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All 13 UK-based iron distance races in 2020

Published 9 September 2019. Written by Chris Worfolk.

Yorkshireman finish line.

Looking to do a UK-based full distance triathlon in 2020? Below, you will find a complete list of all of them. Or, at least, what I believe is a complete list. If I have missed any, drop me a note and let me know.

Some previous races are no longer running. Cotswold 226 finished in 2017 and Forestman announced that 2019 would be their final year.

Full X

Time of year: June
Location: Lake District

Based in the Lake District, X kicks off at 4:30 in the morning with a swim in Lake Windamere, it then follows the Fred Whitton sportive course before finishing with a marathon up Scarfell Pike and back. That makes for a total of 3,7000 metres of climbing on the bike and 1,450 metres of climbing on the run.


Time of year: June
Location: Shropshire

A beginner-friendly race that claims the lake swim is weed-free. They claim to be the fastest full distance course in the country. The bike course is flat, although there are a few races on this list that are even flatter.


Time of year: June
Location: Wester Ross

AN X-Tri World Tour event, the Celtman is one of those stupidly hard ones. You will need to bring a support car to follow you around the course and a support runner who can run with you on the mountains.


Time of year: June
Location: Ripon

The Yorkshireman has a special place in my heart because it was my first Ironman. The organisation by Freebird Events is first class and the bike course, while not pan flat, has no real climbs of any kind in it. There is even a flat cap fun run for the kids.


Time of year: June
Location: Lake District

If you do not fancy the brutal Full X but still want to race in the Lake District, this is the race for you. Another beginner-friendly course with a flat bike section, calm swim and gentle run.

The Bastion

Time of year: July
Location: Kent

Part of the Castle Triathlon Series, Hever Castle is the only one of the series to offer a full-distance race. Expect a hilly bike course with 3,000 metres of climbing and a marathon that takes place mainly on trail.


Time of year: July
Location: Nottingham

Famous for being a beginner-friendly race, Outlaw has now been running for over a decade at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham. Expect a flat bike course and a vast amount of competitors joining you on the start line.

Ironman UK

Time of year: July
Location: Bolton

The first of two IRONMAN-branded events, Ironman UK offers a lake-swim, a bike course with several significant climbs on closed roads and a town-centre finish.


Time of year: August
Location: Devon

Starting in Devon but finishing in Dorset, Jurassicman Extreme Triathlon is a point-to-point race with 2,600 metres of climbing on the bike and over 1,000 metres of climbing on the coastal-path run.

Midnight Man

Time of year: August
Location: London

A night race sounds intimidating until you realise that racing at night may well be a whole lot more pleasant than racing in the heat of the midday sun. Thankfully, it takes place on closed roads.


Time of year: August
Location: Ripon

Two years ago, Yorkshire had no full distance races. Now, Ripon hosts two. Dalesman is brand new for 2020 and organised by TriHard Events: the same people behind Redcar Sprint and Helvellyn.

The Brutal

Time of year: September
Location: Snowdonia

Another super tough race organised by the same people that do Jurassicman. Not only can you choose between a half or a full, but you can also do a double or a triple. You will need a support crew for the latter two, but you can now do the full without one.

Ironman Wales

Time of year: September
Location: Tenby

The second IRONMAN-branded event of the year starts with a sea swim before moving onto a moderately hilly bike course (2,000 metres of climbing) and run. The support is excellent because, to be honest, there is not much else to do in Tenby. It is a closed-road event, too.