When the UK leg of the World Triathlon Championship Series arrives in Sunderland this weekend, there’s no better place to be than the vibrant SEAFRONT at Roker.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event, including how you can watch.

What is AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland?

The series is the highest level of annual, international triathlon competition. This is the first time the global event which sees the world’s fastest athletes travel to iconic cities to compete head-to-head for a chance to be crowned World Champion, has come to Sunderland.

The action-packed UK leg will see nearly 2,000 participants aged from 4 up, swim, bike and run in two days of races against the scenic backdrop of Roker Beach and seafront. This includes some of the world’s best triathletes competing as individuals and in national teams. There will also be opportunities for British Triathlon members to become a British Champion, and for the elite athletes as they seek qualification points towards the Paris 2024 Olympics.

But there is much more to the weekend than just elite racing, with the chance to have a go at swim, bike, run for the first time, as well as plenty of free fun family activities to get involved in.

When and where is the event taking place?

Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July – the two-day event will be centred around Roker’s seafront with its Blue Flag beaches and Green Flag park, providing a stunning setting for a weekend full of swim, bike run. Both days are action-packed, with the first races getting underway at 7am and opportunities to watch throughout each day with a variety of different races and events taking place across the two days.

Marine Walk will be at the heart of the action with the start, finish and transition areas all located on the Roker seafront, with many fantastic places to watch the racing unfold across the routes.

How can I watch?

It’s completely free to spectate around the route and enjoy the swim, bike, run action around Roker and the seafront.

The start and finish line are on Marine Walk, but spectators can watch from anywhere along the route. For a spectator guide that will walk you through the key timings, locations and what to watch out for over the weekend visit: www.mysunderland.co.uk/swim-bike-run This includes a handy map showing the route and best spots to watch the racing.

There is also a Grandstand which will be open free of charge to the public for the morning sessions on both Saturday and Sunday, providing a fantastic opportunity to see participants crossing the finish line.  In the afternoons this area will be cleared in advance of the elite races, with only those with a pre-booked ticket able to sit in the Grandstand.

You can also watch all the action unfold on a big screen in the Cliffe Park Fan Zone.

Watching from home

If you can’t make it to Roker to catch the action, you can still see the elite racing from Roker on the BBC.

Saturday 29 July – coverage on BBC One between 13.45 and 17.00 of:

  • 14.00 – World Triathlon Championship Series Men
  • 15.35 – World Triathlon Championship Series Women

Sunday 30 July – coverage on BBC Two between 13.00 – 15.00 of:

  • 13:15 – World Triathlon Mixed Team Relay
Get Ready for the Action-Packed Weekend: World Triathlon Championship Series Comes to Sunderland's SEAFRONT
Spectators enjoying the UK leg of the World Triathlon Championship Series in Leeds last year – image credit – Paul Mitchell

Transport, parking and road closures

  • There are a range of options available, please look out for the way finding signs. Please note there will not be a park & ride for this event. Due to the event, Marine Walk and Harbour View car parks and the disabled bays on Marine Walk will be closed for the duration of the event.
  • Public Transport – Visitors can get to the event using bus or metro services. Please visit https://www.nexus.org.uk/bus/timetables for the latest information.
  • Park & Walk – a range of city centre car parks are available as well as free parking for spectators at Seaburn Recreational Ground (Seaburn Camp) SR6 8AA, a 15–20-minute walk to the venue.
  • Seafront Parking – Limited Seafront Parking is available at Dykelands Road on a first come, first served basis, however parking fees apply to these areas
  • Blue Badge parking- There is limited Blue Badge parking on the Seafront including Whitburn Road opposite Queens Parade and Dykelands Road Car Park. These operate on a first come, first served basis.

See the spectator guide for more details on visitor parking.


Free and secure bike parking in the Yellow Jersey Bike Park in the Cliffe Park Fan Zone

Rail Strike

Saturday 29 July – The RMT Union have announced three days of strike action affecting several train operating companies during July, including Saturday 29 July. Further information regarding industrial action can be found at: www.nationalrail.co.uk/travel-information/industrial-action

For a detailed map of the road closures please visit: www.mysunderland.co.uk/swim-bike-run

Please note – businesses at the seafront will be open as usual throughout the event

What else is there to see and do?

Head for the Fan Zone on Cliffe Park for the big screen where you can watch all the action unfold, as well as lots of fun activities to get involved in across the weekend. Have a go at archery, stilts, early years activities and games, an assault course, giant Connect 4 and acrobat circus workshops.

Here you’ll also find face-painting and the chance to see walkabout characters, a Steel Band, Rock Choir and Bollywood dancing. Or why not enjoy the various cafes, restaurants and food and drink concessions around the area and soak up all Roker and Sunderland have to offer. There’s also find free and secure bike parking in the Yellow Jersey Bike Park.

Will there be more swim, bike, run events coming to Sunderland?

Swim, bike, run extends far beyond just the major events, with Sunderland City Council delivering a wider programme of activities based around swim, bike, run, offering a whole host of opportunities to get involved. To find out more visit the Sunderland Swim Bike Run page at www.mysunderland.co.uk/swim-bike-run

Free Wi-Fi

Take advantage of Sunderland’s free, safe, friendly, ultrafast and ground-breaking Wi-FI when you’re out and about at Roker or city centre by going to your Wi-Fi network and clicking on _Free Sunderland Wi-Fi.

Please take photos and videos of the event and share them on social media using #WTCSSunderland but please note, drones are not allowed.

Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re incredibly excited to have the UK leg of the World Triathlon Championship Series visiting Sunderland for the first time.

“Attracting an international sporting event of this calibre is a major coup for the city. It’s not every day that you get some of the world’s finest athletes running past your front door.

“It promises to be a brilliant action-packed event for residents and visitors alike, whether you’re interested in triathlon, coming along to cheer on a family member taking part, looking for something different to take the kids to or just looking for a good day out.

“It’s also a fantastic opportunity to showcase our stunning seafront and award-winning beaches to a national and international audience.”

Andy Salmon, British Triathlon CEO, said: “With event week now upon us, I’m really looking forward to all that AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland will bring.

“For the participants, I’m excited for them to experience swim, bike, run in Roker; for the spectators, who are in for a treat as some of the best triathletes in the world will compete in the city; and I’m also delighted that the elite athletes will be part of a much bigger festival of swim, bike, run.

“With the business of delivering the event already in full swing, I also want to say a massive thank you to our partners at Sunderland City Council, UK Sport, World Triathlon and AJ Bell, as well as the team here at British Triathlon and all the volunteers who will go into making this weekend a success.”

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