Best Moments of Triathlon in 2016

We spent a bit of time sifting through some of the best moments as well as looking at what others believe are the highlights of Triathlon in 2016. Some are personal and some are down right a little funny, but most of all they show the guts and determination of the individual sport that Triathlon is; absolute brutality and its unique beauty.

Before we jump right into the shortlist, I’ve made a deliberate ploy to not actually number them. Call me crazy! But these are very hard to actually rank, given the impact these have had on people throughout the year. So yes, I’m being one of those guys this time – showing that I didn’t have the guts to. Or you may see it another way – which I really hope you do.

Anyway, moving right along. These by no means constitute a definitive list, nor was that the intention. This was really to start a discussion around what we and others thought were the key events of 2016.

When Alistair Brownlee helped his brother Jonny across the finish line at the WTS World Series in Cozumel.

“Ali helping Jonny Brownlee across the finish line… family first. Races come and go and in 20 years time no one cares, but moments like that will be imprinted in history…family is forever. It was a true illustration of character… one how hard they race and push themselves and two their values. 👍👍 that moment was why people look up to and admire them both amature and professional alike.” – Luke Bell

Jonathan was coming in first when acute heat exhaustion and dehydration overcame him, leaving him settled in a pile very near the finish line. Alistair pulled him up and wrapped his arms around his brother, helping him finish the race as South African Henri Schoeman raced forwards to victory.

Turia Pitt finishes Ironman World Championships in Kona

📷 Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for Ironman

After enduring burns to 65% of her body during an ultra-marathon, Aussie Turia Pitt was told she’d never walk again. In 2016, she competed at the World IRONMAN Championships in Kona, finishing the gruelling race in 14:37:30.


A personal victory: Erin Densham

📷 Delly Carr/Triathlon Australia

“Watching my daughter Erin Densham finish 12th in Rio after years of health problems. She is an inspiration to young people to never give up on your dreams. She never gave up even though at times over the years it was made very hard for her. A deserving champion.” – Erin’s Mum


Patrick Lange came third at Kona and looked like the happiest man in the world

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Ironman
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Ironman

Patrick Lange had never completed a full distance IRONMAN event before, yet he made the podium at Kona 2016. We’ve never seen a happier 3rd-place-getter!


Daniela Ryf sets a new course record at Kona 2016

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Ironman
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for Ironman
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for Ironman

Daniela Ryf led Kona for most of the bike and the entire run. It was a breathtaking show of seemingly effortless endurance, what a race!

The first time all age groupers finished the swim at Kona

96% of all athletes competing at Kona are age-groupers, and this year every single athlete completed the gruelling 3.86km swim. No fewer than 20% of all finishers at Kona were out of the water, with times under one hour – a huge jump from just 6.7% last year.

Kevin Quan at Diamondback made the fastest bike in the world

This year, brainy Kevin Quan and a team at the University of Toronto created the Andean, the fastest bike in the world. “I said to my designer: ‘Give me a silhouette that looks really good, but fills up… so there’s no space. Then we can make the fastest bike in the world,” said Kevin. And Kevin’s designer did exactly that, and once the drawings were read he just said “That’s it!”



Shawn Smith

A cyclist and tech geek at heart with a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of Australia's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.