4 Unique Triathlons to Challenge Yourself

Looking for a triathlon with a unique and challenging format? These races include SUP, trail running tandems and night time racing

Triathlon is booming as a sport with a huge variety of races, distances and locations on the calendar each season. But what if you are bored of the traditional format and fancy something more challenging?

These four races put a unique twist on the swim, bike run concept…

The Starman Night Triathlon

New for 2017, The Starman is night-time middle-distance set in the Caingorms, Scotland. The race begins at midnight with a 1.2 mile swim in Loch Morlich, followed by a 56 mile cycle on dark, silent Speyside roads before a wild mountain half marathon.

Aimed at experienced triathletes looking for a new challenge, The Starman is said to be one of the UK’s toughest triathlons. Participants must have experience of open-water swimming, navigation, off-road running and hill climbing of at least 2500ft. The Starman takes place on 19th/20th August and costs £125 for individual entries of £145 as a relay team.

Looking for a triathlon with a unique and challenging format? These races include SUP, trail running tandems and night time racing

Tandem Triathlon

The Tandem Triathlon is possibly the only challenge of it’s type in the world and is fantastic for all abilities. Competing as a team of two, one team member will complete a 1km pool swim and then both team members cycle 30km on a road tandem bike. After that, the second team member completes a challenging 10km woodland run. A 5km tandem sprint finish completes the team’s race.

Inclusivity and community spirit is at the heart of this event with fancy dress encouraged. The Tandem Triathlon is suitable for both able-bodied and visually impaired athletes as the tandem can assist participation.

Entry is £60 for the team and the event takes place on 1st July in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire.

The Isoman Triathlon

In most triathlon events, the bike is the longest portion with less time spent on the swim and run. Iron distance pros for example will spend only 10% of the total time swimming, 54% of the time cycling and 36% of the time running. The Isoman is a new format which addresses the imbalance and creates a event in which you are tested to the limit in all three disciplines.

The Isoman consists of a 7 mile swim (11.2km), 61.3 mile bike (98.6km) and 26.2 mile run (42.2km). There is also a half and quarter distance on offer. Each distance can be undertaken as a team- for the first time in triathlon, all legs of the relay will have an equal bearing on the result!

The Isoman takes place on 1st July in Redditch. Prices start at £150 for the full-distance and increase closer to the date of the event.

Looking for a triathlon with a unique and challenging format? These races include SUP, trail running tandems and night time racing


#supbikerun have replaced the swim with SUP (Stand Up Paddle boarding) and both the bike and run are set on off-road trails and tracks. Perfect if you’d like to experience a multi-sport event but you are not a confident swimmer.

There’s two locations to choose from- Llandegfedd, Wales on 20th/21st May and Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire on 2nd/3rd September. Both have two distances on offer and SUP board hire is available. Both venues come complete with on-site camping, catering, SUP demos from the leading brands and a chillout zone.

Prices start at £39 for the Warrior Distance and increase closer to the date of the event.

Have you heard of any other triathlons with a different format? Do you fancy trying any of these?


  1. May 12, 2017 / 11:48 am

    I’ve just found out that Human Race offer Scootathlons at some of their events, which replace the Swim with scooting!

    • May 14, 2017 / 10:18 pm

      Yeah I’ve seen that at Eton Dorney- so cool! Is it just for kids, or adults as well?

  2. May 6, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Wow! All these sound really cool! Might be a bit too tough for me right now. I am a fan of triathlon, but I am not a great swimmer. I did the London Tri twice. One with a team and one on my own. I am looking to get back into shape post babies shape. Haha So I have sign up for the Colour Rush Run. It sound like fun. I really like the sound of #SUPBIKERUN – I think this is the one for me. When I’m better at these things – I think I’ll might do the THE STARMAN NIGHT TRIATHLON. Thanks for the suggestions. Will you be doing any of these yourself? #Outdoorbloggers

    • May 8, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      Not this year, I’ve already got a pretty packed race calendar! I really fancy trying #SUPBIKERUN too. Thanks for reading 🙂

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