Are these the 7 hardest triathlons in the world?
It's time to bring out the big guns – the big ultra daddies of all triathlons – but which have we named the toughest triathlon in the world?
Dorney Lake, Eton, UK
Ah, Dorney Lake, that bastion of beginner short-course triathlons. Not so for Deca UK, however, with the 2012 Olympic Games rowing venue turned into a hardcore endurance ghetto for 10 days in October 2017 for the inaugural Deca UK race from Brutal Events.
The race would feature an iron-distance triathlon every day for 10 days, with athletes swimming 3.8km each morning in the chilly October lake waters of Dorney (making this extra tough, as decas are often in 50m pools).
That's followed by 40 laps of 4.5km on the smooth and traffic-free tarmac, with the route being flat and safe but mentally taxing in its repetitive nature and solitude. The run again is another 4.5km loop allowing athletes to run on concrete or the grass verge, often under cover of darkness and in plummeting temperatures down to single figures.
What it lacks in overall elevation, it makes up for in mental torment, with the lack of views, little and poor sleep, and lap counting making this as much as a psychological challenge as a physical one. And that's before factoring the extreme nutritional challenge of fuelling an iron a day.
Ireland’s Gerard Predergast was the inaugural Deca UK winner, completing his epic challenge at 11:06pm on the Friday night with a cumulative time of 158 hours, nine minutes and four seconds.
The UK's toughest triathlon? Deca UK 2017 in pictures
Continue reading to find out who we crowned the toughest triathlons in the world (7/7)