The adrenaline rush you feel when you finish your first Ironman Triathlon is intense, but it certainly wades off after a while, and you start thinking what’s next? You start looking for a bigger and better challenge that lets you test your endurance like never before.

A little planning goes a long way here. Organize your training sessions and be equipped with the right triathlon gear and accessories along with specific wetsuits crafted to endure harsh climatic conditions.

Here are the toughest triathlons in no particular order. And, it requires a Greek God level of fitness to take on these challenges:


1.   Norseman, Norway

Location: Eidfjord, Norway

Date: August 1st, 2020

The Norseman held in 2003 was the very first ultra-ironman event that has continued to top the charts of the toughest Ironman. To get to the finish line, you’ll have to jump off the deck of a boat at 5 am in the freezing Norwegian waters and start a 3.8 km swim followed by 180 km of cycling and 42.2 km of running. The athletes have to carry their essentials to face any crisis as the race is not supported.  

2.   SavageMan

Location: Western Maryland, U.S

Date: September 18th to 20th, 2020

The SavageMan includes 70-mile (1.2-mile swim, 55.7-mile bike, and 13.1-mile run) and 30-mile (1500 mtr. swim, 22.9-mile bike and 6.2-mile run) triathlon distances. The event is held at Deep Creek Lake and rugged Allegheny Mountains of western Maryland that accounts for the most savage triathlon festival.


Location: Le Vallespir, France

Date: September 19th, 2020

The French Pyrénées around Amélie-Les-Bains, the mountain terrain demands intense energy to sustain the vertical climb of 182 km of cycling, 42 km of the run and 3.8 km swimming. The tranquil Mediterranean Sea around the course offers a stunning backdrop. Among all the ‘standard’ triathlon gear required for a triathlon, athletes must also carry race bags, bike lights, and of course, the best triathlon wetsuits.

4.   Israman, Israel

Location: Eilat, Israel

Date:  January 31, 2020

It starts with an early swim of 3.8 km in the Red sea followed by biking in the grueling mountainous plateau over the Eilat Mountain range for 180 km, which lashes out cold winds from all directions. It is followed by a downhill run of 42.2 km that leaves you gasping for breath. So, make sure you keep yourself well-hydrated throughout the run and wear comfy triathlon wetsuits to withstand tough conditions. 

5.   Altriman

Location: Les Angles (France)

Date: July 11, 2020

The Altriman triathlon in Les Angles is famous for the strenuous bumpy terrain. It is held at the Andorran and Spanish border, along the Pyrenees mountain range. It includes swimming for 3.8 km, cycling route of 196 km and running course of 41.9 km. The beautiful landscape of the Les Angles will definitely inject a dose of motivation to all those who love nature!

6.   Ironman Lanzarote, Spain

Location: Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

Date: May 23, 2020

Regarded as one of the longest-standing races in Europe, Lanzarote Ironman is held at a captivating backdrop of stark landscapes fused with tropical beachside. The event begins with a swim in the Atlantic Ocean, followed by a bike course of 2500m.

It has a challenging combination of extreme heat and cold that one needs to survive while swimming in the cold waters for 3.8 km, biking for 180.2 km and running for 42.2 km.

7.   The Brutal Extreme Triathlon, Wales

Location: Llanberis, North Wales

Date: September 12, 2020

The Brutal Extreme Triathlon has been awarded as the “The World’s Toughest Triathlon” in 2017 for its challenging landscapes and freezing waters at Lake Padarn. It offers 3000 m climb on the bike coupled with 1349 m on the run in the demanding Snowdonia National Park along with the open water swim at Llyn Padarn for 8 laps (one lap equals 0.95k), which certainly qualifies for being brutal.

8.   Aurlandsfjellet Xtreme

Location: Aurland, Norway

Date: August 15, 2020

AXTRI consists of 1.9 km swimming in the 12-16-degree Aurlandsfjord, 98 km cycling followed by the race with a half marathon. The total climb is 4300 altitude meters, including biking and running, which makes it truly extreme to endure.

9.   Ironman World Championship

Location: Great Lake Taupō, New Zealand

Date: November 28, 2020

It’s a dream for every triathlete to qualify for the Ironman Challenge. This year, it will be held for the first time in New Zealand where the race itself will feature a swim in one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, a bike and run course through New Zealand’s renowned hilly rural landscape. The average water and air temperature will be around 26 degrees Celsius. The triathlon event is sure to garner immense attention from the triathletes around the world.

10.   Austria Extreme Triathlon, Austria

Location: Graz, Austria

Date: June 27, 2020

The Austria eXtreme Triathlon comprises of 3.8 km of swimming, 186 km of cycling and 44 km of running over +5,800 meters of altitude. The swimming course is in the Mur, the main river of Styria with a water temperature of 10 to 16 degrees Celsius.

The running distance is of +3,950 meters, which is covered over 186.6 km and it is the most challenging course followed by the climb of +1900 meters during the 44 km run course. No wonder it requires extra energy to survive.

Make no mistake!

All the 10 triathlon events are tough and are certainly not meant for the faint-hearted. It requires intense training, endurance and willpower to combat such rough, hilly terrains with choppy winds and chilly waters.

A little planning goes a long way here. Organize your training sessions and be equipped with the right triathlon gear and accessories along with specific wetsuits crafted to endure harsh climatic conditions. Once you get the nitty-gritty sorted, it gets easier to channelize your energy and effort in the right direction.

All the best!

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