Ironman-distance triathlons: the 10 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 nine European iron-distance triathlons suitable for newcomers to 226km racing…
1. THE OUTLAW, National Watersports Centre, Nottinghamshire: beginner score 83/100
And the winner is... (drumroll please) The Outlaw in Nottinghamshire. This regular 220 Triathlon Award-winner offers arguably the friendliest atmosphere of all UK Irons, yet often in unfriendly British summertime weather.
“I chose The Outlaw because I’d heard it’s known for being considerably flatter than Ironman UK,” says Jason Stott, who finished in 302nd place in 2015 (11:47:19). “Registration is a breeze the day before, and you can get set-up quickly with no hassle.
“The Outlaw swim is a proper Iron start and can be a mass underwater wrestle! If you’ve positioned yourself correctly according to your predicted time, though, you should be fine; it soon thins out.
“It’s one large lap, which is in the rowing lake right to the end and back. If it’s a sunny early morning, sighting can be quite difficult as the sun is low, but follow the few hundred people in front of you unless you’re flying off the front!
“The bike course is a flat-ish 180km. It’s more rolling tarmac than anything else and a good average speed can be met quite easily. The course is three laps (one and three are the same), making it easy to mentally divide up. The feed stations are long that makes it easier to grab nutrition en route, and the support is excellent even though the weather has been very wet (2015) or very hot (2014) in recent times.
“The run is a flat and well-supported route, which starts off with a lap of the lake and then continues along the River Trent. This is done twice before a final loop of the lake to finish off.”