World's best triathlons: 31 to do before you die
So you want to go out in style? You want to say, yep, done that and, without doubt, got the T-Shirt? But with so many races to choose from, how will your tri racing CV look when it’s time to shuffle off this mortal coil? Well, look no further! Here's our list of the world's best triathlons...
Riding high after the city hosted the Olympics in 2008 and the ITU World Championships Grand Final in 2011, the Fengtai Sports Bureau of Beijing teamed up with major race organiser IMG in 2012 to launch the Beijing International Triathlon.
The end of season scheduling in September, rare qualifying slots for IMG’s Escape from Alcatraz and $100,000 in prize money to boot instantly ensured the race became a major draw for the pro and top age-group fraternities alike, with a clutch of medal-laden Olympians, Ironman pro athletes and a large number of local age-groupers on the start line since 2012.
The Brownlee brothers (Jonny was the winner in 2018 and Ali took the title in 2016), Javier Gomez, Chris McCormack and Sarah Groff are just a quintet to have tested their mettle on the Olympic-distance course, with Groff and New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty the inaugural Beijing International winners in 2012.
“It was the perfect day in the Fengtai district of Beijing for a triathlon. The air was clean, the water temperature comfortable and the course smooth with flat roads, good climbs and a picturesque scenery; it had everything,” said Docherty, who took bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics behind Jan Frodeno and Simon Whitfield.
The setting for the 1.5km swim is the reservoir-turned-bathing beach Qinglong Lake Park in the vast Fengtai District, 37km south-west of Tiananmen Square in the centre of China’s most beguiling city.
The challenging 40km bike race takes competitors through the traditional villages of Fengtai and up to Qian Ling Mountain, the highest peak in the area. The concluding 10km run returns to Qinglong Lake and features a variety of terrain, with stone paths, wooded trails and the 280 steps challenge, which is a nod to Alcatraz’s famous ‘Sand Ladder’.