It seems that Ironman distance triathlon is booming in the UK. 2010 saw the first running of the Outlaw Triathlon in Nottingham – very successful by all accounts, but 2011 sees the addition of two major new events as well as the return of an old stager. The choices are as follows:
Forestman (New Forest) 30th June ?(24th june 2012)
Ironman UK (Bolton) 1st August ?(July 22nd 2012)
The Outlaw (Nottingham) 24th July ?(1st July, 2012)
Enduroman (Lichfield) 6th/7th August (double & triple IM options) ?(10th June 2012)
The Big Woody (Forest of Dean) 27th August (25th August, 2012)
Ironman Wales (Tenby in Pembrokeshire) 11th September (16th September, 2012)
Challenge Henley (Henley-on-Thames) 18th Sepetmber??(16th September, 2012)
Challenge Henley is the first of the Challenge series triathlon (of which Challenge Roth is the most famous) to reach the UK, and being close to London is bound to be popular. Tenby, although a long way from population centres, looks to be a beautiful location for triathlon, so I think that will be a popular one too. The Big Woody and Forestman are smaller independent events though both are in fantastic locations (The Big Woody is returning to the calendar after a gap). (update ) And, thanks to Jason (see comments), I have added Enduroman to the list, which aside from being the cheapest IM distance race by far in the UK, also has double or triple ironman options! All of this will, I think, put a certain amount of pressure on Ironman UK in Bolton, it being the least scenic location of all the races. I also think that the Outlaw will need to pull their finger out and announce their date quickly as potential entrants will already be making their plans and entering races.
Which one are you signing up for?
Update: as a result of a Twitter question, I checked and there were at least 29 half-ironman distance races in the UK this year!
Update: there is also the Brutal Triathlon in North Wales on 22nd September 2012. Originally envisaged as a double Iron distance, it now has standard Iron distance and half Iron distance options on what appears to be a pretty tough course.