So I was planning my race schedule for next year and I was looking around what new challenge could I do. Of course this will always involve doing a PR and making myself better. But I was thinking, what if I could do any race? Regarless of time/money/schedule/etc? So I decided to make a bucket list of races.
I began to do some research online, talk to some peeps, look at forums, and even had Macca's opinion in the topic. So my initial list was around 15 to 16 races. I decided to cut it out to a nice number: 10. I don't even know if I would be able to do all of them in my lifetime, but you never know. Since I was working around a schedule for the year I have listed them in order of months in the calendar, and not by order of importance. Please be aware that the copy describing each race is not mine, and I have taken them from several sites around the web. I just took the time to look for pics and videos in Youtube :)
Ready, Set... GO!!!
Abu Dhabi International Triathlon / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Non standard distances:
Long Distance 3km Swim, 200km Bike, 20km Run / 1.86 mile Swim, 124 mile Bike, 12.4 mile Run
Short Distance 1.5km Swim, 100km Bike, 10km Run / 0.93 mile Swim, 62 mile Bike, 6.2 mile Run
Sprint Distance 750m Swim, 50km Bike, 5km Run / 0.46 mile Swim, 31 mile Bike, 3.1 mile Run
While getting to the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in the United Arab Emirates will require at least two long plane rides for most Americans, once you get off the plane and explore an enchanting land filled with mystique, as well as experience the satisfaction of completing one of the sport’s toughest races, you’ll know it was worth the journey.
Wildflower / Lake San Antonio, California
Distance: 70.3 / Olympic
A half Ironman, an Olympic-length triathlon and a mountain bike triathlon, all held on beautiful hilly terrain in Southern California. Athletes camp out or hire RVs.
Wildflower weekend is revered on the West Coast for its friendly vibes (live tunes, good eats), fertile grounds (open campsites along Lake San Antonio), and gorgeous California milieu. And then there's the Long Course Triathlon: A grueling 70.3-miler with a bike course so steep that its victims affectionately call it “Heart Rate Hill.”
One of the biggest triathlons in the country, and with the majority of participants camping out in a festival-like atmosphere, Wildflower is the Woodstock of triathlon.
This 70.3-mile race is a tremendous challenge, full of steep hills on the bike (more than 5,000 feet of climbing in just 56 miles) and varied terrains on the run. More than 3,000 triathletes compete and up to 30,000 spectators cheer them on. With the Central California scenery as your backdrop, this is a race you will fall in love with as you suffer through it.
Escape From Alcatraz / San Francisco, California
Non-standard distance: Swim 1.5 mile, Bike 18 mile, Run 8 mile
The legend of Escape from Alcatraz includes tales of athletes who’ve out-swum sharks and braved freezing waters and notorious currents. And while the legend of Alcatraz is part fiction—the water’s too brackish for large sharks—it’s a must-do race if you ever get the chance, especially since it sells out quickly and requires qualification or an invitation via lottery.
No inmate has ever escaped from Alcatraz, the notorious prison perched in the San Francisco Bay. Has anyone ever looked at the choppy, icy water between Alcatraz Island and the mainland and said, “Man, I can’t wait to swim in that?” No, the answer is no. Well, in this triathlon, you do just that (just don’t forget your wetsuit). You start by jumping off a ferry boat into the frigid San Francisco Bay. There are 2,000 people on the boat, and less than seven minutes, everybody is in the water. The bike is hilly and technical, but every part of it takes in another part of beautiful San Francisco. The run is the longest eight miles you'll experience, with big hills, soft sand running, and the infamous "sand ladder," but the finish is a glorious one-mile descent onto Marina Green.
Challenge Roth / Roth, Germany
Challenge Roth is without doubt the “heart of the triathlon” and attracts not only the biggest names in the sport but also 5,000 athletes from 60 nations and 180,000 spectators making it the largest long- distance triathlon event in the world.
Roth is renowned for its thousands of enthusiastic spectators lining the course with hotspots such as the Beer Mile and the famous Solar Hill where athletes can hear the crowd before they see them. Up to 30,000 people line this famous hill – you can’t see the road for the people but as each cyclist approaches, the crowds separate like the parting of the Red Sea and the athletes are carried up the hill on the noise alone!
Challenge Roth is a place where triathlon history is made with so many sporting records that have been repeatedly rewritten on this fast course. Andreas Raelert (GER) won his debut in Roth with the fastest time the world has ever seen of 7:41:33 & Chrissie Wellington at 8:18:13.
Norseman Xtreme Triathlon / Norway
Arguably the toughest in the world, with a swim across a choppy fjord and the bike and running sections held in the mountains.
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!
There’s no doubt about it, the Norseman is a difficult race. In fact, it’s so difficult only 200 participants are allowed to compete each year and it’s billed as the most difficult Ironman-distance triathlon in the world.
Chicago Triathlon / Chicago, Illinois
Distance: Olympic / Sprint
This is the biggest triathlon in the USA, with 5,303 finishers in 2012. Beginning in the city’s Monroe Street Harbor, zigzagging along Lake Shore Drive, and culminating with a spectator-filled run down Columbus Drive, the triathlon is an action-packed tour through one of America’s signature metropolises.
For the sheer size, you can't beat this big-city race. The Chicago Triathlon attracts 9,000 athletes every year, and more than 15,000 spectators will be there to cheer you on. The swim is in Lake Michigan adjacent to downtown, the bike is partially on the famous Lake Shore Drive and the run finishes in Grant Park. Truly an unforgettable experience.
New York City Triathlon / New York City, New York
Like its fellow marathon friend in the Big Apple, the New York City Triathlon's demand massively outweighs its supply. So a lottery is the most common way to get an entry. Once you're in, prepare for a 1,500-meter swim in the Hudson River, a 40K bike ride on Manhattan's west side and a 10K run in Central Park. Get ready to fall in love with New York all over again.
The swim in the Hudson is said to be the fastest Olympic swim distance in the world because the tide carries you.
Savage Man / Deep Creak Lake State Park, Maryland
Distance: 70.3 / Olympic
Thought to be one of the toughest triathlons in the world. While finishing the SavageMan Triathlon is a noteworthy achievement, the real winners are those who can overcome the famed Westernport Wall. This steep climb through the town of Westernport, Maryland, culminates with one block section of road that's permanently closed to vehicle traffic due to its 31% grade and has Tour de France-like spectator support—think cheering fans in all sorts of getups. All SavageMan participants who successfully ride the Wall without dismounting or falling over get a brick engraved with their name installed into the surface of the road. A brick beats any race-day T-shirt, but the bragging rights for finishing this triathlon tops everything. "Only about 40% make it up," says race director Kyle Yost. "Even six-time Hawaii Ironman champion Dave Scott fell over."
This is were legend Dave Scott fell LOL
Ironman World Championship / Kona, Hawaii (DONE)
The daddy of them all of course. Ironman Hawaii, the original Ironman, is the most famous triathlon on the planet, this is the ultimate race for most triathletes. The October race is the most celebrated triathlon in the world—and the most exclusive. The race lets in 1,800 professional and age-group qualifiers as well as 100 legacy and 100 lottery athletes. Qualification is determined by being a top age-group finisher at one of a handful of Ironman 70.3 and Ironman events worldwide just adds to the reverence and appeal.
The Ironman World Championship is a true test of all-around ability and fortitude. "Finishing [Ironman Kona] gives you something to hang your hat on for the rest of your life," says Kevin Mackinnon, managing editor of Ironman.com. "The winds are insane, the heat is unbearable, and when you put that together with competing against the fittest athletes on the planet, it just doesn't get any tougher."
Put it all together and you end up with the ultimate triathlon.
Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest / Laguna Phuket, Thailand
Distance: 70.3 / Olympic
The Challenge Laguna Phuket course features a 1.9km swim off a stunning white sand beach with both sea water and freshwater sections in two different bodies of water with a 100m sprint in between. The 90km bike combines steep hilly sections with typical lush Thai scenery while the predominantly flat 21km run leads athletes through some of the island’s most luxurious resorts before finishing at Laguna Grove. Past fields have included Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists.
The Laguna Phuket Triathlon is dubbed “The Race of Legends” due to its consistent ability to attract the world’s best professional triathletes. The list of participating World Cup, US Pro, Ironman, European, and various National champions defies accurate count. Pros who have participated at Laguna Phuket have won more than 50 World Championships from every discipline in the sport: Ironman, Olympic, 70.3, Duathlon and Xterra.
I noticed that most of the races are really challenging ones, but then again... triathlon (at least for me) is about the challenge... to do a race that challenges your body and your mind to the limit! My perception of life is to live life to the fullest, and that applies to triathlon really well.
Probably the race that I will look forward the most is Challenge Roth in Germany. It just seems really "pretty". The one that I will probably will be most afraid of is Norseman, for the simple fact that it seems really cold... and I HATE THE COLD. I just cannot function in cold weather. I was born and raised in a tropical climate, and live in Miami for a reason. So although the challenge of itself calls my attention, I will probably live that one to the bottom of my list! LOL.
The Ironman World Championship is on the list and I am really happy to have a scratch off on that one, one of the most difficult to get in (and the hardest thing I have do so far!). Probably the other one difficult to get in would be Norseman since it's via lottery or invitation and only 200 spots or so. Alcatraz and NYC are via lottery too, but compared to the odds of Kona or Norseman, they are easier to get in.
Do you concur with my list, or do you have any other race in your bucket list? Comment below or message me in Facebook or Twitter!