16 of the most beautiful multisport races in the world

Love a race with a view? So do we. And because of that, here's a list of some of the most beautiful multisport races in the world...

Triathletes competing at Ironman 70.3 St George

As more countries open up following two years of disrupted travel, it’s time to revisit that racing bucket list and start planning your dream event calendar. But where to start?

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Well, at 220, we don’t half love a race with a view, so here, in no particular order, are our top 16 racing beauties…

XTERRA Tahiti

Credit: Lionel CUVEILLER “LionAiles – Drone/video/Photo”
  • Location: Moorea, Tahiti
  • Distance: 1.5km swim | 34km bike | 10km run

Ahh Tahiti. These islands in the South Pacific have to be as close to paradise as you can get. Crystal-clear waters. World-class beaches. Towering green peaks smothered in dense jungle.

During Xterra Tahiti, competitors get to immerse themselves in this incredible landscape, starting with a leap into the warm waters of Opunohu Bay and a swim to shore. When you reach Terra Firma, it’s straight into battle. Pristine jungle lies ahead, waiting for you to explore by bike and by foot.

See also: Xterra Greece, Xterra Dominican Republic

Alpe d’Huez Triathlon

Credit: Martimiller/Youniti Agency
  • Location: Huez, France
  • Distance: Various distances

The legendary Alpe d’Huez Triathlon attracts thousands of triathletes to this part of France every year thanks to its infamous 21 bends and a leg-trembling 3,200m of elevation gain (in the longest version).

But take your eyes away from that iconic pass and a scene of alpine bliss will leave you breathless… if that lung-busting climb hasn’t already, of course.

See also: Mont Blanc Triathlon, Madeleine Triathlon

Challenge Wanaka

Credit: Lennon Bright
  • Location: Wanaka, New Zealand
  • Distance: 1.9m swim | 90km bike | 21.1km run

Already known as ‘the world’s most scenic long-distance triathlon’, Challenge Wanaka has a special place in the heart of all who’ve raced it.

For those who haven’t, this’ll sit firmly in bucket-list territory. A swim in the crystal-clear waters (so clean you can even drink from it, apparently) of Lake Wanaka starts the race and is followed by a ride to Lake Hwea and back.

A trail run follows on mountain bike tracks on the Bike Glendhu course. All the while, the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps watch over you.

See also: Ironman 70.3 New Zealand, Ironman New Zealand

Helvellyn Triathlon

Credit: Csansomphoto
  • Location: Cumbria, England
  • Distance: 1,500m swim | 61.2km bike | 14.6km run

Helvellyn is arguably the most iconic mountain in the Lake District and this triathlon takes you right over the top of it.

The race starts in Ullswater before competitors set off from Glenridding to ride a loop around the Helvellyn Range. Along the way, you’ll take in Ambleside, Grasmere and Thirlmere as well as the fear-inducing Kirkstone Pass – the Lakes’ highest at an altitude of 1,489 feet.

But the run is where things really get gnarly, with the magnificent east face of Helvellyn looming large as you scramble up Swirral Edge to the summit.

See also: The Brutal Triathlon, Snowman Triathlon

Jurassicman Extreme Triathlon

Credit: Brutal Events
  • Location: Devon & Dorset, England
  • Distance: 3.8km swim | 180km bike | 42km run

Taking competitors from Budleigh Salterton to Swanage and later Lulworth Cove, this event covers some of the best coastal scenery the south of England has to offer. In fact, it pretty much takes in the entire Jurassic Coast.

The impressive vista culminates in views over the iconic Old Harry Rocks, but you’ll need to work for it. As well as the distance, you’ll have over 3,500m of elevation gain to contend with.

See also: Ironman Wales, Ironbourne Long Distance Triathlon

Sandman Triathlon

Credit: Sport Pictures Cymru
  • Location: Snowdonia, Wales
  • Distance: Various distances

We’re suckers for mountain views and coastal scenery, so when the two combine you know you’re onto a winner.

The Sandman Triathlon is based out of Anglesey’s Newborough Forest but starts and finishes on the beach, with an ocean swim, bike around Anglesey, and run through towering trees and over golden sands.

Look up and away from the road ahead of you and you’ll be treated to a horizon dominated by dark, imposing mountains.

See also: Snowman Triathlon, Slateman Triathlon

Ironman 70.3 Sardegna

Credit: Getty Images
  • Location: Sardinia, Italy
  • Distance: 1.9km swim | 87.4km bike | 21.1km run

Santa Margherita di Pula, on the southern tip of the Italian island of Sardinia, is perhaps best known by tourists for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and fancy resorts. So where better to stage a half-Ironman?

Throughout the whole middle-distance course you’ll never be far from the sea, with incredible coastal roads winding their way through dense forest.

When you do lose sight of the Mediterranean, instead you’ll be treated to idyllic views over quiet, rolling hills and the historic remnants of years gone by.

See also: Elbaman, Ironman 70.3 Alcudia-Mallorca

Ötillö Swimrun Engadin

Credit: Akunamatata
  • Location: Engadin, Switzerland
  • Distance: Various distances

‘This destination is like a fairy tale.’ Okay, so of course the organisers of Swimrun Engadin are going to go heavy on the hyperbole, but in this case, they’re not far wrong.

The valley of Engadin is best known for being home to St Moritz, but look beyond the world-famous, luxury ski resort and you’ll discover the real-deal Swiss Alps.

We’re talking brilliant swathes of green forest, towering walls of granite and mirror-like lakes and rivers. It’s the perfect antidote to the gruelling climbs and challenging terrain.

See also: Ötillö Swimrun Cannes, Ötillö Swimrun Uto

Patagonman

Credit: Wagner Araujo/XTRI
  • Location: Patagonia, Chile
  • Distance: 3.8km swim | 180km bike | 42.2km run

How could we put together a list of the most beautiful races in the world and not include something in Chile?

With beauty to match the brutality, it’s not surprising to hear tri legend Tim Don describe Patagonman as the “the hardest triathlon and one of the most special races I have ever done”. The race starts with a ferry jump at dawn before it unfolds beneath the foreboding, snow-dusted peaks of Patagonia.

Along the way you’ll also enjoy panoramic views of pristine forest and raging rivers.

See also: Ironman 70.3 Pucon, Challenge Puerto Varas

Lofoten Triathlon

Credit: Kai-Otto Melau
  • Location: Lofoten, Norway
  • Distance: Various distances

Type #Lofoten into Instagram and your screen will fill up  with stunning photos of rugged peaks bursting from the ocean and puncturing the skyline. This is Norway’s Lofoten archipelago, and it’s home not only to the Northern Lights and Midnight Sun, but also to one of the world’s most beautiful triathlons.

There are numerous distances to have a go at, from Olympic to full-distance, but all will take you into the chilly Norwegian Sea, and then onto coastal roads unlike anything you’ll have experienced before, and to some truly mindboggling viewpoints.

See also: Swedeman Xtreme Triathlon, Norseman

Ironman World Championship

Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Ironman
  • Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Distance: 3.86km swim | 180.2km bike | 42.2km run

A race that needs no introduction. This is the Holy Grail of long-distance racing, and while the prestige, culture and heritage of the event is a huge draw, the location also plays a very big part in its appeal.

Thanks to its volcanic landscape, Hawaii offers a chance to cycle through vast lava fields, giving it that distinct, other-worldly feel. Combined with lush green vegetation and pearl-blue waters, this land of contrasts will never fail to leave an impression.

See also: Ironman Lanzarote, Ocean Lava Fuerteventura

Hever Castle Triathlon

Credit: Paul Mitchell
  • Location: Kent, England
  • Distance: Various distances

Kent may be lacking in rugged mountains and pristine coastline, but it does boast fantastic windows into history. And they don’t come much more historic than the 13th-century Hever Castle, the childhood home of Henry VIII’s ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn.

The course allows you to compete in the shadow of this magnificent building and its surrounding grounds, which are meticulously maintained to deliver a visually stunning event.

See also: Castle Howard Triathlon, Blenheim Triathlon, Windsor Triathlon

Noosa Triathlon

Credit: Delly Carr/Getty Images
  • Location: Queensland, Australia
  • Distance: 1.5km swim | 40km bike | 10km run

If the combination of sun, sea and sand is your idea of heaven then Australia’s Noosa Triathlon is the race for you. This huge five-day event has gained iconic status since its inception back in 1983, when just 180 athletes took to the single-race startline.

Fast forward almost four decades and now tens of thousands flock to the east coast of Australia to spectate and compete. The race begins in the beautiful waters of Laguna Bay, flanked by the golden sands of Noosa Beach.

A 40km bike allows you to explore the area’s lush greenery before a fast-and-flat run along the water’s edge to a deafening soundtrack of cheering supporters.

See also: Sandman Triathlon, Triathlon Portocolom

Himalayan Xtri

Credit: Getty Images
  • Location: Pokhara, Nepal
  • Distance: 3.8km swim | 175km bike | 43km run

Any region that’s home to 14 of the world’s tallest peaks is always going to deliver knockout views, but this Himalayan Xtri event also comes with some pretty special off-road action.

The route starts with a pre-dawn swim in Phewa Lake, which is pefectly positioned so that when the sun peeks over the horizon it illuminates your next destination – jagged, snowy mountains to the north.

The bike route carves its way through the surrounding valleys and hills, rewarding you with views across to the Annapurna Range. It’s followed by a trail run through forests and high into the mountains.

Aside from the stupendous vistas, this race will also push you to the very edge of physical endurance, with a total elevation gain of 8,900m and a altitude high of 4,000m.

See also: Norseman, Swedeman

Breca Jersey

Credit: Breca Swimrun
  • Location: Jersey, England
  • Distance: Various distances

Breca holds swimrun events all over the UK and the world, but for blow-your-socks-off scenery within easy reach, look no further than Breca Jersey.

The full distance takes you two thirds of the way around the island, scrambling over rocky outcrops, running past holiday-makers on sandy beaches and leaping from rocky outcrops into the swell for swims across turquoise bays.

The climbs and surf can be brutal, but the beauty of the trails and scenery more than makes up for it.

See also: Breca Gower, Breca Coniston, Ötillö Swimrun Isles of Scilly

Ironman 70.3 St George

Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for Ironman
  • Location: Utah, USA
  • Distance: 1.93km swim | 90.1km bike | 21.1km run

Utah’s St George hit the global sporting headlines last year when it was announced that ‘Dixie’ (St George’s nickname) would become the proud host of the postponed 2021 Ironman World Champs on 7 May this year.

Its unique, arid and spectacular landscape is characterised by incredible red rock canyons and formations, which form the backdrop for all who compete.

Against a brilliant blue sky and green scrubland, it’s a real feast for the eyes.

See also: Ironman South Africa, Wildflower Triathlon

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Top image credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images