Middle-distance triathlons: the 13 toughest?
Ironman 70.3, Half Iron, Middle-distance. Whatever you want to call it, 113km racing is on the rise. But which is the world’s toughest course? We crunch the stats to pick our 13 hardest from around the globe…
The Hever Castle leg of the Castle Triathlon Series is famous for hosting the world’s largest children’s triathlon and more beginner-friendly races than you can poke a track pump at. But what’s often overlooked is how deceptively tough the bike and run routes are of the longer races.
After a unique 1.9km swim that features a Japanese teahouse and two bodies of water (a lake and a river Eden tributary), the Gauntlet's 90km two-loop bike takes in the high weald of Kent and Ashdown forest. It’s relentlessly rolling and scenic (if you can muster the energy to sightsee), with the high/low point being the 7km-long climb on the High Road south of Hartfield.
The two-loop run, meanwhile, is set on leg-sapping trails and bridle paths to Chiddingstone and back, and is one that’ll keep you on guard throughout and can be very sticky if it’s rained before the race (like it did in 2015). There’s also a nasty little climb at the end of each loop before one of the UK’s best finishing chutes (and post-race food).