon, with the 200m pool swim, 15km bike and 3km Adult Novice race the pick for multisport newcomers. What’s more, the event is used to raise money for Meningitis Now. www.onyourmarksevents.org
1. Recce the course (right of way at junctions, hazards, road surface/pot holes, uphills and downs) to help with confidence, knowing what to expect and to aid your pacing
2. Get used to swimming with 3 -5 other swimmers in your lane. Perhaps attend a busier session at the pool to experience this. The lanes are wide enough but choppy water and splashing may be unsettling if you are not ready for it.
3. The bike course is rolling, so pace the hills and control your effort so you can push on over the top and pick up speed quickly the other side. On the return to Brackley, the Steane Straight presents long downhill average speed-boosting section. Matt Cowing, 2016 winner
Location: Clun, Shropshire
Date: 12 October 2017
Following on from its inaugural 2016 event, Storm the Fort will be hosted on 12 October in the Shropshire Hills near Clun, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near the England/Wales border.
The duathlon is the longest and most brutal of the Storm duathlons, and boasts an opening 20km multi-terrain run before a rolling 91.5km bike and a concluding hilly 11km run. stormthefortduathlon.com
Location: Sardinia, Italy
Date: 29 October 2017
As European race-cations go, Challenge Sardinia is hard to beat. The 113km event takes place in the half-term holidays at the luxury, inclusive Forte Village Resort in the Mediterranean, with average highs in the low 20s.
It’s also one of the very last European middle-distances of the season (Ocean Lava Azores being the other on 5 November), so offers a final chance to complete your first middle or post a PB and head into 2018 with a racing bang. There are also Try-a-tri and sprint races, as well as countless junior challenges starting at six year olds and up, and a scootathlon.
The race kicks-off with a 1.9km swim in the waters of the award-winning Forte Village Resort before the 90km bike takes in the coastal roads, rugged forests and turquoise seas of the Italian island. The run leg hugs the coast before finishing in the middle of Forte Village, where a famous post-race barbecue is awaiting. Which, frankly, is enough for us. www.challenge-family.com