Challenger - Tri (Solo or Pair)

The Challenger Iron-Distance Tri category is for the everyday Triathlete or Adventurer who is prepared to up their game to a serious long-distance undertaking, but who prefers some social aspects to their event with an overnight camp and who is not confident on the 18 hour timeframe of the Expert event. The Challengers will have a well serviced overnight camp in a stunning location at Glencoe and will break the journey after they have done the swim and the bike, attempting the marathon stage on The Ben the following day (Sunday). This means that for the marathon, Challengers could actually be fit walkers and not run any of the stage, if they so wish. We will transfer your kit (and camping kit) onwards from start, to overnight, to finish. It is thus a fully supported route.

Entry age limits: 18-75yrs.

Location: South Queensferry
Time: Mass Start at 0600 latest
Map: To follow

Our Start line is set against the wooded beaches of South Queensferry, some 7 miles from Edinburgh City Centre and nestling in the shadow of the mighty Forth bridges. This is also where the bike transition is located and where you will drop your bags for onward transport by ourselves. Registration will be located in South Queensferry and will be accessible from midday on Friday 31st May. Here you will pick up your event pack including event number and timing chip as well as any final details we may issue. There will be no Registration available on event day – all participants must register on the Friday

Parking & Transport
There are good transport links and parking options for Edinburgh. At South Queensferry, we will be providing a dedicated Event Parking facility where you can park up to drop gear and bikes on the morning of event-day (or the day before if you choose). You will also be able to leave a vehicle here until the end of the event should you choose, but please note that the parking facility is unsecured. Full details can be found in our Transport & Accommodation pages here.

There are lots of good options within Edinburgh and there is local accommodation in South Queensferry and across the Forth Road Bridge in North Queensferry too. Some useful links are collected here.

The Swim
From South Queensferry the event starts with a Swim under the colossal structures of the Forth road and rail bridges in the Forth of Forth. This is a sea swim and you should expect choppy water. Whilst the course is subject to change dependent on weather conditions, we are planning a simple 1.2 mile circuit course here, giving two laps which allows for a contingency poor conditions/poor weather shortening option of one lap. Between laps would be approx 50m of shore running/walking. More details of the swimming environment will be given nearer the event

The Bike Course
The full Iron-Distance swim is then followed by a road bike stage which connects the Forth foreshore with Glencoe; which will be as close to 112 miles as we can get it. The course starts by taking you up and over the famous Forth Road Bridge into the Kingdom of Fife. Open roads lead you into rural Perthshire and past Glen Devon and Gleneagles. Mountains starts to rise around you and you will pass a series of stunning Lochs on the way. The course joins the A82 at Crianlarich and this famous road winds you up through Tyndrum onto evocative Rannoch Moor and the high point of the bike stage. Some say this is the best drive in Great Britain as you gaze out to the vastness of Buachaille Etive Mor ahead of you, before a fast and winding descent past the rugged mountain vista of the Three Sisters, Glen Coe and into Glencoe village. Your transition area at the Isles of Glencoe Hotel is situated on the shore of Loch Leven with mountains all around you.

The bike stage packs 112 miles of distance and approx 8,200ft of ascent (181kms and 2,500m). But don’t worry, this is where Day 1 ends for you. You won’t tackle “The Ben” until tomorrow.

Glencoe Transition/ Overnight Camp
Location : Isles of Glencoe Hotel
1st Challenger expected: 1300
Last Challenger expected: 1900
Course from South Queensferry to Isles of Glencoe closes: 2000
Map : To follow

Set deep in the heart of some of Scotland’s most famous landscapes, the Glencoe transition is your connection between the beautiful cycle stage and Day 2’s impending marathon foot stage that will take you to the summit of Ben Nevis and back down to Glen Nevis.

Right now though, this is the end point for Day 1 where you can rest, relax & refuel in readiness for the marathon stage the next day. We’ll provide some cakes, sweets and snacks on arrival, plus there will be further hot-food catering options available for purchase f from when you arrive into the evening. Medics will be on hand as well as a massage facility to ease out any aches and pains. We will have transported your bag and tent from the start for you and all you need to do is pick it up and set up your tent. Camping is available within our event field for you and your supporters, free of charge, where we’ll wheel in some hot showers & toilets.

There will be free parking for any friends and family wishing to stop by to give you some encouragement as well as a bar tent, in which we serve our very own Rat Race Blonde Ale! Our camp-site is a perfect place for you to put your feet up for the evening and enjoy a well-earned pint with your supporters. Camping is not mandatory however and for those who prefer duvets to groundsheets, we do have a superb B and B package deal at the Isles of Glencoe hotel, right next to the bike transition. You can also pre-book dinner here too. More info here.

Day 2:
Staggered starts from 0800-0900

Rested up and refreshed, it’s time to ditch the bike and don the trail shoes as the course gets decidedly hilly. The marathon stage is tough and the majority is off-road. It is very important that if you finished in the last 20% of the field on Day 1, that you start as early as possible on Day 2. I.e. 0800-0830hrs. This will give a greater chance of success on Sunday, to complete within the course cut-off times.

The Marathon
From Glencoe it’s time to hit the trail. The marathon foot stage encompasses 26.2 miles (42km) of dramatic Scottish hill and mountain terrain, most of which is off-road. The stage has 7,900 feet (2,400m) of ascent, not least on the back of the preceding bike and swim stages. The foot stage starts by crossing the distinctive Ballachulish Bridge and climbs a steep slope before descending to reach the West Highland Way and then undulating and bringing you to Glen Nevis. From here, it’s the ascent of “The Ben” to reach the summit before descending again to Glen Nevis. There will be intermediary cut-offs for slower participants and contingency routes developed for poor weather.

Location: Glen Nevis
1st Challenger Finisher Expected: 1300
Last Challenger Finisher Expected: 2200
Course closes: 2200

The Finish-line is located right in the heart of Glen Nevis, with mountains flanking you on all sides. You are approximately 2 miles from Fort William and 17 miles by road from Glencoe. We will have a number of facilities at the finish, including medics, food provision, toilets and your gear, which we will have brought to the finish-line for you. If you arrive late night or in the early hours, there will also be a heated marquee for you to crash out in if you are waiting for onward transport or simply need some sleep to recharge some significantly depleted batteries. Finally when it’s time to depart, we have made various transport arrangements to help you on your way. Full info here.

Timings are subject to change as we design exact routing detail, and due to prevailing weathers during the event.