The Gauntlet – Half iron distance

Having laid down The Gauntlet at Hever and Chantilly for 500 competitors to great acclaim in 2013, the middle-distance instant classic has been rolled out to to all castle venues with over 2000 expected to take part this year.

Read more:

  • About The Gauntlet
  • The courses
  • Gallery
  • The Gauntlet – Half iron distance

    About The Gauntlet

    The Gauntlet, our middle / half iron distance races is hosted at all Castle Triathlon Series venues with entries open to individuals and relays.

    For first timers at this distance it is both the obvious progression from Olympic-distance triathlon and an admirable start for your extreme triathlon dreams. The Gauntlet challenge will force triathletes to pit their wits against a 1.9km lake swim, a 90km bike and a 21km off-road run at each of the Castle Triathlon Series’ stunning venues and scenic surrounds.

    Following fantastic feedback from elites and age-groupers alike, the Gauntlet is expected to witness 2000 competitors do battle over the five stunning locations, making it the biggest middle-distance race series in the UK.

    In keeping with our castle theme, The Gauntlet celebrates the expression ‘running the gauntlet’ and will become a battle of accomplishment for every athlete competing over our proven courses.

    If the promise of a cycle up the Burren’s Corkscrew Hill in Ireland, a swim in the iconic Chateau Grand Canal or a half marathon though the historic grounds of Castle Howard whets your appetite, see below for a detailed course description of each of our five Gauntlet races.

    Castle Triathlon Series Long Distance Promo at Hever Castle

    The courses

    1.9km / 90km / 21km

    Lough Cutra Castle - Sunday 24th May 2020

    With a swim around an island on the largest privately owned lake in Europe, a stunning 96k single cycle lap through the outstanding area of natural beauty that is the Burren National Park (taking in the infamous corkscrew hill) and a 3 lap run around a 7K course entirely on the beautifully manicured Lough Cutra estate and surrounding forest trails, what’s more to want?

    Stick around for the after party for some renowned West Coast hospitality in the castle grounds.

    See the Lough Cutra Run elevation here

    Click here to go to the Lough Cutra Tri Page.

    Cholmondeley Castle - Sunday 21st June 2020

    The Gauntlet at Cholmondeley Castle takes on a 2 lap swim in the Deer Park Mere will swiftly see you heading off out of the estate on a 3 lap 30K undulating course around the length and breadth of the Peckforton Hills.  Some 20K in you will climb the Cheshire cycling mecca of Hart Hill before circumnavigating the National Trust’s Bickerton Hill en route back to the estate.

    The 10.5K looped run takes in all the best views of Cholmondeley Castle and the Bankhouse Stables where Red Rum once trained!  A canter down the castle lawn sets arguably one of the best finish photos of the Series.

    Click here to go to the Cholmondeley Castle Tri Page.

    Castle Howard - Sunday 26th July 2020

    A 2 lap swim of the Great Lake in view of Castle Howard itself sets up the grandest race of the Series.  A short run up the North Lawn, pitches competitors out onto the hilly 45K cycle which circumnavigates the 10,000 acre Howard estate, passing through the equally stunning Hovingham Estate  before touring most of the remainder of the Howardian Hills.

    Probably the best of the Gauntlet cycle routes, this is one for the two wheel kings.  A 2 lap 10.5K circuit awaits on the run taking in all the key landmarks and monuments including the Castle South Lake and Lawn, The Atlas Fountain, the Temple of the Four Winds and the Mausoleum.  Not for the feint hearted this is a true test of grit but in an absolutely magnificent setting.

    Click here to go to the Castle Howard Tri Page.

    Château de Chantilly - Sunday 30th August 2020

    At Château de Chantilly the course has a strong off road run element but is kinder than the Hever Castle course to competitors with a flatter cycle and run. The 1.9km swim in the Grand Canal offers the ultimate backdrop of the Chateau.

    Once out of the estate grounds the cycle course circumnavigates the Foret de Chantilly and Forêt Domaniale d’Ermenomillean with an equally stunning 45km loop. Culminating in a two 10.5km lap run course competitors will take in the vast estate park designed by Le Nôtre for the Grand Condé at the end of the seventeenth century and the contemporary gardens including castle Jardin de Anglais.

    See the elevation profile here

    Click here to go to the Château de Chantilly Tri Page.

    Hever Castle - Sunday 5th July and Sunday 27th September 2020

    At Hever, the 1.9km swim will involve a single loop taking in the main Hever Castle lake and a tributary of the river Eden (being dredged in Autumn 2012 & 2013). The 90km cycle will involve a 2 loop course which is an extension of the Olympic distance, previously offered at the Hever Castle Triathlon, taking in the high weald of Kent and the Ashdown forest.

    The 21km run course is 2 loops of 10.5km, will take in the existing 5km Hever Castle Triathlon course but with a 5km extension via tracks and bridle paths though the historic local village of Chiddingstone.

    The course includes a strong off road element which allows a highly inspirational setting often praised and welcomed by the elite triathletes taking part in the Olympic distance.

    Click here to go to the Hever Castle Tri Page.

    Race distances

    Race distances

    For the absolute beginners and children to the professional triathletes, the Castle Triathlon Series offers a wealth of race distances to suit all levels.

    Find out more


    Hosted at a selection of stunning and iconic castles across the UK, Ireland and France, the Castle Triathlon Series events all promise an inspirational and memorable race experience.

    Find out more

    Take part

    We pride ourselves on offering a bespoke and tailored offering for all those wishing to take part; from first timers, old timers, juniors, female focus, elites, tri clubs, corporates, there’s a race for everyone!

    Find out more


    Trade your time for a free race place! We offer a Volunteer Scheme, whereby a free race is given in return for a day’s marshalling at any one of the Castle Triathlon Series events. (terms apply)

    Find out more