World’s Top 10 Extreme Triathlons – Let me know what events I missed!
With all these training for the Deca Ironman in June for some sick reason you always think what’s next? Well here was a quick list that I had stored in an old saddle bag.
1. Double Brutal, Llanberis, Wales (@BrutalTriathlon)
On the 20/21st Sept (2014) competitors will set out on a 4.8 mile swim in the beautiful (cold though!) Lake Padarn, followed by a brutal 224mile cycle which will continue into the darkness. With aching legs and a sore ass – seriously just take a week off work and pedal all day everyday to toughen that backside up – you will set out on a ultra marathon of 52 miles up yet more hills, much like this:
Think you can handle that? Oh yeah I forgot to tell you the ‘hill’ route, is really climbing up and down Snowdon – the highest mountain in Wales……..You can see why they call it Brutal right?
You can check out the race details here: http://thebrutal.co.uk
2. Savageman Triathlon, Deep Creek Lake State Park, Maryland, USA (@savagemantri)
The SavageMan 70.0 Triathlon is the flagship event of the SavageMan Triathlon Festival and it has already established legendary status because of some gruelling features:
– The Westernport Wall is one of the unique experiences in any triathlon with a 31% grade lined with screaming, cowbell-ringing crazed spectators.
– As you struggle up the Wall (and as the video below shows, lots of falling off bikes by exhausted competitors) you can look down and see all the names of those athletes who successfully made it up the climb cleanly. That ‘Bill Smith’ is an ass, you don’t want him to beat you right?
-The crossing of the Eastern Continental Divide at Big Savage Mountain, a 7.1 mile, 1950′ elevation gain ascent with multiple, extended stretches approaching 20% is, without doubt, the most Savage climb in all of triathlon. So savage, in fact, that all athletes are timed in their ascent for the Big Savage Challenge.The record ascent of 31:30 has been set, makes you think how long it would take an average athlete – aka that is 40minutes of pain at least!
3. Newton 24 hours of Triathlon, Lake Mills, Wisconsin
So what’s a good opening Ironman, 12hours? 11:30? Well how about doing that non-stop for 24 hours? The Newton Triathlon is a continuous loop short course with a 0.24 mile swim, 11.2 mile bike and 2.6 mile run. Athlete’s compete to cover the most number of laps in 24 hours in either the swim – bike – run or bike – run format. The winning relay team/solo in each category is the one that covers the greatest number of legs/laps in the allotted time, and if there are relay teams/solos completing the same number of laps, then the fastest team/solo on their final lap is the winner. Apparently there is no night swimming……so just you and the road, don’t think that will make it easy though!
4. Silverman Triathlon, 70.3 IRONMAN in the Nevada desert (@NVSilvermanTri)
If you are going to do a half Ironman distance – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 12.1 mile run – this is the tough one (there is also a full mind you). During its six-year-run it has drew thousands of competitors and is recognized as one of the toughest courses in North America (including the toughest list by LIVESTRONG).
This recognition has lead to the 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship (which recently announced that it would rotate between locations around the globe) being held in it’s third and final year in that location. Henderson, Nevada will still host a yearly IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon, so here’s your chance to take part in one of the toughest courses on the pro circuit.
5. Norseman Xtreme Triathon, Eidfjord, Norway (@nxtri)
The Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is a point-to-point race held in Norway’s Hardangerfjord to the local town, Eidfjord, where racers then make a transition on to bikes, cycling 180km (with the first 40km giving an ascent of 1200m above sea level) to Austbygda. In the final ‘run’ leg is a climb up the Gaustatoppen mountain (1880m). Because of racer fatigue and the dangers of weather changes runners have their own personal support crew (this race is unsupported, so you are convincing some of your mates – no doubt paying for them as well, it what must be the most expensive country in the world – to provide you with all your food and drink, massages might be handy too) up the mountain plus they must carry a backpack with emergency food and clothing, To reach the Norseman mountain finish competitors must be within a certain time at the foot of the climb or otherwise you get the lower course route & a different finishers T-shirt (one that I suspect you burn out of disappointment!). Just so you can get an idea of the weight of expectation now on you readers – the male record finishing time is 10:23:43 and the women’s is 12:17:04, so a tad harder than your traditional Ironman!
6. Enduroman Arch to Arc Triathlon (London to Paris, nonstop, including swimming the English Channel) (@EnduromanEvents)
The Enduroman Arch to Arc Triathlon is the longest point-to-point organized triathlon I have ever seen – mind you on the day you are either the lone solo or a solo relay team. The triathlon starts with a jog through London and the English countryside, aka 87 mile run (140km) from London’s Marble Arch to Dover on the Kent coast. This is followed by a cross-channel swim (shortest distance 21 miles/33,8km) to the French coast, but you don’t have to follow English Channel swimming rules – no speedos and duck fat necessary, swimsuits allowed. Of course you could try to be like Mark Bayliss (@bigBayliss) and set the solo record with no wetsuit! After that you finally finish with a 180 mile (289,7km) bike from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe in Paric. The clock starts at Marble Arch, London and stops at Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Only 13 athletes have ever completed the challenge, the current record being held at 73 hours and 39 minutes. Rachael Cadman is the first female finisher and has a time at 97h37 on 23 August 2011 (fourth fastest overall).
7. Deca Ironman, Global locations
There are a lot of crazy ultra-events out there, but this one might take the cake, at least for the lack of mental stimulation! The Deca Ironman in Monterrey, Mexico is an annual race in which competitors complete 10 Ironman-distance triathlons in 10 days. The fastest cumulative time wins.
Here’s a description from the Competitor website:
Each day, all of the racers head over to the University of Nuevo Leon. Once athletes complete the 2.4 miles of swimming in the pool, they take to the bike and ride over to the local track about 1.2 miles away. The track is located in the Parque Ninos Heroes. Once at the park, athletes must complete 93 laps around the track to obtain the 180 km of riding. After the bike, athletes run the opposite direction around the same track. The 26.2 marathon is made up of 22 laps.
So basically pain and laps!
If that isn’t enough there was also this year the Triple Deca Ironman attempt by 50 athletes in Brescia, Italy. This event which was designed to see what was possible! no doubt the sport science were queuing up! It was running until the 8th October, I am currently hunting for results! Keep tabs on the website; www.decaironman.com
8. Red Bull Caveman Triathlon, Belgium
Ok before you get too excited (as I was) this race consists of only a 250 mountain bike, 350 run and a 250 kayak. It was pretty much an exhibition race in Belgium’s Grottes de Han with some of the country’s top runner & mountain bikers, as well as Olympic athletes.
However with races continuing to push the limits of crossing mountains, rivers, deserts my tip is to fully expect Red Bull to take this further and put a World Series on (like their Cliff Diving). I mean its a triathlon in a cave! And there is a huge catalogue of caves around the world which are the size of multiple football pitches………so Red Bull ummmmm *hint*……..
9. SwissMan Xtreme triathlon, Jungfrau, Switzerland (@suixtri)
So the second triathlon from the Xtreme series to make the list is the SwissMan (there is also a final third called the Celtman and is suitably Scottish) a race which brings you right from the palm trees in Ascona, southern Switzerland (I swear that is what the website says!) biking over 3 Alpine passes and then a run up to the foot of the Jungfrau Glacier. The dramatic changes in scenery must make this one of the most incredible adventures in an Iron distance triathlon.
10. Global Triathlon, The World!
Dan Martin (@DanMartinAdv) – Endurance cyclist, who has done both South Korea to Cape Town & London to Cape Town – set out on a project to do the Ultimate Triathlon – a global one. The project moved along pretty well – there was interviews on BBC News for example – but never quite came together. I wish him well for this project in the future.
Lets face it this would be a triathlon career signed off wouldn’t it? No-one has ever done it……challenge laid down readers!