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Hever Castle Triathlon and Sport Festival

Event details
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Over 7000 participants of all abilities will compete in the greatest range of fitness and endurance events. The Hever Castle Triathlon weekend is absolutely epic. Expect the most amazing atmosphere, expect to take on awesome courses and expect all the amenities a participant needs.
C-19 Plan
Castle Triathlon Series has confirmed that this event will be going ahead as planned on Friday 25th Sep 2020 in accordance with the COVID-19 safety measures. Learn more

Review summary

4 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


Manon V
"This was my first ever triathlon, and it was such a good one to do! The swim is..."


Anna F
"My first Triathlon happened here and it was a great choice although the entry..."


Paul D
"The weather let the day down. So much water on the ride. Wich turned into mud..."
See all reviews

How to enter the Hever Castle Triathlon and Sport Festival

  1. Sprint Plus Triathlon - Henry VII

    Triathlon: Swim 0.8km, Bike 40km, Run 8km
    Event passed
  2. Super Sprint Triathlon - Anne Boleyn

    Triathlon: Swim 0.4km, Bike 20km, Run 4km
    Event passed
  3. Starter Sprint Triathlon - Castle Tri

    Triathlon: Swim 0.2km, Bike 15km, Run 2km
    Event passed
  4. Hever Swim - 5km

    Swim 5km
    Event passed
  5. Hever Swim - 2.5km

    Swim 2.5km
    Event passed
  6. Hever Swim - 1 mile

    Swim 1mi
    Event passed
  7. Half Iron - Gauntlet

    Triathlon: Swim 1.9km, Bike 90km, Run 21km
    Event passed
  8. Olympic - The Hever

    Triathlon: Swim 1.5km, Bike 40km, Run 10km
    Event passed
  9. Aquathlon Sprint

    Aquathlon: Swim 0.75km, Run 5km
    Event passed
  10. Aquabike Sprint

    Aquabike: Swim 0.75km, Bike 20km
    Event passed
  11. Sprint Triathlon

    Triathlon: Swim 0.75km, Bike 20km, Run 5km
    Event passed
  12. Duathlon Sprint

    Duathlon: Run 5km, Bike 20km, Run 5km
    Event passed
  13. Children Elizabeth 1 - First Wave (8-10yrs)

    Triathlon: Swim 0.1km, Bike 4km, Run 1.3km
    Event passed
  14. Children Elizabeth 1 - Final Wave (8-10yrs)

    Triathlon: Swim 0.1km, Bike 4km, Run 1.3km
    Event passed
  15. Duathlon Standard

    Duathlon: Run 12km, Bike 40km, Run 4.3km
    Event passed
  16. Half Marathon

    Run 21.1km
    Event passed
  17. 10K

    Run 10km
    Event passed
  18. Aquabike Standard

    Aquabike: Swim 1.5km, Bike 40km
    Event passed
  19. Aquathlon Standard

    Aquathlon: Swim 1.5km, Run 10km
    Event passed
  20. Junior Elizabeth 1 (13-15yrs)

    Triathlon: Swim 0.3km, Bike 8km, Run 2.4km
    Event passed
  21. Children Elizabeth 1 - First Wave (11-12yrs)

    Triathlon: Swim 0.2km, Bike 4km, Run 1.8km
    Event passed
  22. Children Elizabeth 1 - Final Wave (11-12yrs)

    Triathlon: Swim 0.2km, Bike 4km, Run 1.8km
    Event passed

Hever Castle Triathlon and Sport Festival routes


An open-water swim in the spectacular 38 acre Hever Castle Lake and River Eden

An undulating cycle that takes athletes around a circuit through the High Weald of Kent, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and up to the stunning Ashdown forest for the longer distance races.

The largely off-road run circumnavigates the estate as well as taking runners through land owned by the Bellhurst Nature Conservation Trust (the majority of this section is not on public rights of way), then returning to the award-winning castle grounds before athletes make the dash to the tree-lined finishing chute beside the lake.


The swim only event provides the choice of three different distances: 5km 2.5km and 1mile and boasts a unique and stunning swim route, which takes in the Castle Lake and River Eden and circumnavigates 16 Acre Island.

The swim described by many triathletes as the ‘best open water swim ever completed’ will now be open to outdoor swimmers as an event in its own right.

All swimmers will be provided with timing chips and the races categorised into wetsuits and non-wetsuits. Prizes will be awarded for the top three male and female competitors in each distance.

One mile leisure and family swim

Enjoy the beautiful setting of Hever Castle at your own pace. Swim any stroke you like (breaststroke encouraged), swim and chat with friends as you go around. Don’t worry about how long it takes (however time limit set at 90 minutes), just enjoy it. Under 16s welcome if accompanied throughout by a competent responsible adult.


Hever Castle witnesses hundreds of hardy triathletes taking on the exciting Gauntlet, a middle-distance race that pushed competitors to their limit via a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run.

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.


Multi-terrain Half Marathon and 10K runs. This stunning and unique course will incorporate spectator friendly loops of beautiful Kentish countryside, the Hever Castle lake, quaint local villages and of course Hever Castle itself. Each runner will receive a medal and will be welcomed across the finish line with a banquet of well-earned treats, with live bands, food stalls, a retail area and camping at the castle making the weekend a festival of sporting achievements.


If the thought of completing all three disciplines at once is holding you back from signing up to one of triathlon events, then the multisport distances could be perfect for you! Perhaps an injury is preventing you from running, you can’t get your hands on a bike for this summer or the idea of swimming in the lake is just too much. Castle Triathlon Series have created the multisport events to allow the competitors to compete in two disciplines of your choice within the triathlons. The same stunning courses tailored to suit you!

Our junior event witnesses a 300m lake swim before a challenging but hugely fun off-road 8km cycle around the Castle grounds.

The junior race concludes with a 4km trail run around the castle grounds.


For the tweens out there, the Castle Triathlon Series offers a 200m open-water swim in a calm castle lake, a 4km off-road bike in the castle grounds before a 2km trail run finale.


The shortest event in our celebrated children’s races begins with a 100m open-water swim before a 4km bike on traffic-free trails around the Castle grounds.

The race climaxes with a 1.3km run, again on a safe off-road course. One parent is allowed in transition with their children to offer some assistance.

Event Details

What’s Included
  • Chip timed
  • Prizes
  • All competitors in all races will receive a medal on completion of their race
  • Banquet of well-earned treats
  • Live bands
  • Food stalls
  • A retail area
  • Camping at the castle making the weekend a festival of sporting achievements.
  • Licensed race
  • Trophies
  • Prize money
  • Hever Castle Speakers Tent
  • Marshal's
  • Baggage Drop
  • Race photography
  • Event Village
Raceday Logistics


Our staff at registration will provide you with your race pack and will body mark you. You will receive a race pack.

Please ensure you arrive at registration at least an hour and a half before the start of your race.

All participants are required to either produce a valid National Governing Body Membership License or purchase a Day Membership on race day.

Numbered labels must be placed on your bike and helmet before you enter the transition area.

When entering transition your helmet, bike bar ends and bike brakes will be checked and then you will be shown to your designated transition “spot”.

Please ensure that you name your wetsuit and keep all your marked belongings together – as all the wetsuits look the same it’s very easy to pick up the wrong one!

Once you have racked your bike, you need to make your way to the swim start. Ensure you leave time for the briefing – 15 minutes before your wave time by the Race Director. All
members of the relay team need to attend the briefing.

After you have been through registration, head for transition andthe athlete prep zone. Here you will be able to drop a bag in our bag drop facility, go to the toilet and change. The team will then guide you to your transition spot.

Please ensure that your numbered labels (in your race pack) are attached before entering the transition area.

The transition team will check your bike helmet, bike bar ends and your bike brakes before you will be allowed to rack up.

You will not be able to leave transition with your equipment at any point unless the number on you and your bike matches.

Race bag/bag drop

Space is limited in transition. Under governing body rules, boxes are not allowed in transition. A small soft-sided bag such as a rucksack may be allowed to remain in transition, tough it must not impede the progress of another competitor. There is a bag drop available in or adjacent to the transition area.


You will receive a chip-timing device which will be the same as your race number for the duration of the race. This must be put on your left ankle before you start. You must hand this to a marshal at the finish line.

Please note that it is your responsibility to wear your timing device and we cannot be held responsible for any losses. There is a charge for lost devices.


You can find your results by going to the results tent in the event village. Alternatively results can be found on our website on the evening of the event.

If you have given us your mobile number during your online registration you will receive a text with your results soon after your race.


Hever Castle Triathlon is an exciting and busy event with lots of different courses taking place throughout the weekend. There will be a full brief before your race start but it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the course and in particular any key junctions to ensure you take the correct route.



08:00 - Sprint Plus

08:40 - Sprint

09:00 - Aquabike Sprint

09:00 - Aquathlon Sprint

09:30 - Duathlon Sprint

09:30 - Super Sprint - Anne Boleyn

11:00 - Starter Tri - Castle Tri

11:30 - 5k Hever Outdoor Swim

11:45 - 2.5k Hever Outdoor Swim

12:15 - 1 mile Hever Outdoor Swim

14.00 First Wave - Children (8-10 yrs) Elizabeth 1

16.00 Final Wave - Children (8-10 yrs) Elizabeth 1


08:00 - Half Iron / Middle Distance - The Gauntlet

09:00 - Olympic / Standard - The Hever

10:20 - Aquabike Standard

10:20 - Aquathlon Standard

10:30 - Duathlon Standard

10:45 - Half Marathon

11:00 - 10k

14:30 - Junior (13-15yrs) Elizabeth 1st

15:30 - Children (11-12 yrs) Elizabeth 1st

16.15 - Children (11-12yrs) Elizabeth 1st


Where the swim, bike and run legs are completed by different team members

Relay team chip timing
The chip, (attached to a strap) given out at registration, to be worn on the left ankle, acts
as a relay baton and must be passed between team members in transition, for the next
part of the race.

Relay team race number

Within your race pack, you will be given two separate numbers - the cyclist is to wear one on their back, and the runner is to wear the other on their front. The swimmer is not required to wear a race number.


For the first time at Hever Castle Triathlon there is a Speaker’s Tent with celebrities, industry experts and event professionals talking about their passions – from training tips to getting your mind ready to take on a triathlon challenge.


Our official photographers are sure to capture some great shots of you throughout the course. Make sure your race number is visible - that’s how the photographers gather all your images.
Kit List


Wetsuits or tri-suits are advised for triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike and swim events. However, they are only compulsory if the water is less than 14 degrees celsius


Adults; road/hybrid bike is recommended, however mountain or cyclo-cross bikes can be used.

8-15 year old races: we strongly recommend mountain or cyclo-cross bikes. Please service and carry out safety checks on all bikes.


  • Nutrition and liquids
  • Wetsuit and goggles
  • Race belt
  • Towel
  • Bike helmet, pump and Repair kit
  • Shoes for bike/run
  • Clothing for run/bike
  • Warm clothing for after race
  • Cash
  • Triathlon membership licence
  • Or cash for one day licence

The spectator experience at the Castle Triathlon Series has become almost as famous as the spectacular backdrops and classic courses, and has made passing time before your loved ones finish the race a thing of the past.

Spectators are actively encouraged to come down to the event! The looped nature of the course makes it very spectator friendly.

There will be a variety of entertainment on offer, with a festival theme throughout, such as inflatables, climbing wall, yoga and retail outlets.

Please follow this link for more information on spectators -


We rely on a team of dedicated volunteers for our famous race atmosphere, in roles such as helping out at registration, monitoring the cycle route and more. We'll typically ask you to arrive around 6am, with your hard work finishing around 5pm. If you'd like to sign up, or find out more, please visit


What is the Gauntlet?

The Gauntlet - 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.

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.

Can the start times change?

Start times are approximate and shown here as a general guide. These are subject to change. Depending on numbers, there will be multiple waves for each race distance, usually separated by 15 to 20 minutes.

Will entrants be notified if start times change?

Entrants will be notified of their wave time via email 2 weeks prior to the event. We advise that entrants arrive at least 1 – 1.5 hours before their wave time. There’s an option to request specific waves during registration. Relays go off in the final wave of their distance.

What is draft legal racing?

If you have entered a draft legal race (only available at certain venues) please ensure your bike conforms with the Draft Legal Guidelines laid down by your national governing


What is in the race pack?

• An individual race number that is worn during the cycle and the run.
• Three numbered labels for your equipment.
• A coloured swim hat (the colour relates to the wave that you are in).
• A timing chip device to be worn around your left ankle - this must be worn throughout all 3 disciplines and will need to be handed in at the finish line.
• Children will get a wristband to be worn during their race to help marshals direct them on the cycle and run.


Who can be in the relay team?

Relay teams can enter the adults or children's races but not mixed together.

How does the relay work?

For each distance there is the option to enter as a relay team. Either in a group of two (one of
the team will do two disciplines), or a group of three (where you do a discipline each).

These teams can be all male, all female or a mixed team. There is no specification on ages
(of course children/junior relay participants must be of an age that falls in line with their race
category) or abilities within the teams.

Who registers for the relay team?

At registration, ideally the whole relay team arrives together for body marking and receiving
the race pack. If this is not possible, one team member can pick up the race pack for the
other (the relay team will be registered under the person who made the booking).
However the other relay members will still need to go via registration once they arrive.

Do all relay members need to attend the race briefing?

All relay team members must attend the briefing at the swim start before the race.


What are the best tips for the transition section?

Always have your cycling helmet on and fastened before you remove your bike from the racking in transition.

1) Be organised:

When setting up transition, only take the essentials in with you. Anything you know you won’t need, leave with family & friends or at home. This will help you get in and out of transition quicker with minimal fuss and stress!

2) Visualise

Transition can often be a busy and sometimes a confusing place on race morning. Make sure
you know your swim exit, bike out & in and run out to help gain those precious seconds!

3) Practice!

A great way to save easy seconds and even minutes of your time is in transition. Practice jumping on and off your bike, mounting and dismounting with your shoes already clipped in (very much an ITU style mount/dismount and probably for the more experienced). You can try and use elastic bands to keep your shoes in ahorizontal position to make this easy. Practice running up to your kit and how you are going to put your sunglasses, helmet and shoes on
quickly. What’s the best set up for you? For example, my sunglasses go inside my helmet, with the arms open so they can be put on straight away and then my helmet over the top.

4) Walk through transition

Familiarise yourself with the path you will take from swim to bike and out, and then from bike
to run. Look out for something visual near where you bike and kit is set up, so that it’s easy to spot when you are running to your bike. For example, is there a tree that stands out? Or count the number of fences, or is there an advertising sign near by that you can easily

5) Talcum Powder is a triathlete’s best friend

Use it sparingly in your bike & run shoes to help slip your feet in easier & reduce the chance of mid-race rubbing.

6) Setup your bike

Make sure your bike is set up in the right gear to start your race. If you have a hill out of transition you probably want to start in an easier gear, so you are not struggling in the first


Can I bring spectators to the event?
Yes, spectators are very welcome to each castle

Are there toilets available for competitors?
Yes, there are plenty of toilets available at each castle for spectators and competitors; these are normally situated by registration/transition.

Can I compete in the same wave as friends/family?
Yes, there is an option to create a
‘unique code’ that can be put in
during the registration process.

If I am injured can I just complete one or two of the disciplines rather than the whole race?
Yes, you are very welcome to do the disciplines you are comfortable with (e.g just the cycle and run). Obviously this will make you ineligible for prizes but you are welcome to complete
your race like this.

Can I change distance once I have booked?
Yes, if you make your booking and then decide to change your race distance, you can contact the office to arrange this ([email protected] Please note: if you drop down to a shorter distance, we cannot refund the difference, and if you upgrade to a longer distance the difference will need to be paid.

Can I bring dogs into the Castle grounds?
Yes, as long as they are well behaved and on a lead. At all venues apart from Chantilly and Lough Cutra Castle (don’t forget your poop bag!)

If I bring spectators will there be much for them to do while I’m racing?
We pride ourselves on offering plenty of activities for spectators along with access to the Castle grounds. The event village offers a festival atmosphere with plenty of places to
watch those racing.

How do I find out about the water temperature for race day?
The water temperature will be taken two weeks, 48hrs and 24hrs prior to the race. In the online registration process we ask for your mobile phone number so we can text all
participants this information via our Bulk SMS text. This is a free service. This will also be available on the website on the race info page.

Hever Castle Triathlon and Sport Festival weather forecast

Possible drizzle in the morning.

Predicted highs
Predicted lows
Icon60% chance of rain
IconModerate breeze possible, up to 16mph

Meet the organiser

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Formed in 2009, the Castle Triathlon Series has swiftly established itself as the UK’s largest triathlon series. From Lough Cutra to Chantilly and Castles Howard, Cholmondeley and Hever, we’re immensely proud of the iconic backdrops to each Castle Triathlon Series race and the friendly festival atmosphere produced at every event.



Hever Castle Triathlon and Sport Festival reviews (4)

4.5 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the Half Iron - Gauntlet in 2019

    The weather let the day down. So much water on the ride. Wich turned into mud on the run. This event was an exercise in doing it anyway.
  • Did the Sprint Triathlon in 2019

    My first Triathlon happened here and it was a great choice although the entry is a bit pricey and the medal is not the nicest one (quite small) unless you pre-order a personalised one which I am waiting for.

    I had sprint (750/20/5) but have done over 28k in total as transitions were a bit longer.

    Swimming part - I stayed way too back as a beginner which turned out to be mistake get with others just stay few metres behind, not too far. Water was cold for me but that was because I didn’t have the proper wetsuit. It was easy to follow with enough marshals on kayaks around.

    The beginning of the cycling course does not start on the road but a muddy/small rocks pathway thus it was a bit difficult but it’s its ashort phase..

    The cycling road was surprisingly hilly and there was no traffic closure so sometimes it was a bit challenging with cars queues behind slower cyclists. Passing sometimes difficult due to traffic and narrow countryside roads but lovely sceneries.

    Run was in laps (2X2.5km) it was definitely trail so pick the right shoes. Overall great experience, however, if you are looking for a Triathlon to make PBs - this one is way too hilly.

    I recommend for beginners as I found it as a great choice. Enjoy!

  • Did the Olympic - The Hever in 2015

    This was my first ever triathlon, and it was such a good one to do! The swim is good for people who are bad at sighting (like me), because you always stay around the edge of the lake, and pass through some narrow areas which help you swim in a straight line. The cycle route is a bit rolling and really beautiful, and the run is green and nice.
  • Did the Super Sprint Triathlon - Anne Boleyn in 2017

    Lovely course, great atmosphere and feels really busy. Great post race experience/village as well...
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