Sick of the bitterly cold weather in the UK? Need some training motivation? Then why not check out these cracking events in more temperate locales.
- MOOLOOLABA TRIATHLON
When: March, 2014
Where: Queensland, Australia
More Info: www.usmevents.com.au
Where better to go to grab some winter sun than the Sunshine State? Head to what is nearly the eastern-most point in Australia and there you’ll find Mooloolaba, home to an annual triathlon festival that will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2013. Three days of racing for all ages and abilities gradually building towards the festival’s competitive climax – the World Cup events for the elite athletes. It’s here that the world’s best Olympic-distance racers get one of their first chances to lay down a competitive marker for the year ahead. More than 7,000 participants took part in last year’s festival, setting a new record in the event’s history. Similar numbers expected in 2013 so it should be another landmark year.
- ABU DHABI TRIATHLON
Where: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
When: March, 2014
More Info: www.abudhabitriathlon.com
Glamour and triathlon aren’t two words that often belong together, but no one who’s raced the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon could ever doubt that the event’s harmony of tough racing action in such a stunning location certainly qualifies it as the world’s most glamorous multi-sport event. White, sandy beaches, clear water, a traffic-free highway, superb race support and a trip around the Yas Marina Formula One circuit all combine to make racing in Abu Dhabi a must for any triathlete wanting the pro-triathlete treatment. With an ever-growing roster of top athletes competing for the huge prize money on offer, it’s become a veritable who’s who of the triathlon world with a world-championship atmosphere all of its own.
When: 17 January, 2014
Where: Eilat, Israel
More info: www.israman.co.il
Israman has gained a reputation as one of the world’s toughest Ironman-distance races. Located at the southernmost point of Israel, its dry, desert climate keeps its air temperature above 25°C for most of the year. Even in January the mercury hovers around 20°C so the first thing anyone racing either of Israman’s full- or half-distance events has to contend with is the heat. But it’s not just the temperature you have to overcome. After a swim in the blue waters of the Red Sea, the bike course takes you up into the mountains. As if the heat and gradient weren’t enough, there are also the howling winds that tear across the course to contend with. Two-time Ironman World Champion Normann Stadler has described Israman as a cross between Kona and Lanzarote – now that’s tough.
- TRISTAR NEVIS
When: March 2014
Where: Nevis Island, Caribbean
More Info: www.star-events.cc
First appearing on the triathlon calendar in 2011, this event is comprised of TriStar’s unique 1km/100km/10km race format with the added bonus of the race taking place on Nevis island in the Caribbean. Don’t even think about packing your wetsuit for the coral white beach swim start in the warm ocean waters. The bike course is also a scorcher, but with a sea breeze throughout almost the entire route as riders circumnavigate the island’s 36 square miles three times. Looping around the volcanic peak at the centre of Nevis Island means three rides up a serious 4.64km climb – averaging 5.3 per cent and topping out at 10.2 per cent – before the sun-drenched 10km run around Charlestown, Nevis’ capital.
- CHALLENGE WANAKA
Where: New Zealand
When: 18 January, 2014
More Info: www.challenge-wanaka.com
This classic iron-distance race is one of the most beautiful on the planet with the 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run taking place with Mount Aspiring National Park – or Middle Earth – as its backdrop. The swim begins with the sun peering out over the surrounding mountains as 1,300 competitors dash into the clear waters of Lake Wanaka. During its two laps, the cycle route takes in 995m of climbing from lakeside roads lined five-deep with cheering spectators to the isolated, silent lanes of New Zealand’s South Island. With a 75 per cent off-road marathon, the run also lives up to the event’s name as it skirts Lake Wanaka and weaves along the gushing Clutha River to hammer home the race’s breathtaking beauty. Plus, blue skies and temperatures in the mid- to high-20s are pretty much guaranteed, making this an event not to be missed.
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