Course tips from Stuart Hayes and Emma Pallant

Whether you’re tackling the Sprint or Olympic distance, the Royal Windsor Triathlon has a stunning course that encompasses some fantastic sights.

Starting with a swim in the River Thames (watch out for swans!), triathletes then ride a bike route that heads through the streets of historic Windsor, passing Windsor Castle, and out into the surrounding countryside. To complete their challenge, participants will then run into Windsor Great Park and along the spectacular Long Walk in the shadow of the iconic castle. A truly ‘royal’ route, and one that will linger in the memory.

Here our event ambassadors and elite triathletes, Stuart Hayes and Emma Pallant, share their top tips for tackling this fantastic course.


  • Bring your shoes up to the start of the swim and ideally a friend who can then take them away for you
  • Swim in the middle of the river, down with the current
  • Hug the turn because you will be going faster with the flow of the river and you don’t want to swim further past it than you mean to
  • Swim back up again near the bank for less current working against you
  • Start taking off the top of your wetsuit as you run to your bike because there is a nice bit of running into transition


  • Put your helmet on before you touch your bike!


  • Make sure you know the difference between the short and the long course (Sprint and Olympic)
  • Use others around you to push you on but keep the legal distance behind so you aren’t drafting
  • Eat and drink what you have practiced in training on the bike to make sure you can get through the run
  • Try to keep rhythm going up any inclines, even if you count out-loud it will keep your breathing nice and deep, and keep you strong and the pressure on the pedals
  • Enjoy that long descent into town through the beauty of the park and get the legs ready for the run


  • Rack your bike before you take off your helmet!


  • Start out steady on the run and use the first flat part to get the rhythm in your legs and oxygen in your lungs because there is a hill coming up!
  • Make the most of the support on the hill, smiling can get you through a lot of pain, keep your feet light and your stride short.
  • Take water as need be from the aid stations, even if you have to slow down a bit, staying hydrated is important and will help you get through to the end
  • Don’t be afraid to run on the grass to move past people and again use people around you to motivate you to keep going
  • Hit that finish line knowing you gave it everything you could have with a big smile on your face! Grinners are winners!