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...
The biggy. And by biggy we mean over 13,000 triathletes competing across super sprint, sprint, Olympic and Olympic Plus distances – plus a myriad of relay options – over two days at the ExCeL Centre in London’s East End. So big, in fact, that the race has now superseded the Chicago Triathlon as the world’s largest in terms of participation. And, with around a third of the annual influx of over 13,000 athletes being beginners to the sport, the IMG-organised London Triathlon has played host to thousands of debut triathlon races, becoming an important rite of passage for age-group athletes across the British Isles.
The swim begins with a deep-water start in front of the ExCeL Centre, before proceeding with an out-and-back route in the occasionally choppy yet current-free waters of the Royal Victoria Dock. Then (if you can remember where to find your bike in the cavernous indoor transition area) the flat bike route takes place on closed roads with the sub-2:30hr athletes using a course that takes in Big Ben, Westminster and Embankment before returning to the ExCel via Canary Wharf. Fast, flat and perfect for a personal best, the multi-lap run route heads through the venue to Royal Albert Dock and returns to the indoor finish line gantry.
With 13,500 athletes bringing their support crews, the route is lined with cheering spectators and intrigued locals. Celebrity spotting also adds another element of fun, with Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, racing driver Jenson Button and Virgin founder Richard Branson the recent pick of famous participants, alongside a host of reality television stars and retired pop performers.
The event also offers the chance for spectators to see age-group athletes race on the same course as some of the world’s top triathletes, like Daniela Ryf, Jodie Stimpson, Courtney Atkinson and Helen Jenkins, to name some recent winners.
Continue reading our guide to the world's best triathlon (4/31)