What’s the shortest triathlon?

If you want to give triathlon a go, but worried about your fitness, the super-sprint or 'starter' triathlon is the shortest recognised distance, but there are other options as well says Matt Baird.

What's the shortest triathlon?

The shortest form of triathlon at an event is generally the super-sprint distance triathlon or what can be called the ‘Starter Triathlon’. 


Held at a wide number of beginner-friendly races, a super-sprint triathlon involves the following:

Swim: 400m

Bike: 10km

Run: 2.5km

You can also find Try-a-Tri/Starter Tri races, often with an open-water swim at the start of the race. At the Castle Triathlon Series events, for example, the Starter Tri consists of:

Swim: 200m

Bike: 15km

Run: 2km

There are, however, triathlons that can be shorter than the above distances, including the nationwide GoTri events created by British Triathlon. These will invariably start with a pool swim and an example format is:

Swim: 100m (four lengths of the pool)

Bike: 5km

Run: 1km

If you want to increase your race distance from the above formats, the next challenge would be the sprint-distance triathlon. These involve the below distances and often include an open-water swim at the beginning of the race instead of a pool swim.

Swim: 750m

Bike: 20km

Run: 5km


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