Thinking of Joining USA Triathlon?

Be a part of our 550,000 member community of multisport athletes. Membership benefits include a subscription to the quarterly USA Triathlon magazine, discounts from USA Triathlon partners, inclusion in the national rankings, excess accident insurance at events, and savings at races. To see why you should join or renew today, visit the membership benefits page. Already a member? Login below.

Forgot Your Password? | Login Help

London 2012 Olympic Triathlon Course

The 2012 Olympic Games triathlon takes place in London´s most famous park and one of the most beautiful places you can find in Central London: Hyde Park. Starting with the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon World Championship Series in August (renamed as the ITU World Triathlon Series for 2012), the race route will, for the first time, feature a trip out of Hyde Park. The elite triathletes will pass through the stadium-like finish arena 12 times, bringing the drama and energy of the race up close to the fans.

Spectators will enjoy a grandstand view of the finishing area for the London 2012 triathlon, with many thousands more able to watch as the athletes swim, bike and run on the course.

The largest of London’s Royal Parks, Hyde Park has been open to the public since 1637. The park is home to a number of grassroots sports clubs, including the Serpentine Swimming Club, whose members swim in the Serpentine Lake whatever the weather — even on Christmas Day.

Temporary seats will be built in June 2012 for spectators and the course will be marked out.
 London 2012 Triathlon Course  London 2012 Triathlon Course  London 2012 Triathlon Course

Quick Facts:

  • Olympic events at Hyde Park: Triathlon, marathon swimming Location: Hyde Park lies at London’s West End, within easy walking distance of top-class accommodation and shops.
  • New or existing: New
  • Venue type: Temporary
  • During the Games: The park is expected to be home to the music, theatre, film and cultural events that will take place throughout the summer of 2012.
  • After the Games: The grandstand and course will be removed.

About the Swim Course

Swim course – 1 lap: The swim takes place in the beautiful and majestic Serpentine with a dive start from the swim platform placed on the north side of the lake. Elite athletes will swim one lap of 1,500 meters.

About the Bike Course

Bike course - 7 laps: The athletes will leave the transition area on Serpentine Road in the direction of West Carriage Drive. They will then cycle via South Carriage Drive toward Hyde Park Corner where the loop leaves Hyde Park to go down Constitution Hill to Buckingham Palace. In front of Buckingham Palace athletes turn to go back up Constitution Hill and across Hyde Park Corner into Serpentine Road, where the race pack will then pass the transition area and grandstands on every loop. The bike course is generally flat with no climbs. A few speed bumps and tight turns makes it technically demanding.

About the Run Course

Run course – 4 laps: After completing the seventh lap on the bike, the elite athletes will start the run. They will leave the transition area in the direction of West Carriage Drive. Before reaching the corner of West Carriage Drive / South Carriage Drive, they will need to turn back and run down toward the southern edge of the Serpentine. Along the edge of the Serpentine, the elites will pass the Lido to then run counterclockwise around the eastern part of the Serpentine before coming back on Serpentine road. From where they hit Serpentine Road again it’s about 750 meters straight into the transition area. Elite athletes will have to run four laps before finishing in front of the grandstands on the western edge of Serpentine Road.

USA Athletes Discuss the Course

Laura Bennett on the swim course: The swim course at the London ITU World Championship Series event, and the first U.S. Olympic qualifier, is in Hyde Park in the Serpentine. The course is one lap, roughly 300 meters to the first buoy, turn then a long drag to the turn-around buoy. It is important to have some good get-out speed to get to the first buoy without too much of a fight. This would ideally set you up for a smooth transition into the long stretch to the final buoy. 

Sarah Groff on the Bike Course:  The bike course in London will be visually stunning and will highlight some of the greatest monuments in the city.  While it would be nice to have a more difficult course, I understand that the landscape makes the inclusion of anything resembling a hill impossible.

Jarrod Shoemaker on the Run Course:  The London run course should be fast. It is a slight downhill and false flat uphill for the majority of the course, which tires you out a bit more than you expect. In the past they have utilized three laps, but that will change with the Olympics and the course will be more compact. The roads are tree-lined, which adds a nice bit of shade, and the course is always packed with spectators.
Active.com