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London Triathlon 2021: Dates, distances and rules for UK event

The London Triathlon 2021 takes centre stage in the UK capital this weekend, with action on Saturday and Sunday. Here's all you need to know.

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After a year’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the London Triathlon returns this weekend as the English capital hosts triathletes of all ages, all based at the ExCeL, Royal Albert Dock.

Several events will be hosted across the weekend including Super Sprint, Sprint, Olympic and Olympic Plus distances plus the Weekend Warrior challenge. In year’s past over 30,000 participants and spectators have attend one of the best events on the UK’s – and the World’s – triathlon calendar.

Their will be no professional race at this year’s event, and there will be numerous restrictions in place to maintain a COVID-19 safe environment. Previous pro event winners include the likes of Jodie Stimpson, Daniela Ryf, Stuart Hayes and Adam Bowden.

London Triathlon 2019

When is the 2021 London Triathlon?

The races take place on Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8 with start times staggered to ensure social distancing is maintained.

On Saturday, the Olympic Distance race begins with its first group at 09:00 BST with the final group beginning at 09:30 BST. Next up is the Men’s Sprint begins with its first group at 09:50 BST with the Women beginning at 10:50 BST. The Mixed Sprint relay begins at 10:40 BST.

Participants competing in the Mixed Sprint begins at 11:20 BST. The Super Sprint races begin at 12:40 BST (Men), 12:50 (Mixed) and 13:10 BST (Women).

Start times (first group) on Sunday begin with the Olympic (07:00 BST) before Olympic Plus (07:15 BST), Olympic Men (07:25 BST), Olympic Women (08:05 BST), Mixed Olympic (08:20 BST).

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London Triathlon course

The swim for each event takes place in the Royal Albert Dock – with compulsory wetsuits – before participants enter the ExCel Transition Area. For the races on Saturday, triathletes will complete their 10km bike laps alongside the dockside.

On Sunday the Olympic distance racers will start with a longer lap on the bike along the River Thames, into central London, before completing a shorter lap in the Docklands area. The Olympic Plus event consists of three long laps along the Thames.

The race closing run leg of each event will see a return to the ExCel Transition Area with 2.5km (Saturday) or 3.3km loops (Sunday) in operation depending on the race distance.

The Sunday course takes participants past some of the London’s biggest landmarks including Westminster, the O2, London Bridge and the London Eye.

London Triathlon 2019
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What distances are raced?

There are various events being held across the weekend with a Super Sprint (400m Swim/10km Bike /2.5km Run), Sprint (750m/20km/5km) and Olympic (1500m/40km/10km) races being held on Saturday, with a further Olympic and Olympic Plus (1500m/80km/10km) races taking place.

COVID rules at London Triathlon

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to influence the global calendar, several measures have been put in place at the London Triathlon to ensure the safety of its participants.

All participants, 12-24 hours prior to attending the event, must provide a negative lateral flow test to be able to compete, with the results logged on the UK government website. Participants will receive a text or an email confirming their results – this will be proof for the purposes of the competition.

Those who attend the event without the requisite proof of negative test will be requested to isolate in the events isolation tent and will be unable to compete. Spectators who attend must download the NHS Test and Trace app or inform staff of their details on arrival.

In starting the event, there will be no mass starts. Participants will be allocated a wave time before each individual is ‘pulsed out’ one by one to allow 2m social distancing between each starter.

How to enter for 2022

Entry to the 2022 event requires individuals to become a member of the LimeLight Sports Club. Joining the club allows members to receive a 35% discount on their 2022 London Triathlon entry. Entry is now live for those members.

Stuart Dick
Written by
Stuart Dick
Stuart is a graduate of the University of Sunderland with a masters' degree in Sports Journalism. He spends a lot of his time running and cycling around West Yorkshire, England.

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