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Best triathlon races in Oceania

With triathlon booming and in particular long course racing there are more races to pick from which makes it harder to select without that FOMO feeling. The increased cost of racing increases the feeling of making it a worthwhile all round experience whether you are doing your first tri, trying to qualify for World Champs, using it as a holiday experience or bringing the family.

I have been fortunate enough to have raced at most courses and have pulled together 4 that should be at the top of your list!

Top rated - Cairns Ironman

Coming in at number 1 is Cairns Ironman. Take away the logistical complications of a split transition and Cairns is exceptional! They market this race as racing in paradise and it absolutely is. The ocean swim is warm, the bike course is honest with rolling hills, a likely headwind and insanely beautiful and then the run course is not only beautiful but lined with screaming spectators. Post race you can spend a few days soaking up the sun in Port Douglas celebrating the weekend that was.

Course: 9/10

Logistics: 4/10 (T1 and T2 being 25k away from each other makes it tough)

Spectators: 8/10

Overall experience: 9/10


2. Ironman NZ and Ironman 70.3 Taupo

Again, not the most logistically easy but the volunteers, spectators and the town itself will blow you away! It is one of the oldest Ironman races on the Oceanian circuit and people come from near and far making the atmosphere pretty awesome. The swim is like no other, it may not be the fastest, but I think it is one of the best. It is shallow the whole way and crystal clear AND it is a mass start, whilst this may be a little intimidating for some, it is something that you will want to experience once in your triathlon life! The bike course is not easy, the surface is bumpy and there are rolling hills, so it strings people out... (sorry to anyone that loves a good draft). The run has pinching hills in sections, which is very different to most other triathlon races! It heads out around Lake Taupo and is beautiful as the sun is setting on a long day out!

Course: 7/10

Logistics: 7/10

Spectators: 8/10

Overall experience: 8/10


3. Ironman Australia (not including Port Macquarie Ironman 70.3)

I am a little biased here, living in Syndey this is the local Ironman so that gives it a few bonus points. If you are however flying into Sydney from another state it can be a bit of a pain to get to as its a 5 hour drive (or a second flight) up to Port Mac. The swim is nothing exceptional. The Ironman bike course with the changes in the last two years I love! It is hilly in sections but there are also long stretches where you can dial into your TT position on the flats. Yes, the road surface is terrible - but its all part of the fun. When you get to the run course you get to run along the famous break wall and the overall course I rate very highly especially with the changes of not running down Settlement Point Road. The reason I have excluded the 70.3 from this is because the two lap bike course is really, really hard.

Course: 7/10

Logistics: 9/10 (if you live in Sydney)

Spectators: 6/10

Overall experience: 7/10


4. Husky Long Course weekend

The Big Husky weekend is again very NSW biased but I couldn't not include it due to the atmosphere and amount of events over the weekend. Is the course exceptional? - No, not really (and its generally overcrowded) but what puts this race on the list is the people! It doesn't matter if you are a beginner, a seasoned age grouper or pushing it in the pro fields there is literally an event for everyone and the on course support is out of this world. It is very tri-club friendly and you'll find a community of triathletes like no other. The destination itself is beautiful, think crystal clear water, streets lines with bustling cafes, a national park with undisturbed beauty and the whitest sand in the world. Lastly if you are looking for a family friendly event, this is the one for you

Course: 5/10

Logistics: 9/10 (if you live in Sydney)

Spectators: 9/10

Overall experience: 7/10


I am also a huge supporter of club races and without them it makes it hard to grow the triathlon community. So make sure you get out there and support your local triathlon club events

I hope this has helped! I will see you on the start line in Cairns in 2025 :)

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