LOCATION Istanbul, Türkiye
RACE DATE 3 Sep 2023
DISTANCE Olympic distance
Five Reasons to Race Challenge Istanbul:
- The ancient city of Istanbul’s unique location between east and west
- Be part of the first ever inter-continental triathlon in the world
- Chance to swim in the Bosphorus, surrounded by the iconic Istanbul cityscape
- Cross the bridge from Asia to Europe on the bike course – two continents in one day!
- An historic run course past the waterside mansions and Anatolian Fortress
About the Local Area
Istanbul, the bustling metropolis of Türkiye, is a city full of charm, where the past goes hand in hand with the present and every step brings to light a relic of times gone by. At the crossroads of two continents – Europe and Asia – this spectacular city has absorbed the best of both worlds. With its beautiful historic landmarks, quintessential cuisine, vibrant nightlife, festivals of art and music, celebration of faith, labyrinths of marketplaces and shopping arcades, the beating heart of Istanbul, and the soul of Bosphorus under the watchful eye of the Maiden’s Tower is a traveller’s dream
About the Race
Istanbul is a unique city that has been the capital of two great empires, where you can breathe in all kinds of history while getting lost in its unique nature. While traces of the Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman Empires lively welcome the visitors in the Historic Peninsula (Tarihi Yarımada), the most important museums of our country are also located in Istanbul. Istanbul, which became the centre of science, culture, and art during the Ottoman period, still maintains a magnificent tolerance in the period of the Republic of Turkey, where mosques, synagogues and churches live side by side.
The race takes place on the Asian coast of Istanbul, on the coast of Beykoz, a charming district preferred by the locals for weekend leisure activities. Transition is the grassed area between Göksu and Küçüksu (deresi) Creeks. Although this area was one of the private gardens of the sultans on the Bosporus during the Ottoman period, today it is known as one of the most popular public recreation areas for the locals right next to the historic Küçüksu Kasrı.
The swim starts from the historical Kanlıca (İskelesi) Pier. As the starting siren breaks the silence on both sides of İstanbul, it is now only a matter of time before you find yourself under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge with the gentle current and warm waters of the Bosporus. As the sunrise shines on the mansions lined up on both sides of the Bosporus like pearls, we turn our strokes to the left and head towards the Küçüksu (İskelesi) Pier after seeing the Rumeli (Hisarı) Fortress on our right.
On the bike, after a very short uphill and athletes enter a wonderful fast asphalt road with magnificent views providing a visual feast along the way, watching the Istanbul panorama. The surprise crowning this visual feast is the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. Athletes enter the bridge from the continent of Asia and exit onto the continent of Europe and so you become an intercontinental triathlete!
Leaving T2, the run heads right next to the (Anadolu Hisarı) Anatolian Fortress, which was built by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid 1st between 1393 and 1394 as part of the preparations for the siege of the then Byzantine city, Constantinople. Heading towards the north, athletes get the chance to see the other side of the Bosporus shore this time with its stunning mansions lining the shore. Running under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the course continues by turning from Çiftlik (Caddesi) Street and the first of three laps is completed. The finish is situated at Küçüksu (Çayırı) Meadow where it’s time to celebrate becoming an intercontinental triathlete!