Combine a beautiful Asian holiday with a triathlon for a memorable getaway. Here are 5 triathlons in Asia to do before you die! By Melanie Schorr
There are so many triathlons in the world to choose from, but there’s something exotic about heading to Asia to compete in one of these intense tri races. Swim, bike and run for your life while being surrounded by some draw-dropping scenery. If you’re a triathlete and you want to add a few more checks to your list, these are 5 triathlons in Asia to do before you die.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon; Thailand
This multi-resort complex hosts plenty of events, including the Laguna Phuket Triathlon. It’s a race like no other, with festivities lasting for an entire week each year in late November. The triathlon has been running for over 25 years, and is pegged as a triathlon-lovers’ paradise thanks to the spectacular scenery in which participants complete the tri-race. Racers swim 1.8 kilometres in the Andaman Sea, cycle for 50 kilometres on steep sections of the Naithorn Hills and run for 12 kilometres around the beautiful resort complex. In the end, the winner takes home the US$20,000 prize, which is one of the highest prizes in Asia. Don’t think you’re up for the challenge? Try the 5K or 10K “Charity Fun Run” to raise funds for local Phuket children in need.
Ironman 70.3 Bintan; Indonesia
Ironman 70.3 Bintan is known to be one of Asia’s top triathlons to do before you die, especially considering the magnificent backdrops along the course. In fact, it has one of the best run courses in all of Asia, with athletes running a 21 kilometre, 2-lap loop around Bintan Resort’s Lagio Bay Lake. The triathlon also consists of a triangular 1.9km swim course off of the idyllic white sand beach and an intense 90 kilometre bike course that travels through the forests and rolling hills on the northwest part of Bintan Island. This is one of the best triathlons in Asia, and has actually won the best swim, bike and race course on the continent. The race takes place each year at the end of August, with over 1,000 athletes from all over the world participating.
Ironman Philippines; Subic Bay, Philippines
This is one of the hardest courses in Asia, with the bike leg consisting of a steep 2,000 metre climb through the area’s mountainous landscape. Ironman Philippines is not for the meek, as it’s an intense race that usually takes even the most experienced tri-athlete around 2-3 hours longer than usual to complete. Join over 1,500 others from all over the world to swim off of the pristine beach in front of the Subic Bay Boardwalk, cycle along the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway and run along the coast of the Subic Bay. This race is pegged as one of the toughest around, with the June heat playing a significant role in in the triathlon’s intensity.
TriFactor; Quzhou, China
The TriFactor triathlons are new to the scene, starting in Singapore in 2009. Now, 10 years later, the TriFactor races are held in 7 countries across Asia, including China. The triathlon is Quzhou’s biggest event of the year, though it’s small compared to other triathlons, having just over 400 participants each year. This makes your chances to win that much greater. But it also means that you can brag about racing in one of the least known triathlons in Asia. Participants swim in the Qu River, and cycle and run along it, as well as through the city’s ancient walled city. The September race starts at the historic Shuiting Gate, which also acts as the transition area between the three different races. If you want to swim, bike and run while admiring some amazing sites, than this is the triathlon for you.
Challenge Taiwan; Taiwan
Every year in April, the Taiwanese city of Taitung hosts the annual Challenge Taiwan; and it’s surely a challenge. The triathlon is held each year in April amongst the birds, butterflies and scenery that the city is known for. In fact, the bike part of the challenge is one of the most-scenic routes in Asia, leading racers through the soaring Carp Mountains and along the magnificent Pacific Ocean coastline. It’s truly a beautiful ride, as is the run through the Taitung Forest Park and the cultural heart of the city. The swimming portion of the race takes place in a man-made reservoir that boasts a backdrop of the Dulan Forest. A great thing about Challenge Taiwan is that there are 3 different triathlons, so people of various skill level can compete in this taxing race.