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LocationEmbrun, Haute Alpes, France
Event typeTriathlon
DistanceSwimming pictogram.svg 3.8 km
Cycling (road) pictogram.svg 186 km
Olympic pictogram Athletics.png 42,195 km
Course recordsMen: 9h 34m 10s Hervé Faure (2011) Women 10h 51m 14s Tine Deckers (2017)
Official siteembrunman.com
Participants3500 Professionals and amateurs in all events, 1500 in long distance event.

The Embrunman is a long distance triathlon held on August 15 each year around Embrun in the Hautes-Alpes, France. It is an equivalent triathlon consisting of a swim of 3.8 km, a 186 km cycle ride and running a marathon (42.2 km), but is not affiliated with the World Triathlon Corporation which owns the brand Ironman, so is not promoted as such. The French newspaper Le Dauphiné libéré described it in 2012 as the hardest triathlon in the world.[1] The men's record time for the event is 9 h 34 m 10 s by the Frenchman Hervé Faure on August 15, 2011 and the women's record is held by Tine Deckers from Belgium (Marmotta Alpin Triatlon Tribe) at 10 h 51 m 14 s on 15 August 2017. The men's record number of victories in this event is held by Frenchman Yves Cordier with five wins, and women's record by Briton Bella Bayliss Commerford with 3 victories.

The Embrunman is the culmination of a multi day series of events dedicated to the sport of triathlon with an Olympic distance triathlon (1.5 km swim, 43.5 km bike, 10 km run) and events reserved for youth and beginners.



The first event was held on the 19 August 1984, but was only a hint of what it would become. It had a 750 m swim, 30 km bike and 10 km race walk. However, the first bike ride included the steep climb up the Cote de Chalvet (indeed the competitors had to tackle it twice) and which still features today at the end of the bike stage - triathletes today still call it "The Beast"

In 1985, the event was given the organisation of the standard distance triathlon championship of France. The route was adapted by lengthening the distance to 1,500 m swim, 70 km bike and 21 km run on a difficult circuit. 280 triathletes participated in the event, backed by 200 volunteers and 20,000 supporters.

A long distance event[edit]

In 1986 the Embrun triathlon became a long distance event with a 4 km swim, 131.5 km bike and 42.2 km run. The organisers claimed at the time that among all categories of triathlon it was the most difficult in the world. In 1987, the distances were increased to 5 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42 2 km of running. A larger climb was introduced of 2600 m on the bike course and 400 m in the marathon. The event's popularity increased with 420 competitors, 480 volunteers and a large audience attending the event. In 1989, the swimming distance of long-distance triathlon was reduced to 3800 m, to meet the specifications of the French Triathlon Federation (FFTRI). In 1990, the route was changed for the last time with the introduction, in the bike portion, of the ascent of the Col d'Izoard. This new route of 186 km in one loop is characterized by increased difficulty: 3600 m of climbing.

In 2008, despite the competition of the Olympic Games in Beijing, the event see a record of number of participates with 1260 registered on the long route and 600 on the short. Despite awful weather the race is held, although there are over 110 dropouts during the descent of the Izoard. In 2010, the event supports the twinning of the town of Embrun with the Thai island of Ko Samui with the creation of a long-distance triathlon on the island. The planned first event in 2011 was canceled due to natural disasters, but an event took place on 22 April 2012.

The short distance triathlon[edit]

In 1988, in addition to the long-distance triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon (triathlon M) was started, with 1.5 km swim, 43.5 km bike, and 10 km run. 520 competitors, 600 volunteers and 40,000 spectators participate in this event. In 1991, the Embrun short distance triathlon became a stage of the World Cup triathlon , a competition with 11 stages and held across 5 continents. For this event, the bike course was totally changed, with greater technical challenge and a vertical climb of 1,200 m located mainly on the first part of the course. 1,260 triathletes participated in the various formats as well as 1,000 volunteers and nearly 100,000 spectators. As part of its tenth event in 1993, Embrun hosts a stage of the World Cup triathlon for the third consecutive time. The attendance increased, to a record with 1,500 triathletes involved in various formats, 1300 volunteers, and over 100,000 spectators. It was not until 1997 that the short distance triathlon Embrun was a stage of the World Cup triathlon again, and for the last time. To date, with these 4 appearances, Embrum is the French triathlon which has most often hosted a stage of the World Cup circuit.

The Current Embrunman[edit]

The 30th staging of the Embrunman in 2013 saw several events spread over five days of racing:

  • Long Distance Triathlon: 3.8 km: swimming, 186 km cycling, 42.2 km of running. The bike ascent is more than 3600 m and 400 m ascent in the run.
  • Short Triathlon : 1.5 km swim, 43.5 km bike, 10 km of running
  • Triathlon Sprint: 750 m swim, 18 km bike, 5 km run
  • Aquathlon : 1 km swim, 5 km run
  • Duathlon : 5 km Running, 19.1 km bike, 2.5 km run. The bike ride has a climb of 245 m
  • Run & bike : 22.5 km for a team of two competitors with one bike for a total vertical climb of 730 m.
  • A triathlon reserved for juniors with specific distances for each age class.

3500 triathletes, amateurs or professionals, juniors and veterans participated in these competitions, including 1000 registered on the short-distance triathlon and 1500 inscribed on the long distance triathlon.[2]

Long distance event winners[edit]

Male winners[edit]

Year Winner Time
1984 France Gérard Honnorat
1985 Switzerland Alain Dallenbach
1986 Germany Dirk Aschnoneit
1987 France Yves Cordier
1988 France Yves Cordier
1989 Denmark Klöczl Gabor
1990 Denmark Klöczl Gabor 10 h 31 min
1991 United States Scott Molina 10 h 19 min
1992 Netherlands Pim Van den Bos 10 h 09 min
1993 France Philippe Lie 10 h 08 min 01 s
1994 France Yves Cordier 10 h 10 min
1995 France Philippe Lie 10 h 08 min
1996 Netherlands Floris Jan Koole 10 h 24 min 48 s
1997 France Philippe Lie 10 h 28 min
1998 France Yves Cordier 10 h 19 min 51 s
1999 France Yves Cordier 10 h 14 min 49 s
2000 France François Chabaud 10 h 01 min 49 s
2001 Spain Félix Rubio Martinez 9 h 57 min 37 s
2002 Spain Félix Rubio Martinez 10 h 07 min 41 s
2003 France Cyril Neveu 9 h 59 min 21 s
2004 Spain Félix Rubio Martinez 10 h 02 min 43 s
2005 Spain Félix Rubio Martinez 9 h 59 min 32 s
2006 France Hervé Faure 9 h 54 min 31 s
2007 France Hervé Faure 9 h 48 min 58 s
2008 France Xavier Le Floch 10 h 06 min 35 s
2009 Spain Marcel Zamora Perez 9 h 39 min 45 s
2010 Spain Marcel Zamora Perez 9 h 38 min 49 s
2011 France Hervé Faure 9 h 34 min 10 s
2012 Spain Marcel Zamora Perez 9 h 39 min 23 s
2013 Spain Marcel Zamora Perez[3] 9 h 42 min 20 s

Female winners[edit]

Year Winner Time
1985 France Odile Lagarde
1986 France Nadia Cédolin
1987 Germany Rita Keitmann
1988 France Chantal Malherbe
1989 Netherlands Marion Van Bouen
1990 France Dominique Damiani 13 h 33 min
1991 France Dominique Damiani 13 h 26 min
1992 Australia Tracey Ellingham 12 h 01 min
1993 France Anne Marie Rouchon 11 h 37 min
1994 Australia Gail Watson 12 h 27 min
1995 Germany Barbara Alber 12 h 25 min
1996 Australia Gail Watson 12 h 24 min
1997 France Catherine Houseaux 12 h 40 min
1998 Germany Barbara Alber 12 h 23 min
1999 France Pascale Lafosse 12 h 46 min
2000 Netherlands Bianca Van Djik 12 h 10 min
2001 France Isabelle Mouthon-Michellys 11 h 55 min
2002 United Kingdom Bella Bayliss Commerford 11 h 41 min
2003 France Catherine Houseaux 11 h 55 min
2004 France Estelle Patou 12 h 26 min
2005 France Estelle Leroi 12 h 17 min 25 s
2006 France Estelle Leroi 11 h 56 min 37s
2007 France Audrée Cléau 11 h 57 min 39s
2008 United Kingdom Bella Bayliss Commerford 11 h 26 min 06s
2009 United Kingdom Bella Bayliss Commerford 11 h 02 min 48s
2010 Czech Republic Teresa Macel 11 h 20 min 09s
2011 Hungary Erika Csomor 11 h 15 min 40s
2012 France Jeanne Collonge 11 h 07min 09s
2013 France Jeanne Collonge[4] 10 h 56 min 43s
2014 Republic of Ireland Eimear Mullan ?
2017 Belgium Tine Deckers 10 h 51min 14s

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Article in Le Dauphiné.com, 15 August 2012 : « Hervé Faure, le tenant du titre, le dit lui-même : "C’est le triathlon le plus dur au monde, car il dure deux heures de plus que les autres ironman." [...] Établi l’an dernier, le record est détenu par le Français Hervé Faure (9h34’08). » Source : http://www.ledauphine.com/hautes-alpes/2012/08/15/une-histoire-de-fous
  2. ^ La rétro sport DCI
  3. ^ L'info sur e - briancon
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]