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Long-course - looking for something different

I completed IMUK in July, my first Iron-distance race. Absolutely loved it all and will almost certainly be back in future to crack it again and hopefully shave a good chunk off my debut time.

However...having dedicated a large proportion of the last year to preparing, I am a little fatigued - not really in a physical sense, more a burnout from life being about IM. I want to continue to challenge myself for what is left of 2014, and then the new season, so wanted to pick some brains about the best 'original' races out there, triathlon or otherwise. You know the sort - where the swim is through an underground cave or the run leads you through a rainforest or the bike feed stations are stocked with bottles of Tequila (OK, so maybe not so extreme, but 'not the usual' stuff).

Has anyone come across any races that are that little bit different, or quirky, or rough and ready, that would still be a challenge?



PS I am a total newbie to the forum, so please excuse any rookie errors in etiquette or accepted form.


  • risris Posts: 1,002

    hi daffo... sort of depends what you enjoy - there are lots of fun things to do in all the disciplines, but you might want to avoid swimming for 5 hours if you don't enjoy time in the water!

    i'm not sure what events are available (already full, or were earlier in the year) - but you could consider long distance swimming at brownsea island, dart 10k or the bridge to bridge (henley). they all have good reputations for being fun.

    if you are looking for a bigger challenge then the O-til-O in sweden is supposed to be fantastic.

    fell running, adventure racing, coastal trail marathons, ultra distance running, man vs horse, badminton horseless.

    cycling... time trialling, cyclocross (there is one with tequila somethere i think), ride lejog, the isle of wight ride, any number of weird and wonderful sportives and audaxes. 


  • DaffoDaffo Posts: 5

    Thanks ris, some great suggestions! What is the 0-til-0 in Sweden? Couldn't see anything on Google about it?


    I have looked at the Jurassic Coast marathon in Dorset (I think?) and like the idea of those races that are a bit less corporate, a bit more relaxed and maybe a little niche/cult following. 

  • risris Posts: 1,002

    o til o is an island hopping race - swimming between them and running over them. teams of two and a long long day. i'd love to do it one day. if you like running then consider man v horse - looks somewhere between fun and chaos. 

  • DaffoDaffo Posts: 5

    Awesome, love the sound of the o til o, that's right up my street. Will check out Man Vs Horse!

  • Sounds like a lot of ultra marathons might float your boat if you like the informal/uncorporate idea compared with IM.

    Look up the ultrarunning community on FB (or website) for lots of ideas and chats about trail running a longggggggggg way.


    what about thngs like the norseman? I've got a book at home called something like "Worlds Greatest Adventure Challenge Races" which has a lot of interesting ones.

    Hellvelyn Tri ?

    Sea to summit?


  • DaffoDaffo Posts: 5

    Norseman looks absolutely incredible - just watched the promo video from the 2013 event... 

    I think that sense of informality appeals, so Norseman definitely looks like it would fit the bill. Loving these suggestions, thanks guys!!


  • You could have a look at The Amphibian. Its a new event in Yorkshire this year. Its a 5km swim, broken up into 500m loops. At the end of each loop you climb out of the water, sprint for 100m and dive back in. The 5km race means you'd swim 500m x 10 and sprint 100m x 9. I've entered the 1km event as it sounded like a laugh at the end of my 1st season in multi-sport...

  • DaffoDaffo Posts: 5

    Ha, that seems like good fun, have they got a website?

  • Jamie220Jamie220 Posts: 168

    Hi Daffo, here's some of last year's 220 coverage of the OtillO:



    A similar race has launched in Norway too: 


    Finally, take a look at our round-up of the UK's most challenging triathlon swims:


    Let us know which one you pick and good luck!


  • Hi Daffo, yes they do:


    I think its the first time they've run it, so I have no idea what to expect!

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