Ironman Wales © Getty

Iron-distance races: the 11 toughest

Make no mistake all 11 of these Ironman distance triathlons are tough and not for the faint-hearted, but which is the toughest long-distance race of all? We crunch some stats to find out...

09) Ironman Wales, Pembrokeshire: Tough Score: 73/100

"Once you finish Wales you know you can finish anything,” says reigning champ Lucy Gossage on this painful day in Pembrokeshire. 

"Everyone knows I love a tough Ironman. As someone who’s won both Lanzarote and Wales, I think it’s fair to say the tough courses suit me.

"Of all the races I’ve done, Wales is probably the hardest, but also my favourite. The choppy swim, the long, long run uphill to T1, the relentless hills on the bike and the marathon that’s, quite literally, entirely up or down, make for a physically tough day out. Add on the high probability of somewhat inclement weather and there isn’t much about it that’s easy! On average, Wales is probably an hour (at least) slower than other Ironman races. But I’d argue that it’s more rewarding. And once you finish Ironman Wales? Then you know you can finish anything!"

Read some tips for racing Ironman Wales from Lucy Gossage and Scott Neyedli here


Continue reading our guide to the 11 toughest irons (4/11)


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You've missed Swissman,

Arguably harder than Norseman at the least.


There's probably a typo for the Lanza swim temp. 29C is far from reality! Maybe 19C at best.


Don't forget the new one on the other side of the pond, Project DM


Take a look at /

That's a new tough one.


Agree wietcth TuckandGo with Swissman. And what about Altriman, Stonemanx Xtri (ambleside).... etc

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