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Exotic / Unique Triathlons Events Around the World

eutrispromo.jpgDid you know that Nepal which is located in the Himalayas hosted its very first triathlon event this year? The Himalayan Rush Triathlon in February had both Olympic and Sprint race options for athletes to conquer. When was the first time you ever came across a bamboo bike rack in transition or ever seen a machete as an award?

Some of these triathlons are unlike any you have ever participated in, condition wise or ever imagined existed.

The sport of triathlon continues to expand locally here in the United States and around the globe. It's been quite amazing to see the triathlon event announcements that come across our desk as well as the news stories or videos for some of the other races on other media outlets. The sport seems to have no boundaries, as is seen with some of the events that have been added to the race calendar of the past years. Triathlons big and small, independent and or part of a series are popping up in established cities or new ones across the world as well as in various unique venues.

We used the Interactive Triathlon Finder via TriMapper.com to come up with our list of 2012 Exotic / Unique Triathlon Events Around the World. Some of the events have been around for years, while a few others are fairly new. Each of the events offer something exotic or unique to go along with the triathlon challenge or experience. Some are easy to get to while others have their own challenges.

The list below is presented in alphabetical order.

Triathlon: Aegir Triathlon
Race Date: June 24, 2012
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Continent: Europe
Race Type(s): | Olympic |
Distance(s): S: 1.5km B: 40km R: 10km
Website: www.aegir.is

Various other islands in warmer climates host triathlon events, so this event (first triathlon event with open water swimming) in Iceland is something different. While the triathlon event might not have all the scenic views other races have, the beauty and activities you can experience like a visit to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa make up for that. This is local triathlon event, but wouldn't it be cool to have it on your triathlon resume.
Triathlon: Banff International Triathlon
Race Date: September 8, 2012
Location: Banff, AB, Canada
Continent: North America
Race Type(s): | Olympic | Sprint | Relay |
Distance(s): S: 1.5km B: 38km R: 10km / S: 500me B: 25km R: 5km / S: 300me B: 12km R: 5km
Website: triseries.ca/banff

The real estate saying is "location, location, location" and that's what this race has to offer in Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Organizers of the Subaru Western Triathlon Series select race venues that will showcase the stunning beauty of the area and this is one of them. After the race take in natures beauty while relaxing.
Triathlon: Challenge Wanaka
Race Date: January 21, 2012
Location: Wanaka, New Zealand
Continent: Australia
Race Type(s): | Full | Half | Relay |
Distance(s): S: 3.8km B: 180km R: 42.2km / S: 1.9km B: 90km R: 21.1km
Website: www.challenge-wanaka.com

The iron distance triathlon in the Southern Hemisphere on the South Island of New Zealand. The race venue is surrounded by mountains with pristine views and is touted as the world's most scenic iron distance triathlon. Challenge Wanaka's terrain and remoteness offers triathletes the perfect back drop for a memorable conquest.
Triathlon: Galapagos Triathlon
Race Date: October 12, 2012
Location: Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador
Continent: South America
Race Type(s): | Olympic | Relay |
Distance(s): S: 1.5km B: 40km R: 10km
Website: www.triatlongalapagos.com

Some 605 miles off the west coast of Ecuador in South America lies that Galápagos Islands, a unique area isolated from the mainland for millions of years. The Galapagos archipelago has been described as one of the most unique, scientifically important, and biologically outstanding areas on earth. This unique event aims to promote a healthy sustainable lifestyle while keeping in touch with the understanding of the wonderful nature of the Galapagos Islands.
Triathlon: Himalayan Rush Triathlon
Race Date: February 25, 2012
Location: Pokhara, Nepal
Continent: Asia
Race Type(s): | Olympic | Sprint |
Distance(s): S: 1.5km B: 40km R: 10km / S: 750me B: 20km R: 5km
Website: www.himalayanrush.com

This is nothing like driving to Iowa for an Olympic distance triathlon event. The inaugural event took place this year in the Himalaya's region. Organizers wanted to introduce a new sport to athletes in Nepal so that one day Nepal could also have Triathletes participating in International events. While not easy to get to, it's probably a once in a lifetime event to try and get to and compete in.

Triathlon: Inferno Triathlon
Race Date: August 18, 2012
Location: Thun - Mürren, Switzerland
Continent: Europe
Race Type(s): | Special / Long |
Distance(s): S: 3.1km B: 97km B: 30km MTB R: 25km
Website: www.inferno.ch

This race has been around for a while and is one of the many unique ones out there. Imagine being surrounded by the beauty of the Swiss Alps including Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau. The Inferno Triathlon offers an ascent of 5,500 meters and is one of the toughest in the world. You start in Thun with the swim then get on your road bike for 97km ride to Grindelwald and then finish the bike with a 30km ride on your Mountain Bike. To finish the race you have to run 25km up Schilthorn, a 2,970 meter high summit of the Bernese Alps, overlooking the valley of Lauterbrunnen.
Triathlon: Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka
Race Date: February 19, 2012
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Continent: Asia
Race Type(s): | Half | Relay |
Distance(s): S: 1.9km B: 90km R: 21.1km
Website: www.ironmansrilanka.com

Here is an event for you if you like it hot on race day. Sri Lanka, the jewel of South Asia in the Indian Ocean is one of the newest locations for a challenging 70.3 triathlon event. A tropical paradise rich in culture is the perfect place for a vacation afterwards to experience all that south Asia has to offer.
Triathlon: Ironman World Championship
Race Date: October 13, 2012
Location: Kona, HI, United States
Continent: North America
Race Type(s): | Ironman |
Distance(s): S: 2.4mi B: 112mi R: 26.2mi
Website: www.ironman.com

Exotic and Unique is what this race is, but we can't forget about Challenging as well. The turquoise blue waters in Kailua-Kona will amaze you as well as the local sea life. It's not every day you might see dolphins or turtles on race day. The raw challenge of traversing the lava fields the course features will make you wonder what you are doing and amaze you once you conquer the challenge. It's probably the one race that features many triathletes from around the world. This is not the race you decide to go to on your own out of the blue, this experince you work for.
Triathlon: Israman
Race Date: January 25, 2013
Location: Eilat, Israel
Continent: Europe
Race Type(s): | Full | Half |
Distance(s): S: 3.8km B: 180km R: 42.2km / S: 1.9km B: 90km R: 21.1km
Website: www.israman.co.il

Eilat is Israel's southernmost popular resort city located at the northern tip of the Red Sea. The city's beaches, nightlife and desert landscapes make it a popular destination for domestic and international tourism. You are surrounded by the Jordan and Egypt borders. Why not try to conquer a full or a half in arid desert climate with low humidity. It's not a flat bike course as athletes will have to conquer the surrounding sandstone and limestone mountains that peak at 2,927 feet.
Triathlon: Revolution3 Costa Rica
Race Date: March 18, 2012
Location: Guanacaste, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica
Continent: North America
Race Type(s): | Half | Olympic | Kids | Relay |
Distance(s): S: 1.2mi B: 56mi R: 13.1mi / S: .9mi B: 24.8mi R: 6.2mi / S: 400me B: 10km R: 2km
Website: www.rev3tri.com

If your winter is cold and you're training indoors, one way to escape cabin fever and kick off your pre-season is visit Costa Rica for this event. The folks at Rev3 meld third world surroundings, lush green forest with a modern race organization to give you an experience you won't forget. Some of the local didn't know what triathlon was until Rev3 came to town. After the race, you can relax by the beach or take in many of the adventure activities the area has to offer in shorts and a t-shirt.
Triathlon: Triathlon d'Agadir
Race Date: November 10, 2012
Location: Agadir, Morocco
Continent: Africa
Race Type(s): | Olympic | Relay |
Distance(s): S: 1.5km B: 40km R: 10km
Website: www.agadirtriathlon.com

This is not the first triathlon event in Morocco; this is the 2nd annual event for the resort city of Agadir on the northwestern coast of Africa near the foot of the Atlas Mountains. The city of Agadir itself is primarily a tourist resort that is popular with European travelers. It has a beach with all the appropriate facilities for beach-tourism. The city is especially attractive as it's clean and orderly with very friendly locals. A triathlon event in the middle of a different culture by the Saraha Dessert, how much more exotic can you get.
Triathlon: TriStar111 Monaco
Race Date: September 2, 2012
Location: Monaco, Monaco
Continent: Europe
Race Type(s): | Long | Relay |
Distance(s): S: 1km B: 100km R: 10km
Website: www.tristar111monaco.com

A unique triathlon distance in the French Riviera on the Mediterranean Sea. Guessing no other triathlon event takes place in the world's most expensive real estate market which is the second smallest independent state in the world. A triathlon event for the cyclist's with challenging 100km bike component surrounded by a 1km swim and a 10km run.
Triathlon: Triatlon Rapa Nui
Race Date: June 1, 2012
Location: Rapa Nui, Chile
Continent: South America
Race Type(s): | Half | Sprint |
Distance(s): S: 1.9km B: 90km R: 21km / S: 750me B: 20km R: 5km
Website: www.olimpo.cl

In the middle of nowhere is what you can say here. Easter Island or Rapa Nui is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and is considered one of the world's most isolated inhabited islands. The island is about 2,180 miles west of continental Chile. The triangular shaped island is about 15.3 mile long by 7.6 miles at its widest point and is best known for its famous monolithic human figures carved from rock called Moai. The unique backdrop is the perfect setting to conquer a half iron distance triathlon.
Triathlon: XTERRA Guam Championship
Race Date: March 10, 2012
Location: Piti, Guam
Continent: Australia
Race Type(s): | Xterra |
Distance(s): S: 1.5km B: 31km MTB R: 8.2km TR
Website: www.xterraguam.com

The XTERRA Guam Championship combines a 1.5km swim in the waters of Piti, followed by an 31m mountain bike up Nimitz Hill, into the technical terrain atop Mt. Alutom and then down to Mannengon Hills before returning to transition. The race finishes with a truly memorable 8.2km trail run that has athletes navigating through jungle rivers and down slippery waterfalls. XTERRA Guam was voted one of the "Top 5 Off-Road Triathlons in the World" in the March 2010 issue of Triathlete Magazine for its beauty and challenges. A truely unique experince and location for an off-road triathlon.

Yes, there are a lot of other races out there that fall into this category. This is our initial list. We'll publish another next year. The list of triathlon races has been compiled to show you that there are other challenges out there to conquer once you are done or tired of the same old thing.

What do you think? Ever done one of these? Any others we should include for next time? Let us know via our Facebook fan page or on Twitter @trijuice