How to succeed at the Château de Chantilly Triathlon

Chief Correspondent

Have your best race at the Château de Chantilly Triathlon

Are you racing at the Château de Chantilly Triathlon on 26th-27th August Bank Holiday weekend? Make sure you have the best possible experience with our guide to the sixth race of the 2017 Castle Triathlon Series.

Set over the UK bank holiday weekend, the Château de Chantilly French-leg Triathlon provides the perfect setting for competitors to race in one of the most spectacular venues in the triathlon calendar. Just two and a half hours from Calais and 45 minutes from Paris, the weekend promises to provide British athletes with the opportunity to compete in another country, without the stress of extensive travel.

With a swim through the iconic Grand Canal, a cycle through the stunning Forêt de Chantilly, a run past the world famous ‘L’Hippodrome’ and transition in the Terrasse de Chantilly, the setting sets the Château de Chantilly Triathlon aside from other events.

The Basics:

Race Dates 26th & 27th August 2017
Future Dates 25th & 26th August 2018
Location Château de Chantilly, Chantilly, France
Race Distances Sprint Plus (800m/40km/8km)
Super Sprint (400m/20km/4km)
Starter Tri (200m/12km/2km)
13-15 years (300m/8km/4km)
11-12 years (200m/4km/2km)
8-10 years (100m/4km/1.3km)
Le Gauntlet (Half Iron) (1.9km/90km/21.1km)
Olympic/Standard (1500m/40km/10km).




The Château de Chantilly Triathlon is now in its eighth year, and in the top five triathlons in France. Last year’s event saw 3,200 participants race at the stunning venue over two days of competition. An iconic location in many rights, the Château is steeped in culture, housing the second largest collection of antique paintings after the Louvre at the Musée Condé and the birthplace of Chantilly cream. The Triathlon is run over a fast, flat course around the grounds of the Château and the surrounding area, giving competitors a stunning view of the French villages and countryside.

Château de Chantilly Triathlon

The Swim:

The swim section of the Chantilly Triathlon gives competitors an interesting perspective of the estate. The route starts from an assembly point in the Grand Canal, overlooked by the Château and its gardens. As the Grand Canal is surrounded by the estate, spectators can cheer on the competitors with a view of the whole route. Although there is poor visibility at times, the route is straightforward and easy to navigate. Care should be taken on the steps up to transition, which is held at the Terrasse des Connétables. The distance between the swim exit and transition runs through the gardens of the Château and is thus flat and well kept.

The Cycle:

The cycle route takes competitors out through the grounds of the Château, into the surrounding French villages. Over the Olympic distance, the cycle course is slightly longer than standard, being run over 44km, although it is largely flat. The lack of hills means that all races are slightly faster than other tracks, circling the Forêt de Chantilly. Experienced road cyclists can make the most of the flat, smooth, well-maintained route to shave time and complete the bike route at a high speed. However, for those new to triathlon, the course is straightforward and encouraging, meaning that competitors are not wiped out before their run.

The roads are not closed, but the traffic is light and does not cause problems for competitors. There is a short cobbled section, which proves a little difficult, but participants are warned about it in the race briefing, so it does not come as a surprise.

The Run:

Once competitors leave transition for the second time, they will run through the gardens of the Château, leading to the surrounding woodland. This entails flat, off-road trails along the boundary of the Forêt de Chantilly and through the estate’s wooded areas. As with the cycle route, there is not much undulation, meaning that the pace may be faster for more experienced athletes.

The route then takes runners along to the world-famous Chantilly Racecourse, where they follow the track for the Gauntlet race, allowing competitors to enjoy the stunning views of another venue for top-class sport.

The final stretch of the run brings participants back into the beautifully manicured grounds of the estate, which host stunning gardens overlooked by the Château. The finish brings runners right up to the steps of the Château, allowing for amazing photo opportunities in the iconic setting.

Château de Chantilly Triathlon

The Transition:

The transition area is situated in the stunning Terrasse de Connétables. The surface is carpeted gravel, and although it will be well maintained, it’s a good idea to bring a small towel or mat to change on. Rows are well signed and the rules of the transition area are strictly adhered to, so competitors are encouraged to follow the correct procedures in order to keep things running smoothly and avoid any time wasted.

Other Information:

The Château de Chantilly is a major tourist attraction. It is likely that there will be a number of visitors, many from different nationalities, who are not familiar with the sport of triathlon. It’s really important to be aware of tourists, but it is not likely that they will cause any disturbance to your race. Make the most of the stunning venue; there are a number of attractions for you to enjoy after your race, so remember to unwind over the bank holiday weekend!

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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