Blenheim Palace Triathlon – race tips
The famous Blenheim Palace makes a historic backdrop

Sprint & super-sprint triathlons: 14 of the UK's best for beginners

Made the decision to do your first triathlon and want to know which one is the best for the tri newbie? Here, are what we think are, the UK's top 14 short offerings perfect for those dipping their toe into triathlon waters for the first time

Completing your first-ever triathlon will be one of the most life-affirming and unforgettable multisport memories you’ll ever create.

How to train for your first triathlon

What are the different triathlon distances?

15 training tips for the beginner triathlete

Free 8 week supersprint triathlon training plan

Free 6 month short-course triathlon training plan for sprint and standard distances


But how to pick the race for you can be one of the biggest challenges, with the course, location and multitude of distances all key factors to consider.

Here we’ve picked 14 of the best beginner triathlons in the UK. We’ve gone for open-water swims for all of them, and have chosen of mix of grassroots events, mammoth spectacles and scenic beauties from across the land to give a wide and varied mix.

And remember that they’re not just for beginners, with many offering fast racing for PB smashing and a host of longer distances.

Wetsuits are often banned for temperatures over 22C or 24C, so we’ve decided 19C is the optimum water temperature; pretty warm but not at risk of being a non-wetsuit swim, which will often be disadvantageous to weaker swimmers. Lake swims are our preferred water body of choice, while an ever-so-gently rolling bike course is seen as ideal (and one on closed-roads is best) instead of pancake flat, where you will have to pedal continually.

Time then to pick our 13 best beginner races from the UK. Let us know if you agree in the comments below!


Chester, Cheshire


The start line!! #devadivas #triathlon #swim #chester #riverdee

A post shared by @femalefitfix on Jul 17, 2016 at 9:55am PDT

This Chester-set, women-only sprint-distance race (along with Windsor, one of only two full sprint-distance races that have made the list) has long reaped the plaudits, winning the British Triathlon ‘Event of the Year’ gong on two occasions.

Much of the success is down to the care and welcoming ethos of the Chester Tri Club organisers, with beginner’s seminars and training days held before the race. The race starts with a point-to-point swim in the River Dee before a well-marshalled 25km bike and flat riverside run.


Continue reading our guide to the 14 most beginner-friendly short triathlons in the UK (2/14)


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