Eastbourne Triathlon and IronBourne set to sell out for the first time

Both Eastbourne Triathlon and IronBourne have shown consistent growth over the past four years. Having carried out a detailed analysis of entry trends we predict both events will sell out this year.

Annual growth

The two charts below show the annual growth of Eastbourne Triathlon over its 10-year history and IronBourne over the past three years. Note that numbers for the postponed 2020 events have been included and deferred entries subtracted from the 2021 events. 

Eastbourne Triathlon has shown consistent growth with a sharp increase over the past two years. Demand for this year’s event is expected to significantly exceed the 1000-competitor limit:

IronBourne has shown very consistent growth and current numbers for this year suggest this growth will continue, exceeding the 700-competitor limit by some margin this year:

Why the limits?

The capacity limits for Eastbourne Triathlon and IronBourne exist for slightly different reasons. For Eastbourne Triathlon we are mainly limited by the space available for the transition area, which is around 1,000 starters. To ensure the best possible athlete experience we always keep plenty of spacing between athletes on the racking and between the rows of racking in transition.  

For IronBourne, we are limited by the capacity of the bike course. Drafting in long-distance triathlon has become a hot topic in recent years with certain event organisers over-subscribing race entries, leading to drafting and congestion on the bike course. We have never had drafting or congestion problems at IronBourne and want to keep it that way. For this reason, we have limited the event to 700 starters.

When will entries sell out?

It’s difficult to tell precisely when entry numbers will reach capacity. Many factors influence the rate of entry sales, and the publication of this blog post is likely to cause an increase. By looking at the trends from previous years compared to the sales to date this year, we can estimate the expected numbers for 2023.

Entry numbers plotted against weeks before the race are shown below for the previous four editions of the Eastbourne Triathlon. This shows that the event is likely to reach capacity around 6 weeks before the race:

Again, looking at trends of entry numbers related to weeks until the race, we can see that IronBourne is likely to reach capacity around 8 weeks before the race:

Enter now to avoid disappointment

With the publication of this blog post, we expect an increase in the rate of entries which could cause both events to sell out faster than predicted here. Rather than taking the risk of missing out, we recommend entering now to avoid disappointment. 


  • Matthew Dowle

    Mat Dowle is an experienced triathlete who has completed over 20 Ironman distance triathlons and countless shorter distance events. He started his athletic career as a runner, completing many marathons and ultra-distance events. After 10 years of running, he decided to try his first triathlon, despite never having learned to swim. Despite the steep learning curve, he loved the experience and has been competing in triathlons ever since. Over the years, he has picked up many good results and has represented Great Britain on the age group team at multiple world and European championship events.