Short-course triathlons: the 11 toughest in the world?

Ironman racing may grab most of the ‘toughest triathlon’ headlines but short-course racing still throws up plenty of challenges to triathletes across the globe. Here are what we think are the toughest short-course triathlons (under 60km bike leg) in the world - do you agree?


Julia Creek, Australia

What it lacks in distances and duration, the Julia Creek Dirt ’n’ Dust makes up for in muddy water, inhospitable outback conditions and howling headwinds.

This bucketlist race was conceived in 1994, as all races should, after a discussion in a bar, and has been testing Aussie and international athletes for 25 years (including 220 hero Brad Beven, Loretta Harrop, Courtney Atkinson and Emma Jackson).

The swim is set in a creek (see image above) that’s filled with opaque muddy water, before athletes battle headwinds up to 30-40knots along the hot and barren highway. The run is mercifully flat, but temperatures in the town can get up to 40°C in April, which is even higher on the tarmac.

Continue reading our guide to the world's toughest short-course triathlons (3/11)


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