Blen­heim Palace Triathlon

En­joy a beau­ti­ful day out on this sur­pris­ingly tech­ni­cal course

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never mind be­ing the birth­place of Sir Win­ston Churchill, or the home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marl­bor­ough. To our minds, Blen­heim Palace in Ox­ford­shire is known for one thing: play­ing host to one of the UK’s busiest, most be­gin­ner-friendly and beau­ti­ful triathlon events.

The Leukaemia & Lym­phoma Re­search Blen­heim Palace Triathlon, to give its full name, takes place over two days and hosts around 6,000 triath­letes, mak­ing it one of the big­gest races in the coun­try. If you’re not into crowds though, don’t be put off – this place never feels too full, just bustling and buzzing as streams of triath­letes and their fam­i­lies make their way round the grounds. (Spec­ta­tors have to pay the grounds en­try fee but, given the set­ting, many seem happy to do so.)

The land­scaped grounds pro­vide a traf­fic-free and sur­pris­ingly tech­ni­cal route. After your lake swim there’s a steep and long run up to tran­si­tion, which is in the im­pos­si­bly grand set­ting of the Palace court­yard. The bike route, up to 19.8km, is twisty, rolling and bril­liant fun. The run (5.7km for the full sprint dis­tance) is also hil­lier than you’d ex­pect. The at­mos­phere is great though, and the elite races on Sun­day are part of the Bri­tish Triathlon Su­per Se­ries so well worth stick­ing around or get­ting up early enough to watch. En­ter be­fore 31 De­cem­ber and you’ll get an early bird dis­count. Visit the­blenheim­triathlon.com.

First at Blen­heim and def­i­nitely the best tri event I’ve done to date. Sun­day was a real glo­ri­ous oc­ca­sion with won­der­ful at­mos­phere.” “Won­der­ful event. Thank you. Best triathlon course, or­gan­i­sa­tion and event set­ting (this is my 23rd triathlon). Re­ally test­ing too. Roll on next year.

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