Middle-distance triathlons: 8 of the UK's best for beginners
Want to try a 70.3 but wondering which half-Ironman distance triathlon is best for first timers? Here we pick our top 8 UK middle-distance triathlons suitable for newcomers to 113km racing…
Ashton Keynes Water Park, Gloucestershire
Much of the appeal for newcomers of the Cotswold Classic will be the low-key, manageable logistics, which combine with the beginner-friendly course in the Ashton Keynes water park.
Like its Cotswold 113 sibling, the swim takes place in calm, clear and predictable waters and sighting is easy due to the large buoys and several landmarks. Onto the one-lap bike course and there are some gentle climbs in store as the course weaves through traditional Cotswold villages.
Athletes will experience a mix of tarmac and hard pack pathing for the half marathon run, which takes in lakeside paths and local village routes before finishing back close to the lakeside transition in the finishers area.
There’s also a refreshingly relaxed approach to the cut-offs, as race organiser Graeme Hardie explains. “Although we have an ‘official’ overall cut off of 8:30hrs, in reality we’re very flexible with it and as long as the competitor hasn’t gone to the pub on the way around for a 2hr carvery dinner, we’ll keep the finish line open for them within reason. We don’t have specific swim and bike cut off’s and the water safety crew will allow you as long your like in the water as long as you’re not a danger to yourself, and the bike course police and aid stations will start to wind down around 6hrs from the start of the race, but the competitor is welcome to continue.”
And to reduce any race-morning stress further (providing you don’t mind sleeping in a tent before a race), there’s also camping available in the field 100m from transition.