TRI247
Search
shop

Ultimate sightseeing – the must-do city centre triathlons

Swap the walking tours or the hop-on, hop-off bus rides for a triathlon tour with our round up of the best city centre triathlons. Turning some of the world’s favourite cities into a triathlon playground for one weekend only. These races give you the opportunity to see the sights from a whole new perspective, with an incredible race day atmosphere pretty much guaranteed.

Writer & Long Course Triathlete
Last updated -
SHOP
T100 Triathlon World Tour
Redefining triathlon

One of the many happy side effects of getting into triathlon, is the opportunity to go and test your limits in some pretty incredible locations. Swimming, cycling and running can sometimes be the best way to see some of the world’s most popular cities from a whole new perspective.

Choosing a city centre triathlon isn’t just about the sight-seeing. Plenty of the bigger races will take over the city almost entirely for one day only. Giving you the opportunity to ride on roads that would usually be jam-packed with traffic. And run with the crowds of people you’d usually be weaving through, instead lining the sides of the streets to cheer you all the way to finish line glory.

We take a look at some of the best city centre triathlons in the race calendar around the world, from Olympic and middle distance up to the full Iron distance.

Want to feel like you’re a PRO racing on the World Triathlon circuit? Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons lend themselves to true city centre racing, with the shorter distances making it far easier to keep the race courses compact and close to town.

World Triathlon Hamburg

Date
13-14 Jul 2024
Location
Hamburg
,
Germany
Distance(S)

Sprint, Olympic/Standard

World Triathlon Hamburg is always a stand out event in the elite racing calendar, with both the PRO individual races and the Mixed Relay World Championship taking place over the course of the weekend. But the addition of sprint and Olympic/standard distance open events means age-groupers can also be part of the action and experience the incredible atmosphere at “The World’s Biggest Tri”.

With over 20 years of history, each year around 10,000 participants and 250,000 spectators flock to Hamburg as race weekend unfolds. The course itself is set in the heart of the city, making this a great way to take in some of the sights and see some of the world’s best short course elites in action.

Triathlon racing in Hamburg always brings the crowds out to support.

Chicago Triathlon

Date
Location
,
Distance(S)

Super Sprint, Sprint, Triple Challenge

One of the Triathlon Majors events in the USA, Chicago Triathlon gives you the opportunity to swim, bike and run in the heart of downtown Chicago.

The sprint triathlon is the main event of the weekend, starting in Monroe Harbor before exploring Lake Shore Drive on the bike and running through the city’s museum campus to finish in Grant Park. But there’s also a super sprint race on offer, ideal for beginners.

You can also apply to take on the ‘Triple Challenge’ – competing in the super sprint event on the Saturday. And then completing the main sprint triathlon event twice on the Sunday, starting in the international wave first thing in the morning and then doing it all over again in the final wave later on in the day.

Advertisement

Challenge Barcelona

Date
27 Oct 2024
Location
Barcelona
,
Spain
Distance(S)

Sprint, Olympic

Challenge Barcelona takes place in the heart of this iconic Spanish city, with the swim taking place off Mar Bella beach, followed by a fast, flat bike and run taking you past many of the iconic city sights and architecture.

For age-groupers, there is only the short course racing on offer – with a sprint, Olympic and relay options available. That doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on the chance for a bit of PRO spotting, with an elite-only middle distance race also taking place over the course of the weekend. A trip to Challenge Barcelona is the ultimate way to combine racing with one of the must-do city getaways.

Challenge Barcelona 2023 - Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia

Atlantic City Triathlon

Date
27-28 Jul 2024
Location
London Docklands
,
Great Britain
Distance(S)

Sprint, Olympic

Atlantic City Triathlon is the official training race for the USA Triathlon Olympic and Sprint Distance National Championships. A bay swim is backed up by a fast, flat bike course which gives competitors the opportunity to cycle along the Atlantic City Expressway. Heading out of T2, athletes are back in town with the run course going along the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk.

Stepping up a distance doesn’t mean you have to step the race day atmosphere down a notch. From the modern metropolis of Singapore, to the heritage of Quebec – check out our pick of the top middle distance races turning some of the world’s most iconic cities into a triathlon playground for one weekend only.

London T100

Date
27-28 Jul 2024
Location
London Docklands
,
Great Britain
Distance(S)

100km, Olympic, sprint, super sprint, relay

London T100 is taking the legacy of the legendary London Triathlon, more recently Challenge London, into its next chapter with the exciting 100km distance. For years, this triathlon in the heart of England’s capital city has been the biggest triathlon in the UK.

You’ll start with a swim in the Royal Victoria Dock, before cycling and running by some of the city’s most famous landmarks – such as Big Ben. With a festival of short course racing taking place alongside the middle distance race, expect an amazing race day atmosphere. Plus you’ll have the opportunity to watch some of the world’s best PROs take on the same course. The likes of Olympic legend Alistair Brownlee and reigning IRONMAN World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay are both set to be in town for the elite race. For fans and participants alike, London T100 is set to be a race like no other.

Lucy Charles-Barclay at T100 Triathlon World Tour launch 2024
Lucy Charles-Barclay at T100 Triathlon World Tour launch

Challenge Cap Québec

Date
21 Jul 2024
Location
Québec
,
Canada
Distance(S)

Middle distance, Olympic, sprint

Quebec is one of North America’s oldest cities, packed full of heritage, culture and historic charm – earning itself UNESCO World Heritage status. And what better way to explore than a bit of good old fashioned swim-bike-run? Challenge Cap-Quebec is set in the heart of the city’s old town. The swim takes place in Bassin Louise, with the surrounding yachts and impressive city skyline creating an inspiring backdrop.

The bike does take you outside of the city, but you’ll have the opportunity to fly through the miles on the Dufferin-Montgomery freeway which will be closed to traffic for the very first time. Heading out of T2, the run course is where you’ll really get to appreciate the 400 years of history this city has to offer.

Advertisement

Singapore T100

Date
13-14 Apr 2024
Location
Marina Bay
,
Singapore
Distance(S)

100km triathlon, standard and long distance duathlons

Singapore is a modern metropolis, alive with impressive modern architecture, futuristic thinking and surprising amounts of green space. And for one weekend only, when T100 arrives in town, triathletes can experience this bustling, fast-paced city in a completely different way.

Swim in the, usually off-limits, waters of the iconic Marina Bay. Cycle on closed, including across the famous Benjamin Sheares bridge. And finish with an incredibly scenic run that takes you along Marina Bay and into the botanical gardens. T100’s triathlon take over really is a unique opportunity to explore Singapore in a way you’d never be able to outside of race day. And with the PRO race taking place separately to the age group event, you’ll also get to see some of the world’s best in action.

Related: Why race the T100?

T100 Singapore Age Group bike course
Singapore T100 gives age group triathletes the chance to swim, bike and run in the heart of of this usually bustling metropolis.

Once you step up to the full Iron distance, finding a race that takes place solely within a city inevitably becomes more or less impossible. But there are some amazing long course races out there that give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas before returning to the heart of a city for a buzzing atmosphere on the run course.

IRONMAN Copenhagen

Date
18 Aug 2024
Location
Copenhagen
,
Denmark
Distance(S)

Long distance

Fast, fun and a favourite with first-timers and veterans alike. IRONMAN Copenhagen takes you on a tour of the surrounding Danish countryside before you make your way past the top city sights on the run course. A calm salt water swim at the Amagerstrand beach park is followed by a rolling bike course along the coast and out in the North Zealand countryside. But it’s the run course where this race really comes into its own. You’ll run out towards the famous Little Mermaid statue via vibrant Nyhavn and finish in front of the Christiansborg Palace, with a party atmosphere the whole way round.

Advertisement

IRONMAN Tallinn

Date
24 Aug 2024
Location
Tallinn
,
Estonia
Distance(S)

Middle & Long distance

When it comes to city breaks, Estonia’s capital of Tallinn is a bit of an undiscovered treasure. It’s a city that blends the old with the new, the city with the coast. From the winding cobbles and towering spires of the old town, to the modern luxury of the business district. And the lively bohemia of redeveloped industrial areas, now alive with arts and culture.

The race at IRONMAN Tallinn itself takes athletes on a tour of the surrounding forests and countryside during the swim and the bike. But the run course – one of “the fastest in the world” according to the organisers – is in the heart of the city centre.

IRONMAN Tallinn age grouper on the run couse
Tallinn is a compact city, where ‘everything is in running distance.’

IRONMAN Vitoria-Gasteiz

Date
14 Jul 2024
Location
Vitoria-Gasteiz
,
Spain
Distance(S)

Long distance

Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of Spain’s Basque region, and the vibrant city is awash with impressive medieval buildings, cathedrals and quintessential city squares.

IRONMAN Vitoria-Gasteiz starts with a lake swim in the Ulibarri-Gamboa and a rolling bike ride through Basque countryside and some of the most scenic little towns in the region, before athletes head into the city centre towards T2. The marathon course is 4 loops, with plenty of twists and turns as you wind your way around the heart of the city centre soaking up the atmosphere before finishing in front of the Plaza España.

Looking for more race inspiration? Check out our Let’s Race… section!

T100 Triathlon World Tour
More info
Jenny Lucas-Hill
Written by
Jenny Lucas-Hill
Jenny Lucas-Hill is a writer, content creator and communications professional. A long-distance triathlon enthusiast, she has three full Iron-distance finishes to date & also loves watching the sport.

THE SBRX Show

In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
Sumarpo vanguard vs Zone 3 Vanquish X triathlon wetsuits
ZONE3 Vanquish X wetsuit vs Sumarpo Vanguard wetsuit – how do these triathlon wetsuits match up?
Essential Beginner's Triathlon Gear & KIt
Triathlon gear for beginners: essential kit for getting started
open water swimming Sumarpo wetsuit
How to improve swimming endurance – PRO tips to help you swim further in open water
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Wetsuit buying guide – How to choose the best wetsuit for triathlon, open water swimming, SwimRun and cold water
Aviles Duathlon
What is a duathlon? Beginner’s guide to distances, training plans and kit
latest News
Men podium Wurf Heldoorn Horseau IRONMAN Lanzarote 2023 [Photo credit: James Mitchell / Club La Santa IRONMAN Lanzarote]
IRONMAN Austria 2024: Start time, preview and how to follow live
Lucy Charles-Barclay IRONMAN World Championship Kona 2023 Tape
IRONMAN France 2024: Start time, preview and how to follow live as Lucy Charles-Barclay chase Nice validation
T100 San Francisco 2024 Men sprint finish - Marten Van Riel, Kyle Smith, Rico Bogen
Kyle Smith says Olympic Games triathlon dream still alive but focus now turns to Taupo glory bid
Joe Skipper IRONMAN Arizona 2022 [Photo credit Patrick McDermott Getty Images for IRONMAN]
IRONMAN Cairns 2024: Start time, preview and how to watch on livestream or TV
India Lee (GBR) crosses the finish line in first in Miami.
British triathlon star India Lee reveals she almost QUIT the sport before receiving lifeline contract
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
GET RACE READY - SHOP WITH SBRX
Share to...