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Ironman-distance triathlons: the 7 best European Irons for beginners

Which Iron-distance triathlons are best for first timers? A long-distance triathlon is never easy but there are some that are more beginner-friendly than others. Here we pick our top seven European iron-distance triathlons suitable for newcomers to 226km racing…

6. CHALLENGE ROTH, Roth, Germany: beginner score 72/100

Challenge Roth is the jewel in the Challenge crown and is, quite simply, unlike any other triathlon experience thanks to the raucous crowd of 250,000 hollering support from the 6am gun until the 11pm firework display.

It’s also a race course with plenty of beginner friendliness, with a one lap swim in the calm Main-Donau Kanal, a rolling (but far from flat) bike through northern Bavaria and a flat riverside marathon run. Like Ironman Austria, it’s a race where historic iron-distance world record times are often made, for example Jan Frodeno's world-beating time in 2016. And all of this flanked with triathlon’s most legendary atmosphere.

Challenge Roth race tips

The big issues for beginners are the 15hr cut-off time and how hot Roth can get in July, with 2014 just one date to experience a heatwave. There’s also just how darn hard it is to get a spot in the race, with the 6,000 spots usually selling out faster than the radlers on the race’s famous bier mile.

Continue reading our guide to the 10 most beginner-friendly irons in Europe (4/8)


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I'd like to correct a factual innacuracy in number 10. Ireland also has the Hard Man long distance Tri. It's held in Killarney and includes a swim in one of the famous lakes, the cycle is the wonderful Ring of Kerry and it's rounded out by a few laps of Killarney National Park, yet another stunner of a location. It's well priced and has been the national long distance championship in the past and will be again in 2018.
I don't get commission but having participated in the past, I have to say this is a massive oversight.

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